Interactions between the calcium scaling inhibitor NC47.1 B, geothermal fluids, and microorganisms – results of in situ monitoring in the Bavarian Molasse Basin (Germany) and accompanying laboratory experiments

Otten, Christoph; Dassler, Beate; Teitz, Sebastian; Iannotta, Joy; Eichinger, Florian; Seibt, Andrea; Kuhn, Dietmar; Würdemann, Hilke

Application of the environmentally friendly scaling inhibitor NC47.1 B in geothermal systems was studied in laboratory and field-scale experiments. Biodegradation was investigated under anaerobic, in situ-like conditions and a mass balance confirmed the almost complete conversion of the polycarboxylate to e.g. acetate, formate, methane and COinline-formula2. Much higher concentrations of inhibitor were chosen than applied in situ and rapid degradation was observed in biofilm-inoculated setups: A concentration of 100 mg/L of the inhibitor was degraded below detection limit within 8 d of incubation. Furthermore, the inhibitor was applied at the geothermal plant in Unterhaching, Germany. Monitoring of the microbial community in situ showed an increase in the abundance of Bacteria. Particularly, relatives of the fermenting Caldicellulosiruptor dominated the biocenosis after about six months of continuous inhibitor dosage (5–10 mg/L). However, in long-term laboratory experiments representatives of Caldicellulosiruptor were only detected in traces and the microbial community comprised a broader spectrum of fermentative bacteria. The different composition of the biocenosis in situ and in laboratory experiments is probably caused by the different inhibitor concentrations, temperatures as well as nutrient availability in situ compared to the closed system of the batch experiments.

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Otten, Christoph / Dassler, Beate / Teitz, Sebastian / et al: Interactions between the calcium scaling inhibitor NC47.1 B, geothermal fluids, and microorganisms – results of in situ monitoring in the Bavarian Molasse Basin (Germany) and accompanying laboratory experiments. 2021. Copernicus Publications.

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