Sulfate Reduction at pH 5 in a High-Rate Membrane Bioreactor: Reactor Performance and Microbial Community Analyses

M.F.M. Bijmans, M. Dopson, T.W.T. Peeters, P.N.L. Lens, C.J.N. Buisman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

High rate sulfate reduction under acidic conditions opens possibilities for new process flow sheets that allow the selective recovery of metals from mining and metallurgical waste and process water. However, knowledge about high-rate sulfate reduction under acidic conditions is limited. This paper investigates sulfate reduction in a membrane bioreactor at a controlled pH of 5. Sulfate and formate were dosed using a pH-auxostat system while formate was converted into hydrogen, which was used for sulfate reduction. Sulfide was removed from the gas phase to prevent sulfide inhibition. This study shows a high-rate sulfate-reducing bioreactor system for the first time at pH 5, with a volumetric activity of 188 mmol SO42-/I/d and a specific activity of 81 mmol SO42- volatile suspended solids/d. The microbial community at the end of the reactor run consisted of a diverse mixed population including sulfate-reducing bacteria.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)698-708
JournalJournal of Microbiology and Biotechnology
Volume19
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Keywords

  • acid-mine drainage
  • gradient gel-electrophoresis
  • containing waste-water
  • anaerobic bioreactor
  • reducing bacteria
  • carbon-dioxide
  • paper-mill
  • metal
  • hydrogen
  • removal

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