Dynamics of sulfidogenesis associated to methanogenesis in horizontal-flow anaerobic immobilized biomass reactor
Two bench-scale horizontal anaerobic fixed bed reactors were tested to remove both sulfate and organic matter from wastewater. First, the reactors (R1 and R2) were supplied with synthetic wastewater containing sulfate and a solution of ethanol and volatile fatty acids. Subsequently, R1 and R2 were fed with only ethanol or acetate, respectively. The substitution to ethanol in R1 increased the sulfate reduction efficiency from 83% to nearly 100% for a chemical oxygen demand to sulfate (COD/sulfate) ratio of 3.0. In contrast, in R2, the switch in carbon source to acetate strongly decreased sulfidogenesis and the maximum sulfate reduction achieved was 47%. Process stability in long-term experiments and high removal efficiencies of both organic matter and sulfate were achieved with ethanol as the sole carbon source. The results allow concluding that syntrophism instead of competition between the sulfate reducing bacteria and acetoclastic methanogenic archaeal populations prevailed in the reactor.
Journal: Process Biochemistry - Volume 44, Issue 9, September 2009, Pages 1050–1054