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Bioprecipitation of Arsenic from Water under Sulfidogenic Conditions Promoted by Elemental Iron
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Arsenic (As) is a pollutant distributed worldwide that importantly impacts natural water. The removal of arsenic from water through its precipitation with biogenic sulfide could attain safe health and environmental As levels. The aim of this study was to evaluate the removal of As from water by its precipitation with biogenic sulfide, using elemental iron (ZVI) as an electron donor in the sulfidogenic process. The effect of arsenic concentration on sulphate reducing activity of anaerobic sludges was also studied. Batch experiments inoculated with non pre-activated and pre-activated SRB in anaerobic sludge, added with ZVI and with different concentrations of pentavalent As (AsV) were performed to evaluate sulphate (SO4 -2) reduction and arsenic removal. The Astot, sulfide (S-2) and sulphate (SO4 -2) concentration were monitored in assays. High percentages of As removal (>98%) and low quantifications of S-2 (≤50%) were observed in treatments dosed with up to 5 mgL-1As, with pre-activated and non pre-activate sludges that used ZVI as electron donor, indicating that precipitation of metalloid could de mediated by binding with biogenic sulfide to form ASM. The pre-activated anaerobic sludge was significantly more tolerant to As, maintaining the sulfidogenic activity up to 5mgL-1added with As. SEM analysis of the pre- activated sludge showed granules of BSR more compact compared to non pre-activated sludge, which can be related to tolerance and activity of the BSR to As. Sulphate reduction was not observed in controls without ZVI, supporting that ZVI was the unique electron donor used by sulfate reducing bacteria in the experiments. The results suggest that the use of BSR with ZVI is a viable and feasible technology for removing contaminants from water such
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