Treatment of naphthalene-2-sulfonic acid from tannery wastewater by a granular activated carbon fixed bed inoculated with bacterial isolates Arthrobacter globiformis and Comamonas testosteroni

Zhi Song, Suzanne R Edwards, Richard G Burns
Water Research 2006, 40 (3): 495-506
The kinetics of naphthalene-2-sulfonic acid (2-NSA) adsorption by granular activated carbon (GAC) were measured and the relationships between adsorption, desorption, bioavailability and biodegradation assessed. The conventional Langmuir model fitted the experimental sorption isotherm data and introduced 2-NSA degrading bacteria, established on the surface of the GAC, did not interfere with adsorption. The potential value of GAC as a microbial support in the aerobic degradation of 2-NSA by Arthrobacter globiformis and Comamonas testosteroni was investigated. Using both virgin and microbially colonised GAC, adsorption removed 2-NSA from the liquid phase up to its saturation capacity of 140 mg/g GAC within 48 h. However, between 83.2% and 93.3% of the adsorbed 2-NSA was bioavailable to both bacterial species as a source of carbon for growth. In comparison to the non-inoculated GAC, the combination of rapid adsorption and biodegradation increased the amount (by 70-93%) of 2-NSA removal from the influent phase as well as the bed-life of the GAC (from 40 to >120 d). A microbially conditioned GAC fixed-bed reactor containing 15 g GAC removed 100% 2-NSA (100 mg/l) from tannery wastewater at an empty bed contact time of 22 min for a minimum of 120 d without the need for GAC reconditioning or replacement. This suggests that small volume GAC bioreactors could be used for tannery wastewater recycling.

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