Radiorespirometric assays for the detection of biogenic sulfides from sulfate-reducing bacteria



Antonio Carlos Augusto da Costa, Instituto de Química, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Química, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Pavilhão Haroldo Lisboa da Cunha, R. São Francisco Xavier 524, Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. E-mail:



The detection of trace concentrations of biogenic sulfides can be carried out through radiorespirometric assays. The objective of this work was to improve the methodology for detection of H2S in trace concentrations, to correlate with sulfate-reducing bacterial activity.

Methods and Results

Serial dilutions of synthetic sea water with a pure culture of Desulfovibrio alaskensis, a mixed anaerobic microbial culture and a natural saline sample from a petroleum offshore platform indicated that dilutions were followed, accordingly, by sulfate reduction.


Tests performed indicated that increasing the time of incubation of a mixed anaerobic microbial culture contributed to an increase in the sulfate reduction rates, as well as the amount of carbon source and inoculum.

Significance and Impact of the Study

The technique here developed proved to be a rapid test for the detection of biogenic sulfides, particularly those associated with corrosion products, being an useful tool for monitoring and controlling oil/water storage tanks, petroleum continental platforms and several types of reservoirs.