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ISSN: 2155-6199

Journal of Bioremediation & Biodegradation
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Research Article

Biodegradation of Tertiary Butyl Mercaptan in Water

R. Karthikeyan1*, S.L.L. Hutchinson2 and L. E. Erickson3
1Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77845-2117, USA
2Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66502, USA
3Chemical Engineering, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66502, USA
Corresponding Author : R. Karthikeyan
Associate professor, Biological and Agricultural Engineering
Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77845-2117, USA
Tel: 979-845-7951
Fax: 979-862-3442
E-mail: [email protected]
Received March 26, 2012; Accepted June 04, 2012; Published June 06, 2012
Citation: Karthikeyan R, Hutchinson SLL, Erickson LE (2012) Biodegradation of Tertiary Butyl Mercaptan in Water. J Bioremed Biodeg 3:156. doi: 10.4172/2155-6199.1000156
Copyright: © 2012 Karthikeyan R, et al. This is an open-a ccess article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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Abstract

Tertiary butyl mercaptan (TBM) belongs to the alkyl mercaptan family and possesses a characteristic odor. Tertiary butyl mercaptan (TBM) can enter aquatic environments through anthropogenic activities as well as the natural processes. Undefined microbial cultures from different soils along with a pure culture were used to study the biodegradation of TBM in water under aerobic conditions. There were about 17% losses in gas phase TBM concentrations attributed to abiotic losses over the period of 14 days. Environmental microbial consortium from sandy soils with low organic matter content and significantly lower heterotrophs resulted in the lowest biodegradation, only slightly higher than abiotic losses. Microbial cultures isolated from soils with previous contamination history resulted in higher degradation rates. In general, biodegradation of TBM in water followed first-order kinetics. The first-order kinetic constant ranged from 0.002 to 0.005 h -1 . TBM was partly degraded to two significant intermediate products and partly mineralized to CO 2 in water with mixed culture isolated from a petroleum contaminated soil. The half- life of TBM in water with this mixed culture was only six days. A Gram-ve bacterium isolated from a grey-water bioprocessor, Alcaligines faecalis subsp. phenolicus subsp. nov, was able to mineralize 50% of TBM within four days under laboratory conditions. The degradation rate was slightly increased with the addition of tertiary butyl alcohol while slightly inhibited with the addition of phenol.

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