Anaerobic desulphurisation of thiophenes by mixed microbial communities from oilfields

C.L.M. Marcelis, A.E. Ivanova, A.J.H. Janssen, A.J.M. Stams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Anaerobic enrichment cultures obtained from oil fields degraded various thiophenic compounds i.e. thiophene, benzothiophene and dibenzothiophene, with the concomitant formation of sulphide using hydrogen, lactate and ethanol as possible electron donors. It was demonstrated that dibenzothiophene was converted to biphenyl. However, hydrocarbon products from benzothiophene and thiophene desulphurisation could not be detected. After further enrichment on thiophenic compounds as the sole electron acceptor, the conversion activity disappeared while homo-acetogenic bacteria became abundantly present. In order to gain stable conversions of thiophenic compounds, attempts were made to isolate the sulphide-producing bacteria. Two highly enriched cultures were obtained, which degraded thiophenic compounds, but the activity remained low and homo-acetogenesis remained dominant.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-182
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • sulfate-reducing bacteria
  • desulfovibrio-desulfuricans m6
  • enrichment culture
  • middle-distillate
  • crude-oil
  • oxidation
  • dibenzothiophenes
  • sulfur
  • hydrodesulfurization
  • hydrocarbons


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