Dissimilatory and Cytoplasmic Antimonate Reductions in a Hydrogen-Based Membrane Biofilm Reactor

Jingzhou Zhou, Chengyang Wu, Si Pang, Lin Yang, Mengying Yao, Xiaodi Li, Siqing Xia, Bruce E. Rittmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


A hydrogen-based membrane biofilm reactor (H2-MBfR) was operated to investigate the bioreduction of antimonate [Sb(V)] in terms of Sb(V) removal, the fate of Sb, and the pathways of reduction metabolism. The MBfR achieved up to 80% Sb(V) removal and an Sb(V) removal flux of 0.55 g/m2·day. Sb(V) was reduced to Sb(III), which mainly formed Sb2O3 precipitates in the biofilm matrix, although some Sb(III) was retained intracellularly. High Sb(V) loading caused stress that deteriorated performance that was not recovered when the high Sb(V) loading was removed. The biofilm community consisted of DSbRB (dissimilatory Sb-reduction bacteria), SbRB (Sb-resistant bacteria), and DIRB (dissimilatory iron-reducing bacteria). Dissimilatory antimonate reduction, mediated by the respiratory arsenate reductase ArrAB, was the main reduction route, but respiratory reduction coexisted with cytoplasmic Sb(V)-reduction mediated by arsenate reductase ArsC. Increasing Sb(V) loading caused stress that led to increases in the expression of arsC gene and intracellular accumulation of Sb(III). By illuminating the roles of the dissimilatory and cytoplasmic Sb(V) reduction mechanism in the biofilms of the H2-MBfR, this study reveals that the Sb(V) loading should be controlled to avoid stress that deteriorates Sb(V) reduction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14808-14816
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 18 2022


  • antimonate
  • bioreduction
  • membrane biofilm reactor
  • respiration
  • toxicity resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry


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