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Characterization of a Novel Biocatalyst System for Sulfide Oxidation



It has been demonstrated that an enrichment culture dominated by Thiomicrospira sp. CVO may be cultured on H2S(g) as an energy source under sulfide-limiting conditions in suspended culture with nitrate as the electron acceptor. Hydrogen sulfide (10,000 ppmv) was completely removed from the feed gas and oxidized to sulfate in <3 s of gas-liquid contacting time. Maximum loading of the biomass for sulfide oxidation was observed to be 5.8 mmol H2S/h-g biomass protein, comparable to that reported previously for Thiobacillusdenitrificans under similar conditions. However, the enrichment culture was shown to be more tolerant of extremes in pH and elevated temperature than T. denitrificans. Coupled with a reported tolerance of CVO for up to 10% NaCl, these observations suggest that a CVO-based culture is potentially a more robust biocatalyst system for sulfide oxidation than cultures based on Thiobacilli.