Aerobic degradation of sulfanilic acid using activated sludge
Chen, G., Cheng, K.Y., Ginige, M.P. and Kaksonen, A.H. (2012) Aerobic degradation of sulfanilic acid using activated sludge. Water Research, 46 (1). pp. 145-151.
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This paper evaluates the aerobic degradation of sulfanilic acid (SA) by an acclimatized activated sludge. The sludge was enriched for over three months with SA (>500 mg/L) as the sole carbon and energy source and dissolved oxygen (DO, >5 mg/L) as the primary electron acceptor. Effects of aeration rate (0–1.74 L/min), DO concentration (0–7 mg/L) and initial SA concentration (104–1085 mg/L) on SA biodegradation were quantified. A modified Haldane substrate inhibition model was used to obtain kinetic parameters of SA biodegradation and oxygen uptake rate (OUR). Positive linear correlations were obtained between OUR and SA degradation rate (R2 ≥ 0.91). Over time, the culture consumed more oxygen per SA degraded, signifying a gradual improvement in SA mineralization (mass ratio of O2: SA at day 30, 60 and 120 were 0.44, 0.51 and 0.78, respectively). The concomitant release of near stoichiometric quantity of sulphate (3.2 mmol SO42− released from 3.3 mmol SA) and the high chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal efficacy (97.1%) indicated that the enriched microbial consortia could drive the overall SA oxidation close to a complete mineralization. In contrast to other pure-culture systems, the ammonium released from the SA oxidation was predominately converted into nitrate, revealing the presence of ammonium-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) in the mixed culture. No apparent inhibitory effect of SA on the nitrification was noted. This work also indicates that aerobic SA biodegradation could be monitored by real-time DO measurement.
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