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Haloalkaliphilic microorganisms assist sulfide removal in a microbial electrolysis cell
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science. European Ctr Excellence Sustainable Water Technol, Netherlands. (Ctr Ecol & Evolut Microbial Model Syst EEMiS)
European Ctr Excellence Sustainable Water Technol, Netherlands.
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science. (Ctr Ecol & Evolut Microbial Model Syst EEMiS)
Wageningen Univ, Netherlands.
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2018 (English)In: Journal of Hazardous Materials, ISSN 0304-3894, E-ISSN 1873-3336, Vol. 363, p. 197-204Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Several industrial processes produce toxic sulfide containing streams that are often scrubbed using caustic solutions. An alternative, cost effective sulfidetreatment method is bioelectrochemical sulfide removal. For the first time, a haloalkaliphilic sulfide-oxidizing microbial consortium was introduced to the anodic chamber of a microbial electrolysis cell operated at alkaline pH and with 1.0 M sodium ions. Under anode potential control, the highest sulfideremoval rate was 2.16 mM/day and chemical analysis supported that the electrical current generation was from the sulfide oxidation. Biotic operation produced a maximum current density of 3625 mA/m(2) compared to 210 mA/m2 while under abiotic operation. Furthermore, biotic electrical production was maintained for a longer period than for abiotic operation, potentially due to the passivation of the electrode by elemental sulfur during abiotic operation. The use of microorganisms reduced the energy input in this study compared to published electrochemical sulfide removal technologies. Sulfide-oxidizing populations dominated both the planktonic and electrode-attached communities with 16S rRNA gene sequences aligning within the genera Thioctikalivibrio, Thioalkaihnicrobium, and Desulfurivibrio. The dominance of the Desulfurivibrio-like population on the anode surface offered evidence for the first haloalkaliphilic bacterium able to couple electrons from sulfide oxidation to extracellular electron transfer to the anode.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2018. Vol. 363, p. 197-204
National Category
Microbiology
Research subject
Ecology, Microbiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-78859DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2018.09.049ISI: 000449891900022PubMedID: 30308358Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85054420208OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-78859DiVA, id: diva2:1263716
Note

Is included in the dissertation as a manuscript.

Available from: 2018-11-16 Created: 2018-11-16 Last updated: 2019-08-29Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. When bioelectrochemical systems meet extremophiles, possibilities and challenges
Open this publication in new window or tab >>When bioelectrochemical systems meet extremophiles, possibilities and challenges
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Extremophiles are microorganisms live and thrive in extreme environments that are harsh and hostile to most forms of life on earth (e.g. low pH, low temperature, high pH and high salinity). They have developed strategies to obtain nutrients and conserve energy to sustain life under these adverse conditions. Such metabolic capabilities are valuable to be exploit for industrial applications such as the remediation of environmental pollutions, which typically bring about extreme physicochemical conditions. The advancing technology bioelectrochemical systems can utilize the microbial metabolism to oxidize a substrate while simultaneously recover electrical energy or produce a useful product in an electrochemical set-up. It enables the remediation of pollutions, and its integration with extremophiles has opened up a wide range of possibilities to tackle various industrial waste streams with extreme conditions in an environmentally friendly manner. Inorganic sulfur compounds such as tetrathionate, thiocyanate and sulfide that originate from mining, metal refinery and petroleum industries are toxic and hazardous to the recipient water body and human health if discharged untreated. The remediation of these three compounds with bioelectrochemical systems that incorporates extremophiles was investigated in three separate studies of this thesis. 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing, metagenomics and metatranscriptomics are utilized to profile the microbial communities, and to understand their metabolic potential and states.

 

Tetrathionate degradation with acidophilic microorganisms in microbial fuel cells at pH 2 was demonstrated in the first study of this thesis. Electricity was produced from the oxidation of tetrathionate, facilitated by the anodic microbiome. 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing showed that this community was dominated by members of the genera Thermoplasma, Ferroplasma, Leptospirillum, Sulfobacillus and Acidithiobacillus. Metagenomic analysis reconstructed genomes that were most similar to the genera Ferroplasma, Acidithiobacillus, Sulfobacillus and Cuniculiplasma. Together with metatranscriptomic analysis, it was indicated that this microbial community was metabolizing tetrathionate and other intermediate sulfur compounds via multiple pathways, the electrons released from oxidation were suggested to be transferred to the electrode via soluble electron shuttles. In addition, the Ferroplasma-like population in this study was suggested to be active in metabolising inorganic sulfur compounds and synthesizing soluble electron shuttles. Since characterized Ferroplasma species do not utilize inorganic sulfur compounds, the anodic compartment might have selected a novel Ferroplasma population.

 

Next, thiocyanate degradation with psychrophilic microorganisms in microbial fuel cells at 8 °C was demonstrated for the first time. Electricity generation alongside with thiocyanate degradation facilitated by the anodic microbiome was observed. 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing and metatranscriptomics suggested that Thiobacillus was the predominant and most active population. mRNA analysis revealed that thiocyanate was metabolized primarily via the ‘cyanate’ degradation pathway; the resultant sulfide was oxidized; ammonium was assimilated; carbon dioxide was fixed as carbon source. It was also suggested by mRNA analysis that the consortium used multiple mechanisms to acclimate low temperature such as the synthesis of cold shock proteins, cold inducible proteins and molecular chaperones.

 

Finally, sulfide removal with haloalkaliphilic microorganisms in microbial electrolysis cells operated at pH 8.8 to 9.5 and with 1.0 M sodium ion was investigated. The anodic microbiome was hypothesized to facilitate current generation by the oxidation of sulfide and of intermediate sulfur compounds to sulfate, which was supported by chemical analysis and microbial profiling. Dominant populations from the anode had 16S rRNA gene sequences that aligned within the genera Thioalkalivibrio, Thioalkalimicrobium, and Desulfurivibrio, which are known for sulfide oxidation. Intriguingly, Desulfurivibrio dominated the electrode-attached community, possibly enriched by the electrode as a selecting pressure. This finding suggested a novel role of this organism to carry out sulfide oxidation coupled to electron transfer to the electrode.

 

These three studies demonstrated the possibilities of utilizing extremophilic bioelectrochemical systems to remediate various inorganic sulfur pollution streams. The advancing molecular microbiological tools facilitated the investigation towards the composition and metabolic state of the microbial community. Challenges remain in a more thorough understanding regarding the metabolism of extremophiles (e.g. sulfur metabolism and extracellular electron transfer) and better energy recovery in bioelectrochemical systems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Kalmar, Växjö: Linnaeus University Press, 2018. p. 70
Series
Linnaeus University Dissertations ; 325
Keywords
acidophiles, psychrophiles, haloalkaliphiles, bioelectrochemical systems, microbial sulfur metabolism, 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing, metagenomics, metatranscriptomics
National Category
Bioremediation
Research subject
Ecology, Microbiology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-77543 (URN)978-91-88761-82-8 (ISBN)978-91-88761-83-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-09-07, Fullriggaren, Landgången 4, Kalmar, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-09-03 Created: 2018-09-03 Last updated: 2018-11-16Bibliographically approved

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Ni, GaofengSeidel, LauraDopson, Mark

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