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Biological Sulfate Reduction Using Molasses as a Carbon Source

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Abstract:

The feasibility of using a laboratory-scale upflow anaerobic sludge blanket process for sulfate reduction with molasses as a carbon source was demonstrated. Competition between methane-producing bacteria (MPB) and sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) was influenced by the chemical oxygen demand-to-sulfur (COD:S) ratio in the feed. Sulfate removal greater than 80% could be achieved at COD:S greater than 10 when MPB predominated. Activity of MPB and SRB was inhibited at a dissolved sulfide concentration of approximately 200mg/L. Competition between MPB and SRB was intense as the COD:S was reduced from 5 to 2. Further reduction in the COD:S to 0.7 led to the formation of sulfidogenic granules. The COD removal decreased to approximately 30% at a COD:S less than 2 because of accumulation of sulfurous precipitates and the nonbiodegradable portion of molasses in the sludge. Reduced gas production rates further imposed limitations on diffusion of the organic substrate into granules. Sulfidogenic process operation yielded sulfate removal as great as 70% at a COD:S of approximately 3.5.

Keywords: CHEMICAL OXYGEN DEMAND-TO-SULFUR RATIO; ELECTRON FLOW; MASS-TRANSFER LIMITATIONS; MOLASSES; SULFATE REDUCTION; UPFLOW ANAEROBIC SLUDGE BLANKET PROCESS

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/106143001X138778

Publication date: January 1, 2001

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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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