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  • About
  • The Global ETD Search service is a free service for researchers to find electronic theses and dissertations. This service is provided by the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations.
    Our metadata is collected from universities around the world. If you manage a university/consortium/country archive and want to be added, details can be found on the NDLTD website.
1

Catalytic activities of metallophthalocyanines towards detection and transformation of pollutants

Agboola, Bolade Oyeyinka January 2007 (has links)
Syntheses, spectral, electrochemical and spectroelectrochemical studies of new thiol-derivatised MPc complexes were satisfactorily carried out. For the first time, spectroelectrochemistry gave evidence for the formation of Ni²⁺/Ni⁺ process in a NiPc complex. Significant insights as to the nature of Fe⁺Pc and Ni⁺Pc spectra were obtained. Transformations of chlorophenols using chemical and photochemical methods are presented. For cobalt tetrasulphophthalocyanine catalysed oxidation of chlorophenols using hydrogen peroxide as the oxidant, types of oxidation products formed depended on the solvent conditions. Photolysis of aqueous solutions of chlorophenols in the presence of immobilised non-transition metal phthalocyanine photosensitisers onto Amerlite® was carried out. For the first time, MPcS[subscript mix] complexes were immobilised on Amberlite® for use in heterogeneous photocatalysis. Photolysis of the chlorophenols resulted mainly in the formation of chlorobenzoquinone derivatives. The generation of singlet oxygen (¹O₂) by these immobilised MPc photosensitisers was found to play a major role in their photoactivities. Modifications of gold electrodes with the newly synthesised thiol-derivatised MPc complexes via electropolymerisation and SAM techniques are presented. Cyclic voltammetry, impedance spectroscopy (NiPcs only) and spectroelectrochemical techniques (NiPcs only) confirmed that the complexes formed films on gold electrodes. Stable and well packed SAM films as evidenced by the voltammetric characterisation were obtained. For the first time, optimisation of the time for SAM formation based on CV technique was studied. First example of a formation of MnPc-SAM was achieved. Catalytic activities of the NiPc towards chlorophenol depended on the nature of the NiPc in the polymer films and also anti-fouling ability of the films depended on polymer film thickness. The FeTBMPc polymer modified gold electrode showed the best catalytic activity in terms of peak potential, E[subscript p] when compared to reported work in literature for nitrate electrooxidation. Cyclic voltammetry and spectroscopy studies showed that the CoPcs, FePcs and NiPcs catalysed nitrite oxidation involve 2 electrons in total while that of McPcs involve 1 electron. Better catalytic performance towards sulphite electrooxidation were obtained for the CoPcs, FePcs and MnPcs which have metal based redox processes within the range of the sulphite electrooxidation peak while the NiPcs which did not show metal based oxidation reaction performed less.
2

Exploring biodegradation of emerging pollutants using next generation sequencing and UPLC-MS-MS techniques

Yu, Ke, 余珂 January 2014 (has links)
This study was conducted to set up a systematic approach utilizing advantages of both wet lab and bioinformatic methodologies to study biodegradation abilities and microbial bacterial-functional relationship within bioremediation communities. Firstly, 11pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs)were selected as target chemicals for establishing an effective determination process in analyzing trace-level concentrations in the environment, and understanding the removal routes during pollutants removal process in wastewater treatment process using activated sludge. Ultra performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry was utilized to develop a rapid, sensitive and reliable method without solid phase extraction pre-concentration for trace analysis of 11 PPCPs in influent and effluent from municipal wastewater treatment plants. Shorten the detection time and significant reduction of detection cost were achieved due to the omitting usage of solid phase extraction (SPE)process and avoiding the consumption of hydrophiliclipophilic balancced (HLB)cartridge. Research on removal routes of ten selected PPCPs in activated sludge found activated sludge hardly removed carbamazepine. Biodegradation was the sole route to remove acyclovir, metronidazole, benzylparaben, ethylparaben, methylparaben and propylparaben. Both adsorption and biodegradation were involved in the removal of ranitidine and benzophenone-3, while fluoxetine could be totally removed by adsorption in activated sludge. Secondly, as the target microbial community, activated sludge community was used to set up the global bioinformatic analysis process. Both metagenomic and metatranscriptomic approaches were processed to characterize microbial structure and gene expression of activated sludge community. The taxonomic profile showed thatactivated sludge was dominated by Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes and Verrucomicrobiaphyla. Gene expression annotation of nitrogen removal revealed that denitrification-related genes sequences dominated in both DNA and cDNA datasets while nitrifying genes were also expressed in relative high levels. Specially, ammonia monooxygenase and hydroxylamine oxidase demonstrated the high cDNA/DNA ratios, indicating strong nitrification activity. Ammonia-oxidizing bacteria present mainly belonged to Nitrosomonas and Nitrosospira species. A fast method to construct local sub-databases has been established for the quick similarity search and annotation of huge metagenomic datasets. The conducted tests showed sub-database annotation pipeline achieved a speedup of ~150-385 times, and got exactly the same annotation results with those of the direct NCBI-nr database BLAST-MEGAN method. This approach provides a new time-efficient and convenient annotation similarity search strategy for laboratories without access to high performance computing facilities. Thirdly, bisphenol A(BPA), which has a partially known biodegradation pathway and relevant bioremediating genes, was chosen as a model to establish a pipeline for systematical understanding the pathways and gene/bacteria relationships in an enriched microbial community. 11 new metabolites were detected during BPA degradation. Thereby, a novel pathway of degrading BPA metabolite was proposed. Sphingomonas strains were dominant taxa in initial degradation of BPA, while the other taxa were competing BPA metabolites during degradation. Metagenomic binning results showed a cytochrome P450 monooxygenase system, which was previously reported BPA mediator, was sharing by two Sphingomonas strains, showing the undergoing mechanism of competition of the two strains. The observations suggested bacterial specialization may occur in that community that each taxon was selected to degrade certain metabolite in a community economical way. / published_or_final_version / Civil Engineering / Doctoral / Doctor of Philosophy
3

