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Title: Microalgal biodegradation of pentachlorophenol.
Author: Tikoo, Vidya.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3533 4201
Awarding Body: University of the West of England at Bristol
Current Institution: University of the West of England, Bristol
Date of Award: 1996
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Pentachlorophenol (PCP) is a chlorophenol with a pronounced biocidal activity that has led to its use in a number of applications. It was introduced in the 1930s as a preservative for timber and lumber and since then has found wide use as a biocide in agricultural and industrial applications. Many different physical, chemical and biological methods have been tried for the removal of PCP from wastewater. However, using microalgae for the removal of PCP and other organochlorine compounds from water may prove to be a cheaper alternative and give complete degradation of the compounds. The aim of this project was to study the efficiency of microalgae to degrade PCP. An algal strain named VT -1 and a bacterial strain named AT -14 were isolated from PCP containing conditions in the laboratory. The growth of VT -1 in the presence of PCP was compared with Chlorella emersonii and Chlorella vulgaris in two different autotrophic media. It was observed that VT-1 had the highest IC50 value of 25-26mg }-l PCP and EC50 value of 11.3mg }-1 PCP in S&K medium. With glucose as an additional carbon source the IC50 value for VT-1 in S&K medium was 29-30mg t 1 PCP. Bacterium AT-14 could grow in the presence of PCP, only with glucose as a carbon source. Mineralization of PCP by VT -1 and the two Chlorella strains was compared by using 14C_PCp. With all the three algae exposed to 14C_PCp, only VT-1 showed release of 14C02, which was evidence of mineralization of PCP by VT-1 which occurred only in the presence of light. Bacterium AT-14 did not produce 14C02. However, the consortium of VT-1 and AT-14 showed enhanced 14C02 evolution in the presence of glucose. The release of chloride ions from PCP can also indicate PCP dehalogenation and degradation. The evolution of 14C02 lagged behind chloride release (90 %) indicating that dechlorination of PCP could be the first step in its biodegradation. Breakdown of PCP was also followed by its extraction from the cells and medium. Normally dichloromethane (DCM) was used to extract PCP. The changes in the label extracted in DCM and iso-butanol were studied under different light condjtions, which showed that the 14C counts in DCM reduced and those in iso-butanol extract increased with time. The 14C counts in the iso-butanol extract could be a metabolite of PCP which is more hydrophilic. VT-1 appeared not to degrade PCP completely, since only 15% of 14C was recovered as 14C02. It appears that intermediates are formed which are distributed in the growth medium and in the biomass. It can thus be concluded that VT -1 is tolerant of PCP, appears to dechlorinate PCP and then releases some part of it as CO2.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Algae; pesticide; Bioremediation; Chlorella