In-situ metal precipitation in a zinc-aerobic, sandy aquifer by means of biological sulfate reduction

G.M.C.M. Janssen, E.J.M. Temminghoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The applicability of in situ metal precipitation (ISMP) based on bacterial sulfate reduction (BSR) with molasses as carbon source was tested for the immobilization of a zinc plume in an aquifer with highly unsuitable initial conditions (high Eh, low pH, low organic matter content, and low sulfate concentrations), using deep wells for substrate injection
The applicability of in situ metal precipitation (ISMP) based on bacterial sulfate reduction (BSR) with molasses as carbon source was tested for the immobilization of a zinc plume in an aquifer with highly unsuitable initial conditions (high E-h, low pH, low organic matter content, and low sulfate concentrations), using deep wells for substrate injection. Batch experiments revealed an optimal molasses concentration range of 1-5 g/L and demonstrated the necessity of adding a specific growth medium to the groundwater. Without this growth medium, even sulfate, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium addition combined with pH optimization could not trigger biological sulfate reduction. In column experiments, precipitation of ZnS(s) was induced biologically as well as chemically (by adding Na2S). In both systems, zinc concentrations dropped from about 30 mg/L to below 0.02 mg/L. After termination of substrate addition the biological system showed continuation of BSR for at least 2 months, suggesting the insensitivity of the sulfate reducing system for short stagnations of nutrient supply, whereas in the chemical system an immediate increase of Zn concentrations was observed. A pilot experiment conducted in situ at the zinc-contaminated site showed a reduction of zinc concentrations from around 40 mg/L to below 0.01 mg/L. Termination of substrate supply did not result in an immediate stagnation of the BSR process, but continuation of BSR was observed for at least 5 weeks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4002-4011
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Volume38
Issue number14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004

Keywords

  • recovery
  • sulfates
  • precipitation
  • carbon dioxide
  • decontamination
  • water pollution
  • aquifers
  • biological treatment
  • heavy metals
  • zinc
  • acid-mine drainage
  • reducing bacteria
  • removal
  • carbon
  • water
  • reactor
  • effluent
  • ethanol
  • energy
  • growth

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