Microbial Oxidation of Mixtures of Methylmercaptan and Hydrogen Sulfide

  • Anbu Subramaniyan
  • Ravindra Kolhatkar
  • K. L. Sublette
  • Robert Beitle
Part of the Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology book series (ABAB)


Refinery spent-sulfidic caustic, containing only inorganic sulfides, has previously been shown to be amenable to biotreatment with Thiobacillus denitrificans strain F with complete oxidation of sulfides to sulfate. However, many spent caustics contain mercaptans that cannot be metabolized by this strict autotroph. An aerobic enrichment culture was developed from mixed Thiobacilli and activated sludge that was capable of simultaneous oxidation of inorganic sulfide and mercaptans using hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and methylmercaptan (MeSH) gas feeds used to simulate the inorganic and organic sulfur of a spent-sulfidic caustic. The enrichment culture was also capable of biotreatment of an actual mercaptan-containing, spent-sulfidic caustic but at lower rates than predicted by operation on MeSH and H2S fed to the culture in the gas phase, indicating that the caustic contained other inhibitory components.

Index Entries

Mercaptan spent-sulfidic caustic hydrogen sulfide biotreatment 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anbu Subramaniyan
    • 1
  • Ravindra Kolhatkar
    • 1
  • K. L. Sublette
    • 1
  • Robert Beitle
    • 2
  1. 1.Center for Environmental Research and TechnologyUniversity of TulsaTulsa
  2. 2.Department of Chemical EngineeringUniversity of ArkansasFayetteville

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