Anaerobic bioreactors have been developed to remove perchlorate from water, but backwashing and operational interruptions can expose biofilms to oxygen. While it is well known that oxygen is a preferential electron acceptor to perchlorate for perchlorate-respiring bacteria, little is known about the effect of oxygen exposure or redox potentials on perchlorate reduction. Four different dissolved oxygen scavengers were tested for their ability to quickly restore anaerobic conditions and allow perchlorate reduction by a facultative, perchlorate respiring bacterium Dechlorosoma sp. KJ. Of the four different oxygen scavengers tested (Oxyrase™, L-cysteine, Na2S and FeS), only Oxyrase™ was able to rapidly (<30min) scavenge dissolved oxygen and allow cell growth. There was no cell growth after addition of Na 2S and FeS, and L-cysteine produced a long lag in cell growth. To investigate the effect of dissolved oxygen on perchlorate reduction, anaerobically grown cultures Dechlorosoma sp. KJ, were exposed to dissolved oxygen for various periods ranging from 1 to 32h. Perchlorate reduction and redox potential were then measured for cells returned to an anaerobic environment containing an oxygen scavenger. It was determined that cells exposed to dissolved oxygen for more than 12h were incapable of reducing perchlorate. Cells exposed to dissolved oxygen for less than 12h quickly reduced the redox potential to negative values (-127mV to -337mV) and were able to reduce perchlorate or chlorite. Our results suggest that aeration during backwashing of biofilm reactors, or exposure of perchlorate-degrading cell suspensions to dissolve oxygen for less than 12h, will not be detrimental to the ability of perchlorate-degrading bacteria to use perchlorate as an electron acceptor.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecological Modeling
- Water Science and Technology
- Waste Management and Disposal