The development of an immobilised-enzyme bioprobe for the detection of phenolic pollutants in water

Russell, Ingrid Margaret January 1999 (has links)
The possibility of developing an immobilised-enzyme bioprobe, based on mushroom polyphenol oxidase, for the purely biological detection and quantification of phenolic pollutants in water was investigated. Polyphenol oxidase catalyses the bioconversion of many phenolic compounds into quinone-related coloured products. Thus, in an immobilised form, the enzyme serves as a visible indicator of the presence and concentration of phenolic pollutants in water. The objective of this research was to develop a portable, disposable bioprobe incorporating polyphenol oxidase for this purpose. The intensity of the colour changes produced by the enzyme on reaction with p-cresol, p-chlorophenol and phenol was found to increase proportionally with increasing concentrations of these substrates in solution. Immobilisation of the enzyme on various supports did not appear to significantly affect the catalytic activity of the enzyme. The enzyme was immobilised by adsorption and cross-linking on polyethersulphone, nitrocellulose and nylon membranes with the production of various colour ranges on reaction with the phenolic substrates. The most successful immobilisation of the enzyme, in terms of quantity and distribution of enzyme immobilised and colour production, was obtained with the enzyme immobilised by adsorption on nylon membranes in the presence of 3-methyl-2-benzothiazolinone hydrazone (MBTH). The enzyme, immobilised using this method, produced ranges of maroon colours in phenolic solutions and orange colours in cresylic solutions. The colour intensities produced were found to increase proportionally with increasing substrate concentration after 5 minutes exposure to the substrates. The bioprobe had a broad substrate specificity and was sensitive to substrate concentrations down to 0.05 mg/L. The enzyme activity of the bioprobe was not significantly affected in a pH range from 4 to 10 and in a temperature range from 5-25⁰C. The bioprobe activity was not affected by various concentrations of salt and metal ions and the bioprobe was able to detect and semi-quantify phenolic substrates in industrial effluent samples. These features of the bioprobe indicate that the commercialisation of such a bioprobe is feasible and this technology has been patented (Patent No. SA 97/0227). / KMBT_363 / Adobe Acrobat 9.54 Paper Capture Plug-in
4

Intraspecific comparison of Phanerochaete chrysosporium strains peroxidase production, pollutant degradation and mycelial differentiation

