DOI 10.35776/VST.2022.11.06
UDC 628.35

Kofman V. Ya., Vishnevskii Mikhail, Baurina Aleksandra

Fungal cultures for the biodegradation of organic micropollutants in wastewater (a review)


Currently, the methods for removing organic micro-pollutions present in agricultural, industrial and domestic wastewater have been actively developed. The characteristic properties of these substances are chemical stability and potential toxicity. Organic micropollutants are believed to have a negative impact on the environment and human health, even in trace concentrations. Substances of this kind include pharmaceutically active substances, personal care products, endocrine disruptors, pesticides, industrial chemicals, etc. The traditional biological process based on bacterial cultures does not provide for the efficient biodegradation of these substances at the wastewater treatment facilities. Biodegradation using fungi that cause white rot of wood, represented mainly by basidiomycetes, including Pleurotus ostreatus, Phanerochaete chrysosporium, Trametes versicolor, Ganoderma lucidum, Irpex lacteus, is considered a relatively new, however, very promising method for removing organic micro-pollutants. In the environment, these fungi effectively destroy lignin to release the more easily metabolized carbohydrates – hemicellulose and cellulose. This process involves extracellular ligninolytic enzymes, organic acids, mediators and auxiliary enzymes. A distinctive feature of the enzymatic mechanism is its non-specificity, due to the action through the formation of free radicals. Owing to this property, fungal extracellular enzymes are able to transform a wide range of organic molecules including pollutants present in wastewater. Numerous studies have shown good results in the biodegradation of organic micropollutants, including on real wastewater, in a continuous mode and a wide range of operating conditions in the presence of autochthonous microorganisms.

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