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Screening of Fungi for Biodegradation of Volatile Organic Compounds

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Proceedings rept. May 2000-May 2001

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Fungi are proposed as a more-robust alternative to bacteria in biofilter treatment. In the studies described herein, five fungal species, Exophiala lecanii-corni, Mucor rouxil ATCC 44260, Phanerochaete chrysosporium ATCC 24725, Cladosporium sphaerospermum ATCC 200384, and Cladosporium resinae ATCC 34066 were used to degrade compounds commonly found in paint spray booth off-gases benzene, p-xylene, methyl ethyl ketone and n-butyl acetate. Fungal cultures were inoculated on ceramic support media for testing at pH values ranging from 3.5 to 6.5. Fungal ability to degrade each VOC was determined by observing presence or absence of visible growth on the ceramic support media during a 30-day test period. Results indicate that Exophiala lecanii-corni and Cladosporium sphaerospermu can readily utilize. Continued on p. ii n-butyl acetate, methyl ethyl ketone, benzene, and p-xylene as their sole carbon and energy source. Phanerochaete chrysosporium was able to degrade n-butyl acetate, methyl ethyl ketone, and benzene but not p-xylene under the conditions tested. Cladosporium resinae was able to degrade n-butyl acetate and methyl ethyl ketone but not benzene or p-xylene under the conditions tested. Mucor rouxil was able to use n-butyl acetate as a sole carbon and energy source however, it was unable to utilize any of the other VOCs tested under the conditions imposed. Maximum growth for most of the tested fungi was observed at a pH value of approximately 5.0.

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  • Microbiology

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