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Sulfate Reducing Bacteria

With our Sulfate Reducing bacterial analysis, sulfate reduction is determined in the sample. On request we can give you advice on stimulating, preventing and managing Sulfate Reducing bacteria for your specific situation.

Analysis essentials

  • To determine the potential for microbial sulfate reduction
  • To determine the spread of microbial sulfate reducing micro-organisms
  • To monitor the potential for microbial sulfate reduction in time (does it increase or decrease?)

Content of the package

The following microbial key parameter is detected and quantified with our Sulfate Reducing bacteria analysis:

  • A gene specific for sulfate reduction, sulfite reductase

NB: many different types of bacteria are known which can reduce sulfate. However, we show the functional potential for bacterial sulfate reduction instead of all species. This increases the reliability of the results, prevents unnecessary analyses and therefore higher costs.

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Background information

Sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) get a lot of attention nowadays. On one hand because they are used for specific applications, like the conversion of sulfate resulting in the formation of elemental sulfur that can be used to precipitate dissolved metals or as an indication of anoxic (sulfate-reducing) conditions. On the other hand, Sulfate Reducing bacteria are despised because they produce the toxic hydrogen sulfide (H2S). This causes among others corrosion of metals or concrete (called biocorrosion or MIC), the souring of oil reserves or malodors (H2S smells like rotten eggs).

Sulfate reduction is the process by which micro-organisms convert sulfate (SO42-) to hydrogen sulfide (H2S). This takes place under oxygen-free conditions in which the bacteria so to speak breathe with sulfate instead of oxygen. In this way they obtain their energy for growth and reproduction.