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Volume 69, Issue 10


Biodegradation of 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) under sulfate and nitrate reducing conditions

Raj Boopathy
Published Online: 2014-11-07 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s11756-014-0441-1


Anaerobic degradation of 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) was studied under sulfate- and nitrate-reducing conditions using enrichment cultures developed from a TNT-contaminated soil from the Louisiana Army Ammunition Plant (LAAP) in Minden, Louisiana, USA. The soil samples were enriched using mineral salt media with either nitrate or sulfate as electron acceptors in the presence of TNT under strict anaerobic conditions. The enriched samples were experimented with TNT as either the sole source of carbon or nitrogen and also under co-metabolic conditions with molasses as co-substrate. The results revealed that TNT was removed under both electron acceptor conditions. However, the TNT degradation efficiency was significantly higher under sulfate-reducing conditions than the nitrate-reducing conditions. Under sulfate-reducing conditions, TNT removal was faster when molasses was used as co-substrate. The metabolic analysis showed that TNT was mineralized and the major end product was acetic acid, CO2, and ammonia. A soil slurry reactor with TNT-contaminated soil showed more than 90% of TNT removal within 60 days of incubation.

Keywords: trinitrotoluene; biodegradation; sulfate-reducing condition; nitrate-reducing condition; mineralization; soil slurry reactor

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About the article

Published Online: 2014-11-07

Published in Print: 2014-10-01

Citation Information: Biologia, Volume 69, Issue 10, Pages 1264–1270, ISSN (Online) 1336-9563, ISSN (Print) 0006-3088, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s11756-014-0441-1.

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