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J. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 2007; 17(2): 320-324

Published online February 28, 2007

The removal of hydrogen sulfide ($H_2S$) from aqueous media was investigated using Thiobacillus novellas cells immobilized on a $SiO_2$ carrier (biosand). The optimal growth conditions for the bacterial strain were $30^{\circ}C$ and initial pH of 7.0. The main product of hydrogen sulfide oxidation by T. novellus was identified as the sulfate ion. A removal efficiency of 98% was maintained in the three-phase fluidized-bed reactor, whereas the efficiency was reduced to 90% for the two-phase fluidized-bed reactor and 68% for the two-phase reactor without cells. The maximum gas removal capacity for the system was 254 g $H_2S/m^3/h$ when the inlet $H_2S$ loading was $300g/m^3/h(1,500ppm)$. Stable operation of the immobilized reactor was possible for 20 days with the inlet $H_2S$ concentration held to 1,100 ppm. The fluidized bed bioreactor appeared to be an effective means for controlling hydrogen sulfide emissions.