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Process Biochemistry
45, No.5, 2010; Pages: 744 - 751

Microbial diversity in the anaerobic tank of a full-scale produced water treatment plant

Ruyin Liu, Dong Li, Yingxin Gao, Yu Zhang, Song Wu, Ran Ding, Abd El-Latif Hesham, Min Yang

State Key Laboratory of Environmental Aquatic Chemistry, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 2871, Beijing 100085, China.


Microbial characteristics in the anaerobic tank of a full-scale produced water treatment plant capable of anaerobic hydrocarbon removal were analyzed and compared to those in the influent produced water using cultivation-independent molecular methods. Clones related to methanogens including the methylotrophic Methanomethylovorans thermophila and hydrogen- and the formate-utilizing Methanolinea tarda were in abundance in both samples, but greater numbers of M. tarda-like clones were detected in the biofilm library. Both DGGE and cloning analysis results indicated that the archaea in the biofilm were derived from the influent produced water. Bacterial communities in the influent and biofilm samples were significantly different. Epsilonproteobacteria was the dominant bacterial group in the influent while Nitrospira and Deltaproteobacteria were the predominant groups in the biofilm. Many clones related to syntrophic bacteria were found among the Deltaproteobacteria. One Deltaproteobacteria clone was related to Syntrophus, which is commonly found in methanogenic hydrocarbon-degrading consortia. A number of Deltaproteobacteria clones were assigned to the clone cluster group TA, members of which predominate in various methanogenic consortia that degrade aromatic compounds. These results suggest that a microbial community associated with methanogenic hydrocarbon degradation may have been established in the biofilm.

Keywords:Produced water; Anaerobic tank; Biofilm; Archaea; Bacteria; Community.


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