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Special Issue "Biodegradability and Environmental Sciences"

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A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2009)

Special Issue Editors

Managing Editor
Dr. Shu-Kun Lin (Website)

MDPI AG, St. Alban-Anlage 66, CH-4052 Basel, Switzerland
Interests: Gibbs paradox; entropy; symmetry; similarity; diversity; information theory; thermodynamics; process irreversibility or spontaneity; stability; nature of the chemical processes; molecular recognition; open access journals
Editorial Advisor
Dr. Naozumi Teramoto (Website)

Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Engineering, Chiba Institute of Technology, 2-17-1 Tsudanuma, Narashino, Chiba 275-0016, Japan
Fax: +81 47 478 0406
Interests: biomaterial; bio-based polymer; bioplastics; biodegradable polymer; biopolymer; composite material comprising a polymer matrix

Special Issue Information

Summary

To protect environment, the biodegradable materials have great advantage. However, sometimes, for material stability, biodegradation is a problem, for example, the biomedical materials.

Keywords

  • biodegradable polymers, organics or materials

Related Special Issues

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle Rapid Degradation of Phenanthrene by Using Sphingomonas sp. GY2B Immobilized in Calcium Alginate Gel Beads
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(9), 2470-2480; doi:10.3390/ijerph6092470
Received: 26 August 2009 / Accepted: 15 September 2009 / Published: 16 September 2009
Cited by 20 | PDF Full-text (60 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The strain Sphingomonas sp. GY2B is a high efficient phenanthrene-degrading strain isolated from crude oil contaminated soils that displays a broad-spectrum degradation ability towards PAHs and related aromatic compounds. This paper reports embedding immobilization of strain GY2B in calcium alginate gel beads [...] Read more.
The strain Sphingomonas sp. GY2B is a high efficient phenanthrene-degrading strain isolated from crude oil contaminated soils that displays a broad-spectrum degradation ability towards PAHs and related aromatic compounds. This paper reports embedding immobilization of strain GY2B in calcium alginate gel beads and the rapid degradation of phenanthrene by the embedded strains. Results showed that embedded immobilized strains had high degradation percentages both in mineral salts medium (MSM) and 80% artificial seawater (AS) media, and had higher phenanthrene degradation efficiency than the free strains. More than 90% phenanthrene (100 mg·L-1) was degraded within 36 h, and the phenanthrene degradation percentages were >99.8% after 72 h for immobilized strains. 80% AS had significant negative effect on the phenanthrene degradation rate (PDR) of strain GY2B during the linear-decreasing stage of incubation and preadsorption of cells onto rice straw could improve the PDR of embedded strain GY2B. The immobilization of strain GY2B possesses a good potential for application in the treatment of industrial wastewater containing phenanthrene and other related aromatic compounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradability and Environmental Sciences)
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Open AccessArticle 13C-NMR Assessment of the Pattern of Organic Matter Transformation during Domestic Wastewater Treatment by Autothermal Aerobic Digestion (ATAD)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(8), 2288-2306; doi:10.3390/ijerph6082288
Received: 30 July 2009 / Accepted: 15 August 2009 / Published: 19 August 2009
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (886 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Abstract: The pattern of biodegradation and the chemical changes occurring in the macromolecular fraction of domestic sludge during autothermal thermophilic aerobic digestion (ATAD) was monitored and characterised via solid-state 13C-NMR CP-MAS. Major indexes such as aromaticity, hydrophobicity and alkyl/O-alkyl ratios calculated [...] Read more.
Abstract: The pattern of biodegradation and the chemical changes occurring in the macromolecular fraction of domestic sludge during autothermal thermophilic aerobic digestion (ATAD) was monitored and characterised via solid-state 13C-NMR CP-MAS. Major indexes such as aromaticity, hydrophobicity and alkyl/O-alkyl ratios calculated for the ATAD processed biosolids were compared by means of these values to corresponding indexes reported for sludges of different origin such as manures, soil organic matter and certain types of compost. Given that this is the first time that these techniques have been applied to ATAD sludge, the data indicates that long-chain aliphatics are easily utilized by the microbial populations as substrates for metabolic activities at all stages of aerobic digestion and serve as a key substrate for the temperature increase, which in turn results in sludge sterilization. The ATAD biosolids following treatment had a prevalence of O-alkyl domains, a low aromaticity index (10.4%) and an alkyl/O-alkyl ratio of 0.48 while the hydrophobicity index of the sludge decreased from 1.12 to 0.62 during the treatment. These results have important implications for the evolution of new ATAD modalities particularly in relation to dewatering and the future use of ATAD processed biosolids as a fertilizer, particularly with respect to hydrological impacts on the soil behaviour. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradability and Environmental Sciences)
