Microbial selenate reduction in membrane biofilm reactors using ethane and propane as electron donors

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Author(s)

  • Chun-Yu Lai
  • Yarong Song
  • Mengxiong Wu
  • Xuanyu Lu
  • Yulu Wang
  • Jianhua Guo

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Article number116008
Journal / PublicationWater Research
Volume183
Online published13 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2020
Externally publishedYes

Abstract

Selenate (Se(VI)) contamination in groundwater is one of major concerns for human health, in particular in shale gas extraction sites. Microbial selenate reduction coupled to methane (CH4) oxidation has been demonstrated very recently. Little is known whether ethane (C2H6) and butane (C3H8) are able to drive selenate reduction, although they are also important components in shale gas. In this study, we demonstrated Se(VI) bio-reduction could be achieved using C2H6 and C3H8 as electron donors and carbon sources. Scanning electron microscopy coupled to energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDX) confirmed elemental Se (Se0) was the major final product formed from Se(VI) bio-reduction. Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) were generated in the biofilms as the internal electron-storage materials, which were consumed for sustaining Se(VI) bio-reduction in absence of C2H6 and C3H8. Microbial community analysis showed that two genera capable of oxidizing gaseous alkanes dominated in the biofilms, including Mycobacterium (in both C2H6 and C3H8-fed biofilms) and Rhodococcus (in C3H8-fed biofilm). In addition, several potential Se(VI) reducers (e.g., Variovorax) were detected in the biofilms. Investigation of Communities by Reconstruction of Unobserved States analysis supported that predictive genes associated with alkanes oxidation, denitrification and PHAs cycle were enriched in the biofilms. These findings offer insights into the process of selenate reduction driven by C2H6 and C3H8, which ultimately may help to develop a solution to use shale gas for groundwater remediation, especially near shale gas exploitation sites. © 2020 Elsevier Ltd.

Research Area(s)

  • Ethane, Groundwater remediation, Membrane biofilm reactor, Propane, Selenate, Shale gas

Citation Format(s)

Microbial selenate reduction in membrane biofilm reactors using ethane and propane as electron donors. / Lai, Chun-Yu; Song, Yarong; Wu, Mengxiong et al.
In: Water Research, Vol. 183, 116008, 15.09.2020.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review