Author(s): Burger MS, Mercer SS, Shupe GD, Gagnon GA, Burger MS, Mercer SS, Shupe GD, Gagnon GA
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Abstract As biological manganese (Mn) removal becomes a more popular water treatment technology, there is still a large gap in understanding the key mechanisms and range of operational characteristics. This research aimed to expand on previous bench-scale experiments by directly comparing small filtration columns inoculated with indigenous biofilms from a Mn filtration plant and filtration columns inoculated with a liquid suspension of Leptothrix discophora SP-6. Batch tests found that in the absence of manganese oxidizing bacteria Mn was not removed by air alone, whereas a mixed population and Leptothrix strain achieved greater than 90\% removal of Mn. The bench-scale biofiltration experiments found that biological filters can be inoculated with a pure culture of L. discophora SP-6 and achieve a similar removal of indigenous biofilm. While Mn oxidizing bacteria (MOB) seem to be necessary for the auto-catalytic nature of these biological filters, Mn removal is achieved with a combination of adsorption to Mn oxides and biological oxidation. Additionally, it was demonstrated that biological Mn removal is possible over a broader "field of activity" (e.g., Mn removal occurred at a pH level as low as 6.5) than has previously been reported. The ability of this treatment technology to work over a broader range of influent conditions allows for more communities to consider biological treatment as an option to remove Mn from their drinking water.
This article was published in Water Res
and referenced in Journal of Microbial & Biochemical Technology