Anaerobic degradation of linear alkylbenzene sulfonate

Anders Skibsted Mogensen, Frank Haagensen, Birgitte Kiær Ahring

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    Linear alkylbenzene sulfonate (LAS) found in wastewater is removed in the wastewater treatment facilities by sorption and aerobic biodegradation. The anaerobic digestion of sewage sludge has not been shown to contribute to the removal. The concentration of LAS based on dry matter typically increases during anaerobic stabilization due to transformation of easily degradable organic matter. Hence, LAS is regarded as resistant to biodegradation under anaerobic conditions. We present data from a lab-scale semi-continuously stirred tank reactor (CSTR) spiked with linear dodecylbenzene sulfonate (C-12 LAS), which show that C-12 LAS was biodegradable under methanogenic conditions. Sorption of C-12 LAS on sewage sludge was described with a Freundlich isotherm. The C-12 LAS sorption was determined with different concentrations of total solids (TS). In the semi-continuously stirred tank reactor, 18% of the added C-12 LAS was bioavailable and 20% was biotransformed when spiking with 100 mg/L of C-12 LAS and a TS concentration of 14.2 mg/L. Enhanced bioavailability of C-12 LAS was obtained in an upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor inoculated with granular sludge and sewage sludge. Biodegradation under thermophilic conditions was 37% with LAS as sole carbon source. Benzaldehyde was produced in the UASB reactor during LAS transformation.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
    Issue number4
    Pages (from-to)706-711
    Publication statusPublished - 2003


    Dive into the research topics of 'Anaerobic degradation of linear alkylbenzene sulfonate'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this