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Water 2017, 9(2), 108; doi:10.3390/w9020108

Potential of Rhodobacter capsulatus Grown in Anaerobic-Light or Aerobic-Dark Conditions as Bioremediation Agent for Biological Wastewater Treatments

Department of Life Science and Biotechnology, University of Ferrara, Via L. Borsari, 46 | 44121 Ferrara, Italy
NCR-Biochemical SpA, Via dei Carpentieri, 8 | 40050 Castello d’Argile (BO), Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Wayne O’Connor and Andreas N. Angelakis
Received: 4 October 2016 / Revised: 23 January 2017 / Accepted: 2 February 2017 / Published: 10 February 2017
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1906 KB, uploaded 10 February 2017]   |  


The use of microorganisms to clean up wastewater provides a cheaper alternative to the conventional treatment plant. The efficiency of this method can be improved by the choice of microorganism with the potential of removing contaminants. One such group is photosynthetic bacteria. Rhodobacter capsulatus is a purple non-sulfur bacterium (PNSB) found to be capable of different metabolic activities depending on the environmental conditions. Cell growth in different media and conditions was tested, obtaining a concentration of about 108 CFU/mL under aerobic-dark and 109 CFU/mL under anaerobic-light conditions. The biomass was then used as a bioremediation agent for denitrification and nitrification of municipal wastewater to evaluate the potential to be employed as an additive in biological wastewater treatment. Inoculating a sample of mixed liquor withdrawn from the municipal wastewater treatment plant with R. capsulatus grown in aerobic-dark and anaerobic-light conditions caused a significant decrease of N-NO3 (>95%), N-NH3 (70%) and SCOD (soluble chemical oxygen demand) (>69%), independent of the growth conditions. A preliminary evaluation of costs indicated that R. capsulatus grown in aerobic-dark conditions could be more convenient for industrial application. View Full-Text
Keywords: bioremediation; Rhodobacter capsulatus; wastewater treatment; NUR; OUR bioremediation; Rhodobacter capsulatus; wastewater treatment; NUR; OUR

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Costa, S.; Ganzerli, S.; Rugiero, I.; Pellizzari, S.; Pedrini, P.; Tamburini, E. Potential of Rhodobacter capsulatus Grown in Anaerobic-Light or Aerobic-Dark Conditions as Bioremediation Agent for Biological Wastewater Treatments. Water 2017, 9, 108.

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