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Effects of bioavailable cadmium on anaerobic systems

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The research objective was to develop a correlation between bioavailable cadmium (Cd) and toxicity in anaerobic systems. Toxicity assays were performed with acetate-using methanogens in serum bottles. The bioavailable, free dissolved Cd was measured at the end of the experiments after separation in cation-exchange resin inside dialysis bags placed in the cadmium-spiked serum bottle samples at the end of the experiments. Measured free soluble Cd showed a good correlation with inhibition of gas production. Up to 0.09 mg/L caused ≤5% inhibition, whereas concentrations of 0.12 mg/L and higher showed >90% inhibition. Measured total soluble cadmium failed to show a good correlation with inhibition of gas production. Systems with total suspended solids (TSS) exceeding 2 400 mg/L showed less inhibition than systems with TSS of approximately 1 400 mg/L. However, when bioavailable Cd was less than 0.09 mg/L, systems with the lower TSS showed little inhibition even with spiked Cd concentrations as high as 100 mg/L.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 1995

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  • 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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