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Deep and high-efficiency removal of sulfate through a coupling system with sulfate-reducing and sulfur-oxidizing capacity under haloalkaliphilic condition


Sulfide from anaerobic treatment of high-sulfate wastewater would always have some adverse effects on downstream processes. In this study, a coupling anaerobic/aerobic system was developed and operated under haloalkaliphilic condition to realize deep and high-efficiency removal of sulfate without production of sulfide. A haloalkaliphilic sulfur-oxidizing strain, Thioalkalivibrio versutus SOB306, was responsible for oxidation of sulfide. The anaerobic part was first operated at optimum condition based on a previous study. Then, its effluent with an average sulfide concentration of 674 ± 33 mg·l−1 was further directly treated by a set of 1 l biofilter with SOB306 strain under aerobic condition. Finally, 100% removal rate of sulfide was achieved at aeration rate of 0.75 l·l−1·min−1, ORP of − 392 mV and HRT of 4 h. The average yield of elemental sulfur reached 79.1 ± 1.3% in the filter, and the CROS achieved a conversion rate of sulfate to sulfur beyond 54%. This study for the first time revealed the characteristics and performance of the haloalkaliphilic CROS in deep treatment of high-sulfate wastewater, which paved the way for the development and application of this method in the real world.

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This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31800030, 31872633 and 21878307), the Major Science and Technology Program for Water Pollution Control and Treatment in China (No. 2017ZX07402003).

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Correspondence to Tingzhen Mu.

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Mu, T., Yang, M. & Xing, J. Deep and high-efficiency removal of sulfate through a coupling system with sulfate-reducing and sulfur-oxidizing capacity under haloalkaliphilic condition. Bioprocess Biosyst Eng (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00449-020-02298-5

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  • Sulfate-reducing
  • Sulfur-oxidizing
  • Haloalkaliphilic
  • Thioalkalivibrio versutus