Formation of metabolites during biodegradation of linear alkylbenzene sulfonate in an upflow anaerobic sludge bed reactor under thermophilic conditions

Anders Skibsted Mogensen, Birgitte Kiær Ahring

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    Abstract

    Biodegradation of linear alkylbenzene sulfonate (LAS) was shown in an upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactor under thermophilic conditions. The reactor was inoculated with granular biomass and fed with a synthetic medium and 3 mumol/L of a mixture of LAS with alkylchain length of 10 to 13 carbon atoms. The reactor was operated with a hydraulic retention time of 12 h with effluent recirculation in an effluent to influent ratio of 5 to 1. A sterile reactor operated in parallel revealed that sorption to sludge particles initially accounted for a major LAS removal. After 8 days of reactor operation, the removal of LAS in the reactor inoculated with active granular biomass exceeded the removal in the sterile reactor inoculated with sterile granular biomass. The effect of sorption ceased after 185 to 555 h depending on the LAS homologs. 40% of the LAS was biodegraded, and the removal rate was 0.5 x 10(-6) mol/h/mL granular biomass. Acidified effluent from the reactor was subjected to dichloromethane extraction followed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Benzenesulfonic acid and benzalclehyde were detected in the reactor effluent from the reactor with active granular biomass but not in the sterile and unamended reactor effluent. Benzenesulfonic acid and benzalclehyde are the first identified degradation products in the anaerobic degradation of LAS.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalBiotechnology and Bioengineering
    Volume77
    Issue number5
    Pages (from-to)483-488
    ISSN0006-3592
    Publication statusPublished - 2002

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