Co-degradation with glucose of four surfactants, CTAB, Triton X-100, SDS and Rhamnolipid, in liquid culture media and compost matrix
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Strengthened biodegradation is one of the key means to treat surfactant pollution in environment, and microorganism and surfactant have significant effects on degradation. In this paper, co-degradation of CTAB, Triton X-100, SDS and rhamnolipid with glucose by Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Bacillus subtilis and compost microorganisms in liquid culture media, as well as the degradation of rhamnolipid in compost were investigated. The results showed that CTAB was recalcitrant to degrade by the three microorganisms and it also inhibited microorganisms from utilizing readily degradable carbon source. Non-ionic surfactant Triton X-100 could also hardly be degraded, but it was not toxic to microorganisms and would not inhibit the growth of the microorganisms. Anion surfactant SDS had no toxicity to microorganisms and could be co-degraded as carbon source with glucose. Biosurfactant rhamnolipid was a kind of particular surfactant, which had no toxicity and could be degraded by Bacillus subtilis and compost microorganisms, while it could not be utilized by its producing bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Among these three bacteria, the compost consortium had the strongest degradation capacity on the tested surfactants due to their microorganisms' diversity. In compost matrix rhamnolipid could be degraded during composting, but not preferentially utilized.