Nitrate addition stimulated sulfide oxidation by increasing the activity of nitrate-reducing sulfide-oxidizing bacteria (NR-SOB), decreasing the concentration of dissolved H2S in the water phase and, consequently, its release to the atmosphere of a pilot-scale anaerobic bioreactor. The effect of four different concentrations of nitrate (0.12, 0.24, 0.50, and 1.00 mM) was investigated for a period of 3 days in relation to sulfide concentration in two bioreactors set up at Guadalete wastewater treatment plant (Jerez de la Frontera, Spain). Physicochemical variables were measured in water and air, and the activity of bacteria implicated in the sulfur and nitrogen cycles was analyzed in the biofilms and in the water phase of the bioreactors. Biofilms were a net source of sulfide for the water and gas phases (7.22 ± 5.3 μmol s−1) in the absence of nitrate dosing. Addition of nitrate resulted in a quick (within 3 h) decrease of sulfide both in the water and atmospheric phases. Sulfide elimination efficiency in the water phase increased with nitrate concentrations following the Michaelis–Menten kinetics (K s = 0.63 mM NO3 −). The end of nitrate addition resulted in a recovery or increase of initial net sulfide production in about 3 h. Addition of nitrate increased the activity of NR-SOB and decreased the activity of sulfate-reducing bacteria. Results confirmed the role of NR-SOB on hydrogen sulfide consumption coupled with nitrate reduction and sulfate recycling, revealing Sulfurimonas denitrificans and Paracoccus denitrificans as NR-SOB of great importance in this process.
Water, Air and Soil Pollution, 2013, Vol 224, Issue 10
sulfide removal; autotrophic nitrate reduction; wastewater; biofilm; kinetics; microbial community