Microbial reduction of perchlorate with zero-valent iron

Ahjeong Son, Jaewoo Lee, Pei C. Chiu, Byung J. Kim, Daniel K. Cha

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96 Scopus citations


Microbial reduction of perchlorate in the presence of zero-valent iron was examined in both batch and column reactors to assess the potential of iron as the electron donor for biological perchlorate reduction process. Iron-supported mixed cultures completely removed 65 mg/L of perchlorate in batch reactors in 8 days. The removal rate was similar to that observed with hydrogen gas (5%) and acetate (173 mg/L) as electron donors. Repeated spiking of perchlorate to batch reactors containing iron granules and microorganisms showed that complete perchlorate reduction by the iron-supported culture was sustained over a long period. Complete removal of perchlorate by iron-supported anaerobic culture was also achieved in a bench-scale iron column with a hydraulic residence time of 2 days. This study demonstrated the potential applicability of zero-valent iron as a source of electrons for biological perchlorate reduction. Use of zero-valent iron may eliminate the need to continually supply electron donors such as organic substrates or explosive hydrogen gas. In addition, iron is inexpensive, safe to handle, and does not leave organic residuals in the treated water.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2027-2032
Number of pages6
JournalWater Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Jun 2006


  • Microbial reduction
  • Perchlorate
  • Perchlorate reducing bacteria
  • Zero-valent iron


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