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Biodegradation. 2007 Apr;18(2):199-209. Epub 2006 Jul 5.

Simultaneous bio-reduction of nitrate, perchlorate, selenate, chromate, arsenate, and dibromochloropropane using a hydrogen-based membrane biofilm reactor.

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Center for Environmental Biotechnology, Biodesign Institute, Arizona State University, 1001 South McAllister Ave., Tempe, AZ 85287-5701, USA.


We tested the hypothesis that the H(2)-based membrane biofilm reactor (MBfR) is capable of reducing multiple oxidized contaminants, a common situation for groundwater contamination. We conducted bench-scale experiments with three groundwater samples collected from California's San Joaquin Valley and on two synthetic groundwaters containing selenate and chromate. The actual groundwater sources had nitrate levels exceeding 10 mg-N l(-1) and different combinations of anthropogenic perchlorate + chlorate, arsenate, and dibromochloropropane (DBCP). For all actual groundwaters, the MBfR reduced nitrate to less than 0.01 mg-N l(-1). Present in two groundwaters, perchlorate + chlorate was reduced to below the California Notification Level, 6 microg-ClO(4) l(-1). As(V) was substantially reduced to As(III) for two groundwaters samples, which had influent As(V) concentrations from 3 to 8.8 microg-As l(-1). DBCP, present in one groundwater at 1.4 microg l(-1), was reduced to below its detection limit of 0.01 microg l(-1), which is well below California's 0.2 microg l(-1) MCL for DBCP. For the synthetic groundwaters, two MBfRs initially reduced Se(VI) or Cr(VI) stably to Se degrees or Cr(III). When we switched the influent oxidized contaminants, the new oxidized contaminant was reduced immediately, and its reduction soon was approximately the same or greater than it had been reduced in its original MBfR. These results support that the H(2)-based MBfR can reduce multiple oxidized contaminants simultaneously.

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