Send to

Choose Destination
Biotechnol Bioeng. 2003 May 5;82(3):306-12.

Quantification of toxic and inhibitory impact of copper and zinc on mixed cultures of sulfate-reducing bacteria.

Author information

Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Idaho, Idaho Falls, Idaho 83402, USA.


The adverse effects of copper and zinc on an acetate-utilizing mixed cultures of sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) at concentrations below the toxic concentration (minimum metal concentration at which no sulfate reduction is observed) are reported in this paper. Mathematical models were developed to incorporate the toxic and inhibitory effects (defined as the reduction in bacterial population upon exposure to the metal and the decrease in the metabolic rate of sulfate reduction by the SRB, respectively) into the sulfate-reduction biokinetics. The characteristic toxicity and inhibition constants were obtained from the measurements of bacterial populations and dissolved metal concentrations in serum bottle studies conducted at 35 degrees C and pH 6.6. Both copper and zinc had toxic and inhibitory effects on SRB. The toxicity constants for copper and zinc were 10.6 and 2.9 mM(-1), respectively, indicating that exposure to copper resulted in a higher mortality of SRB than did exposure to zinc. The values of the inhibition constants were found to be 17.9 +/- 2.5 and 25.2 +/- 1.0 mM(-1) for copper and zinc, respectively. This implies that dissolved zinc was slightly more inhibitory to SRB than copper. The models presented in the paper can be used to predict the response of a sulfate-reduction bioreactor to heavy metals during acid mine drainage treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center