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Water Sci Technol. 2009;59(7):1415-21. doi: 10.2166/wst.2009.121.

Biological sulfide removal under alkaline and aerobic conditions in a packed recycling reactor.

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Departamento de Ingeniería de Procesos e Hidráulica, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana Iztapalapa, México, Mexico.


The biological sulfide removal from wastewater caustic streams can be achieved without significant dilution by alkaliphilic microorganisms which usually show lower growth and oxidation rates as compared with acidic and neutral bacteria. To improve volumetric removal rates under alkaline condition (pH 10), an Alkaliphilic Sulfide-oxidizing Bacteria Consortium (ASBC) was studied in a Packed Recycling Reactor (PRR). A commercial Nylon fiber resulted to be a convenient packing support for biofilm development as it has high specific area and similar hydrophobic propertie. The PRR reached a maximum sulfide oxidation rate of 100 mmol L(-1) d(-1) with efficiency close to 100%, representing an enhancement of 56% from the maximum sulfide oxidation rate reached for a free cell continuous culture. Higher sulfide loading rates induced oxygen limiting conditions reducing the biological activity despite the considerable biofilm attached on the nylon fiber.

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