Manganese Oxidation Induced by Water Table Fluctuations in a Sand Column

On off cycles of production wells, especially in bank filtration settings, cause oscillations in the local water table, which can deliver significant amounts of dissolved oxygen (DO) to the shallow groundwater. The potential for DO introduced in this manner to oxidize manganese(II) (Mn(II)), mediated by the obligate aerobe Pseudomonas putida GB-1, was tested in a column of quartz sand fed with anoxic influent solution and subject to 1.3 m water table changes every 30-50 h. After a period of filter ripening, 100 mu M Mn was rapidly removed during periods of low water table and high dissolved oxygen concentrations. The accumulation of Mn in the column was confirmed by XRF analysis of the sand at the conclusion of the study, and both measured net oxidation rates and XAS analysis suggest microbial oxidation as the dominant process. The addition of Zn, which inhibited GB-1 Mn oxidation but not its growth, interrupted the Mn removal process, but Mn oxidation recovered within one water table fluctuation. Thus transient DO conditions could support microbially mediated Mn oxidation, and this process could be more relevant in shallow groundwater than previously thought.

Published in:
Environmental Science & Technology, 46, 277-284

 Record created 2012-03-01, last modified 2018-03-17

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