The major objectives of this work were to operate and construct an autohydrogenotrophic reactor and estimate perchlorate degradation kinetics. The results show that autohydrogenotrophic bacteria were cultured in the reactor and capable of removing 3.6 mg/d of perchlorate in the presence of excess hydrogen (99% removal). The reactor was successful in treating the average influent perchlorate concentration of 532 μg/L to the level of 3 μg/L. A first-order relationship was obtained between the concentration of active biomass in the reactor and the hydraulic retention time for the given amount of substrate. During the kinetic loading study, perchlorate removal ranged from 100 to 50%. The kinetic rate of perchlorate degradation observed in this study was 1.62 hr-1. The significant degradation of perchlorate in these samples indicates the ubiquity of perchlorate-reducing organisms. Additionally, nitrate was simultaneously removed during water treatment (greater than 90% removal). Because of the excess levels of hydrogen, simultaneous removal of nitrate was not believed to significantly affect perchlorate removal. The area of concern was the lack of complete control over biological treatment. The growth of sulfate-reducing organisms in the reactor negatively affected perchlorate removal efficiency. There were no significant effects observed on the dissolved organic carbon and total suspended solids concentration of the effluent, suggesting that the treatment did not produce a large amount of biomass washout.
- Membrane reactor