Biodegradation of Fluoranthene in an Aerated Biofilm Reactor with Biosurfactant Producing CSTR Staged in Series
Nembudani, Tshilidzi B. Lutsinge
Chirwa, Evans M. N.
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Nembudani T.B.L., Chirwa E.M.N., 2019, Biodegradation of Fluoranthene in an Aerated Biofilm Reactor with Biosurfactant Producing CSTR Staged in Series, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 76, 1273-1278.
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One of the challenges faced during the bioremediation of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons is the limited bioavailability of these compounds due to their hydrophobic nature. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) known as part of the persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are organic compounds consisting of two or more fused benzene rings and are introduced into the environment through both natural and anthropogenic activities. In the past few decades, biosurfactants have gained attention because of their ability to dissolve hydrophobic compounds such as PAHs, and they exhibited some advantages such as biodegradability, low toxicity, ecological acceptability and ability to be produced from renewable and cheaper substrates. Biological remediation of PAHs offers numerous advantages over physical and chemical remediation technologies. In the biological process, toxic organics can be completely converted to carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O), thereby living no trace of potentially toxic organic intermediates. Literature has delineated the presence of PAHs in surface water, industrial wastewater and municipal or domestic wastewater, leaving drinking water and water for irrigation purposes vulnerable to PAHs contamination. These mutagenic, carcinogenic and toxic compounds are also known to have potential risk to human health and the environment. Overcoming the bioavailability of PAHs has been previously proven to increase the biodegradation of these compounds using capable microorganisms. The current study aims at degrading fluoranthene in a two-stage process with suspended biomass and attached biomass. A continuous stirred tank reactor was used to produce biosurfactants, and the biofilm tank reactor was used to degrade Fluoranthene. 84.78 % Fluoranthene was successfully degraded from the reactors after the operation of the system.
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