Biodegradation of organophosphorus pesticides in moving bed biofilm reactors: Analysis of microbial community and biodegradation pathways

Ehsan Bouteh, Navid Ahmadi, Mona Abbasi, Ali Torabian, Mark C.M. van Loosdrecht, Joel Ducoste

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

We investigated the performance of a lab-scale moving bed biofilm reactor (MBBR) with respect to general bioconversion processes and biotransformation of two commonly used organophosphorus pesticides, Chlorpyrifos (CHL) and Malathion (MAL). The reactor was operated for 300 days under different organic loads by changing hydraulic retention time (HRT). The decrease in organic load resulted in the formation of a thinner biofilm and the growth of more biomass in the bulk, which greatly shifted bioconversion processes. The low organic loading supported more nitrification in the reactor, but an opposite trend was observed for denitrification, which was enhanced at higher organic loading where the formation of anoxic zones in the thick biofilm was favored. 70% and 55% removal corresponding to 210 and 165 µg/m2/d occurred for MAL and CHL, respectively, at an HRT of 3 h and progressively increased with higher HRTs. Phylogenetic analysis revealed a shift in composition and abundance of taxa throughout the reactor operation where lower loading rate supported the growth of a more diverse and evenly distributed community. The analysis also highlighted the dominance of heterotrophic communities such as Flavobacterium and Acinetobacter johnsonii, which could be involved in the biotransformation of CHL and MAL through co-metabolism.

Original languageEnglish
Article number124950
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Volume408
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Biofilms
  • Micropollutants removal
  • Moving bed biofilm reactors
  • Organophosphorus pesticides

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