Degradation of phenol under meso- and thermophilic, anaerobic conditions
1998 (English)In: Anaerobe, ISSN 1075-9964, E-ISSN 1095-8274, Vol. 5, no 1, 25-35 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Based on the results of preliminary studies on phenol degradation under mesophilic conditions with a mixed methanogenic culture, we proposed a degradation pathway in which phenol is fermented to acetate: Part of the phenol is reductively transformed to benzoate while the rest is oxidised, forming acetate as end product. According to our calculations, this should result in three moles of phenol being converted to two moles of benzoate and three moles of acetate (3phenol+2CO2+3H2O→3acetate+2benzoate): To assess the validity of our hypothesis concerning the metabolic pathway, we studied the transformation of phenol under mesophilic and thermophilic conditions in relation to the availability of hydrogen. Hence, methanogenic meso- and thermophilic cultures amended with phenol were run with or without an added over-pressure of hydrogen under methanogenic and non-methanogenic conditions. Bromoethanesulfonic acid (BES) was used to inhibit methanogenic activity. In the mesophilic treatments amended with only BES, about 70% of the carbon in the products found was benzoate. During the course of phenol transformation in these BES-amended cultures, the formation pattern of the degradation products changed: Initially nearly 90% of the carbon from phenol degradation was recovered as benzoate, whereas later in the incubation, in addition to benzoate formation, the aromatic nucleus degraded completely to acetate. Thus, the initial reduction of phenol to benzoate resulted in a lowering of H2levels, giving rise to conditions allowing the degradation of phenol to acetate as the end product. Product formation in bottles amended with BES and phenol occurred in accordance with the hypothesised pathway; however, the overall results indicate that the degradation of phenol in this system is more complex.
During phenol transformation under thermophilic conditions, no benzoate was observed and no phenol was transformed in the BES-amended cultures. This suggests that the sensitivity of phenol transformation to an elevated partial pressure of H2is higher under thermophilic conditions than under mesophilic ones. The lack of benzoate formation could have been due to a high turnover of benzoate or to a difference in the phenol degradation pathway between the thermophilic and mesophilic cultures.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
1998. Vol. 5, no 1, 25-35 p.
phenol degradation, electronacceptor, acetate formation, meso and thermophilic conditions, methane formation
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-31040DOI: 10.1006/anae.1998.0187Local ID: 16748OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-31040DiVA: diva2:251863