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Online Oxygen Control for Sulfide Oxidation in Anaerobic Treatment of High-Sulfate Wastewater

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A new technique for sulfide control was investigated in an upflow-anaerobic filter (UAF) treating high-strength, sulfate-rich wastewater. The technique used periodic oxygen injection using oxidation–reduction potential (ORP) as a controlling parameter to regulate oxygen injection. The UAF was operated at a constant influent total-organic carbon of 6740 mg/L but with different influent sulfates of 1000, 3000, and 6000 mg/L. At 1000 and 3000 mg/L influent sulfates, the produced sulfide did not impose any inhibition to methane-producing bacteria (MPB). However, at 6000 mg/L influent sulfate, the produced dissolved sulfide of 804 mg S/L (free sulfide = 280 mg S/L) severely inhibited the methanogenesis, but not the sulfidogenesis. Upon oxygen injection at elevated ORP of -265 mV, sulfides were almost completely eliminated with a concomitant improvement in methane yield by 46%. If oxygenation was excessive because of an oversetting of ORP, the excess oxygen could be used rapidly by facultative heterotrophs, thereby protecting the MPB from oxygen stress. Regarding online sulfide oxidation, it was found that the biogas and injected oxygen needed to pass through an aqueous layer containing trace metals, which were found to have a significant catalytic effect on abiotic sulfide oxidation.
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Keywords: anaerobic treatment; facultative activity; high-sulfate wastewater; methane production; oxidation–reduction potential; oxygenation; sulfide oxidation; sulfide-toxicity control; upflow-anaerobic filter

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-04-01

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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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