Continuous removal and recovery of palladium in an upflow anaerobic granular sludge bed (UASB) reactor

Aurora M. Pat-Espadas, James A Field, Elías Razo-Flores, Francisco J. Cervantes, Maria Reye Sierra Alvarez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to investigate the feasibility of utilizing a continuous-flow anaerobic granular sludge bed (UASB) reactor for the removal of palladium (II) from aqueous streams and the recovery of this precious metal as biogenic Pd(0). Anaerobic methanogenic granular sludge has been recently shown to reduce Pd(II) in the presence of a suitable electron donor leading to the formation of biomass-associated Pd(0). RESULTS: Two laboratory-scale UASB reactors were fed with ethanol or acetate, in order to compare their performance in terms of Pd removal and reduction. Pd(II) was added in two periods of increasing concentration, 5mg Pd(II) L-1 and then 15mg Pd(II) L-1. Extensive removal of Pd (up to 99%), was attained in both reactors. X-ray diffraction (XRD) and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) analysis confirmed significant differences in the content of Pd(0) in the biomass, depending on the electron donor used. The main mechanisms of Pd(II) removal when acetate and ethanol were used as electron donor were biosorption and reduction to Pd(0) by biogenic H2 released as fermentation product, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: The results obtained demonstrate that it is possible to apply a continuous process for Pd reduction and recovery using a methanogenic consortium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1183-1189
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016


  • Anaerobic granular sludge
  • Biogenic Pd(0)
  • Continuous removal
  • Palladium recovery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biotechnology
  • Fuel Technology
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

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