Characterization of sulfide oxidation and optimization of sulfate production by a thermophilic Paenibacillus naphthalenovorans LYH-3 isolated from sewage sludge composting

Yujie Zhou , Li Chen , Weiguang Li , Yi Zhao , Shumei Zhang , Liqiang Meng


Received August 05, 2021,Revised , Accepted December 21, 2021, Available online January 04, 2022

Volume 35,2023,Pages 712-722

The sulfur-containing odor emitted from sludge composting could be controlled by sulfide oxidizing bacteria, yet mesophilic strains show inactivation during the thermophilic stage of composting. Aimed to investigate and characterize the thermotolerant bacterium that could oxidize sulfide into sulfate, a heterotrophic strain was isolated from sewage sludge composting and identified as Paenibacillus naphthalenovorans LYH-3. The effects of various environmental factors on sulfide oxidation capacities were studied to optimize the sulfate production, and the highest production rate (27.35% ± 0.86%) was obtained at pH 7.34, the rotation speed of 161.14 r/min, and the inoculation amount of 5.83% by employing Box-Behnken design. The results of serial sulfide substrates experiments indicated that strain LYH-3 could survive up to 400 mg/L of sulfide with the highest sulfide removal rate (88.79% ± 0.35%) obtained at 50 mg/L of sulfide. Growth kinetic analysis presented the maximum specific growth rate µm (0.5274 hr−1) after 22 hr cultivation at 50°C. The highest enzyme activities of sulfide quinone oxidoreductase (0.369 ± 0.052 U/mg) and sulfur dioxygenase (0.255 ± 0.014 U/mg) were both obtained at 40°C, and the highest enzyme activity of sulfite acceptor oxidoreductase (1.302 ± 0.035 U/mg) was assessed at 50°C. The results indicated that P. naphthalenovorans possessed a rapid growth rate and efficient sulfide oxidation capacities under thermophilic conditions, promising a potential application in controlling sulfur-containing odors during the thermophilic stage of sludge composting.

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