Biodegradation

, Volume 1, Issue 2–3, pp 121–132 | Cite as

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

  • Thomas Egli
  • Matthias Bally
  • Thomas Uetz

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 

Abbreviations

AODC

Acridine orange direct counts

ATMP

Aminotrimethylphosphonate

DTPA

Diethylenetriaminepentaacetate

DTPMP

Diethylenetriaminepentamethylphosphonate

EDTA

Ethylenediaminetetraacetate

EDTMP

Ethylenediaminetetramethylphosphonate

ED3A

Ethylenediaminetriacetate

HEDP

Hydroxyethylidenediphosphonate

HEDTA

Hydroxyethylethylenediaminetriacetate

IDA

Iminodiacetate

IFT

Immunofluorescence test

MW

Molecular weight

NTA

Nitrilotriacetate

PA

Polyacrylate

PHC

Polyhydroxycarboxylate

PMS

Phenazine methosulfate

SDS-PAGE

Sodium dodecylsulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis

SPP

Tetrasodiumpyrophosphate

STP

Pentasodiumtriphosphate

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Egli
    • 1
  • Matthias Bally
    • 1
  • Thomas Uetz
    • 1
  1. 1.Swiss Federal Institute for Water Resources and Water Pollution ControlSwiss Federal Institutes of TechnologyDübendorfSwitzerland

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