Dynamics of lead immobilization in sulfate-reducing biofilms
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We have evaluated the effects of selected minerals present in subsoil environment on the effciency of lead removal from contaminated groundwaters using biofilms composed of sulfate-reducing microorganisms, and examined the stability of metal deposits after the biofilms had been temporarily exposed to the air. To quantify the studied effects, lead was immobilized in biofilms of Desulfovibrio desulfuricans grown anaerobically in two flat-plate flow reactors, one filled with hematite and the other with quartz. While the biofilms in both reactors were heterogeneous and consisted of voids and channels, the biofilms grown on hematite were denser, thicker, and more porous than those grown on quartz. The average H2S concentrations, measured using microelectrodes, were higher in the biofilms grown on quartz than those measured in the biofilms grown on hematite. During 18 weeks of operation, iron was continuously released from the hematite. Lead was immobilized more efficiently in the biofilms grown on quartz than it was in the biofilms grown on hematite. Lead deposits were partially reoxidized, especially in biofilms grown on hematite, and the biofilms in both reactors responded to the presence of oxygen by lowering their density and increasing the H2S production rate. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Beyenal H, Lewandowski Z, "Dynamics of lead immobilization in sulfate-reducing biofilms," Water Research, 2004 38:2726-2736