BIOTECHNOLOGY AND BIOENGINEERING, cilt.96, ss.1064-1072, 2007 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi)
The applicability of a fluidized-bed reactor (FBR)-based sulfate reducing bioprocess was investigated for the treatment of iron-containing (40-90 mg/L) acidic wastewater at low (8 degrees C) and high (65 degrees C) temperatures. The FBRs operated at low and high temperatures were inoculated with cultures of sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) originally enriched from arctic and hot mining environments, respectively. Ethanol was supplemented as carbon and electron source for SRB. At 8 degrees C, ethanol oxidation and sulfate reduction rates increased steadily and reached 320 and 265 mg/L-day, respectively, after 1 month of operation. After this point, the rates did not change significantly during 130 days of operation. Despite the complete ethanol oxidation and iron precipitation, the average sulfate reduction efficiency was 35 +/- 4% between days 30 and 130 due to the accumulation of acetate. At 65 degrees C, a rapid startup was observed as 99.9, 46, and 29% ethanol, sulfate, acetate removals, in respective order, were observed after 6 days. The feed pH was decreased gradually from its initial value of 6 to around 3.7 during 100 days of operation. The wastewater pH of 4.3-4.4 was neutralized by the alkalinity produced in acetate oxidation and the average effluent PH was 7.8 +/- 0.8. As in the low temperature FBR, acetate accumulated. Hence, the oxidation of acetate is the rate-limiting step in the sulfidogenic ethanol oxidation by thermophilic and psychrotrophic SRB. The sulfate reduction rate is three times and acetate oxidation rate is four times higher at 65 degrees C than at 8 degrees C.