Fraser, Sheena Janet January 2005 (has links)
The wood-degrading basidiomycete, Phanerochaete chrysosporium, has been studied as a model organism in elucidating the mechanisms and pathways enabling this white-rot fungus to degrade recalcitrant lignin. These same mechanisms are implicated in the mineralisation of environmentally persistent, toxic phenolic chemicals. For this reason, P. chrysosporium has been exploited in a number of environmentally sound technologies, including the degradation of the indigestible lignin component in agricultural waste for the generation of digestible animal feedstocks or high sugar content raw materials for ethanol production; brightening processes in the pulp and paper industry; the detoxification and decolourisation of industrial effluents; and the bioremediation of hazardous waste sites. The improvement of these technologies is dependant on ongoing research involving strain selection, strain development using genetic engineering approaches and process development. Strain improvement using non-recombinant methods is beneficial in that it does not limit the inherent robustness observed amongst natural variants. In this research, through a breeding programme, ten P.chrysosporium sibling strains were screened for variable ligninase activities and pollutant degradation capabilities in order to further describe previously identified differences between these organisms. A conventional stationary liquid culture technique was effectively miniaturised from 10 ml flask cultures to a 96-well microtitre plate format, for the assessment of multigenic traits amongst sibling strains. Using the 96-well microtitre plate method, the relationships between P. chrysosporium growth kinetics, peroxidase production, pollutant sensitivity and pollutant degradation was explored. Significant correlations were primarily associated with P. chrysosporium growth [P < 0.05]. Percentage p-cresol removal and tannic acid tolerance were both correlated with a shorter lag phase in growth [tannic acid: r = 0.7698, P < 0.05; p-cresol: r = 0.7584, P < 0.05] and lower stationary phase biomass levels [tannic acid: r = 0.8177, P < 0.05; p-cresol: r = 0.7803, P < 0.05]. A significant correlation (linear relationship) was also detected between percentage Poly-R478 decolourisation and time of onset of MnP [r = 0.9689, P < 0.001]. No correlation was observed between dye decolourisation, p-cresol degradation, lignin degradation and lignin peroxidase (LiP) or manganese peroxidase (MnP) activities [P > 0.05]. These results imply that differences in the biosynthetic pathways for biomass accumulation in sibling strains play a significant role in the intraspecific variation observed in pollutant sensitivity, pollutant degradation, and enzyme production. Categorical analysis of intraspecific differences was assessed according to four criterions. These included growth, extracellular peroxidase activities, tolerance to toxic pollutants and the biodegradation of model pollutants. Sibling strains showing the most variable responses in three or more of the selective criterion were recommended for further studies. These strains include P. chrysosporium ME446, BS 2.52, BS 13, BS 17, BS 18, and BS 24. Interestingly, BS 2.52 (a dikaryotic strain generating from the crossing of two haploid progeny) showed significantly lower degradation capabilities than the wildtype parent strain ME446. The inherited variability observed between sibling strains is to be further explored through proteome and transcriptome analysis and genetic linkage studies aimed at describing the mechanisms or pathways conferring tolerance to or degradation of environmental pollutants. In examining fewer organisms at this next level, the number of replicates examined can be increased and thus the power of detection of experimental procedures improved, enabling the detection of multigenic traits amongst genetically related organisms. Growth was shown to play a significant role in the intraspecific differences detected in pollutant sensitivity and degradation between sibling strains. Little is known about the mechanism of growth and differentiation, or the role of differentiation in regulating the lignolytic activity in this organism. The membrane gradostat bioreactor and a unique plug-flow membrane bioreactor were evaluated as novel tools with which to further explore the relationship between secondary metabolism, pollutant degradation and biofilm development in sibling strains. High yield MnP production at levels as high as 1478.8 U.l-1 was achieved using a laboratory scale membrane gradostat bioreactor. Furthermore, extensive mycelial differentiation and tissue formation are reported for P. chrysosporium in both the membrane gradostat bioreactor and plug-flow membrane bioreactor. Intraspecific differences in the extent of this differentiation were observed in strains ME446, BS 13, BS 17 and BS 26 cultured using the membrane gradostat bioreactor, highlighting the potential of these techniques as a platform for future strain improvement strategies.
5

Understanding Microbial Biodegradation of Environmental Contaminants

Vilo Muñoz, Claudia Andrea 05 1900 (has links)
The accumulation of industrial contaminants in the natural environments have rapidly become a serious threat for human and animal life. Fortunately, there are microorganisms capable of degrading or transforming environmental contaminants. The present dissertation work aimed to understand the genomic basis of microbial degradation and resistance. The focus was the genomic study of the following bacteria: a) Pseudomonas fluorescens NCIMB 11764, a unique bacterium with specific enzymes that allow cyanide adaptation features. Potential cyanide degradation mechanisms found in this strain included nit1C cluster, and CNO complex. Potential cyanide tolerance genes found included cyanide insensitive oxidases, nitric oxide producing gene, and iron metabolism genes. b) Cupriavidus sp. strain SK-3 and strain SK-4. The genome of both bacteria presented the bph operon for polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) degradation, but we found differences in the sequences of the genes. Those differences might indicate their preferences for different PCB substrates. c) Arsenic resistant bacterial communities observed in the Atacama Desert. Specific bacteria were found to thrive depending on the arsenic concentration. Examples were Bacteroidetes and Spirochaetes phyla whose proportions increased in the river with high arsenic concentrations. Also, DNA repair and replication metabolic functions seem to be necessary for resistance to arsenic contaminated environments. Our research give us insights on how bacteria communities, not just individually, can adapt and become resistant to the contaminants. The present dissertation work showed specific genes and mechanisms for degradation and resistance of contaminants that could contribute to develop new bioremediation strategies.
6

