Article

Biodegradation

, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 121-132

Microbial degradation of chelating agents used in detergents with special reference to nitrilotriacetic acid (NTA)

  • Thomas EgliAffiliated withSwiss Federal Institute for Water Resources and Water Pollution Control, Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology
  • , Matthias BallyAffiliated withSwiss Federal Institute for Water Resources and Water Pollution Control, Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology
  • , Thomas UetzAffiliated withSwiss Federal Institute for Water Resources and Water Pollution Control, Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

The extensive use of phosphate-based detergents and agricultural fertilizers is one of the main causes of the world-wide eutrophication of rivers and lakes. To ameliorate such problems partial or total substitution of phosphates in laundry detergents by synthetic, non-phosphorus containing complexing agents is practiced in several countries. The physiological, biochemical and ecological aspects of the microbial degradation of the complexing agents most frequently used, such as polyphosphates, aminopolycarboxylates (especially of nitrilotriacetic acid), and phosphonates are reviewed.

Key words

complexing agents detergent builders wastewater treatment NTA EDTA phosphonates