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The contribution of selected organic substrates to the anaerobic cometabolism of sulfamethazine

Oliveira, Bruna M., Zaiat, Marcelo, Oliveira, Guilherme H. D.
Journal of environmental science and health 2019 v.54 no.4 pp. 263-270
acetic acid, adsorption, anaerobic digestion, biodegradation, butyric acid, carbon, cellulose, ethanol, fructose, glucose, hydrolysis, meat extracts, methane production, pollutants, propionic acid, sludge, soybean oil, starch, sucrose, sulfamethazine
Biodegradation of organic micropollutants is likely to occur due to cometabolism by particular microbial groups. In an effort to identify the stages of anaerobic digestion potentially involved in the biodegradation of the veterinary antimicrobial sulfamethazine (SMZ), the influence of selected carbon sources (sucrose, glucose, fructose, ethanol, meat extract, cellulose, soluble starch, soy oil, acetic acid, propionic acid and butyric acid) on SMZ removal by anaerobic sludge was evaluated in short-term batch experiments. Adsorption to the granular sludge constituted a significant removal mechanism, accounting for 39% of SMZ removal in control experiments. The presence of glucose, fructose, sucrose and meat extract exerted an inducing effect on SMZ degradation, resulting in removal efficiencies of 54, 53, 58 and 61%, respectively, indicating the occurrence of cometabolism. Time courses of sucrose and meat extract degradation revealed markedly distinct organic acid profiles but resulted in similar SMZ removals. Temporal profiles of acetic and propionic acid degradation were not associated with SMZ removal, as changes in SMZ concentration were observed even after the organic acids had been completely removed. The experimental results suggest that SMZ cometabolism is not associated to sucrose hydrolysis, acetoclastic methanogenesis and acetogenesis from propionic acid.