Effect of microbial activity on trace element release from sewage sludge

Shabnam Qureshi, Brian K. Richards, Anthony G. Hay, Christine C. Tsai, Murray B. McBride, Philippe C. Baveye, Tammo S. Steenhuis

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Abstract

The microbial role in mobilization of trace elements from land-applied wastewater sludge is not well-defined. Our study examined the leachability of trace elements (Cd, Cr, Cu, Mo, Ni, P, Pb, S, and Zn) from dewatered sludge as affected by treatments designed to alter microbial activity. Different levels of microbial activity were achieved by incubating sludge columns at 4, 16, 28, and 37 °C and by the addition of AgNO3 biocide at each temperature. Columns (with inert glass bead support beds) were subjected to six consecutive incubation−leaching cycles, each consisting of 7.3-d incubation followed by 16-h leaching with synthetic acid rain. Glucose mineralization tests were used to assess overall microbial activity. Significant acidification and trace element leaching occurred when conditions favored microbial activity (16 and 28 °C). Extent of mobilization was element-specific with Zn, Ni, and Cu showing the greatest mobilization (99, 67, and 57%, respectively). Mobilization was reduced but still substantial at 4 °C. Conditions that best inhibited microbial activity (37 °C or biocide at any temperature) resulted in the least mobilization. Characterization of enrichments performed using thiosulfate as the sole energy source revealed the presence of both known and putative S-oxidizing bacteria in the sludge. The results suggest that microbial acidification via S oxidation can mobilize trace elements from sludge. Elemental mobility in field situations would also be governed by other factors, including the capacity of soil to buffer acidification and to adsorb mobilized elements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3361–3366
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Volume37
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2003

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microbial activity
sludge
mobilization
trace element
acidification
leaching
pesticide
incubation
temperature
thiosulfate
acid rain
glucose
sewage
glass
mineralization
wastewater
oxidation
bacterium
energy
soil

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Qureshi, S., Richards, B. K., Hay, A. G., Tsai, C. C., McBride, M. B., Baveye, P. C., & Steenhuis, T. S. (2003). Effect of microbial activity on trace element release from sewage sludge. Environmental Science and Technology, 37(15), 3361–3366. DOI: 10.1021/es020970h

Qureshi, Shabnam; Richards, Brian K.; Hay, Anthony G.; Tsai, Christine C.; McBride, Murray B.; Baveye, Philippe C.; Steenhuis, Tammo S. / Effect of microbial activity on trace element release from sewage sludge.

In: Environmental Science and Technology, Vol. 37, No. 15, 06.2003, p. 3361–3366.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "The microbial role in mobilization of trace elements from land-applied wastewater sludge is not well-defined. Our study examined the leachability of trace elements (Cd, Cr, Cu, Mo, Ni, P, Pb, S, and Zn) from dewatered sludge as affected by treatments designed to alter microbial activity. Different levels of microbial activity were achieved by incubating sludge columns at 4, 16, 28, and 37 °C and by the addition of AgNO3 biocide at each temperature. Columns (with inert glass bead support beds) were subjected to six consecutive incubation−leaching cycles, each consisting of 7.3-d incubation followed by 16-h leaching with synthetic acid rain. Glucose mineralization tests were used to assess overall microbial activity. Significant acidification and trace element leaching occurred when conditions favored microbial activity (16 and 28 °C). Extent of mobilization was element-specific with Zn, Ni, and Cu showing the greatest mobilization (99, 67, and 57%, respectively). Mobilization was reduced but still substantial at 4 °C. Conditions that best inhibited microbial activity (37 °C or biocide at any temperature) resulted in the least mobilization. Characterization of enrichments performed using thiosulfate as the sole energy source revealed the presence of both known and putative S-oxidizing bacteria in the sludge. The results suggest that microbial acidification via S oxidation can mobilize trace elements from sludge. Elemental mobility in field situations would also be governed by other factors, including the capacity of soil to buffer acidification and to adsorb mobilized elements.",
author = "Shabnam Qureshi and Richards, {Brian K.} and Hay, {Anthony G.} and Tsai, {Christine C.} and McBride, {Murray B.} and Baveye, {Philippe C.} and Steenhuis, {Tammo S.}",
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Qureshi, S, Richards, BK, Hay, AG, Tsai, CC, McBride, MB, Baveye, PC & Steenhuis, TS 2003, 'Effect of microbial activity on trace element release from sewage sludge' Environmental Science and Technology, vol 37, no. 15, pp. 3361–3366. DOI: 10.1021/es020970h

Effect of microbial activity on trace element release from sewage sludge. / Qureshi, Shabnam; Richards, Brian K.; Hay, Anthony G.; Tsai, Christine C.; McBride, Murray B.; Baveye, Philippe C.; Steenhuis, Tammo S.

