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The Bioconcentration and Degradation of Nonylphenol and Nonylphenol Polyethoxylates by Chlorella vulgaris

MOE Key Laboratory of Pollution Processes and Environmental Criteria, College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Present Address: Tianjin Dongjiang Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau of the People's Republic of China, Tianjin 300463, China;
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(1), 1255-1270;
Received: 12 December 2013 / Revised: 8 January 2014 / Accepted: 9 January 2014 / Published: 17 January 2014
PDF [438 KB, uploaded 19 June 2014]


Nonylphenol polyethoxylates (NPnEOs), a major class of nonionic surfactants, can easily enter into aquatic environments through various pathways due to their wide applications, which leads to the extensive existence of their relative stable metabolites, namely nonylphenol (NP) and mono- to tri-ethoxylates. This study investigated the bioconcentration and degradation of NP and NPnEO oligomers (n = 1–12) by a green algae, Chlorella vulgaris. Experimental results showed that C. vulgaris can remove NP from water phase efficiently, and bioconcentration and degradation accounted for approximately half of its loss, respectively, with a 48 h BCF (bioconcentration factor) of 2.42 × 103. Moreover, C. vulgaris could concentrate and degrade NPnEOs, distribution profiles of the series homologues of the NPnEOs in algae and water phase were quite different from the initial homologue profile. The 48 h BCF of the NPnEO homologues increased with the length of the EO chain. Degradation extent of total NPnEOs by C. vulgaris was 95.7%, and only 1.1% remained in water phase, and the other 3.2% remained in the algal cells. The algae removed the NPnEOs mainly through degradation. Due to rapid degradation, concentrations of the long chain NPnEO homologous in both water (n ≥ 2) and the algal phase (n ≥ 5) was quite low at the end of a 48 h experiment. View Full-Text
Keywords: bioconcentration; degradation; nonylphenol; nonylphenol polyethoxylates; Chlorella vulgaris bioconcentration; degradation; nonylphenol; nonylphenol polyethoxylates; Chlorella vulgaris
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Sun, H.-W.; Hu, H.-W.; Wang, L.; Yang, Y.; Huang, G.-L. The Bioconcentration and Degradation of Nonylphenol and Nonylphenol Polyethoxylates by Chlorella vulgaris. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15, 1255-1270.

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