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Science of The Total Environment
Volume 733, 2020, 139155

Degradation of 2-mercaptobenzothizaole in microbial electrolysis cells: Intermediates, toxicity, and microbial communities

M. IsabelSan-Martína, Adrián Escapaa,c, Raúl M.Alonsoa, Moisés Canleb, Antonio Morána

Chemical and Environmental Bioprocess Engineering Group, Natural Resources Institute (IRENA), Universidad de León, Avda. de Portugal 41, E-24009 Leon, Spain.


The compound 2-mercaptobenzothizaole (MBT) has been frequently detected in wastewater and surface water and is a potential threat to both aquatic organisms and human health (its mutagenic potential has been demonstrated). This study investigated the degradation routes of MBT in the anode of a microbial electrolysis cell (MEC) and the involved microbial communities. The results indicated that graphene-modified anodes promoted the presence of more enriched, developed, and specific communities compared to bare anodes. Moreover, consecutive additions of the OH substituent to the benzene ring of MBT were only detected in the reactor equipped with the graphene-treated electrode. Both phenomena, together with the application of an external voltage, may be related to the larger reduction of biotoxicity observed in the MEC equipped with graphene-modified anodes (46.2 eqtox∙m-3 to 27.9 eqtox∙m-3).

Keywords: 2-Mercaptobenzothiazole, Bioremediation, Biotoxicity, Graphene, Microbial electrolysis cell.

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