Effect of Copper and Iron on Acidogenic Biomass in an Anaerobic Packed Bed Reactor


The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of copper and iron on acidogenic biomass immobilized on clinoptilolite in an anaerobic packed bed reactor. Copper and iron were fed to the reactor at concentrations of 100 and 300 mg·L-1, respectively. Both metal ions had insignificant inhibitory effect over the metabolism of the biomass, specifically, on substrate consumption and production of volatile fatty acids (VFAs). The microstructural characterization of the biofilm by Scanning Electron Microscopy showed no effect on the morphology of the microorganisms after the metals treatment. Copper and iron removal was also measured in the reactor, achieving a breakthrough time of 3 days, during which removal efficiencies were higher than 90%. It was also observed that the biomass had a greater affinity for copper. The results indicate that acidogenic biomass can be used effectively as a sorbent agent. The pollution of river-streams with heavy metals—mainly copper and iron—was one of the most compelling motivations for conducting this investigation. The San Pedro River Basin, a trans-boundary river that originates near the mining town of Cananea, Sonora, México, and flows to Arizona, USA, exemplifies this environmental issue.

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Figueroa-Torres, G. , Certucha-Barragán, M. , Almendariz-Tapia, F. , Monge-Amaya, O. , Acedo-Félix, E. , Pech-Canul, M. , Leal-Cruz, A. and VillaVelázquez-Mendoza, C. (2014) Effect of Copper and Iron on Acidogenic Biomass in an Anaerobic Packed Bed Reactor. Advances in Bioscience and Biotechnology, 5, 564-571. doi: 10.4236/abb.2014.56066.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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