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Aerobic transformation of linear alkylbenzenesulphonates by mixed methane-utilizing bacteria


Biodegradation of commercial linear alkylbenzenesulphonate (LAS) was performed in shake flasks in the presence and absence of methane as a primary growth substrate for methanotrophs and as an inducer for catabolic enzymes. Methane-utilizing culture MM1 was dominated by type II methanotrophs and originated from a groundwater aquifer. Methane, carbon dioxide, and oxygen concentrations were measured by using gas chromatography. Disappearance of LAS, a mixture of C10-C13 homologues, was monitored by reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC). Methane reduced LAS transformation rate in a concentration dependent manner, suggesting competitive inhibition between natural substrate, methane, and fortuitous substrate, LAS. The fastest LAS transformation was determined in the absence of methane. Simultaneous methane oxidation and LAS degradation, and the inhibition of both transformation processes by acetylene, indicated the involvement of a methane-monooxygenase enzyme system in LAS transformation. RP-HPLC analysis showed that culture MM1 exhibited preferential capability to transform LAS with longer alkyl side-chain. Consequently, the highest transformation rate was observed with the homologue of C13 LAS.

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Hršak, D. Aerobic transformation of linear alkylbenzenesulphonates by mixed methane-utilizing bacteria. Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 28, 265–272 (1995).

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  • Transformation Rate
  • Methanotrophs
  • Concentration Dependent Manner
  • High Transformation Rate
  • Preferential Capability