Biodegradation of methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) and its breakdown products by propane and iso-pentane grown Mycobacterium vaccae and Graphium sp. : cometabolism, inhibition, kinetics, and modeling Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/pn89d943s

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  • Mycobacterium vaccae JOB5 and Graphium sp. were studied to evaluate their ability to cometabolize methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) and its metabolites after growth on two different alkanes, propane and iso-pentane. Both cultures were capable of cometabolizing MTBE and the metabolites, tert-butyl formate (TBF) and tert-butyl alcohol (TBA). MTBE, TBF, and TBA did not support growth of either microbe. Higher degradation rates were obtained in the bacterial system when the cultures were grown on iso-pentane. Nonlinear least squares regression and direct linear plot methods were used to estimate kinetic coefficients and provided comparable results. The enzymes from Mycobacterium vaccae JOB5 and Graphium sp. that promote the cometabolism of MTBE and its metabolites exhibited similar kinetics and substrate inhibition. The presence of the substrate decreased the degradation rate of MTBE and TBA suggesting competitive inhibition and preference for the substrate. Blockage experiment with acetylene suggested the presence of an alkane monooxygenase for the metabolism of MTBE and TBA, and a hydrolytic enzyme for the degradation of TBF. The presence of a hydrolase enzyme was supported by the fact that TBF was degraded to TBA under either aerobic or anaerobic conditions and was not inhibited by the presence of acetylene, propane, or isopentane. Measured rates of abiotic hydrolysis of TBF were significantly less than biodegradation rates. Acetylene acted as a reversible inhibitor for both cultures when tested in the presence of the growth media and as an inactivator when tested in the presence of a phosphate solution for the bacterial system. Growth-batch reactor experiments were conducted to compare the degradation of iso-pentane and MTBE with the predicted degradation rates based upon kinetic constants determined from single and dual-compound experiments. Experimental data was modeled with Monod kinetics and STELLA® software. Reasonable predictions of reactor performance were achieved when Monod maximum utilization rates were increased compared to single and dual-compound experiments.
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