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Chemosphere. 2005 Nov;61(7):1042-50. Epub 2005 Sep 28.

Effects of surfactant and temperature on biotransformation kinetics of anthracene and pyrene.

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  • 1Biotechnology Research Institute, National Research Council Canada, 6100 Royalmount Avenue, Montreal, QC, Canada H4P 2R2.


The biotransformation and mineralization of a mixture of two polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), anthracene and pyrene, which are known contaminants of soil and groundwater, by an enrichment culture in the presence or absence of 100 mg l(-1) Tergitol NP-10, a non-ionic surfactant, and at temperatures of 10 degrees C and 25 degrees C were investigated. The overall biotransformation of 2 mg l(-1) total PAHs with free cell suspensions in batch culture was greater than 97.2% at both examined temperatures. At 25 degrees C, the overall mineralization of anthracene was 48.8% and that of pyrene was 66.1%. However, the decrease of temperature to 10 degrees C had a negative effect on the mineralization of PAHs and reduced it to 18.5% and 61.5% for anthracene and pyrene, respectively. Using a higher PAHs concentration of 20 mg l(-1) at 25 degrees C, the overall biotransformation of anthracene was 80.7% and that of pyrene was 100%, where only 17.3% anthracene and 7.6% pyrene were mineralized to carbon dioxide and water. The addition of surfactant at 25 degrees C increased the overall mineralization of anthracene and pyrene to 33.0% and 27.6%, respectively. However, the addition of surfactant at 10 degrees C had a negative impact on the overall biotransformation of anthracene and pyrene, reducing them to 20.6% and 14.0%, respectively. These results have significant implications in the bioremediation of PAHs-contaminated sites.

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