Center for Environment and Energy Research & Studies (CEERS)

Biodegradation of Anionic Surfactants by Isolated Bacteria from Activated Sludge


Sodium dodecyl sulphate, (SDS) is an anionic surfactant that widely used all over the world. They will eventually end-up and accumulate in household or industrial sewage. Due to their high foaming capabilities, which can cause numerous problems in sewage treatment facilities as well as direct toxic effects on many different organisms in ecosystem; they are generally considered as serious pollutants. In this survey, two different bacteria were isolated from Tehran municipal activated sludge. Biochemical tests as well as 16S rRNA gene sequencing for identification have been applied. After experiments to optimize the pH and temperature for growth of the two bacterial isolates, the extent of SDS utilization was evaluated by HPLC method. Two bacterial isolates show which ability to rapidly and actively degrade SDS upon using it as their sole source of carbon. The identification tests have indicated the two isolates to be Acinetobacter johnsoni and Pseudomonas beteli. The Pseudomonas beteli and Acinetobacter johnsoni isolates were able to degrade 97.2% and 96.4% of the original SDS levels after 10 days of growth; respectively. Mixed culture of the two isolates did not significantly increase SDS utilization, (97.6%). In conclusion, the results of this study suggest that growth of simple bacteria such as Acinetobacter or Pseudomonas in household and industrial sewage can be cost-effective method anionic surfactants elimination.

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