American Society of Civil Engineers


Biodegradability of Surfactants under Aerobic, Anoxic, and Anaerobic Conditions


by Prasanna K. Mohan, (Grad. Student, Dept. of Civ. and Envir. Engrg., The Univ. of Western ONtario, London ON, Canada N6A5B9), George Nakhla, (corresponding author), (Assoc. Prof., Dept. of Chem. and Biochemical Engrg., The Univ. of Western Ontario, London ON, Canada N6A5B9 E-mail: gnakhla@eng.uwo.ca), and Ernest K. Yanful, (Prof. and Chair, Dept. of Civ. and Envir. Engrg., The Univ. of Western Ontario, London ON, Canada N6A5B9)

Journal of Environmental Engineering, Vol. 132, No. 2, February 2006, pp. 279-283, (doi:  http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9372(2006)132:2(279))

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Document type: Technical Note
Abstract: The biodegradability of two surfactants, Triton X-100 and Rhamnolipid, was tested under aerobic, nitrate reducing, sulfate reducing, and anaerobic conditions in a respirometer. The results indicated that from a biodegradation standpoint, Rhamnolipid is superior to Triton X-100 since it is biodegradable under all conditions, whereas the Triton X-100 is partially biodegradable under aerobic conditions and nonbiodegradable under anaerobic, nitrate reducing, and sulfate reducing conditions.


ASCE Subject Headings:
Biological processes
Hydrocarbons
Nitrates
Remediation
Sulfates
Water treatment