Copper bioaccumulation in an upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactor

María Teresa Certucha-Barragán*, Evelia Acedo-Félix, Onofre Monge-Amaya, Jesús Leobardo Valenzuela-García, Francisco Javier Almendariz-Tapia, Ana Lilia Leal-Cruz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The main objective of this work was to study the capacity of bioaccumulation of copper in an upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor, for the treatment of acid mine drainages (AMD). UASB reactor of 0.8 L was fed with sodium acetate, the organic loading rate (OLR) was set at 2.0gCOD/L d, and experiments were performed in the reactor during 115 days. After 30 days, the COD removal efficiency was 90%. In the stationary stage, the higher production methane was 0.253 L/L d. The reactor was added with 20mgCu(II)/L during 30 days. The copper bioaccumulation was 98% and it was accumulated gradually in sludge until reaching a 61.6mgCu(II)ygTS. The toxicity study demonstrated that the copper concentration at which the level of specific methanogenic activity (SMA) of the biogranules was reduced to 50% of the control (IC50), was 280 mgCu(II)/L.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-164
Number of pages4
JournalChemical Speciation and Bioavailability
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful to the Center for Research and Advanced Studies (CINVESTAV - Saltillo) for the characterization of sludge. We also thank the Department of Chemical Engineering and Metallurgy of the University of Sonora for support in the realization of this research. This research was supported by the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT-ID project 82561).


  • Acid mine drainages
  • Bioaccumulation
  • Copper
  • UASB reactor


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