Long-term performance and microbial community analysis of a full-scale synthesis gas fed reactor treating sulfate- and zinc-rich wastewater

B.H.G.W. van Houten, W.C.J. van Doesburg, H. Dijkman, C.F.M. Copini, H. Smidt, A.J.M. Stams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The performance of a full-scale (500 m3) sulfidogenic synthesis gas fed gas-lift reactor treating metal- and sulfate-rich wastewater was investigated over a period of 128 weeks. After startup, the reactor had a high methanogenic activity of 46 Nm3·h-1. Lowering the carbon dioxide feed rate during the first 6 weeks gradually lowered the methane production rate. Between weeks 8 and 93, less than 1% of the hydrogen supplied was used for methanogenesis. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis analysis of polymerase chain reaction-amplified 16S rRNA gene fragments showed that the archaeal community decreased in diversity but did not disappear completely. After the carbon dioxide feed rate increased in week 88, the methane production rate also increased, confirming that methane production was carbon dioxide limited. Even though lowering the carbon dioxide feed appeared to affect part of the sulfate-reducing community, it did not prevent achieving the desired rates of sulfate reduction. The average sulfate conversion rate was 181 kg·h-1 for the first 92 weeks. After 92 weeks, the sulfate input rate was increased and from week 94 to 128, the average weekly sulfate conversion rate was 295 kg.h-1 (SD-±-87). Even higher sulfate conversion rates of up to 400 kg·h-1 could be sustained for weeks 120-128. The long-term performance and stability together with the ability to control methanogenesis demonstrates that synthesis gas fed reactor can be used successfully at full scale to treat metal and sulfate-rich wastewater
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-563
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Volume84
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Keywords

  • sequence data
  • hybridization
  • methanogens
  • diversity
  • bacteria
  • reducers
  • arb

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