, Volume 29, Issue 6, pp 579–592 | Cite as

Interdependence between the aerobic degradation of BPA and readily biodegradable substrates by activated sludge in semi-continuous reactors

  • A. M. Ferro OrozcoEmail author
  • E. M. Contreras
  • N. E. Zaritzky
Original Paper


The objective of the present work was to analyze the interrelationship between the aerobic degradation of BPA and readily biodegradable substrates by activated sludge (AS) in semi-continuous reactors (SCRs). AS were obtained from three SCRs fed with glucose, acetate or peptone. AS from these reactors were used as inocula for three SCRs that were fed with each biogenic substrate, and for three SCRs that were fed with the biogenic substrate and BPA. In all cases, dissolved organic carbon (DOC), BPA, total suspended solids (TSS) and respirometric measurements were performed. Although BPA could be removed in the presence of all the tested substrates, AS grown on acetate exhibited the longest acclimation to BPA. Reactors fed with peptone attained the lowest TSS concentration; however, these AS had the highest specific BPA degradation rate. Specific DOC removal rates and respirometric measurements demonstrated that the presence of BPA had a negligible effect on the removal of the tested substrates. A mathematical model was developed to represent the evolution of TSS and DOC in the SCRs as a function of the operation cycle. Results suggest that the main effect of BPA on AS was to increase the generation of microbial soluble products. This work helps to understand the relationship between the biodegradation of BPA and readily biodegradable substrates.


Bisphenol A Activated sludge Biogenic substrate Acclimation Degradation 



Authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support given by Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Tecnológicas (CONICET) and Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica (ANPCYT).


