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Effect of zero-valent iron and a redox mediator on removal of selenium in agricultural drainage water

Zhang, Yiqiang, Amrhein, Christopher, Chang, Andrew, Frankenberger, William T.
Science of the total environment 2008 v.407 no.1 pp. 89-96
iron, selenium, drainage water, water treatment, bioremediation, Enterobacter cancerogenus, sucrose, water solubility, water pollution, agriculture
Effective and economical removal of selenium (Se) in agricultural drainage water is very important in Se bioremediation. Zero-valent iron (ZVI) and a redox mediator [anthraquinone-2,6-disulfonate (AQDS)] were assessed for their ability to enhance the removal of Se(VI) or Se(IV) (500 μg/L) in synthetic drainage water by Enterobacter taylorae. The results showed that E. taylorae was capable of using inexpensive sucrose to remove Se from the drainage water. During a 7-day experiment, Se(VI) was almost entirely reduced to Se(0) and transformed to organic Se in the drainage water with sucrose levels of 500 to 1000 mg/L. Addition of ZVI to the drainage water increased the removal of total soluble Se to 94.5-96.5% and limited the production of organic Se. Addition of AQDS to the drainage water with or without ZVI decreased Se(VI) removal, but enhanced the removal of Se(IV), suggesting that E. taylorae only can use anthrahydroquinone-2,6-disulfonate (AHQDS, a reduced form of AQDS) to respire Se(IV), and not Se(VI). These results show that ZVI has promising application potential in the bioremediation of Se in Se-contaminated water.