Startup performance and microbial composition of a pilot-scale rapid sand filter for the treatment of manganese-containing mine water


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The inexpensive removal of soluble manganese [Mn(II)] from mine water that contains large quantities of Mn(II) should be prioritized given that large quantities of alkaline reagents are typically used in the chemical treatment of Mn-rich water from abandoned mines. Rapid sand filter (RSF) systems are widely used as a cost-effective technology in drinking water treatment processes to remove iron and Mn from groundwater. Here, we applied a pilot-scale RSF to treat mine water with a neutral pH and containing approximately 22 mg/L of Mn(II). Following a lag phase from its startup (day 1–day 26), Mn removal rates increased to approximately 40% for around 1 month (day 27–day 55) without the use of alkaline reagents but did not increase during further operation. Quantitative elemental analysis revealed Mn oxides on the sand filters during the Mn removal period. The bacterial communities on the RSFs, recorded on day 42 and day 85, were characterized and compared using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. Although the well-known Mn-oxidizing bacteria (MOB) were not listed among the ten most dominant operational taxonomic units (OTUs) on the sand filters (relative abundances: >0.68%), a significant increase in the OTUs related to well-known alphaproteobacterial MOB, such as Pedomicrobium spp., were observed during the period.
Manganese removal,Manganese-oxidizing bacteria,Microbial community structure,Mine water,Rapid sand filter
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