Abstract

Hydrogen sulfide is a toxic and usually undesirable by-product of the anaerobic treatment of sulfate-containing wastewater. It can be removed through microaeration, a simple and cost-effective method involving the application of oxygen-limiting conditions (i.e., dissolved oxygen below 0.1 mg L−1). However, the exact transformation pathways of sulfide under microaerobic conditions are still unclear. In this paper, batch experiments were performed to study biochemical and chemical sulfide oxidation under microaerobic conditions. The biochemical experiments were conducted using a strain of Sulfuricurvum kujiense. Under microaerobic conditions, the biochemical sulfide oxidation rate (in mg S L−1 d−1) was approximately 2.5 times faster than the chemical sulfide oxidation rate. Elemental sulfur was the major end-product of both biochemical and chemical sulfide oxidation. During biochemical sulfide oxidation elemental sulfur was in the form of white flakes, while during chemical sulfide oxidation elemental sulfur created a white suspension. Moreover, a mathematical model describing biochemical and chemical sulfide oxidation was developed and calibrated by the experimental results.

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