Environmental persistence assessment of heterocyclic polyaromatic hydrocarbons - Ultimate and primary biodegradability using adapted and non-adapted microbial communities

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftForschungsartikelBeigetragenBegutachtung



Heterocyclic polyaromatic hydrocarbons (heterocyclic PAHs) are of increasing concern and their environmental and human health impacts should be assessed due to their widespread presence and potential persistence in the environment. This study investigated the ultimate and primary biodegradability of ten heterocyclic PAHs, nine of which were found to be non-readily biodegradable. To generate a microbial community capable of degrading such compounds, a bacterial inoculum isolated from the effluent of a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) was adapted to a mixture of heterocyclic PAHs for one year. Throughout the adaptation process, bacterial samples were collected at different stages to conduct primary biodegradation, ultimate biodegradation, and inoculum toxicity tests. Interestingly, after one year of adaptation, the community developed the ability to mineralize carbazole, but in the same time showed an increasing sensitivity to the toxic effects of benzo[c]carbazole. In two consecutive primary biodegradation experiments, degradation of four heterocycles was observed, while no biodegradation was detected for five compounds in any of the tests. Furthermore, the findings of this work were compared with predictions from in silico models regarding biodegradation timeframe and sorption, and it was found that the models were partially successful in describing these processes. The results of study provide valuable insights into the persistence of a representative group of heterocyclic PAHs in aquatic environments, which contributes to the hazard assessment of this particular class of substances.


FachzeitschriftJournal of Hazardous Materials
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 15 Okt. 2023

Externe IDs

Scopus 85170082795
ORCID /0000-0001-5186-3955/work/150330351
Mendeley 70a0f21f-7c82-322a-a12c-591322206e49


Ziele für nachhaltige Entwicklung


  • biodegradation, microbial adaptation, primary biodegradation, transformation products, Inoculum toxicity, Microbial adaptation, NSO-heterocyclic compounds, Ready biodegradability