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Open AccessArticle Biodegradation of Bisphenol A, Bisphenol F and Bisphenol S in Seawater
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(4), 1472-1484; doi:10.3390/ijerph6041472
Received: 7 January 2009 / Accepted: 9 April 2009 / Published: 17 April 2009
Cited by 44 | PDF Full-text (229 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A group of compounds structurally similar to bis(4-hydroxyphenyl)propane (bisphenol A, BPA) are called bisphenols (BPs), and some of them can partially replace BPA in industrial applications. The production and consumption of BPs other than BPA, especially those of bis(4-hydroxyphenyl)methane (bisphenol F, BPF) [...] Read more.
A group of compounds structurally similar to bis(4-hydroxyphenyl)propane (bisphenol A, BPA) are called bisphenols (BPs), and some of them can partially replace BPA in industrial applications. The production and consumption of BPs other than BPA, especially those of bis(4-hydroxyphenyl)methane (bisphenol F, BPF) and bis(4-hydroxy-phenyl)sulfone (bisphenol S, BPS), have increased recently, leading to their detection as contaminants in the aquatic environment. The three compounds tested 100% positive for estrus response in 1936 and concerns about their health risks have been increasing. Abundant data on degradation of bisphenols (BPs) has been published, but results for biodegradation of BPs in seawater are lacking. However, several research groups have focused on this topic recently. In this study, the biodegradation behaviors of three BPs, namely BPA, BPF and BPS, in seawater were investigated using TOC Handai (TOC, potential test) and river (sea) die-away (SDA, simulation test) methods, which are both a kind of river-die-away test. The main difference between the tests is that indigenous microcosms remain in the sampled raw seawater for the SDA experiments, but they are removed through filtration and dispersed into artificial seawater for the TOC experiments. The BPs, except for BPS, were degraded using both methods. The SDA method produced better biodegradation results than the TOC method in terms of degradation time (both lag and degradation periods). Biodegradation efficiencies were measured at 75-100% using the SDA method and 13-63% using the TOC method. BPF showed better degradation efficiency than BPA, BPF was > 92% and BPA 83% depleted according to the SDA tests. BPS degradation was not observed. As a conclusion, the biodegradability of the three BPs in seawater could be ranked as BPF > BPA >> BPS. BPF is more biodegradable than BPA in seawater and BPS is more likely to accumulate in the aquatic environment. BPS poses a lower risk to human health and to the environment than BPA or BPF but it is not amenable to biodegradation and might be persistent and become an ecological burden. Thus other degradation methods need to be found for the removal of BPS in the environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradability and Environmental Sciences)
Open AccessArticle Biodegradation of the High Explosive Hexanitrohexaazaiso-wurtzitane (CL-20)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(4), 1371-1392; doi:10.3390/ijerph6041371
Received: 3 February 2009 / Accepted: 23 March 2009 / Published: 9 April 2009
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (222 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aerobic biodegradability of the high explosive CL-20 by activated sludge and the white rot fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium has been investigated. Although activated sludge is not effective in degrading CL-20 directly, it can mineralize the alkaline hydrolysis products. Phanerochaete chrysosporium degrades CL-20 [...] Read more.
The aerobic biodegradability of the high explosive CL-20 by activated sludge and the white rot fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium has been investigated. Although activated sludge is not effective in degrading CL-20 directly, it can mineralize the alkaline hydrolysis products. Phanerochaete chrysosporium degrades CL-20 in the presence of supplementary carbon and nitrogen sources. Biodegradation studies were conducted using various nutrient media under diverse conditions. Variables included the CL-20 concentration; levels of carbon (as glycerol) and ammonium sulfate and yeast extract as sources of nitrogen. Cultures that received CL-20 at the time of inoculation transformed CL-20 completely under all nutrient conditions studied. When CL-20 was added to pre-grown cultures, degradation was limited. The extent of mineralization was monitored by the 14CO2 time evolution; up to 51% mineralization was achieved when the fungus was incubated with [14C]-CL-20. The kinetics of CL-20 biodegradation by Phanerochaete chrysosporium follows the logistic kinetic growth model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradability and Environmental Sciences)
