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Degradation of cis- and trans-(4-methylcyclohexyl) methanol in activated sludge

Yuan, Li, Zhi, Wei, Liu, Yangsheng, Smiley, Elizabeth, Gallagher, Daniel, Chen, Xi, Dietrich, Andrea M., Zhang, Husen
Journal of hazardous materials 2016 v.306 pp. 247-256
Acinetobacter, acetates, acids, activated sludge, adsorption, bacteria, biodegradation, carbon dioxide, drinking water, environmental degradation, environmental fate, glucose, half life, isomers, kinetics, nitrates, nucleotide sequences, prediction, ribosomal RNA, wastewater, water treatment, West Virginia
Crude (4-methylcyclohexyl)methanol (MCHM) caused extensive contamination of drinking water, wastewater, and the environment during the 2014 West Virginia Chemical Spill. However, information related to the environmental degradation of cis- and trans-4-MCHM, the main components of the crude 4-MCHM mixture, remains largely unknown. This study is among the first to investigate the degradation kinetics and transformation of 4-MCHM isomers in activated sludge. The 4-MCHM loss was mainly due to biodegradation to form carbon dioxide (CO2), plus acetic, propionic, isobutyric, and isovaleric acids with little contribution from adsorption. The biodegradation of 4-MCHM isomers followed the first-order kinetic model with half-lives higher than 0.50 days. Nitrate augmented the degradation of 4-MCHM isomers, while glucose and acetate decreased their degradation. One 4-MCHM-degrading bacterium isolated from activated sludge was identified as Acinetobacter bouvetii strain EU40 based on 16S rRNA gene sequences. This study will enhance the prediction of the environmental fate of 4-MCHM in water treatment systems.