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Trends in Micropollutant Biotransformation along a Solids Retention Time Gradient

Achermann, Stefan; Falås, Per LU ; Joss, Adriano; Mansfeldt, Cresten B.; Men, Yujie; Vogler, Bernadette and Fenner, Kathrin (2018) In Environmental Science and Technology 52(20). p.11601-11611
Abstract

For many polar organic micropollutants, biotransformation by activated sludge microorganisms is a major removal process during wastewater treatment. However, our current understanding of how wastewater treatment operations influence microbial communities and their micropollutant biotransformation potential is limited, leaving major parts of observed variability in biotransformation rates across treatment facilities unexplained. Here, we present biotransformation rate constants for 42 micropollutants belonging to different chemical classes along a gradient of solids retention time (SRT). The geometric mean of biomass-normalized first-order rate constants shows a clear increase between 3 and 15 d SRT by 160% and 87%, respectively, in two... (More)

For many polar organic micropollutants, biotransformation by activated sludge microorganisms is a major removal process during wastewater treatment. However, our current understanding of how wastewater treatment operations influence microbial communities and their micropollutant biotransformation potential is limited, leaving major parts of observed variability in biotransformation rates across treatment facilities unexplained. Here, we present biotransformation rate constants for 42 micropollutants belonging to different chemical classes along a gradient of solids retention time (SRT). The geometric mean of biomass-normalized first-order rate constants shows a clear increase between 3 and 15 d SRT by 160% and 87%, respectively, in two experiments. However, individual micropollutants show a variety of trends. Rate constants of oxidative biotransformation reactions mostly increased with SRT. Yet, nitrifying activity could be excluded as primary driver. For substances undergoing other than oxidative reactions, i.e., mostly substitution-type reactions, more diverse dependencies on SRT were observed. Most remarkably, characteristic trends were observed for groups of substances undergoing similar types of initial transformation reaction, suggesting that shared enzymes or enzyme systems that are conjointly regulated catalyze biotransformation reactions within such groups. These findings open up opportunities for correlating rate constants with measures of enzyme abundance such as genes or gene products, which in turn should help to identify enzymes associated with the respective biotransformation reactions.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Environmental Science and Technology
volume
52
issue
20
pages
11601 - 11611
publisher
The American Chemical Society
external identifiers
  • scopus:85054358185
ISSN
0013-936X
DOI
10.1021/acs.est.8b02763
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
6a5afc18-8f27-4e41-8e87-da7ee57c1c73
date added to LUP
2018-11-13 12:23:50
date last changed
2019-02-13 03:00:29
@article{6a5afc18-8f27-4e41-8e87-da7ee57c1c73,
  abstract     = {<p>For many polar organic micropollutants, biotransformation by activated sludge microorganisms is a major removal process during wastewater treatment. However, our current understanding of how wastewater treatment operations influence microbial communities and their micropollutant biotransformation potential is limited, leaving major parts of observed variability in biotransformation rates across treatment facilities unexplained. Here, we present biotransformation rate constants for 42 micropollutants belonging to different chemical classes along a gradient of solids retention time (SRT). The geometric mean of biomass-normalized first-order rate constants shows a clear increase between 3 and 15 d SRT by 160% and 87%, respectively, in two experiments. However, individual micropollutants show a variety of trends. Rate constants of oxidative biotransformation reactions mostly increased with SRT. Yet, nitrifying activity could be excluded as primary driver. For substances undergoing other than oxidative reactions, i.e., mostly substitution-type reactions, more diverse dependencies on SRT were observed. Most remarkably, characteristic trends were observed for groups of substances undergoing similar types of initial transformation reaction, suggesting that shared enzymes or enzyme systems that are conjointly regulated catalyze biotransformation reactions within such groups. These findings open up opportunities for correlating rate constants with measures of enzyme abundance such as genes or gene products, which in turn should help to identify enzymes associated with the respective biotransformation reactions.</p>},
  author       = {Achermann, Stefan and Falås, Per and Joss, Adriano and Mansfeldt, Cresten B. and Men, Yujie and Vogler, Bernadette and Fenner, Kathrin},
  issn         = {0013-936X},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {20},
  pages        = {11601--11611},
  publisher    = {The American Chemical Society},
  series       = {Environmental Science and Technology},
  title        = {Trends in Micropollutant Biotransformation along a Solids Retention Time Gradient},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.8b02763},
  volume       = {52},
  year         = {2018},
}