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Chitin as a substrate for the biostimulation of sulfate-reducing bacteria in the treatment of mine-impacted water (MIW)

Rodrigues, Caroline, Núñez-Gómez, Dámaris, Silveira, Daniele D., Lapolli, Flávio R., Lobo-Recio, María A.
Journal of hazardous materials 2019 v.375 pp. 330-338
acid mine drainage, acidity, aluminum, bacterial communities, biocompatible materials, calcium carbonate, chitin, coal, high-throughput nucleotide sequencing, iron, manganese, metabolism, metal ions, pollutants, river water, seafood waste, sediments, shrimp shells, sorbents, sorption, sulfate-reducing bacteria, sulfates
This study aims to know the basis of sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) and chitin source relationship for the development of a biotreatment system for mine-impacted water (MIW). The MIW consists of river water impacted by coal acid mine drainage (AMD), an extremely acid effluent, rich in sulfate and dissolved metal ions, with a high pollutant potential. Chitin was used as metal ion sorbent and biostimulant of SRB, whose anaerobic dissimilatory metabolism reduces sulfate to sulfide. Microcosms were built in an oxygen-free atmosphere using chitin from two different sources: commercial chitin and shrimp shell waste, which contains calcium carbonate, an acidity removal agent, in addition to chitin. The results indicate that the shrimp shell performs best in removing sulfate (99.75%), iron (99.04%), aluminum (98.47%), and manganese (100%) ions. The iron ion sorption kinetics of the sediments were also studied; pseudo-second order behavior was observed. High-throughput sequencing analysis revealed the present bacterial community and its abundance in the microcosms after 11 and 30 treatment days: SRB were detected but were not the majority. Thus, this research aims to contribute to the sustainable treatment MIW through the employment of an abundant and low-cost biomaterial.