Open AccessArticle Combined System of Activated Sludge and Ozonation for the Treatment of Kraft E1 Effluent
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(3), 1145-1154; doi:10.3390/ijerph6031145
Received: 18 February 2009 / Accepted: 10 March 2009 / Published: 17 March 2009
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (113 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The treatment of paper mill effluent for COD, TOC, total phenols and color removal was investigated using combined activated sludge-ozonation processes and single processes. The combined activated sludge-O3/pH 10 treatment was able to remove around 80% of COD, TOC and [...] Read more.
The treatment of paper mill effluent for COD, TOC, total phenols and color removal was investigated using combined activated sludge-ozonation processes and single processes. The combined activated sludge-O3/pH 10 treatment was able to remove around 80% of COD, TOC and color from Kraft E1 effluent. For the total phenols, the efficiency removal was around 70%. The ozonation post treatment carried out at pH 8.3 also showed better results than the single process. The COD, TOC, color and total phenols removal efficiency obtained were 75.5, 59.1, 77 and 52.3%, respectively. The difference in the concentrations of free radical produced by activated sludge-O3/pH 10 and activated sludge-O3/pH 8.3 affected mainly the TOC and total phenol removal values. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradability and Environmental Sciences)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Plant-Associated Bacterial Degradation of Toxic Organic Compounds in Soil
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(8), 2226-2247; doi:10.3390/ijerph6082226
Received: 28 July 2009 / Accepted: 7 August 2009 / Published: 12 August 2009
Cited by 47 | PDF Full-text (312 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A number of toxic synthetic organic compounds can contaminate environmental soil through either local (e.g., industrial) or diffuse (e.g., agricultural) contamination. Increased levels of these toxic organic compounds in the environment have been associated with human health risks including cancer. Plant-associated bacteria, [...] Read more.
A number of toxic synthetic organic compounds can contaminate environmental soil through either local (e.g., industrial) or diffuse (e.g., agricultural) contamination. Increased levels of these toxic organic compounds in the environment have been associated with human health risks including cancer. Plant-associated bacteria, such as endophytic bacteria (non-pathogenic bacteria that occur naturally in plants) and rhizospheric bacteria (bacteria that live on and near the roots of plants), have been shown to contribute to biodegradation of toxic organic compounds in contaminated soil and could have potential for improving phytoremediation. Endophytic and rhizospheric bacterial degradation of toxic organic compounds (either naturally occurring or genetically enhanced) in contaminated soil in the environment could have positive implications for human health worldwide and is the subject of this review. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradability and Environmental Sciences)
Open AccessReview Potential of Penicillium Species in the Bioremediation Field
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(4), 1393-1417; doi:10.3390/ijerph6041393
Received: 1 February 2009 / Accepted: 17 March 2009 / Published: 9 April 2009
Cited by 39 | PDF Full-text (481 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The effects on the environment of pollution, particularly that caused by various industrial activities, have been responsible for the accelerated fluxes of organic and inorganic matter in the ecosphere. Xenobiotics such as phenol, phenolic compounds, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and heavy metals, [...] Read more.
The effects on the environment of pollution, particularly that caused by various industrial activities, have been responsible for the accelerated fluxes of organic and inorganic matter in the ecosphere. Xenobiotics such as phenol, phenolic compounds, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and heavy metals, even at low concentrations, can be toxic to humans and other forms of life. Many of the remediation technologies currently being used for contaminated soil and water involve not only physical and chemical treatment, but also biological processes, where microbial activity is the responsible for pollutant removal and/or recovery. Fungi are present in aquatic sediments, terrestrial habitats and water surfaces and play a significant part in natural remediation of metal and aromatic compounds. Fungi also have advantages over bacteria since fungal hyphae can penetrate contaminated soil, reaching not only heavy metals but also xenobiotic compounds. Despite of the abundance of such fungi in wastes, penicillia in particular have received little attention in bioremediation and biodegradation studies. Additionally, several studies conducted with different strains of imperfecti fungi, Penicillium spp. have demonstrated their ability to degrade different xenobiotic compounds with low co-substrate requirements, and could be potentially interesting for the development of economically feasible processes for pollutant transformation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradability and Environmental Sciences)
