The biodegradation effect and pathway of unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine (UDMH), which is a major rocket propellant with highly toxic properties, with two strains isolated from the acclimated activated sludge were investigated in solution and in soil. The results demonstrated that Stenotrophomonas
sp. M12 (M12) was able to degrade UDMH of 50 mg·L−1
as the sole carbon source in aqueous mineral salt medium (MSM), but could not degrade UDMH in soil. Comamonas
sp. P4 (P4) barely degraded UDMH of 50 mg·L−1
as the sole carbon source in aqueous MSM, but the degrading capacity of P4 could be improved by the addition of an extra carbon source. Meanwhile, P4 was able to degrade UDMH of 100–600 mg·kg−1
in the soil. The degradation of UDMH in the soil was influenced by organic matter, autochthonous microorganisms, and metal ions. UDMH could inhibit metabolism of M12 and P4, and the inhibition influence was more severe in aqueous MSM than in soil. Oxygen content was important for M12 biodegrading UDMH, and co-metabolism helped P4 to self-detoxify and self-recover. The main intermediates of UDMH were identified by Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometer (GC/MS) qualitative analysis, and the concentrations of UDMH and its important transformation products were determined in solution and soil. According to the determination results, the synchronous degradation theory was proposed, and the degradation pathway was discussed.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited