Toxic effects of thiol-reactive compounds on anaerobic biomass.

The objective of this study was to characterize the toxic effects of three well known thiol-reactive electrophilic compounds, Nethylmaleimide (NEM), pentachlorophenol (PCP) and 1-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene (CDNB) on anaerobic biotransformation process. The work was part of a larger investigation on potassium efflux as a possible response mechanism of anaerobic microorganisms to the presence of thiol-reactive organic compounds and the interference of such compounds on the reductive dehalogenation process. Using anaerobic toxicity assay (ATA) and granular anaerobic biomass from a full-scale upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor, inhibitory concentrations of these compounds that reduced the microbial activity of granular biomass to 50% of a control (IC50) were determined to be 592, 0.97, and 450 mg/l for NEM, PCP, and CDNB, respectively. Toxicity of NEM was also tested on anaerobic biomass from a municipal wastewater treatment plant digester and slightly lower IC50 of 532 mg/l was obtained. The results presented here indicate that anaerobic biomass can acclimate to the three thiol-reactive compounds studied and recover from inhibition as long as the toxicant concentration is below a threshold level. That threshold concentration was found to be 500 mg/l for NEM on biomass from the municipal digester, 1 mg/l for PCP, and 500 mg/l for CDNB, both on granular biomass. Granular anaerobic biomass showed recovery even at NEM concentrations of 1000 mg/l.

Main Author: Tepe, Nalan.
Other Authors: Shimko, Leah., Duran, Metin.
Language: English
Published: 2005
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