Recovery of palladium(II) by methanogenic granular sludge

Aurora M. Pat-Espadas, James A. Field, Lila Otero-Gonzalez, Elías Razo-Flores, Francisco J. Cervantes, Reyes Sierra-Alvarez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


This is the first report that demonstrates the ability of anaerobic methanogenic granular sludge to reduce Pd(II) to Pd(0). Different electron donors were evaluated for their effectiveness in promoting Pd reduction. Formate and H2 fostered both chemically and biologically mediated Pd reduction. Ethanol only promoted the reduction of Pd(II) under biotic conditions and the reduction was likely mediated by H2 released from ethanol fermentation. No reduction was observed in biotic or abiotic assays with all other substrates tested (acetate, lactate and pyruvate) although a large fraction of the total Pd was removed from the liquid medium likely due to biosorption. Pd(II) displayed severe inhibition towards acetoclastic and hydrogenotrophic methanogens, as indicated by 50% inhibiting concentrations as low as 0.96 and 2.7 mg/L, respectively. The results obtained indicate the potential of utilizing anaerobic granular sludge bioreactor technology as a practical and promising option for Pd(II) reduction and recovery offering advantages over pure cultures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)745-753
Number of pages9
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016


  • Anaerobic granular sludge
  • Biosorption
  • Chemical reduction
  • Methanogenic inhibition
  • Palladium bioreduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • General Chemistry
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry


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