Environmental technology

Biodegradation of nonylphenols using nitrifying sludge, 4-chlorophenol-adapted consortia and activated sludge in liquid and solid phases.

PMID 22988634


The biodegradation of a technical mixture of nonylphenols (tNP) with three different biomasses (nitrifying sludge, 4-chlorophenol-adapted consortia and activated sludge) was evaluated in batch tests. The tNP degradation was determined in solid and liquid phases. The three biomasses studied were able to biodegrade the technical mixture of nonylphenols. It was found that 33% to 44% of the initial tNP was adsorbed on to the sludge after 250 h. Nitrifying sludge presented the highest biodegradation percentage (43.1% +/- 2.3%) and degradation rate (3.10 x 10(-3) micromol/d). Acclimated 4-chlorophenol and activated sludge degraded 34.3% +/- 1.2% and 18.2% +/- 0.5% of the initial tNP, respectively. Actual half-life times of 10.9, 12.0 and 22.8 days were obtained for the biodegradation of tNP by nitrifying, acclimated 4-chlorophenol and activated sludge, respectively. It was concluded that, although nitrifiying biomass posses a high initial adsorption rate, this biomass can also biodegrade the tNP faster than the other tested biomasses.