M. de Graaff
- Biological treatment of refinery spent caustics under halo-alkaline conditions
- Bioresource Technology
- Volume | Issue number
- 102 | 15
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED)
The present research demonstrates the biological treatment of refinery sulfidic spent caustics in a continuously fed system under halo-alkaline conditions (i.e. pH 9.5; Na+ = 0.8 M). Experiments were performed in identical gas-lift bioreactors operated under aerobic conditions (80-90% saturation) at 35 °C. Sulfide loading rates up to 27 mmol L−1 day−1 were successfully applied at a HRT of 3.5 days. Sulfide was completely converted into sulfate by the haloalkaliphilic sulfide-oxidizing bacteria belonging to the genus Thioalkalivibrio. Influent benzene concentrations ranged from 100 to 600 μM. At steady state, benzene was removed by 93% due to high stripping efficiencies and biodegradation. Microbial community analysis revealed the presence of haloalkaliphilic heterotrophic bacteria belonging to the genera Marinobacter, Halomonas and Idiomarina which might have been involved in the observed benzene removal. The work shows the potential of halo-alkaliphilic bacteria in mitigating environmental problems caused by alkaline waste.
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