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Kinetics of growth, substrate utilization and sulfide toxicity for propionate, acetate, and hydrogen utilizers in anaerobic systems

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Batch reactors and serum bottles were used to determine kinetics of growth, substrate utilization, and sulfide inhibition [dissolved sulfide (DS) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S)] in anaerobic systems fed propionate and sulfate. Thermodynamic analyses indicated six major groups of organisms were active in such systems: incomplete propionate oxidation by sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB), propionate fermentation to acetate and hydrogen, acetate-oxidizing SRB, aceticlastic methanogenesis, hydrogenotrophic SRB, and hydrogenotrophic methanogens. Kinetic parameters determined for each of these groups were bacterial yield, decay coefficient, maximum specific substrate utilization coefficient, half-velocity constant, and inhibition coefficient (uncompetitive). Results indicated that the kinetic and thermodynamic advantages of acetate-utilizing SRB were erased by their sensitivity to sulfide toxicity. In addition, propionate fermenters were also very sensitive to sulfide toxicity. These results help to explain why methanogenesis from complex substrates occurs even in the presence of high concentrations of DS and H2S.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 1996-11-01

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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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