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Impact of activated sludge acclimation on the biodegradation of toluene absorbed in a hydrophobic ionic liquid
- Rodriguez Castillo, A.S., Guihéneuf, S., Biard, P.-F., Paquin, L., Amrane, A., Couvert, A.
- International journal of environmental science and technology 2018 v.15 no.3 pp. 621-630
- acclimation, activated sludge, biodegradation, bioreactors, hydrophobicity, ionic liquids, toluene, volatile organic compounds
- Classical hydrophobic ionic liquids such as 3-butyl-1-methylimidazolium bis(trifluoroethylsulfonyl)imide or 3-butyl-1-methylimidazolium hexafluorophosphate application, as a non-aqueous liquid phase in a two-partitioning bioreactor to biodegrade hydrophobic volatile organic compounds by activated sludge, have been already reported in the literature, especially when the activated sludge was beforehand acclimated to the targeted volatile organic compound. In this study, four hydrophobic ionic liquids were used as non-aqueous liquid phase in a two-phase partitioning bioreactor to biodegrade toluene using non-acclimated activated sludge. The preliminarily results allowed to select two ionic liquids, 1-octylisoquinolinium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide and allyl-diethylsulfonium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide. The activated sludge was acclimated to both toluene and the considered ionic liquid. The results were compared to those obtained with non-acclimated activated sludge. The use of non-acclimated activated sludge for toluene biodegradation led to long lag times and low biodegradation rates. Thus, the acclimation to toluene improved the biodegradation rates; however, acclimation to both toluene and ionic liquid did not result in a significant improvement in the biodegradation rate compared to an acclimation to toluene alone. The activated sludge acclimation had a positive impact on toluene biodegradation and allowed to totally overcome the inhibitory effect of the presence of ionic liquid. The most relevant acclimation strategy seems to be a prior acclimation to toluene, whereas acclimation to the non-aqueous liquid phase can be achieved during the culture, namely by performing successive batches for instance, or a continuous operation.