Phenolic compounds in water and the implications for rapid detection of indicator micro-organisms using ß-D-Galactosidase and ß-D-Glucuronidase

Abboo, Sagaran January 2009 (has links)
Faecal contamination in water is detected using appropriate microbial models such as total coliforms, faecal coliforms and E. coli. Βeta-D-Galactosidase (β-GAL) and Beta-D-glucuronidase (β-GUD) are two marker enzymes that are used to test for the presence of total coliforms and E. coli in water samples, respectively. Various assay methods have been developed using chromogenic and fluorogenic substrates. In this study, the chromogenic substrates chlorophenol red β-D-galactopyranoside (CPRG) for β-GAL and p-nitrophenyl-β-D-galactopyranoside (PNPG) for β-GUD were used. Potential problems associated with this approach include interference from other organisms present in the environment (e.g. plants, algae and other bacteria), as well as the presence of certain chemicals, such as phenolic compounds in water. Phenolic compounds are present in the aquatic environment due to their extensive industrial applications. The USA Enviromental Protection Agency (EPA) lists 11 Priority Pollutant Phenols (PPP) due to their high level of toxicity. This study investigated the interfering effects of the eleven PPP found in water on the enzyme activities of both the β-GAL and β-GUD enzyme assays. The presence of these PPP in the β-GAL and β-GUD enzyme assays showed that over and underestimation of activity may occur due to inhibition or activation of these enzymes. Three types of inhibition to enzyme activities were identified from double reciprocal Lineweaver-Burk plots. The inhibition constants (Ki) were determined for all inhibitory phenolic compounds from appropriate secondary plots. Furthermore, this study presented a validated reverse phase high performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) method, developed for the simultaneous detection, separation and determination of all eleven phenolic compounds found in the environment. This method demonstrated good linearity, reproducibility, accuracy and sensitivity. Environmental water samples were collected from rivers, streams, industrial sites and wastewater treatment plant effluent. These samples were extracted and concentrated using a solid phase extraction (SPE) procedure prior to analysis employing the newly developed HPLC method in this study. Seasonal variations on the presence of the PPP in the environment were observed at certain collection sites. The concentrations found were between 0.033 μg/ml for 2,4-dinitrophenol in a running stream to 0.890 mg/ml for pentachlorophenol from an tannery industrial site. These concentrations of phenolic compounds found in these environments were able to interfere with the β-GAL and β-GUD enzyme assays.
7

The use of radiorespirometry for evaluation of subsurface biodegradation

Langschwager, Eugene M. January 1985 (has links)
Current use of alcohols as neat automotive fuels or as inexpensive octane enhancers in gasoline-alcohol blends, in addition to their uses as solvents and starting materials in manufacturing, have created a concern due to the increased potential for groundwater contamination. Adsorption and water solubility are primarily responsible for separating gasoline-alcohol blend components in soils and would allow alcohols to move ahead of the remaining gasoline components (e.g., benzene). The presence of alcohols would be difficult to detect, and levels hazardous to humans or animals could be reached readily. The primary objective of this study was to investigate the use of a ¹⁴C-tracer technique for evaluation of subsurface biodegradation of groundwater contaminants. A modification of the heterotrophic activity assay, the radiorespirometric method, was employed as the ¹⁴C-tracer technique. The microorganisms used were those present in soil sampled aseptically at locations in Pennsylvania and Virginia. Both saturated and unsaturated zone soils were used. The alcohols used were methanol and tertiary-butanol. Methanol was easily degraded under both aerobic and anoxic conditions up to approximately 3000 mg/L. Tertiary-butanol was degraded very slowly under both aerobic and anoxic/anaerobic conditions, and an inhibitory concentration was not readily apparent. Tertiary-butanol was degraded at rates approximately 10² slower than methano1. The data generated in this study compare favorably with data obtained by oxygen-uptake and static-microcosm methodologies. / Master of Science / incomplete_metadata

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