  1. Buitron G, Gonzales A (1996) Characterization of the microorganisms from an acclimated activated sludge degrading phenolic compounds. Water Sci Technol 34:289–294CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Cokgor EU, Insel G, Katipoglu T, Orhon D (2011) Biodegradation kinetics of peptone and 2,6-dihydroxy benzoic acid by acclimated dual microbial culture. Biores Technol 102:567–575CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Contreras EM, Ferro Orozco AM, Zaritzky NE (2011) Biological Cr(VI) removal coupled with biomass growth, biomass decay, and multiple substrate limitation. Water Res 45:3034–3046CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Eiler A, Langenheder S, Bertilsson S, Tranvik LJ (2003) Heterotrophic bacterial growth efficiency and community structure at different natural organic carbon concentrations. Appl Environ Microbiol 69:3701–3709CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Ferro Orozco AM, Lobo CC, Contreras EM, Zaritzky NE (2013) Biodegradation of bisphenol-A (BPA) in activated sludge batch reactors: analysis of the acclimation process. Int Biodeterior Biodegrad 85:392–399CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Ferro Orozco AM, Contreras EM, Zaritzky NE (2015) Simultaneous biodegradation of bisphenol A and biogenic substrate in semi-continuous activated sludge reactors. Biodegradation 26:183–195CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ferro Orozco AM, Contreras EM, Zaritzky NE (2016a) Biodegradation of Bisphenol A and its metabolic intermediates by activated sludge: stoichiometry and kinetics analysis. Int Biodeterior Biodegrad 106:1–9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Ferro Orozco AM, Contreras EM, Zaritzky NE (2016b) Monitoring the biodegradability of bisphenol A and its metabolic intermediates by manometric respirometry tests. Biodegradation 27:209–221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ferro Orozco AM, Contreras EM, Zaritzky NE (2016c) Factors affecting the degradation of Bisphenol A by activated sludge. A.M. Lambert Academic Publishing. OmniScriptum GmbH & Co. KG. Germany, p 73. ISBN: 978-3-659-86581-7Google Scholar
  10. Fischer J, Kappelmeyer U, Kastner M, Schauer F, Heipieper HJ (2010) The degradation of Bisphenol A by the newly isolated bacterium Cupriavidus basilensis JF1 can be enhanced by biostimulation with phenol. Int Biodeterior Biodegrad 64:324–330CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Grady CPL Jr, Cordone L, Cusack L (1993) Effects of media composition on substrate removal by pure and mixed bacterial cultures. Biodegradation 4:23–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hernández MA, Mohn WW, Martínez E, Rost E, Alvarez AF, Alvarez HM (2008) Biosynthesis of storage compounds by Rhodococcus jostii RHA1 and global identification of genes involved in their metabolism. BMC Genom 9:1–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hu Z, Ferraina RA, Ericson JF, Smets BF (2005) Effect of long-term exposure, biogenic substrate presence, and electron acceptor conditions on the biodegradation of multiple substituted benzoates and phenolates. Water Res 39:3501–3510CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Insel G, Celikyilmaz G, Ucisik-Akkaya E, Yesiladali K, Cakar ZP, Tamerler C, Orhon D (2007) Respirometric evaluation and modeling of glucose utilization by Escherichia coli under aerobic and mesophilic cultivation conditions. Biotechnol Bioeng 96:94–105CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kamaraj M, Sivaraj R, Venckatesh R (2014) Biodegradation of bisphenol A by the tolerant bacterial species isolated from coastal regions of Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. Int Biodeterior Biodegrad 93:216–222CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kang JH, Kondo F (2002) Bisphenol A degradation by bacteria isolated from river water. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 43:265–269CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Li K, Wei D, Zhang G, Shi L, Wang Y, Wang B, Wang X, Du B, Wei Q (2015) Toxicity of bisphenol A to aerobic sludge in sequencing batch reactors. J Mol Liq 209:284–288CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lobo CC, Bertola NC, Contreras EM (2013) Stoichiometry and kinetic of the aerobic oxidation of phenolic compounds by activated sludge. Biores Technol 136:58–65CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lobo CC, Bertola NC, Contreras EM (2014) Error propagation in open respirometric assays. Braz J Chem Eng 31:303–312CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lobo CC, Bertola NC, Contreras EM (2016) Approximate expressions of a SBR for wastewater treatment: comparison with numeric solutions and application to predict the biomass concentration in real cases. Process Saf Environ Prot 100:65–73CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lobos HJ, Leib TK, Su T-M (1992) Biodegradation of Bisphenol A and other bisphenols by a Gram-negative aerobic bacterium. Appl Environ Microbiol 58:1823–1831PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  22. Majone M, Dircks K, Beun JJ (1999) Aerobic storage under dynamic conditions in activated sludge processes. The state of the art. Water Sci Technol 39:61–73CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Matsumura Y, Hosokawa C, Sasaki-Mori M, Akahira A, Fukunaga K, Ikeuchi T (2009) Isolation and characterization of novel bisphenol A degrading bacteria from soils. Biocontrol Sci 14:161–169CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Mielczarek AT, Kragelund C, Eriksen PS, Nielsen PH (2012) Population dynamics of filamentous bacteria in Danish wastewater treatment plants with nutrient removal. Water Res 46:3781–3795CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Mielczarek AT, Nguyen HTT, Nielsen JL, Nielsen PH (2013) Population dynamics of bacteria involved in enhanced biological phosphorus removal in Danish wastewater treatment plants. Water Res 47:1529–1544CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Modaressi K, Taylor KE, Bewtra JK, Biswas N (2005) Laccase-catalyzed removal of bisphenol-A from water: protective effect of PEG on enzyme activity. Water Res 39:4309–4316CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Novak L, Larrea L, Wanner J (1995) Mathematical model for soluble carbonaceous substrate biosorption. Water Sci Technol 31:67–77CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Orhon D, Cokgor EU, Insel G, Karahan O, Katipoglu T (2009) Validity of Monod kinetics at different sludge ages—Peptone biodegradation under aerobic conditions. Biores Technol 100:5678–5686CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Orhon D, Cokgor EU, Katipoglu T, Insel G, Karahan O (2010) Fate of 2,6-dihydroxybenzoic acid and its inhibitory impact on the biodegradation of peptone under aerobic conditions. Biores Technol 101:2665–2671CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Oshiman K, Tsutsumi Y, Nishida T, Matsumura Y (2007) Isolation and characterization of a novel bacterium, Sphingomonas bisphenolicum strain AO1, that degrades bisphenol A. Biodegradation 18:247–255CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Pinhassi J, Azam F, Hemphala J, Long RA, Martinez J, Zweifel UL, Hagstrom A (1999) Coupling between bacterioplankton species composition, population dynamics, and organic matter degradation. Aquat Microb Ecol 17:13–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Rensink JH, Donker HJGW (1991) The effect of contact tank operation on bulking sludge and biosorption processes. Water Sci Technol 23:857–866CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Sakai K, Yamanaka H, Moriyoshi K, Ohmoto T, Ohe T (2007) Biodegradation of bisphenol A and related compounds by Sphingomonas sp. Strain BP-7 isolated fron seawater. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem 71:51–57CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Spivack J, Leib TK, Lobos JH (1994) Novel pathway for bacterial metabolism of bisphenol A. Rearrangements and stilbene cleavage in bisphenol A metabolism. J Biol Chem 269:7323–7329PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Staples CA, Dorn PB, Klecka GM, O’Block ST, Harris LR (1998) A review of the environmental fate, effects, and exposures of bisphenol A. Chemosphere 36:2149–2173CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Tobajas M, Monsalvo VM, Mohedano AF, Rodriguez JJ (2012) Enhancement of cometabolic biodegradation of 4-chlorophenol induced with phenol and glucose as carbon sorces by Comamonas testosteroni. J Environ Man 95:116–121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Urase T, Kikuta T (2005) Separate estimation of adsorption and degradation of pharmaceutical substances and estrogens in the activated sludge process. Water Res 39:1289–1300CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Van Hannen EJ, Mooij W, Van Agterveld MP, GonsHJ Laanbroek HJ (1999) Detritus-dependent development of microbial community in an experimental system: qualitative analysis by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis. Appl Environ Microbiol 65:2478–2484PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  39. Yang Y, Wang Z, Xie S (2014) Aerobic biodegradation of bisphenol A in river sediment and associated bacterial community change. Sci Total Environ 471:1184–1188CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Zhang WW, Yin K, Chen LX (2013) Bacteria-mediated bisphenol A degradation. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 97:5681–5689CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Zhao J, Li Y, Zhang C, Zeng Q, Zhou Q (2008) Sorption and degradation of bisphenol A by aerobic activated sludge. J Hazard Mater 155:305–311CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. M. Ferro Orozco
    • 1
    Email author
  • E. M. Contreras
    • 1
  • N. E. Zaritzky
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Instituto de Investigaciones en Ciencia y Tecnología de Materiales (INTEMA) CCT Mar del Plata CONICET – Fac. de Ing, UNMdPMar Del PlataArgentina
  2. 2.Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo en Criotecnología de Alimentos (CIDCA) CCT La Plata CONICET - Fac. de Cs. Exactas, UNLPLa PlataArgentina
  3. 3.Fac. de Ingeniería, UNLPLa PlataArgentina

Personalised recommendations