Biological sulfate removal with low-cost carbon sources using cold-acclimated bacteria

Hanna Virpiranta, Sanna Taskila, Tiina Leiviskä, Jouko Vepsäläinen, Jaakko Rämö, Juha Tanskanen
2021 Journal of Water and Climate Change  
The main goal of this study was to develop a cost-efficient biological method for the removal of sulfate from mining effluents in cold conditions. A consortium of cold-tolerant sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) was tested at 6 °C regarding the utilization of economically viable, low-cost carbon sources, i.e., whey, conditioned sewage sludge, and peat, in the removal of sulfate from synthetic mining water. Succinate was used as a reference carbon source. Of all the studied low-cost carbon sources,
more » ... conditioned sewage sludge proved to be the most efficient. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy revealed that sewage sludge contained propionic acid, which proved to be utilizable by SRB under cold conditions. Peat both adsorbed the sulfate and acted as a nutrient source in the sulfate reduction process. When whey was used as a carbon source, only a slight decrease in sulfate concentration was detected. Succinate was found to work in a truly predictable and efficient way as a carbon source in biological sulfate reduction, even at the lowest concentration tested. The use of conditioned sewage sludge increased the bacterial diversity in liquid cultivations significantly. However, the number of SRB was highest in the succinate cultivations.
doi:10.2166/wcc.2021.350 fatcat:izl2ivkesbb5jg7z3mrkm2laki