Effect of temperature on selenium removal from wastewater by UASB reactors

Paolo Dessì, Rohan Jain, Satyendra Singh, Marina Seder-Colomina, Eric D. van Hullebusch, Eldon R. Rene, Shaikh Ziauddin Ahammad, Alessandra Carucci, Piet N L Lens

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    43 Citations (Scopus)


    The effect of temperature on selenium (Se) removal by upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactors treating selenate and nitrate containing wastewater was investigated by comparing the performance of a thermophilic (55 °C) versus a mesophilic (30 °C) UASB reactor. When only selenate (50 μM) was fed to the UASB reactors (pH 7.3; hydraulic retention time 8 h) with excess electron donor (lactate at 1.38 mM corresponding to an organic loading rate of 0.5 g COD L-1 d-1), the thermophilic UASB reactor achieved a higher total Se removal efficiency (94.4 ± 2.4%) than the mesophilic UASB reactor (82.0 ± 3.8%). When 5000 μM nitrate was further added to the influent, total Se removal was again better under thermophilic (70.1 ± 6.6%) when compared to mesophilic (43.6 ± 8.8%) conditions. The higher total effluent Se concentration in the mesophilic UASB reactor was due to the higher concentrations of biogenic elemental Se nanoparticles (BioSeNPs). The shape of the BioSeNPs observed in both UASB reactors was different: nanospheres and nanorods, respectively, in the mesophilic and thermophilic UASB reactors. Microbial community analysis showed the presence of selenate respirers as well as denitrifying microorganisms.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)146-154
    Number of pages9
    JournalWater Research
    Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016
    Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Nitrate
    • Selenate
    • Selenium nanoparticles
    • Thermophilic
    • UASB

    Publication forum classification

    • Publication forum level 3

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Water Science and Technology
    • Waste Management and Disposal
    • Pollution
    • Ecological Modelling


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