Two prominent polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) congeners have been included in the persistent organic pollutant list, 2,2′,4,4′,5-tetrabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-99) and 2,2,4,4′-tetrabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-47), which have been detected in treated municipal wastewater, river water, and sediments in China. A lab-scale column experiment was established to investigate the effects of the competitive sorption of BDE-47 on BDE-99 biodegradation and migration in two types of river-based aquifer soils during groundwater recharge with reclaimed water. Two types of recharge columns were used, filled with either silty clay (SC) or black carbon-amended silty clay (BCA). The decay rate constants of BDE-99 in the BCA and SC systems were 0.186 and 0.13 m−1 in the single-solute system and 0.128 and 0.071 m−1 in the binary-solute system, respectively, showing that the decay of BDE-99 was inhibited by the coexistence of BDE-47. This was particularly evident in the SC system because the higher hydrophobicity of BDE-99 determined the higher affinity and competition for sorption sites onto black carbon. The biodegradation of BDE-99 was suppressed by the coexistence of BDE-47, especially in the SC system. Lesser-brominated congeners (BDE-47 and BDE-28) and higher-brominated congeners (BDE-100, BDE-153, BDE-154, and BDE-183) were generated in the four recharge systems, albeit at different ratios. Bacterial biodiversity was influenced by the presence of BDE-47 in the SC system, while it had no significant effect on the BCA system, because the high sorption capacity of black carbon on the hydrophobic PBDEs effectively reduced their toxicity. The ranking order of the most abundant classes changed markedly due to the coexistence of BDE-47 in both the SC and BCA systems. The ranking order of the most abundant genera changed from Azospira, Methylotenera, Desulfovibrio, Methylibium, and Bradyrhizobium to Halomonas, Hyphomicrobium, Pseudomonas, Methylophaga, and Shewanella, which could be involved in PBDE degradation.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research – Springer Journals
Published: May 17, 2017
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