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Alkylphenol Polyethoxylate Removal in a Pilot-Scale Reed Bed and Phenotypic Characterization of the Aerobic Heterotrophic Community

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The removal of the non-ionic surfactant Triton X-100, dosed at 30 and 300 mg/L in a pilot-scale subsurface horizontal flow reed bed, and the aerobic heterotrophic cultivable community associated with the roots and with the substrate gravel in both absence and presence of Triton X-100 were investigated. t-Octylphenol (OP) and its mono-, di- and tri-ethoxyl derivatives, among others, were found in the outlet. A mass balance allowed us to calculate that approximately 40% of the Triton X-100 metabolites OP and octylphenol polyethoxylate derivatives flowed out of the reed bed during the dosage and postdosage experiments. More aerobic heterotrophic microorganisms adhered to the roots than to the gravel. The appearance of new strains (Aeromonas, Flavobacterium, and Aquaspirillum) and the increased presence of others (Pseudomonas) during the dosage of Triton may be linked to the capacity of these bacteria to adapt to the presence of the surfactant or to use it as a nourishment.

Keywords: Triton X-100 removal; aerobic heterotrophic cultivable community; biodegradation; constructed wetlands; non-ionic surfactants; reed beds

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: July 1, 2006

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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