A mixed culture utilizing 1,4-dioxane as a sole carbon and energy source was obtained from the activated sludge at a textile wastewater treatment plant. The biodegradation of 1,4-dioxane was characterized by a model based on the Monod equation. The effects of the presence of easily degradable carbon sources other than 1,4-dioxane were investigated using dextrose. Structural analogs commonly found in 1,4-dioxane-containing wastewater such as tetrahydrofuran (THF), 2-methyl-1,3-dioxolane, and 1,4-dioxene were also evaluated for their potential effects on 1,4-dioxane biodegradation. The presence of dextrose did not show any synergetic or antagonistic effects on 1,4-dioxane biodegradation, while the structural analogs showed significant competitive inhibition effects. The inhibitory effects were relatively strong with heptagonal cyclic ethers such as THF and 2-methyl-1,3-dioxolane, and mild with hexagonal cyclic ethers such as 1,4-dioxene. It was also shown that the treatment of 1,4-dioxane in the raw textile wastewater required 170% more time to remove 1,4-dioxane due to the co-presence of 2-methyl-1,3-dioxolane, and the extent of delay depended on the initial concentration of 1,3-doxolane.
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