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Anode potential selection for sulfide removal in contaminated marine sediments

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Angela SherryORCiD, Professor Ian Head



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


Sulfate reducing microorganisms are typically involved in hydrocarbon biodegradation in the sea sediment, with their metabolism resulting in the by-production of toxic sulfide. In this context, it is of utmost importance identifying the optimal value for anodic potential which ensures efficient toxic sulfide removal. Along this line, in this study the (bio)electrochemical removal of sulfide was tested at anodic potentials of −205 mV, +195 mV and +300 mV vs Ag/AgCl), also in the presence of a pure culture of the sulfur-oxidizing bacterium Desulfobulbus propionicus. Current production, sulfide concentration and sulfate concentration were monitored over time. At the end of the experiment sulfur deposition on the electrodes and the microbial communities were characterized by SEM-EDS and by next generation sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene respectively. Results confirmed that current production is linked to sulfide removal and D. propionicus promoted back oxidation of deposited sulfur to sulfate. The highest electron recovery was observed at +195 mV vs Ag/AgCl, and the lowest sulfur deposition was obtained at −205 mV vs Ag/AgCl anode polarization.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Daghio M, Vaiopoulou E, Aulenta F, Sherry A, Head I, Franzetti A, Rabaey K

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Hazardous Materials

Year: 2018

Volume: 360

Pages: 498-503

Online publication date: 16/08/2018

Acceptance date: 06/08/2018

Date deposited: 23/08/2018

ISSN (electronic): 0304-3894

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2018.08.016


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Funder referenceFunder name
European Commission