In: Environmental Science and Technology, Vol. 37, No. 15, 06.2003, p. 3361–3366.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - Effect of microbial activity on trace element release from sewage sludge

AU - Qureshi,Shabnam

AU - Richards,Brian K.

AU - Hay,Anthony G.

AU - Tsai,Christine C.

AU - McBride,Murray B.

AU - Baveye,Philippe C.

AU - Steenhuis,Tammo S.

PY - 2003/6

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N2 - The microbial role in mobilization of trace elements from land-applied wastewater sludge is not well-defined. Our study examined the leachability of trace elements (Cd, Cr, Cu, Mo, Ni, P, Pb, S, and Zn) from dewatered sludge as affected by treatments designed to alter microbial activity. Different levels of microbial activity were achieved by incubating sludge columns at 4, 16, 28, and 37 °C and by the addition of AgNO3 biocide at each temperature. Columns (with inert glass bead support beds) were subjected to six consecutive incubation−leaching cycles, each consisting of 7.3-d incubation followed by 16-h leaching with synthetic acid rain. Glucose mineralization tests were used to assess overall microbial activity. Significant acidification and trace element leaching occurred when conditions favored microbial activity (16 and 28 °C). Extent of mobilization was element-specific with Zn, Ni, and Cu showing the greatest mobilization (99, 67, and 57%, respectively). Mobilization was reduced but still substantial at 4 °C. Conditions that best inhibited microbial activity (37 °C or biocide at any temperature) resulted in the least mobilization. Characterization of enrichments performed using thiosulfate as the sole energy source revealed the presence of both known and putative S-oxidizing bacteria in the sludge. The results suggest that microbial acidification via S oxidation can mobilize trace elements from sludge. Elemental mobility in field situations would also be governed by other factors, including the capacity of soil to buffer acidification and to adsorb mobilized elements.

AB - The microbial role in mobilization of trace elements from land-applied wastewater sludge is not well-defined. Our study examined the leachability of trace elements (Cd, Cr, Cu, Mo, Ni, P, Pb, S, and Zn) from dewatered sludge as affected by treatments designed to alter microbial activity. Different levels of microbial activity were achieved by incubating sludge columns at 4, 16, 28, and 37 °C and by the addition of AgNO3 biocide at each temperature. Columns (with inert glass bead support beds) were subjected to six consecutive incubation−leaching cycles, each consisting of 7.3-d incubation followed by 16-h leaching with synthetic acid rain. Glucose mineralization tests were used to assess overall microbial activity. Significant acidification and trace element leaching occurred when conditions favored microbial activity (16 and 28 °C). Extent of mobilization was element-specific with Zn, Ni, and Cu showing the greatest mobilization (99, 67, and 57%, respectively). Mobilization was reduced but still substantial at 4 °C. Conditions that best inhibited microbial activity (37 °C or biocide at any temperature) resulted in the least mobilization. Characterization of enrichments performed using thiosulfate as the sole energy source revealed the presence of both known and putative S-oxidizing bacteria in the sludge. The results suggest that microbial acidification via S oxidation can mobilize trace elements from sludge. Elemental mobility in field situations would also be governed by other factors, including the capacity of soil to buffer acidification and to adsorb mobilized elements.

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SP - 3361

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JO - Environmental Science and Technology

T2 - Environmental Science and Technology

JF - Environmental Science and Technology

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ER -

Qureshi S, Richards BK, Hay AG, Tsai CC, McBride MB, Baveye PC et al. Effect of microbial activity on trace element release from sewage sludge. Environmental Science and Technology. 2003 Jun;37(15):3361–3366. Available from, DOI: 10.1021/es020970h