Citric acid wastewater as electron donor for biological sulfate reduction

A.J.M. Stams, J. Huisman, P.A. Garcia Encina, G. Muyzer

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24 Citations (Scopus)


Citrate-containing wastewater is used as electron donor for sulfate reduction in a biological treatment plant for the removal of sulfate. The pathway of citrate conversion coupled to sulfate reduction and the microorganisms involved were investigated. Citrate was not a direct electron donor for the sulfate-reducing bacteria. Instead, citrate was fermented to mainly acetate and formate. These fermentation products served as electron donors for the sulfate-reducing bacteria. Sulfate reduction activities of the reactor biomass with acetate and formate were sufficiently high to explain the sulfate reduction rates that are required for the process. Two citrate-fermenting bacteria were isolated. Strain R210 was closest related to Trichococcus pasteurii (99.5% ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene sequence similarity). The closest relative of strain S101 was Veillonella montepellierensis with an rRNA gene sequence similarity of 96.7%. Both strains had a complementary substrate range
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)957-963
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • sp-nov.
  • lactosphaera-pasteurii
  • ruminococcus-palustris
  • citrate metabolism
  • reducing bacteria
  • comb-nov
  • gen-nov
  • reactor
  • veillonella
  • reclassification


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