Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Vol.100, No.1, 431-437, 2016
Extractive biodegradation and bioavailability assessment of phenanthrene in the cloud point system by Sphingomonas polyaromaticivorans
The biological treatment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons is an important issue. Most microbes have limited practical applications because of the poor bioavailability of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. In this study, the extractive biodegradation of phenanthrene by Sphingomonas polyaromaticivorans was conducted by introducing the cloud point system. The cloud point system is composed of a mixture of (40 g/L) Brij 30 and Tergitol TMN-3, which are nonionic surfactants, in equal proportions. After phenanthrene degradation, a higher wet cell weight and lower phenanthrene residue were obtained in the cloud point system than that in the control system. According to the results of high-performance liquid chromatography, the residual phenanthrene preferred to partition from the dilute phase into the coacervate phase. The concentration of residual phenanthrene in the dilute phase (below 0.001 mg/L) is lower than its solubility in water (1.18 mg/L) after extractive biodegradation. Therefore, dilute phase detoxification was achieved, thus indicating that the dilute phase could be discharged without causing phenanthrene pollution. Bioavailability was assessed by introducing the apparent logP in the cloud point system. Apparent logP decreased significantly, thus indicating that the bioavailability of phenanthrene increased remarkably in the system. This study provides a potential application of biological treatment in water and soil contaminated by phenanthrene.