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Linking performance to microbiology in biofilters treating dimethyl sulphide in the presence and absence of methanol

Abstract

The performance and microbiology of two inorganic biofilters treating dimethyl sulphide (DMS) in the presence and absence of methanol was investigated. Addition of methanol was shown to result in an increase in DMS removal for methanol loadings below 90 g MeOH per cubic metre per hour with the optimal methanol loading around 10–15 g MeOH per cubic metre per hour for a DMS loading of 3.4 g DMS per cubic metre per hour, a fivefold increase in the DMS removal rate compared to the biofilter treating DMS alone. Microbial community analysis revealed that the addition of methanol led to a significant increase of up to an order of magnitude in the abundance of Hyphomicrobium spp. in the biofilter co-treating DMS and methanol compared to the biofilter treating DMS alone, whilst there was no significant difference in the abundance of Thiobacillus spp. between the two biofilters. Given the behaviour of the biofilter co-treating DMS and methanol, the magnitude of the increase in Hyphomicrobium spp. in the biofilter co-treating DMS and methanol and the ability of Hyphomicrobium spp. to use both methanol and DMS as growth substrates, it was concluded that Hyphomicrobium spp. were the microorganisms responsible for the bulk of the DMS degradation in the biofilter co-treating DMS and methanol.

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Acknowledgements

The financial support of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the research consortium “Minimizing the Impact of Pulp and Paper Mill Discharges” consisting of Aracruz Celulose S.A., Carter Holt Harvey Pulp and Paper, Domtar Inc., Eka Chemicals Inc., Georgia-Pacific Corporation, Irving Pulp and Paper Ltd., Japan Carlit Co. Ltd., ERCO Worldwide and Tembec Inc. is gratefully acknowledged.

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Correspondence to D. Grant Allen.

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Hayes, A.C., Zhang, Y., Liss, S.N. et al. Linking performance to microbiology in biofilters treating dimethyl sulphide in the presence and absence of methanol. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 85, 1151–1166 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00253-009-2272-5

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00253-009-2272-5

Keywords

  • Biofiltration
  • Dimethyl sulphide
  • Methanol
  • Microbial community analysis
  • 16S rDNA clone library
  • Denatured gradient gel electrophoresis
  • Real-time PCR