A comparison of carbon/energy and complex nitrogen sources for bacterial sulphate-reduction: Potential applications to bioprecipitation of toxic metals as sulphides

C. White, G. M. Gadd (Lead / Corresponding author)

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    66 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Detailed nutrient requirements were determined to maximise efficacy of a sulphate-reducing bacterial mixed culture for biotechnological removal of sulphate, acidity and toxic metals from waste waters. In batch culture, lactate produced the greatest biomass, while ethanol was more effective in stimulating sulphide production and acetate was less effective. The presence of additional bicarbonate and H2 only marginally stimulated sulphide production. The sulphide output per unit of biomass was greatest using ethanol as substrate. In continuous culture, ethanol and lactate were used directly as efficient substrates for sulphate reduction while acetate yielded only slow growth. Glucose was utilised following fermentation to organic acids and therefore had a deleterious effect on pH. Ethanol was selected as the most efficient substrate due to cost and efficient yield of sulphide. On ethanol, the presence of additional carbon sources had no effect on growth or sulphate reduction in batch culture but the presence of complex nitrogen sources (yeast extract or cornsteep) stimulated both. Cornsteep showed the strongest effect and was also preferred on cost grounds. In continuous culture, cornsteep significantly improved the yield of sulphate reduced per unit of ethanol consumed. These results suggest that the most efficient nutrient regime for bioremediation using sulphate-reducing bacteria required both ethanol as carbon source and cornsteep as a complex nitrogen source.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)116-123
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Industrial Microbiology
    Volume17
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 1996

    Keywords

    • Bioremediation
    • Complex nitrogen sources
    • Substrates
    • Sulphate-reducing bacteria

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