Revisiting the biodesulfurization capability of hyperthermophilic archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus P2 revealed DBT consumption by the organism in an oil/water two-phase liquid system at high temperatures


Abstract: The ability of the hyperthermophilic archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus P2 to grow on organic and inorganic sulfur sources was investigated. A sulfur-free mineral medium was employed with different sources of carbon. The results showed that inorganic sulfur sources display growth curve patterns significantly different from the curves obtained with organic sulfur sources. Solfataricus has the ability to utilize DBT and its derivatives, but it lacks BT utilization. Solfataricus} utilizes DBT at a rate of 1.23 \mu mol 2-HBP h^{-1} g DCW^{-1} even at 78 °C, at which DBT is known to be unstable. After enabling DBT stabilization using a two-phase culture system, stable microbial growth was achieved showing a desulfurization rate of 0.34 \mu M DBT g DCW^{-1} h^{-1}. Solfataricus offers beneficial properties compared to the other desulfurizing mesophilic/moderate thermophilic bacteria due to its capacity to utilize DBT and its derivatives under hyperthermophilic conditions.

Keywords: Biodesulfurization, dibenzothiophene, gas chromatography, Sulfolobus solfataricus P2, sulfur compounds

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