Toxicity mitigation and bioaccessibility of the cationic surfactant cetyltrimethylammonium bromide in a sorbent-modified biodegradation study.

Author(s) Timmer, N.; Gore, D.; Sanders, D.; Gouin, T.; Droge, S.T.J.
Journal Chemosphere
Date Published 2019 May
Abstract

Biodegradation potential of cationic surfactants may be hampered by inhibition of inoculum at concentrations required to accurately measure inorganic carbon. At >0.3 mg/L cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) negatively impacted degradation of the reference compound aniline. We used silicon dioxide (SiO) and illite as inorganic sorbents to mitigate toxicity of CTAB by lowering freely dissolved concentrations. In an OECD Headspace Test we tested whether 16.8 mg/L CTAB was readily biodegradable in presence of two concentrations of SiO and illite. SiO adsorbed 85% and 98% CTAB, resulting in concentrations of 2.5 and 0.34 mg/L, mineralized to CO >60% within 16 and 23 d, respectively. With 89% and 99% sorbed to illite, 60% mineralization was reached within 9 and 23 d, respectively. However, higher sorbent concentrations increased time needed to reach >60% mineralization. Thus, desorption kinetics likely decreased bioaccessibility. It is therefore essential to determine appropriate concentrations of mitigating sorbents to render a Headspace Test based on carbon analysis suitable to determine ready biodegradability of compounds which might inhibit inoculum. This would avoid use of expensive radiolabeled compounds. However, high sorbent concentrations can reduce bioaccessibility and limit degradation kinetics, particularly for relatively toxic substances that require strong mitigation.

DOI 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2019.01.152
ISSN 1879-1298
Citation Timmer N, Gore D, Sanders D, Gouin T, Droge ST. Toxicity mitigation and bioaccessibility of the cationic surfactant cetyltrimethylammonium bromide in a sorbent-modified biodegradation study. Chemosphere. 2019;222:461-468.

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