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Response of humic-reducing microorganisms to the redox properties of humic substance during composting

Zhao, Xinyu, He, Xiaosong, Xi, Beidou, Gao, Rutai, Tan, Wenbing, Zhang, Hui, Huang, Caihong, Li, Dan, Li, Meng
Waste management 2017 v.70 pp. 37-44
composts, electron transfer, environmental factors, fulvic acids, humic acids, microbial growth, microorganisms, molecular weight, phenols, pollutants, waste management
Humic substance (HS) could be utilized by humus-reducing microorganisms (HRMs) as the terminal acceptors. Meanwhile, the reduction of HS can support the microbial growth. This process would greatly affect the redox conversion of inorganic and organic pollutants. However, whether the redox properties of HS lined with HRMs community during composting still remain unclear. This study aimed to assess the relationships between the redox capability of HS [i.e. humic acids (HA) and fulvic acids (FA)] and HRMs during composting. The results showed that the changing patterns of electron accepting capacity and electron donating capacity of HS were diverse during seven composting. Electron transfer capacities (ETC) of HA was significantly correlated with the functional groups (i.e. alkyl C, O-alkyl C, aryl C, carboxylic C, aromatic C), aromaticity and molecular weight of HA. Aromatic C, phenols, aryl C, carboxylic C, aromaticity and molecular weight of HS were the main structuralfeatures associated with the ETC of FA. Ten key genera of HRMs were found significantly determine these redox-active functional groups of HS during composting, thus influencing the ETC of HS in composts. In addition, a regulating method was suggested to enhance the ETC of HS during composting based on the relationships between the key HRMs and redox-active functional groups as well as environmental variables.