Open AccessReview Environmental Impact of Flame Retardants (Persistence and Biodegradability)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(2), 478-491; doi:10.3390/ijerph6020478
Received: 22 January 2009 / Accepted: 3 February 2009 / Published: 5 February 2009
Cited by 40 | PDF Full-text (299 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Flame-retardants (FR) are a group of anthropogenic environmental contaminants used at relatively high concentrations in many applications. Currently, the largest market group of FRs is the brominated flame retardants (BFRs). Many of the BFRs are considered toxic, persistent and bioaccumulative. Bioremediation of [...] Read more.
Flame-retardants (FR) are a group of anthropogenic environmental contaminants used at relatively high concentrations in many applications. Currently, the largest market group of FRs is the brominated flame retardants (BFRs). Many of the BFRs are considered toxic, persistent and bioaccumulative. Bioremediation of contaminated water, soil and sediments is a possible solution for the problem. However, the main problem with this approach is the lack of knowledge concerning appropriate microorganisms, biochemical pathways and operational conditions facilitating degradation of these chemicals at an acceptable rate. This paper reviews and discusses current knowledge and recent developments related to the environmental fate and impact of FRs in natural systems and in engineered treatment processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradability and Environmental Sciences)
Open AccessReview Assessing the Effect of Disturbances on Ectomycorrhiza Diversity
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(2), 414-432; doi:10.3390/ijerph6020414
Received: 9 October 2008 / Accepted: 24 January 2009 / Published: 1 February 2009
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (412 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ectomycorrhiza (ECM) communities can be described on a species level or on a larger scale at an ecosystem level. Here we show that the species level approach of successional processes in ECM communities is not appropriate for understanding the diversity patterns of [...] Read more.
Ectomycorrhiza (ECM) communities can be described on a species level or on a larger scale at an ecosystem level. Here we show that the species level approach of successional processes in ECM communities is not appropriate for understanding the diversity patterns of ECM communities at contaminated sites. An ecosystem based approach improves predictability since different biotic and abiotic factors are included. However, it still does not take into account the hierarchical structure of the ecosystem. We suggest that diversity patterns of ECMs communities in forests can best be investigated at three levels. This hypothetical approach for investigation can be tested at sites of secondary succession in areas contaminated with metals. Once the diversity patterns are appropriately described by a hierarchical ecosystem approach, to the species level is used to explain these patterns by populational and ecotoxicological mechanisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradability and Environmental Sciences)
Open AccessReview Bacterial Degradation of Aromatic Compounds
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(1), 278-309; doi:10.3390/ijerph6010278
Received: 6 November 2008 / Accepted: 6 January 2009 / Published: 13 January 2009
Cited by 174 | PDF Full-text (320 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Aromatic compounds are among the most prevalent and persistent pollutants in the environment. Petroleum-contaminated soil and sediment commonly contain a mixture of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heterocyclic aromatics. Aromatics derived from industrial activities often have functional groups such as alkyls, halogens [...] Read more.
Aromatic compounds are among the most prevalent and persistent pollutants in the environment. Petroleum-contaminated soil and sediment commonly contain a mixture of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heterocyclic aromatics. Aromatics derived from industrial activities often have functional groups such as alkyls, halogens and nitro groups. Biodegradation is a major mechanism of removal of organic pollutants from a contaminated site. This review focuses on bacterial degradation pathways of selected aromatic compounds. Catabolic pathways of naphthalene, fluorene, phenanthrene, fluoranthene, pyrene, and benzo[a]pyrene are described in detail. Bacterial catabolism of the heterocycles dibenzofuran, carbazole, dibenzothiophene, and dibenzodioxin is discussed. Bacterial catabolism of alkylated PAHs is summarized, followed by a brief discussion of proteomics and metabolomics as powerful tools for elucidation of biodegradation mechanisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradability and Environmental Sciences)

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