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Anaerobic digestion of linear alkyl benzene sulfonates: biodegradation kinetics and metabolite analysis

AuthorsGarcía Ramón, María Teresa ; Campos, Encarna ; Ribosa Fornovi, Isabel; Latorre Fernández, Anna; Sánchez-Leal, Joaquim
KeywordsAnaerobic degradation
Issue Date7-Apr-2005
CitationChemosphere 60(11): 1636-1643 (2005)
AbstractIn the present work the effect of the alkyl chain length and the position of the sulfophenyl substituent of the linear alkylbenzene sulfonates (LAS) on their anaerobic biodegradability have been investigated. Degradation kinetics of the linear alkyl benzene sulfonates homologues, 2phiC10LAS, 2phiC12LAS and 2phiC14LAS, have been studied. It has been also investigated the effect of the isomer type on the degradation rate of the LAS molecule through the comparative study of the 2phiC10LAS and 5phiC10LAS isomers. Batch anaerobic biodegradation tests were performed using sludge from the anaerobic digester of a wastewater treatment plant as microorganisms source. Ultimate biodegradation was evaluated from the biogas production whereas primary biodegradation was determined by specific analysis of the surfactant. LAS homologues and isomers showed a negligible primary biodegradation under anaerobic conditions. Furthermore, analysis of sulfophenyl carboxilates (SPC) by LC–MS indicated a low and constant level of these LAS degradation metabolites over the test period. These data are consistent with a minimal transformation of the LAS parent molecule in the anaerobic digesters. On the other hand, the addition of the shortest alkyl chain length homologues, decyl and dodecylbenzene sulfonates, reduces the biogas production whereas the most hydrophobic homologue, the tetradecylbenzene sulfonate, enhances the biogas production. This LAS homologue seems to increase the availability of organic compounds sorbed on the anaerobic sludge promoting their biodegradation.
Description8 pages, 4 figures, 2 tables.-- PMID: 16083770 [PubMed].-- Printed version published Sep 2005.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2005.02.048
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