This study aimed at the identification of microorganisms present in the scum layer of the settler compartment of upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactors, and to evaluate their role in the biological oxidation of sulphides. The experiments were conducted using scum samples taken from two pilot-scale UASB reactors, both treating domestic wastewater. Microorganisms similar to Beggiatoa sp., Thiotrix sp. and species of cyanobacteria were identified based on their morphology, and most of them have been shown to be capable of carrying out sulphur oxidation. Tests of biological oxidation of sulphides using scum and cultures of the cyanobacteria Phormidium and Pseudoanabaena showed a significant decrease in the concentrations of the sulphides, suggesting that the microorganisms present in the scum layer can play a role in the minimization of odour emissions.

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