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The formulation of synthetic domestic wastewater sludge medium to study anaerobic biological treatment of acid mine drainage in the laboratory

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      Abstract

      Requirements for successful biological treatment of acid mine drainage (AMD) rely on the reduction of sulphates by microorganisms using a suitable organic carbon source. Various carbon sources, such as domestic wastewater sludge, have previously been used in the semi-passive biological treatment of AMD. Domestic wastewater sludge is however highly variable in its composition, making laboratory experimentation difficult. Synthetic medium was therefore formulated based on the chemical oxygen demand (COD) and the biological degradable organic matter (BOD) of domestic wastewater sludge. Four synthetic media compositions were formulated consisting of different ratios of meat extract, vegetable extract, sodium chloride, potassium phosphate, urea, ammonium chloride, iron sulphate, magnesium sulphate and glucose. The media composition with BOD and COD measurements closest to that of anaerobic domestic wastewater sludge was selected for further studies. The combination of AMD to synthetic wastewater sludge in 3 ratios was determined for COD and sulphate reduction in bioreactors over a period of 90 d. The highest reduction of 86.76% in COD and 99.22% in sulphate content were obtained in a 1:1 AMD: synthetic domestic wastewater sludge (SDWWS) ratio that calculated to a COD/sulphate ratio of 3.

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      The behaviour of heavy metals in sewage sludge-amended soils.

      Soils amended with sewage sludges generally contain elevated concentrations of a wide range of heavy metals and are therefore of interest with regard to their potential impact on human health. This review considers the concentrations of heavy metals in sewage sludges and in the soils amended with them. The effects of sludge amendments on soil properties, the speciation of heavy metals and their bioavailability are reviewed. Variations in heavy metal accumulation between crop species are considered, together with the effects of sludge-borne heavy metals on soil microorganism activity. Perhaps the most important questions to be addressed are the changes in the bioavailability of the heavy metals and their distribution in the soil profile during the residual period. The consequences of the application of sewage sludges to agricultural soils, with regard to the long-term bioavailability and movement of metals in soil profiles, are incompletely understood.
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        Performance and microbial community dynamics of a sulfate-reducing bioreactor treating coal generated acid mine drainage.

        The effectiveness of a passive flow sulfate-reducing bioreactor processing acid mine drainage (AMD) generated from an abandoned coal mine in Southern Illinois was evaluated using geochemical and microbial community analysis 10 months post bioreactor construction. The results indicated that the treatment system was successful in both raising the pH of the AMD from 3.09 to 6.56 and in lowering the total iron level by 95.9%. While sulfate levels did decrease by 67.4%, the level post treatment (1153 mg/l) remained above recommended drinking water levels. Stimulation of biological sulfate reduction was indicated by a +2.60‰ increase in δ(34)S content of the remaining sulfate in the water post-treatment. Bacterial community analysis targeting 16S rRNA and dsrAB genes indicated that the pre-treated samples were dominated by bacteria related to iron-oxidizing Betaproteobacteria, while the post-treated water directly from the reactor outflow was dominated by sequences related to sulfur-oxidizing Epsilonproteobacteria and complex carbon degrading Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes phylums. Analysis of the post-treated water, prior to environmental release, revealed that the community shifted back to predominantly iron-oxidizing Betaproteobacteria. DsrA analysis implied limited diversity in the sulfate-reducing population present in both the bioreactor outflow and oxidation pond samples. These results support the use of passive flow bioreactors to lower the acidity, metal, and sulfate levels present in the AMD at the Tab-Simco mine, but suggest modifications of the system are necessary to both stimulate sulfate-reducing bacteria and inhibit sulfur-oxidizing bacteria.
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          Microbial populations associated with the generation and treatment of acid mine drainage

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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1 ] Stellenbosch University South Africa
            Contributors
            Role: ND
            Role: ND
            Role: ND
            Journal
            wsa
            Water SA
            Water SA
            Water Research Commission (WRC)
            1816-7950
            April 2016
            : 42
            : 2
            : 350-354
            S1816-79502016000200018
            10.4314/wsa.v42i2.18

            This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

            Product
            Product Information: SciELO South Africa
            Categories
            Water Resources

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