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Environ Sci Technol. 2007 Jan 15;41(2):639-44.

Evaluation of microbial reduction of Fe(III)EDTA in a chemical absorption-biological reduction integrated NOx removal system.

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  • 1Department of Environmental Engineering, Zhejiang University (Yuquan Campus), Hangzhou 310027, China.


A chemical absorption-biological reduction integrated process can be used to remove nitrogen oxides (NOx) from flue gas. In such a process, nitric oxide (NO) can be effectively absorbed by the ferrous chelate of ethylenediaminetetraacetate (Fe(II)EDTA) to form Fe(II)EDTA-NO, which can be biologically regenerated by denitrifying bacteria. However, in the course of these processes, part of the Fe(II)EDTA is also oxidized to Fe(III)EDTA. The reduction of Fe(III)EDTA to Fe(II)EDTA depends on the activity of iron-reducing bacteria in the system. Therefore, the effectiveness of the system relies on how to effectively bioreduce Fe(III)EDTA and Fe(II)EDTA-NO in the system. In this paper, a strain identified as Escherichia coli FR-2 (iron-reducing bacterium) was used to investigate the reduction rate of Fe(III)EDTA. The experimental results indicate that Fe(III)EDTA-NO and Fe(II)EDTA in the system can inhibit both the FR-2 cell growth and thus affect the Fe(III)EDTA reduction. The FR-2 cell growth rate and Fe(III)EDTA reduction rate decreased with increasing Fe(II)EDTA-NO and Fe(II)EDTA concentration in the solution. When the concentration of Fe(II)EDTA-NO reached 3.7 mM, the FR-2 cell growth almost stopped. A mathematical model was developed to explain the cell growth and inhibition kinetics. The predicted results are close to the experimental data and provide a preliminary evaluation of the kinetics of the biologically mediated reactions necessary to regenerate the spent scrubber solution.

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