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Abstract

This study investigated the quantity and distribution of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) in aerobic granules. Results showed that EPS play an important role in the formation and stabilisation of granules. The content of EPS significantly increases during the first weeks of biogranulation. An analysis of EPS in the granules revealed that the protein level was 5 times higher than in polysaccharides. The increase of protein content correlated with the growth of cell hydrophobicity (r2 = 0.95). EPS and hydrophobicity are important factors in cell adhesion and formation of granules. The aim of this work was also to determine the distribution of EPS in the granule structure. In situ EPS staining showed that EPS are located mostly in the center of granules and in the subsurface layer. The major components of the EPE matrix are proteins, nucleic acids and β-polysaccharides. These observations confirm the chemical extraction data and indicate that granule formation and stability are dependent on protein content.
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Abstract

The focus of this study is to investigate the applicability of natural mineral iron disulfide (pyrite) in degradation of aromatic compounds including benzene and several chlorinated benzenes (from mono-chlorinated benzene (CB), di-chlorinated benzenes (di-CBs) to tri-chlorobenzenes (tri-CBs) in aerobic pyrite suspension by using laboratory batch experiments at 25°C and room pressure. At first, chlorobenzene was studied as a model compound for all considered aromatic compounds. CB was degraded in aerobic pyrite suspension, transformed to several organic acids and finally to CO2 and Cl-. Transformations of remaining aromatic compounds were pursued by measuring their degradation rates and CO2 and Cl- released with time. Transformation kinetics was fitted to the pseudo-first-order reactions to calculate degradation rate constant of each compound. Degradation rates of the aromatic compounds were different depending on their chemical structures, specifically the number and position of chlorine substituents on the benzene ring in this study. Compounds with the highest number of chlorine substituent at m-positions have highest degradation rate (1,3,5-triCB > 1,3-diCB > others). Three chlorine substituents closed together (1,2,3-triCB) generated steric hindrance effects. Therefore 1,2,3-triCB wasthe least degraded compound. The degradation rates of all compounds were in the following order: 1,3,5-triCB > 1,3-diCB > 1,2,4-triCB ≅ 1,2-diCB ≅ CB ≅ benzene > 1,4-diCB > 1,2,3-triCB. The final products of the transformations were CO2 and Cl-. Oxygen was the common oxidant for pyrite and aromatic compounds. The presence of aromatic compounds reduced the oxidation rate of pyrite, which reduced the amount of ferrous and sulfate ions release to aqueous solution.
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