Biodegradation of benzalkonium chlorides singly and in mixtures by a Pseudomonas sp. Isolated from returned activated sludge/

Khan, A.H., Topp, E., Scott, A., Sumarah, M.W., Macfie, S. M., and Ray, M.B. (2015). "Biodegradation of benzalkonium chlorides singly and in mixtures by a Pseudomonas sp. Isolated from returned activated sludge/", Journal of Hazardous Materials, 299, pp. 595-602. doi : 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2015.07.073  Access to full text

Abstract

Bactericidal cationic surfactants such as quaternary ammonium compounds (QACs) are widely detected in the environment, and found at mg kg-1 concentrations in biosolids. Although individual QACs are amenable to biodegradation, it is possible that persistence is increased for mixtures of QACs with varying structure. The present study evaluated the biodegradation of benzyl dimethyl dodecyl ammonium chloride (BDDA) singly and in the presence of benzyl dimethyl tetradecyl ammonium chloride (BDTA) using Pseudomonas sp., isolated from returned activated sludge. Growth was evaluated, as was biodegradation using 14C and HPLC-MS methods. BDTA was more toxic to growth of Pseudomonas sp. compared to BDDA, and BDTA inhibited BDDA biodegradation. The benzyl ring of [U-14C-benzyl] BDDA was readily and completely mineralized. The detection of the transformation products benzyl methyl amine and dodecyl dimethyl amine in spent culture liquid was consistent with literature. Overall, this study demonstrates the antagonistic effect of interactions on biodegradation of two widely used QACs suggesting further investigation on the degradation of mixture of QACs in wastewater effluents and biosolids.

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