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Fate of the Benzene Ring of Linear Alkylbenzene Sulfonate in Natural Waters

By R. J. Larson and A. G. Payne


The biodegradability of linear alkylbenzene sulfonate (LAS) was studied in water samples collected from a receiving stream at locations above and below the discharge of a municipal wastewater treatment plant. Rates of primary biodegradation were determined for a commercial LAS mixture by a modified methylene blue-active substance method. Rates of LAS ultimate degradation were determined by radiochemical methods, using a C12 LAS homolog uniformly labeled with 14C in the benzene ring. The C12 LAS was tested at low concentrations (50 and 500 μg/liter) comparable to those existing in the receiving stream. Loss of methylene blue-active substance response over time occurred rapidly in water samples containing sediment collected from below the treatment plant, with an estimated half-life for LAS of 0.23 days. Evolution of 14CO2 during mineralization of the benzene ring occurred rapidly in the same samples, with a half-life for the benzene ring of 0.73 day. Mineralization of the benezene ring was also observed in river water containing no sediments and in river water and sediment samples collected from above the treatment plant. However, the rate of degradation was reduced in these cases, with half-lives for ring carbon ranging from 1.4 to 14 days. Although LAS degradation was enhanced in the presence of sediments, adsorption of LAS to the clay-silt fraction of river sediments was low, and most of the radioactivity was bound to biomass

Topics: General Microbial Ecology
Year: 1981
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:243749
Provided by: PubMed Central
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