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Title: Galvanic interpretation of self-potential signals associated with microbial sulfate-reduction

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Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Subsurface Biogeochemical Research (SBR)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER)
OSTI Identifier:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Geophysical Research; Journal Volume: 112; Journal Issue: G3
Country of Publication:
United States

Citation Formats

Kenneth H.,Williams, Susan S.,Hubbard, and Jillian F.,Banfield. Galvanic interpretation of self-potential signals associated with microbial sulfate-reduction. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.1029/2007JG000440.
Kenneth H.,Williams, Susan S.,Hubbard, & Jillian F.,Banfield. Galvanic interpretation of self-potential signals associated with microbial sulfate-reduction. United States. doi:10.1029/2007JG000440.
Kenneth H.,Williams, Susan S.,Hubbard, and Jillian F.,Banfield. Mon . "Galvanic interpretation of self-potential signals associated with microbial sulfate-reduction". United States. doi:10.1029/2007JG000440.
title = {Galvanic interpretation of self-potential signals associated with microbial sulfate-reduction},
author = {Kenneth H.,Williams and Susan S.,Hubbard and Jillian F.,Banfield},
abstractNote = {},
doi = {10.1029/2007JG000440},
journal = {Journal of Geophysical Research},
number = G3,
volume = 112,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2007},
month = {Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2007}
  • We have evaluated the usefulness of the self-potential (SP)geophysical method to track the onset and location of microbialsulfate-reduction in saturated sediments during organic carbon amendment.Following stimulation of sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) by addition oflactate, anomalous voltages exceeding 600 mV correlated in space and timewith the accumulation of dissolved sulfide. Abiotic experiments in whichthe sulfide concentration at the measurement electrode was systematicallyvaried showed a positive correlation between the magnitude of the SPanomaly and differences in the half-cell potential associated with themeasurement and reference electrodes. Thus, we infer that the SPanomaliesresulted from electrochemical differences that developedbetween sulfide-rich regions and areas having higher oxidationmore » potential.In neither experiment did generation of an SP anomaly require thepresence of an in situ electronic conductor, as is required by othermodels. These findings emphasize the importance of incorporation ofelectrochemical effects at electrode surfaces in interpretation of SPdata from geophysical studies. We conclude that SP measurements provide aminimally invasive means for monitoring stimulated sulfate-reductionwithin saturated sediments.« less
  • The presence of high concentrations of sulfate, iron, and hydrogen (acid) ions in drainage from coal mines and other areas containing waste pyritic materials is a serious water pollution problem. Sulfate can be removed from solution by microbial reduction to sulfide and subsequent precipitation as FeS. A mixed culture of microorganisms degraded wood dust cellulose, and the degradation products served as carbon and energy sources for sulfate-reducing bacteria. Metabolism of carbon compounds resulted in a net pH increase in the system. Oxidation-reduction potential and temperature and carbon supplements were studied in an effort to accelerate the sulfate reduction process, withmore » the ultimate objective of utilizing the process as a pollution abatement procedure.« less
  • There is a growing need for a better understanding of the biogeochemical dynamics involved in microbial U(VI) reduction due to an increasing interest in using biostimulation via electron donor addition as a means to remediate uranium contaminated sites. U(VI) reduction has been observed to be maximized during iron reducing conditions and to decrease upon commencement of sulfate reducing conditions. There are many unknowns regarding the impact of iron/sulfate biogeochemistry on U(VI) reduction. This includes Fe(III) availability as well as the microbial community changes, including the activity of iron-reducers during the uranium biostimulation period even after the onset of sulfate reduction.more » Up-flow column experiments were conducted with Old Rifle site sediments containing Fe-oxides, Fe-clays, and sulfate rich groundwater. Half of the columns had sediment that was augmented with small amounts of small-particle 57Fe-goethite to track continuously minute goethite changes, and to study the effects of increased Fe(III) levels on the overall biostimulation dynamics. The addition of the 57Fe-goethite did not delay the onset of sulfate reduction, but slightly suppressed the overall rate of sulfate reduction and hence acetate utilization, it did not affect the bacterial numbers of Geobacter-like species throughout the experiment, but did lower the numbers of sulfate reducers in the sediments. 57Fe-M√∂ssbauer analyses (a 57Fe-specific technique) confirmed that there was bioavailable iron present after the onset of sulfate reduction and that iron was still being reduced during sulfate reduction. Addition of the 57Fe-goethite to the sediment had a noticeable effect on the overall composition of the microbial population. 16S rRNA analyses of biostimulated sediment using TRFLP (terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism) showed that Geobacter sp. (a known Fe-reducer) was still active and replicating during the period of significant sulfate reduction. DNA fingerprints of the sediment-attached microbial communities were dominated by 5 TRFs, that comprised 25-57% of the total profile.« less
  • A study is presented of the effects of several environmentally significant metals on ATP biomass, methanogenesis, sulfate reduction, and CO/sub 2/ production in anoxic salt marsh sediments. Metals studied include Hg, Pb, Fe, Cr, Zn, Ni and Cu. (JMT)
  • The microzonation of O{sub 2} respiration, H{sub 2}S oxidation, and SO{sub 4}{sup 2{minus}} reduction in aerobic trickling-filter biofilms was studied by measuring concentration profiles at high spatial resolution (25 to 100 {mu}m) with microsensors for O{sub 2}, S{sup 2{minus}}, and pH. Specific reaction rates were calculated from measured concentration profiles by using a simple one-dimensional diffusion reaction model. The importance of electron acceptor and electron donor availability for the microzonation of respiratory processes and their reaction rates was investigated. Oxygen respiration was found in the upper 0.2 to 0.4 mm of the biofilm, whereas sulfate reduction occurred in deeper, anoxicmore » parts of the biofilm. Sulfate reduction accounted for up to 50% of the total mineralization of organic carbon in the biofilms. All H{sub 2}S produced from sulfate reduction was reoxidized by O{sub 2} in a narrow reaction zone, and no H{sub 2}S escaped to the overlying water. Turnover times of H{sub 2}S and O{sub 2} in the reaction zone were only a few seconds owing to rapid bacterial H{sub 2}S oxidation. Anaerobic H{sub 2}S oxidation with NO{sub 3}{sup {minus}} could be induced by addition of nitrate to the medium. Total sulfate reduction rates increased when the availability of SO{sub 4}{sup 2{minus}} or organic substrate increased as a result of deepening of the sulfate reduction zone or an increase in the sulfate reduction intensity, respectively.« less