High tolerance of chemolithoautotrophic sulphur oxidizing bacteria towards pulp and paper mill wastewaters and their organic constituents supporting sulphur recovery in alkaline conditions

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Abstract

This study reports the tolerance of chemolithoautotrophic biotransformation of sulphurous compounds towards pulp and paper (P&P) mill wastewaters (primary filtrate of bleaching (PFB) and composite wastewater (WW)) and their constituents under haloalkaline conditions. The effects of organic compounds (methanol, acetate, D(+)-xylose, phenol and benzene) that may be present in P&P wastewaters, and yeast extract, a complex organic compound on thiosulphate biotransformation by Thioalkalivibrio versutus were investigated. All experiments were carried out in batch bioassays at pH 10 and 13–23 g Na+/L. Phenol and benzene reduced thiosulphate biotransformation by 88 and 94% at 0.25 and 1 g/L, respectively in 10 days. 20 g/L methanol, 20 g/L yeast extract and 10 g/L xylose reduced the biotransformation by 90, 88 and 56%, respectively. No inhibition of biotransformation occurred with acetate at concentrations up to 20 g/L. The growth was also enhanced by 1 to 10 g/L yeast extract likely serving as additional nutrients. At pH (∼10), the studied organic acids remain mostly unprotonated and, thus control their access through the cell membrane. Therefore, the inaccessibility of these compounds to the cytosol is a likely mechanism for having non-inhibitory effects. The 87% (v/v) WW did not affect thiosulphate biotransformation efficiency while 87% (v/v) PFB reduced it by 36% by day 10. The resistance of T. versutus to common organics present in P&P wastewaters indicates its potential use for sulphur recovery from P&P mill wastewaters at haloalkaline conditions and thus, supports the circular economy approach.

Original languageEnglish
Article number137972
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Volume450, Part 2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2022
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Biotransformation
  • Haloalkaline
  • Organic toxicity
  • Resource recovery
  • Thioalkalivibrio versutus
  • Thiosulfate

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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