Perspectives of sulfate reducing bioreactors in environmental biotechnology

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Although the study of sulfur cycle bacteria was already started around the 1890's by the famous microbiologists Winogradsky and Beijerinck, there are nowadays still many new discoveries to be made about the metabolic properties, phylogenetic position and ecological behaviour of bacteria that play a role in the biological sulfur cycle. The current interest of the scientific community in the biological sulfur cycle is very high, especially because of the many special organisms that have recently been discovered in deep sea and other environments characterised by extreme conditions (such as high salt, low/high pH or temperature) and also in bioreactor environments. This paper highlights the many unique opportunities the sulfur cycle bacteria offer for sulfur pollution abatement and sulfur recovery. Special attention is given to bioreactor systems where dissimilatory sulfate reduction is an important bioconversion.

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