Biooxidation of sulphide under denitrifying conditions in an immobilized cell bioreactor
Tang, Kimberley Marie Gar Wei
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Hydrogen sulphide (H2S) is a serious problem for many industries, including oil production and processing, pulp and paper, and wastewater treatment. In addition, H2S is usually present in natural gas and biogas. It is necessary to control the generation and release of H2S into the environment because H2S is corrosive, toxic, and has an unpleasant odour. In addition, the removal of H2S from natural gas and biogas is essential for preventing the emission of SO2 upon combustion of these gases. Physicochemical processes have been developed for the removal of H2S. These processes employ techniques such as chemical or physical absorption, thermal and catalytic conversion, and liquid phase oxidation. In comparison, biological processes for the removal of sulphide typically operate at ambient temperature and pressure, with the feasibility for the treatment of smaller streams, and the absence of expensive catalysts. The objective of the present work was to study the biooxidation of sulphide under denitrifying conditions in batch system and a continuous immobilized cell bioreactor using a mixed microbial culture enriched from the produced water of a Canadian oil reservoir. In the batch experiments conducted at various initial sulphide concentrations, an increase in the sulphide oxidation and nitrate reduction rates was observed as the initial sulphide concentration was increased in the range 1.7 to 5.5 mM. An extended lag phase of approximately 10 days was observed when sulphide concentrations around or higher than 14 mM were used. This, when considered with the fact that the microbial culture was not able to oxidize sulphide at an initial concentration of 20 mM, indicates the inhibitory effects of sulphide at high concentrations.The effect of the initial sulphide to nitrate concentrations ratio (ranging from 0.3 to 4.0) was also studied. As the initial sulphide to nitrate ratio decreased, the sulphide oxidation rates increased. The increasing trend was observed for initial nitrate concentrations in the range of 1.3 to 7.3 mM, corresponding to ratios of 4.08 to 0.83. The increase in nitrate reduction rates was more pronounced than that of the sulphide oxidation rates. However at nitrate concentrations higher than 7.3 mM (ratios lower than 0.83) the nitrate reduction rate remained constant. The percentage of sulphide that was oxidized to sulphate increased from 2.4% to 100% as the initial sulphide to nitrate ratio decreased from 4.08 to 0.42. This indicated that at ratios lower than 0.42, nitrate would be in excess and at ratios exceeding 4.08, nitrate would be limiting. In the continuous bioreactor systems, at sulphide loading rates ranging from 0.26 to 30.30 mM/h, sulphide conversion remained in the range of 97.6% to 99.7%. A linear increase in the volumetric oxidation rate of sulphide was observed as the sulphide loading rate was increased with the maximum rate being 30.30 mM/h (98.5% conversion). Application of immobilized cells led to a significant increase in oxidation rate of sulphide when compared with the rates obtained in a bioreactor with freely suspended cells. At nitrate loading rates ranging from 0.19 to 24.44 mM/h, the nitrate conversion ranged from 97.2% to 100% and a linear increase in volumetric reduction rate was observed as the nitrate loading rate was increased, with the maximum rate being 24.44 mM/h (99.7% conversion). A second bioreactor experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of sulphide to nitrate concentrations ratio on the performance of the system. Sulphide conversion was complete at sulphide to nitrate ratios of 1.1 and 1.3, but decreased to 90.5% at the ratio of 3.1 and 65.0% at the ratio of 5.0, indicating nitrate was limiting for sulphide to nitrate ratios of 3.1 and 5.0. The increase in the sulphide to nitrate ratio (and the resulting limitation of nitrate) caused a decrease in the volumetric reaction rate of sulphide.Nitrate conversion was complete at sulphide to nitrate ratios of 1.3, 3.1, and 5.0; however, at a ratio of 1.1, the conversion of nitrate dropped to 59.6%, indicating that nitrate was in excess, and sulphide was limiting. The volumetric reaction rate of nitrate decreased as the sulphide to nitrate ratio increased for ratios of 1.3, 3.1, and 5.0; this was due to the decrease in the nitrate loading rate. For sulphide to nitrate ratios of 1.1 and 1.3, 7.2% and 19.6% of the sulphide was converted to sulphate, respectively. At ratios of 3.1 and 5.0, no sulphate was generated. For ratios between 1.3 and 5.0, an increase in the ratio caused a decrease in the generation of sulphate.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
CommitteeNiu, Catherine; Lin, Yen-Han
biological sulphide oxidation
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