Bioaugmentation for treating transient 4-fluorocinnamic acid shock loads in a rotating biological contactor

Catarina L. Amorim, Anouk F. Duque, Carlos M. M. Afonso, Paula M. L. Castro*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


A rotating biological contactor (RBC) was used to treat shock loadings of 4-fluorocinnamic acid (4-FCA). Intermittent 4-FCA shocks of 35mgL-1 were applied (ca. 3months) with only limited mineralization occurring and accumulation of 4-fluorobenzoate (4-FBA) as an intermediate. After bioaugmentation with a degrading bacterium the RBC was able to deal with 4-FCA intermittent loading of 80mgL-1 however, a gradual decline in RBC performance occurred, leading to 4-FBA accumulation. The degrading strain was recovered from the biofilm during 2months but intermittent feeding may have led to diminishing strain numbers. Distinct bacterial communities in the 1st and the 5th and 10th stages of the RBC were revealed by denaturating gradient gel electrophoresis. Several isolates retrieved from the RBC transformed 4-FCA into 4-FBA but only two strains mineralized the compound. Bioaugmentation allowed removal of the fluorinated compound however intermittent feeding may have compromised the bioreactor efficiency.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)554-562
Number of pages9
JournalBioresource Technology
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2013


  • 4-Fluorocinnamic acid
  • Bioaugmentation
  • Rotating biological contactor


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