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Ying Yong Sheng Tai Xue Bao. 2014 Apr;25(4):1163-70.

[Anaerobic biodegradation of phthalic acid esters (Paes) in municipal sludge].

[Article in Chinese]


Phthalic acid esters (PAEs), a class of organic pollutants with potent endocrine-disrupting properties, are widely present in municipal sludge. Study of PAEs biodegradation under different anaerobic biological treatment processes of sludge is, therefore, essential for a safe use of sludge in agricultural practice. In this study, we selected two major sludge PAEs, i.e. di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP) and di-(2-enthylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), to investigate their biodegradation behaviors in an anaerobic sludge digestion system and a fermentative hydrogen production system. The possible factors influencing PAEs biodegradation in relation to changes of sludge properties were also discussed. The results showed that the biodegradation of DBP reached 99.6% within 6 days, while that of DEHP was 46.1% during a 14-day incubation period in the anaerobic digestion system. By comparison, only 19.5% of DBP was degraded within 14 days in the fermentative hydrogen production system, while no degradation was detected for DEHP. The strong inhibition of the degradation of both PAEs in the fermentative hydrogen production system was ascribed to the decreases in microbial biomass and ratios of gram-positive bacteria/gram-negative bacteria and fungi/ bacteria, and the increase of concentrations of volatile fatty acids (e. g. acetic acid, propionic acid and butyric acid) during the fermentative hydrogen-producing process.

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