The Effects of Manganese-Reducing Bacteria on Desorption of Manganese from MnOx(s) Coated Media
Swain, Lindsay Ellen
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In the past, water treatment plants have stopped the application of pre-filter oxidants to create a bioactive filtration process to remove soluble Mn. After the cessation of pre-filter oxidants, a Mn desorption phenomenon was seen where effluent Mn exceeds influent Mn concentrations. The reason for the sudden increase in effluent Mn was not known, but it was hypothesized that Mn-reducing bacteria on the filter media play a substantial role in this phenomenon. The primary goal of this research was to assess the role of Mn-reducing microorganisms in the desorption of MnOx(s) from coated filters once pre-filtration chlorine ceased. A secondary objective included the development of a molecular detection method for Mn-reducing microorganisms in laboratory and environmental samples. Bench-scale filter column studies were completed to investigate the impacts of Mn-reducing microbial populations on desorption of Mn from MnOx(s) coatings. Secondarily, the effects of influent carbon loading and MnOx(s) age on Mn desorption were investigated. In situ vial assays were created to gain insight into the impacts of MnOx(s) age on Mn reducing microorganism bioavailability. Lastly, a qPCR detection method was developed that targeted the mtrB gene. Results determined that microbially mediated Mn desorption was possible when sufficient numbers of Mn-reducing microorganisms were present on the MnOx(s) surface and that those organisms contributed to the Mn desorption phenomenon. qPCR detection methods were able to show a greater number of Mn-reducing microorganisms in studies where Mn desorption was observed. Lastly, MnOx(s) age was shown to play an important, but unexplained, role in bioavailability.
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