Diversity and degradation mechanism of an anaerobic bacterial community treating phenolic wastewater with sulfate as an electron acceptor

X. J. Guo, Z. Y. Lu, P. Wang, H. Li, Z. Z. Huang, K. F. Lin, Y. D. Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Petrochemical wastewater often contains high concentrations of phenol and sulfate that must be properly treated to meet discharge standards. This study acclimated anaerobic-activated sludge to treat saline phenolic wastewater with sulfate reduction and clarified the diversity and degradation mechanism of the microbial community. The active sludge in an upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor could remove 90 % of phenol and maintain the effluent concentration of SO4 2− below 400 mg/L. Cloning and sequencing showed that Clostridium spp. and Desulfotomaculum spp. were major phenol-degrading bacteria. Phenol was probably degraded through the carboxylation pathway and sulfate reduction catalyzed by adenosine-5′-phosphosulfate (APS) reductase and dissimilatory sulfite reductase (DSR). A real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) showed that as phenol concentration increased, the quantities of 16S rRNA gene, dsrB, and mcrA in the sludge all decreased. The relative abundance of dsrB dropped to 12.46 %, while that of mcrA increased to 56.18 %. The change in the electron flow ratio suggested that the chemical oxygen demand (COD) was removed mainly by sulfate-reducing bacteria under a phenol concentration of 420 mg/L, whereas it was removed mainly by methanogens above 630 mg/L.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16121-16132
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Volume22
Issue number20
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015

Keywords

  • Anaerobic treatment
  • Bacterial community
  • Degradation mechanism
  • High sulfate concentration
  • Phenolic wastewater
  • Real-time PCR

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