Anaerobic degradation of linear alkylbenzene sulfonate

Authors

  • Anders S. Mogensen,

    1. Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology Group, BioCentrum-DTU, Building 227, The Technical University of Denmark, DK-2800 Lyngby, Denmark
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  • Frank Haagensen,

    1. Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology Group, BioCentrum-DTU, Building 227, The Technical University of Denmark, DK-2800 Lyngby, Denmark
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  • Birgitte K. Ahring

    Corresponding author
    1. Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology Group, BioCentrum-DTU, Building 227, The Technical University of Denmark, DK-2800 Lyngby, Denmark
    • Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology Group, BioCentrum-DTU, Building 227, The Technical University of Denmark, DK-2800 Lyngby, Denmark
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  • Presented at the Organic Soil Contaminants Meeting, SETAC Europe, Copenhagen, Denmark, September 2–5, 2001.

Abstract

Linear alkylbenzene sulfonate (LAS) found in wastewater is removed in the wastewater treatment facilities by sorption and aerobic biodegradation. The anaerobic digestion of sewage sludge has not been shown to contribute to the removal. The concentration of LAS based on dry matter typically increases during anaerobic stabilization due to transformation of easily degradable organic matter. Hence, LAS is regarded as resistant to biodegradation under anaerobic conditions. We present data from a lab-scale semi-continuously stirred tank reactor (CSTR) spiked with linear dodecylbenzene sulfonate (C12 LAS), which show that C12 LAS was biodegradable under methanogenic conditions. Sorption of C12 LAS on sewage sludge was described with a Freundlich isotherm. The C12 LAS sorption was determined with different concentrations of total solids (TS). In the semi-continuously stirred tank reactor, 18% of the added C12 LAS was bioavailable and 20% was biotransformed when spiking with 100 mg/L of C12 LAS and a TS concentration of 14.2 mg/L. Enhanced bioavailability of C12 LAS was obtained in an upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor inoculated with granular sludge and sewage sludge. Biodegradation under thermophilic conditions was 37% with LAS as sole carbon source. Benzaldehyde was produced in the UASB reactor during LAS transformation.

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