Degradation of anthracene and pyrene supplied by microcrystals and non-aqueous-phase liquids
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- Mutnuri, S., Vasudevan, N. & Kaestner, M. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol (2005) 67: 569. doi:10.1007/s00253-005-1905-6
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Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are worldwide environmental pollutants. Their bioavailability is limited by a low aqueous solubility, which causes specific adaptations in degrading bacteria. To compare bacterial degrading behavior, a study was conducted on the mineralization, metabolization and formation of biomass from 14C-anthracene by Sphingomonas sp. BA2 compared with those from 14C-pyrene by Gordonia-like strain BP9 and Mycobacterium gilvum VF1. Different conditions of PAH supply were used in the medium: crystals <0.5 mm, microcrystals <<0.1 mm formed by sonication, or PAH solubilized in 2,2,4,4,6,8,8-heptamethylnonane (HMN) or silicone oil. Anthracene supply by crystals and silicone oil led to similar maximum mineralization rates 33 ng ml−1 h−1 and the same amount of mineralization (24%) after 168 h. Microcrystals increased the rates and amounts only slightly. HMN decreased the values to less than one-third. In comparison with crystals, microcrystals increased overall pyrene mineralization by strain BP9 from 53% to 58%, with maximum mineralization rates of 160 ng ml−1 h−1 and 166 ng ml−1 h−1. Silicone oil heavily increased the rate to 292 ng ml−1 h−1 and the amount mineralized to 71%, whereas HMN inhibited the degradation by one order of magnitude. A similar degradation behavior showing lower mineralization rates and extent was observed with strain VF1. However, inhibition by HMN was less pronounced. Sonication, leading to decreased PAH crystal size, increased the mass transfer and mineralization rates. PAH supply by silicone oil led to a much higher mass transfer, which may be due to emulsification of the oil, whereas such effects were not observed with HMN.