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Title: Biodegradation of organonitriles by adapted activated sludge consortium with acetonitrile-degrading microorganisms
Authors: Li, T.
Liu, J.
Bai, R. 
Ohandja, D.G.
Wong, F.S.
Keywords: Activated sludge consortium
Degradation pathway
Issue Date: Aug-2007
Citation: Li, T., Liu, J., Bai, R., Ohandja, D.G., Wong, F.S. (2007-08). Biodegradation of organonitriles by adapted activated sludge consortium with acetonitrile-degrading microorganisms. Water Research 41 (15) : 3465-3473. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: A microbial process for the degradation of three types of structurally distinct organonitriles (i.e., saturated and unsaturated aliphatic nitrile and aromatic nitrile) was studied. Microorganisms were enriched from the activated sludge of a pharmaceutical wastewater treatment plant and adapted through providing acetonitrile as the sole carbon and nitrogen source for their growth. The adapted mixed culture was then examined for their capability of degrading acetonitrile, acrylonitrile and benzonitrile under various operational conditions. The performance of biodegradation and the metabolic intermediate- and end-products in the process were monitored. The results show that an average removal rate of 0.083 g acetonitrile g-1-VSS h-1, 0.0074 g acrylonitrile g-1-VSS h-1 or 0.0029 g benzonitrile g-1-VSS h-1 was achieved in the batch bioreactor under the common operational condition of 25 °C and pH 7. The biodegradation of acetonitrile and acrylonitrile showed a two-step pathway, with the generation of acetamide followed by acetic acid and ammonia for acetonitrile or acrylamide followed by acrylic acid and ammonia for acrylonitrile. However, the biodegradation of benzonitrile appeared to have only one step, with the direct production of benzoic acid and ammonia, but without benzamide being detected in the process. The results suggest that, depending on the substrates, the adapted mixed culture can develop very different degradation pathways, such as nitrile hydratase plus amidase for acetonitrile or acrylonitrile and nitrilase for benzonitrile. Therefore, the adapted mixed culture has a great potential and flexibility for actual applications in biodegradation of various organonitrile compounds. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Source Title: Water Research
ISSN: 00431354
DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2007.04.033
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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