Towards a water-wise world Annual report 2014

Author(s): van den Brand, T. P. H., Roest, K., Chen, G.H., Brdjanovic, D. & van Loosdrecht, M.C.M. 

Temperature effect on acetate and propionate consumption by sulphate reducing bacteria in saline wastewater

26 January 2014Peer review


Seawater toilet flushing, seawater intrusion in the sewerage, and discharge of sulfate-rich industrial effluents elevates sulfate content in wastewater. The application of sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) in wastewater treatment is very beneficial; as for example, it improves the pathogen removal and reduces the volume of waste sludge, energy requirement and costs. This paper evaluates the potential to apply biological sulfate reduction using acetate and propionate to saline sewage treatment in moderate climates. Long-term biological sulfate reduction experiments at 10 and 20 °C were conducted in a sequencing batch reactor with synthetic saline domestic wastewater. Subsequently, acetate and propionate (soluble organic carbon) conversion rate were determined in both reactors, in the presence of either or both fatty acids. Both acetate and propionate consumption rates by SRB were 1.9 times lower at 10 °C than at 20 °C. At 10 °C, propionate was incompletely oxidized to acetate. At 10 °C, complete removal of soluble organic carbon requires a significantly increased hydraulic retention time as compared to 20 °C. The results of the study showed that biological sulfate reduction can be a feasible and promising process for saline wastewater treatment in moderate climate.

In: Appl. Microbiol. Biot. 98(2014)9, pp. 4245-4255.

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