Hydrophobic carriers were examined for geosmin and 2-methylisoborneol removal from water derived from an aquaculture system. A combination of adsorption and biodegradation was found to underlie the removal of the off-flavor compounds. Adsorption of these compounds by the carriers was unaffected by the presence of organic matter in the water to be treated. A model based on adsorption/desorption and first-order degradation kinetics provided an accurate prediction for experimentally determined 2-methylisoborneol removal rates. Steady removal of geosmin and 2-methylisoborneol as well as nitrate reduction were observed during long-term operation of the plug-flow reactors with water derived from an aquaculture facility. Metagenomic analysis of the microbial community on the carriers during long-term operation of the reactors revealed a predominance of denitrifying bacteria. It was found that geosmin and 2-methylisoborneol led to statistically significant changes in the abundances of 21 contigs that contained genes involved in terpene degradation. This study shows that at low ambient concentrations of geosmin and 2-methylisoborneol in nitrate and organic-rich water, such as found in aquaculture systems, their biodegradation can be accomplished by terpene-degrading denitrifiers that develop on hydrophobic carriers used for filtration of the contaminated water.
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- Hydrophobic carriers
- Microbial community structure