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High-rate microbial selenate reduction in an up-flow anaerobic fluidized bed reactor (FBR)

Yan, S., Cheng, K.Y., Ginige, M.P., Zheng, G., Zhou, L. and Kaksonen, A.H. (2020) High-rate microbial selenate reduction in an up-flow anaerobic fluidized bed reactor (FBR). Science of The Total Environment, 749 . Art. 142359.

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Wastewater contaminated with high concentrations of selenium oxyanions requires treatment prior to discharge. Biological fluidized bed reactors (FBRs) can be an option for removing selenium oxyanions from wastewater by converting them into elemental selenium, which can be separated from the treated effluent. In this study, a lab-scale FBR was constructed with granular activated carbon as biofilm carrier and inoculated with a consortium of selenate reducing bacteria enriched from environmental samples. The FBR was loaded with an influent containing ethanol (10 mM) and selenate (10 mM) as the microbial electron donor and acceptor, respectively. The performance of the FBR in reducing selenate was evaluated under various hydraulic retention times (HRTs) (120 h, 72 h, 48 h, 24 h, 12 h, 6 h, 3 h, 1 h and 20 min). After process acclimatization, selenate was completely removed with no notable selenite produced when the HRT was stepwise decreased from 120 h to 6 h. However, decreasing the HRT to 3 h resulted in selenite accumulation (0.17 ± 0.023 mM) in the effluent although selenate removal efficiency remained at 99.8 ± 0.20 %. At 1 h HRT, the FBR removed 90.8 ± 1.4 % of the selenate at a rate of 9.6 ± 0.15 mM h-1, which is the highest selenate reduction rate reported in the literature so far. However, 1 h HRT resulted in notable selenite accumulation (up to 2.4 ± 0.27 mM). Further decreasing the HRT to 20 min resulted in a notable decline in selenate reduction. Selenate reduction recovered from the “shock loading” after the HRT was increased back to 3 h. However, selenite still accumulated until the FBR was operated in batch mode for 6 days. This study affirmed that FBR is a promising treatment option for selenate-rich wastewater, and the process can be efficiently operated at low HRTs.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering and Information Technology
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: © 2020 Elsevier B.V.
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