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Biodegradation

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 55–62 | Cite as

Comparison of coal solubilization by bacteria and fungi

  • Albert P. Torzilli
  • Jenefir D. Isbister
Article
  • 152 Downloads

Abstract

Coal-solubilizing agents produced byTrametes versicolor, Phanerochaete chrysosporium, Aspergillus sp., a bacterial consortium, and a bacterial isolate,Arthrobacter sp., from that consortium were compared in terms of pH dependence, thermostability, molecular mass, mechanism of action, and product diversity. The thermostability and low molecular weights exhibited by the coal-solubilizing agents indicated a non-enzymatic mechanism of action. Competition studies using cupric copper indicated that coal solubilization by these agents involved metal chelation. Results demonstrated that oxalate could account for some but not all of the coal solubilization observed forT.versicolor andP.chrysosporium. The very low levels of oxalate detected inAspergillus sp. and the bacterial cultures indicated that oxalate is not an important factor in coal solubilization by these microbes. When subjected to gel permeation chromatography, the soluble coal products generated by each microbial coal-solubilizing agent yielded unique molecular mass profiles suggesting substantial product diversity. Such diversity increases the possibility of identifying potentially valuable compounds and extending the commercial utilization of coal.

Key words

ammonia bacteria chelation coal solubilization fungi oxalate 

Abbreviations

A450, A260

absorbances respectively at 450 nm and 260 nm

CSA

coal-solubilizing agent

CSU

coal-solubilizing unit

GPC

gel permeation chromatography

MEA

malt extract agar

PDA

potato dextrose agar

SDA

Sabouraud dextrose agar

SDB

Sabouraud dextrose broth

SEM

standard error of the mean

Tris

tris(hydroxymethyl)aminomethane

TSA

trypticase soy agar

TSB

trypticase soy broth

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Albert P. Torzilli
    • 1
  • Jenefir D. Isbister
    • 1
  1. 1.Biology DepartmentGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA

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