, Volume 34, Issue 3, pp 275-285,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 24 Sep 2010

Mathematical modeling of the integrated process of mercury bioremediation in the industrial bioreactor


The mathematical model of the integrated process of mercury contaminated wastewater bioremediation in a fixed-bed industrial bioreactor is presented. An activated carbon packing in the bioreactor plays the role of an adsorbent for ionic mercury and at the same time of a carrier material for immobilization of mercury-reducing bacteria. The model includes three basic stages of the bioremediation process: mass transfer in the liquid phase, adsorption of mercury onto activated carbon and ionic mercury bioreduction to Hg(0) by immobilized microorganisms. Model calculations were verified using experimental data obtained during the process of industrial wastewater bioremediation in the bioreactor of 1 m3 volume. It was found that the presented model reflects the properties of the real system quite well. Numerical simulation of the bioremediation process confirmed the experimentally observed positive effect of the integration of ionic mercury adsorption and bioreduction in one apparatus.