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Removal of Cr(VI) and phenol coupled with the reduction of sulfate by sulfate-reducing bacteria sludge

Han, X., Zhou, T.-X., Xu, S.-W., Li, Y., Wang, Y.-F., Liu, Y.
International journal of environmental science and technology 2017 v.14 no.10 pp. 2173-2180
biological treatment, chromium, heavy metals, iron, phenol, pollutants, sludge, sulfate-reducing bacteria, sulfates, toxicity, wastewater
Biological treatment of industrial wastewater containing heavy metal and organic pollutant has attracted extensive attention. In this study, Cr(VI) reduction coupled with phenol degradation was investigated by the sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) sludge with addition of zero-valent iron (ZVI). The results showed that the SRB wet sludge (SWS) had a good bioactivity in the reduction of Cr(VI) only when the initial concentration of Cr(VI) was below 60 mg L⁻¹. The addition of ZVI significantly enhanced the bioactivity and reusability of SWS, and the reduction percentage of Cr(VI) achieved 98% after SWS was successively used for seven cycles. SWS coupled with ZVI showed a high activity in phenol degradation, with more than 94% phenol being degraded in each cycle. However, in the simultaneous removal of Cr(VI) and phenol, phenol degradation was inhibited due to the toxicity of Cr(VI) to phenol degrading microbes in SWS. On the other hand, reduction of sulfate and Cr(VI) was not affected by the presence of phenol, with more than 95% of sulfate and Cr(VI) being removed at the end of the 5th cycle. This study enriches our understanding on the applications of the SRB sludge in the removal of organic and inorganic contaminants in wastewater.