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A sequencing biofilm reactor for the treatment of chlorinated solvents using methanotrophs

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Laboratory experiments were conducted with a sequencing, packed-bed bioreactor that was seeded with the methanotroph, Methylosinus trichosporium OB3b. The reactor cycled between a growth mode, in which methane and oxygen were supplied from the gas phase, and a degradation mode, in which water containing chloroform at 100 µg/L was treated in the absence of methane. When the influent was supplemented with formate, chloroform degradation was as great as 90% at an empty bed retention time of approximately 90 minutes. The degradation rate remained stable for several days, but steadily declined thereafter. In the absence of formate, the initial degradation rate was smaller and declined more rapidly than in the presence of formate. Mathematical modeling demonstrated that the pseudo-first-order rate constants for chloroform degradation in the reactor were about two orders of magnitude smaller than those measured in suspended growth, batch kinetic studies. The sequencing reactor performed better than a packedbed, continuous-flow reactor, because a larger, more evenly distributed biomass could be established in the sequencing reactor.

Keywords: biodegradation; chlorinated solvents; chloroform; methanotrophs; sequencing batch reactor

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 1992-07-01

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  • Water Environment Research (WER) is published monthly, including an annual Literature Review. A subscription to WER includes access to the latest content back to 1992, as well as access to fast track articles. An individual subscription is valid for 12 months from month of purchase.

    Water Environment Research (WER) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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