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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(3), 452; doi:10.3390/ijerph15030452

Removal and Biodegradation of 17β-Estradiol and Diethylstilbestrol by the Freshwater Microalgae Raphidocelis subcapitata

Institute of Hydrobiology, Jinan University, Guangzhou 510632, China
Key Laboratory of Aquatic Eutrophication and Control of Harmful Algal Blooms, Guangdong Higher Education Institutes, Guangzhou 510632, China
Collage of Life Science and Resources and Environment, Yichun University, Yichun 336000, China
Research Center of Offshore Marine Environment, South China Institute of Environmental Sciences, MEP, Guangzhou 510655, China
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 December 2017 / Revised: 23 February 2018 / Accepted: 26 February 2018 / Published: 5 March 2018
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Natural steroidal and synthetic non-steroidal estrogens such as 17β-estradiol (E2) and diethylstilbestrol (DES) have been found in natural water, which can potentially endanger public health and aquatic ecosystems. The removal and biodegradation of E2 and DES by Raphidocelis subcapitata were studied in bacteria-free cultures exposed to single and mixture treatments at different concentrations for 96 h. The results showed that R. subcapitata exhibited a rapid and strong ability to remove E2 and DES in both single and mixture treatments by biodegradation. At the end of 96 h, the removal percentage of single E2 and DES achieved 82.0%, 80.4%, 74.6% and 89.9%, 73.4%, 54.1% in 0.1, 0.5, and 1.5 mg·L−1, respectively. With the exception of the 0.1 mg·L−1 treatment at 96 h, the removal capacity of E2 was more efficient than that of DES by R. subcapitata. Furthermore, the removal percentage of mixture E2 and DES achieved 88.5%, 82.9%, 84.3% and 87.2%, 71.8%, 51.1% in 0.1, 0.5, and 1.5 mg·L−1, respectively. The removal percentage of mixed E2 was significantly higher than that of the single E2. The presence of DES could accelerate the removal of E2 from the mixture treatments in equal concentrations. In addition, the removal was mainly attributed to the biodegradation or biotransformation process by the microalgae cells rather than simple sorption and accumulation in the cells. The microalgae R. subcapitata demonstrated a high capability for the removal of the E2 and DES indicating future prospects for its application. View Full-Text
Keywords: 17β-estradiol; diethylstilbestrol; removal; biodegradation; Raphidocelis subcapitata 17β-estradiol; diethylstilbestrol; removal; biodegradation; Raphidocelis subcapitata

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Liu, W.; Chen, Q.; He, N.; Sun, K.; Sun, D.; Wu, X.; Duan, S. Removal and Biodegradation of 17β-Estradiol and Diethylstilbestrol by the Freshwater Microalgae Raphidocelis subcapitata. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 452.

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