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Effect of temperature on selenium removal from wastewater by UASB reactors

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-154
Number of pages9
JournalWater Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


The effect of temperature on selenium (Se) removal by upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactors treating selenate and nitrate containing wastewater was investigated by comparing the performance of a thermophilic (55 °C) versus a mesophilic (30 °C) UASB reactor. When only selenate (50 μM) was fed to the UASB reactors (pH 7.3; hydraulic retention time 8 h) with excess electron donor (lactate at 1.38 mM corresponding to an organic loading rate of 0.5 g COD L-1 d-1), the thermophilic UASB reactor achieved a higher total Se removal efficiency (94.4 ± 2.4%) than the mesophilic UASB reactor (82.0 ± 3.8%). When 5000 μM nitrate was further added to the influent, total Se removal was again better under thermophilic (70.1 ± 6.6%) when compared to mesophilic (43.6 ± 8.8%) conditions. The higher total effluent Se concentration in the mesophilic UASB reactor was due to the higher concentrations of biogenic elemental Se nanoparticles (BioSeNPs). The shape of the BioSeNPs observed in both UASB reactors was different: nanospheres and nanorods, respectively, in the mesophilic and thermophilic UASB reactors. Microbial community analysis showed the presence of selenate respirers as well as denitrifying microorganisms.


  • Nitrate, Selenate, Selenium nanoparticles, Thermophilic, UASB

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland