The utilization of indigenous sulfur-oxidizing bacteria and sulfur waste was investigated in order to remove heavy metals from anaerobically digested sewage sludge economically. Indigenous sulfur-oxidizing bacteria existing in anaerobically digested sewage sludge were activated by adding elemental sulfur to the sludge and then the bacteria were isolated. It was found that indigenous sulfur-oxidizing bacteria could utilize sulfur waste generated by desulfurization of digestion gas as a substrate. Then, biological leaching of heavy metals from anaerobically digested sewage sludge was carried out using indigenous sulfur-oxidizing bacteria and sulfur waste. By adding sulfur waste to sewage sludge, sulfuric acid was produced by the bacteria and the sludge pH decreased. Heavy metals in sewage sludge were effectively removed owing to the decrease of pH. The optimum amount of sulfur waste added to decrease the pH sufficiently was 5g/L when the sludge concentration was 2%. It was presented that the biological leaching of heavy metals from sewage sludge can be carried out in a closed system, where all required materials are obtained in a sewage treatment plant.

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