Kinetic analysis of microbial sulfate reduction by desulfovibrio desulfuricans in an anaerobic upflow porous media biofilm reactor
Mueller, Robert Franz
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An anaerobic upflow porous media biofilm reactor was designed to study the kinetics and stoichiometry of hydrogen sulfide production by the sulfate-reducing bacterium (SRB) Desulfovibrio desulfuricans (ATCC 5575) as the first step for the modeling and control of formation souring (H2S) in oil field porous media. The reactor was a packed bed (50 × 5.5 cm) tubular reactor. Sea sand (140 to 375 μm) was used as the porous media. The initial indication of souring was the appearance of well-separated black spots (precipitates of iron sulfide) in the sand bed. The blackened zones expanded radially and upward through the column. New spots also appeared and expanded into the cone shapes. Lactate (substrate) was depleted and hydrogen sulfide appeared in the effluent. Analysis of the pseudo–steady state column shows that there were concentration gradients for lactate and hydrogen sulfide along the column. The results indicate that most of the lactate was consumed at the front part of the column. Measurements of SRB biomass on the solid phase (sand) and in the liquid phase indicate that the maximum concentration of SRB biomass resided at the front part of the column while the maximum in the liquid phase occurred further downstream. The stoichiometry regarding lactate consumption and hydrogen sulfide production observed in the porous media reactor was different from that in a chemostat. After analyzing the radial dispersion coefficient for the SRB in porous media and kinetics of microbial growth, it was deduced that transport phenomena dominate the souring process in our porous media reactor system.
Chen, C-I., R.F. Mueller and T. Griebe, "Kinetic analysis of microbial sulfate reduction by desulfovibrio desulfuricans in an anaerobic upflow porous media biofilm reactor," Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 43(4):267-274 (1994).