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J Hazard Mater. 2014 Mar 30;269:98-109. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2013.12.032. Epub 2013 Dec 26.

Sulfate reduction at low pH to remediate acid mine drainage.

Author information

1
Departamento de Biología Molecular, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 28049 Madrid, Spain; Laboratory of Microbiology, Wageningen University, Dreijenplein 10, 6703 HB Wageningen, The Netherlands. Electronic address: irene.sanchezandrea@wur.nl.
2
Departamento de Biología Molecular, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 28049 Madrid, Spain.
3
Wetsus, Centre of Sustainable Water Technology, P.O. Box 1113, 8900 CC Leeuwarden, The Netherlands.
4
Laboratory of Microbiology, Wageningen University, Dreijenplein 10, 6703 HB Wageningen, The Netherlands; IBB - Institute for Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Centre of Biological Engineering, University of Minho, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal.

Abstract

Industrial activities and the natural oxidation of metallic sulfide-ores produce sulfate-rich waters with low pH and high heavy metals content, generally termed acid mine drainage (AMD). This is of great environmental concern as some heavy metals are highly toxic. Within a number of possibilities, biological treatment applying sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) is an attractive option to treat AMD and to recover metals. The process produces alkalinity, neutralizing the AMD simultaneously. The sulfide that is produced reacts with the metal in solution and precipitates them as metal sulfides. Here, important factors for biotechnological application of SRB such as the inocula, the pH of the process, the substrates and the reactor design are discussed. Microbial communities of sulfidogenic reactors treating AMD which comprise fermentative-, acetogenic- and SRB as well as methanogenic archaea are reviewed.

KEYWORDS:

Acid mine/rock drainage; Acidophilic SRB; Heavy metals; Reactors; Sulfate reduction

PMID:
24444599
DOI:
10.1016/j.jhazmat.2013.12.032
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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