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Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2018-428
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2018-428
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 29 Oct 2018

Submitted as: research article | 29 Oct 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Biogeosciences (BG).

Microbial Community Function in Electroactive Biofilm-based Constructed Wetlands

Carlos A. Ramírez-Vargas1,2, Carlos A. Arias1,2, Liang Zhang1,2, and Hans Brix1,2 Carlos A. Ramírez-Vargas et al.
  • 1Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
  • 2WATEC, Aarhus University, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark

Abstract. The performance enhancement of constructed wetlands can be achieved through the coupling with microbial electrochemical technologies (MET). MET is a setup designed to mimic metabolic electrons exchange with insoluble donors and acceptors with the aid of electroactive bacteria and external electrical circuits. An alternative MET that dispenses of electrodes and circuits but uses an electro-conductive biofilter is called Microbial Electrochemical-based Constructed Wetland (METland). Previously it has been demonstrated that a METland has higher biodegradation rates than horizontal flow constructed wetlands, however given its novelty there are still uncertainties related to the removal of pollutants, including their microbial activity. The genetic characterization of microbial communities of a METland is desirable, but is time and resource consuming, then a characterization alternative could be based on functional analysis of the microbial communities. Community-level physiological profile (CLPP) is a useful method to evaluate the functional diversity of microbial communities based on the carbon source utilization pattern (CSUP). Therefore, this study was focused on the microbial characterization of laboratory scale METland based on CLPP analysis. The study included the characterization of microbial communities attached to two carbon-based electro-conductive materials (calcined petroleum coke from crushed electrodes – PK-A; calcined petroleum coke with low sulphur and nitrogen content – PK-LSN), in planted and non-planted set-ups. Variations on the metabolic activity of tested systems were identified and it seems to be related to the characteristics of the material, rather than the presence/absence of plants. In general, CSUP show differences along flow pathway, as well as among the tested systems, being carbohydrates and carboxylic/acetic acids the most consumed carbon sources, followed by polymers, amides/amines and amino acids. Also, were established some correlations between the utilization of carbon sources and the removal of pollutants. The obtained results provide useful insight into the spatial dynamics of METland systems.

Carlos A. Ramírez-Vargas et al.
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Status: final response (author comments only)
Status: final response (author comments only)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Carlos A. Ramírez-Vargas et al.
Carlos A. Ramírez-Vargas et al.
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Short summary
This study focuses on the microbial characterization of Microbial Electrochemical-based Constructed Wetland (METland), with a method that evaluates the diversity of microbial communities based on carbon consumption. Two electro-conductive materials were tested. The systems showed differences in carbon consumption. Also, were established correlations between carbon use and removal of pollutants. The obtained results provide useful insight into the spatial dynamics of METland systems.
This study focuses on the microbial characterization of Microbial Electrochemical-based...
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