, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 145–156 | Cite as

Biotransformation of three pharmaceutical active compounds by the fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium in a fed batch stirred reactor under air and oxygen supply

  • A. I. Rodarte-MoralesEmail author
  • G. Feijoo
  • M. T. Moreira
  • J. M. Lema
Original Paper


White-rot fungi are a group of microorganisms capable of degrading xenobiotic compounds, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons or synthetic dyes, by means of the action of extracellular oxidative enzymes secreted during secondary metabolism. In this study, the transformation of three anti-inflammatory drugs: diclofenac, ibuprofen and naproxen were carried out by pellets of Phanerochaete chrysosporium in fed-batch bioreactors operating under continuous air supply or periodic pulsation of oxygen. The performance of the fungal reactors was steady over a 30-day treatment and the effect of oxygen pulses on the pellet morphology was evidenced. Complete elimination of diclofenac was achieved in the aerated and the oxygenated reactors, even with a fast oxidation rate in the presence of oxygen (77% after 2 h), reaching a total removal after 23 h. In the case of ibuprofen, this compound was completely oxidized under air and oxygen supply. Finally, naproxen was oxidized in the range of 77 up to 99% under both aeration conditions. These findings demonstrate that the oxidative capability of this microorganism for the anti-inflammatory drugs is not restricted to an oxygen environment, as generally accepted, since the fungal reactor was able to remove these compounds under aerated and oxygenated conditions. This result is very interesting in terms of developing viable reactors for the oxidation of target compounds as the cost of aeration can be significantly reduced.


Pharmaceutical White-rot fungi (WRF) Degradation Diclofenac Ibuprofen Naproxen 



This work was funded by the European Project EUI 2008-03703, the Spanish Project CTQ 2010-20258 and by the Galician regional government 2010/37. The author, A.I. Rodarte-Morales would like to express her gratitude to CONACYT (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología) from México for their fellowship support.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. I. Rodarte-Morales
    • 1
    Email author
  • G. Feijoo
    • 1
  • M. T. Moreira
    • 1
  • J. M. Lema
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemical Engineering, School of EngineeringUniversity of Santiago de CompostelaSantiago de CompostelaSpain

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