Structural effects of ionic liquids on microalgal growth inhibition and microbial degradation

Thi Phuong Thuy Pham, Chul-Woong Cho, Yeoung-Sang Yun
Environmental Science and Pollution Research International 2016, 23 (5): 4294-300
In the present study, we investigated structural effects of various ionic liquids (ILs) on microalgal growth inhibition and microbial biodegradability. For this, we tested pyridinium- and pyrrolidinium-based ILs with various alkyl chain lengths and bromide anion, and compared the toxicological effects with log EC50 values of imidazolium-based IL with the same alkyl chains and anion from literature. Comparing determined EC50 values of cationic moieties with the same alkyl chain length, pyridinium-based ILs were found to be slightly more toxic towards the freshwater green alga, Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata, than a series of pyrrolidinium and imidazolium except to 1-octyl-3-methylimidazolium bromide. Concerning the biodegradation study of 12 ILs using the activated sludge microorganisms, the results showed that the pyridinium derivatives except to 1-propyl-3-methylpyridinium cation were degraded. Whereas in case of imidazolium- and pyrrolidinium-based compounds, only n-hexyl and n-octyl substituted cations were fully degraded but no significant biodegradation was observed for the short chains (three and four alkyl chains).

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