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Environmental Engineering Research 2019;24(2): 254-262. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4491/eer.2018.147
Heterotrophic nitrification-aerobic denitrification potential of cyanide and thiocyanate degrading microbial communities under cyanogenic conditions
Lukhanyo Mekuto1, Young Mo Kim2, Seteno K. O. Ntwampe1, Maxwell Mewa-Ngongang1,3, John Baptist N. Mudumbi1, Nkosikho Dlangamandla1, Elie Fereche Itoba-Tombo1, and E. A. Akinpelu1
1Bioresource Engineering Research Group (BioERG), Department of Biotechnology, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town 8000, South Africa
2School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, Gwangju 61005, Republic of Korea
3Department of Microbiology, Agricultural Research Council, Stellenbosch 7599, South Africa
Corresponding Author: Lukhanyo Mekuto ,Tel: +27-21-460-9097, Fax: +27-21-460-3282, Email: Lukhayo.Mekuto@gmail.com
Received: April 13, 2018;  Accepted: July 26, 2018.
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The impact of free cyanide (CN-) and thiocyanate (SCN-) on the CN- (CDO) and SCN-degraders (TDO) to nitrify and denitrify aerobically was evaluated under alkaline conditions. The CDO’s were able to nitrify under cyanogenic conditions, achieving NH4 +-N removal rates above 1.66 mg NH4+-N.L-1.h-1, except when CN- and SCN- loading was 15 mg CN-/L and 50 mg SCN- .L-1, respectively, which slightly inhibited nitrification. The TDO’s were able to achieve a nitrification rate of 1.59 mg NH4+-N.L-1.h-1 in the absence of both CN- and SCN- , while the presence of CN- and SCN- was inhibitory, with a nitrification rates of 1.14 mg NH4 +-N.L-1.h-1. The CDO’s and TDO’s were able to denitrify aerobically, with the CDO’s obtaining NO3--N removal rates above 0.67 mg NO3- -N.L-1.h-1, irrespective of the tested CN- and SCN- concentration range. Denitrification by the TDO’s was inhibited by CN-, achieving a removal rate of 0.46 mg NO3--N.L-1.h-1 and 0.22 mg NO3 --N.L-1.h-1 when CNconcentration was 10 and 15 mg CN-.L-1, respectively. However, when the CDO’s and TDO’s were co-cultured, the nitrification and aerobic denitrification removal rates were 1.78 mg NH4 +-N.L-1.h-1 and 0.63 mg NO3--N.L-1.h-1 irrespective of CN- and SCN- concentrations.
Keywords: Aerobic denitrification | Cyanide degraders | Free cyanide | Nitrification | Thiocyanate | Thiocyanate degrader
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