Performance and microbial consortium structure in simultaneous removal of sulfur and nitrogen compounds under micro-oxygenated condition

  • P. Charoensuk
  • W. Thongnueakhaeng
  • P. ChaiprasertEmail author
Original Paper


Effects of COD/SO42− and SO42−/NH4+ ratios on simultaneous removal of sulfate- and ammonium-rich synthetic wastewaters were investigated under micro-oxygenated condition (dissolved oxygen concentration at 0.10–0.15 mg/L). Lactate was served as carbon source to generate COD/SO42− ratios of 2.0, 2.5, 3.0 3.5 and 4.0. The batch experimental results indicated that the highest sulfate (72.1%) and ammonium (62.8%) removal efficiencies could be reached at COD/SO42− ratio of 4.0. The main metabolic products were elemental sulfur (0.63 g S0/g SO42−–Sadded) and nitrogen gas (0.57 g N2/g NH4+–Nadded). Subsequently, various SO42−/NH4+ ratios (0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0 and 2.5) were performed at controlled COD/SO42− ratio of 4.0. The highest SO42−/NH4+ ratio of 2.5 provided 76.6 and 72.8% sulfate and ammonium removal efficiencies, respectively, and also reached the highest yield of elemental sulfur and nitrogen gas of 0.68 g S0/g SO42−–Sadded and 0.66 g N2/g NH4+–Nadded, respectively. Microbial consortium structure providing the highest removal efficiencies was consequently analyzed using Illumina sequencing and polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis approaches. Taxonomic assignments demonstrated that Proteobacteria (46%), Firmicutes (15%), and Bacteroidetes (14%) were the most abundant phyla. Almost core genera analysis with two distinguished approaches demonstrated similar results. Aside from microbial community analysis, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction was used to validate existing abundance of aforementioned seven dominant microorganisms. The nitrous oxide reductase gene was shown the most abundance (~ 108 copies/µL) which plays a crucial role for simultaneous removal of sulfur and nitrogen compounds.


Illumina sequencing Micro-oxygenation Polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction Simultaneous biological removal Sulfate and ammonium 



This research was facilitated by Excellent Center of Waste Utilization and Management (ECoWaste) and King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi through “KMUTT 55th Anniversary Commemorative Fund” with Grant No. KMUTT-6001004790.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

13762_2018_2132_MOESM1_ESM.docx (251 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 251 kb)


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Copyright information

© Islamic Azad University (IAU) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Charoensuk
    • 1
  • W. Thongnueakhaeng
    • 2
    • 3
  • P. Chaiprasert
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Biotechnology Division, School of Bioresources and TechnologyKing Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT)BangkokThailand
  2. 2.The Joint Graduate School of Energy and Environment (JGSEE)King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT)BangkokThailand
  3. 3.Department of Biological and Environmental Science, Faculty of ScienceThaksin UniversityPhatthalungThailand

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