Short communication: Biodegradation of 1-naphthol in the presence of humic acid

W. D. Burgos, N. Pisutpaisal, M. Tuntoolavest, J. Chorover, R. F. Unz

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28 Scopus citations


Biodegradation of 1-naphthol by a pure culture was measured in the presence (65 mg C L-1) and absence of a forest soil humic acid (HA). Experiments were performed under nongrowth conditions and controlled ionic strength (I equivalent to 10 mM LiCl) at pH 8.0. 1-Naphthol was allowed to react with HA under aerobic conditions in the dark for 7 days to promote sorption prior to bacterial inoculation. During this abiotic sorption period, 3.7-12% of 1-naphthol was transformed into oxidative products (naphthoquinones). At low initial 1-naphthol concentrations (<2.7 mg L-1), 1-naphthol mineralization (measured by 14CO2 production) decreased from 25-35% to 9-16% with HA. 1-Naphthol was biodegraded to concentrations below HPLC-PDA detection limit (0.10 mg L-1) except at the highest 1-naphthol concentrations tested (>9.0 mg L-1) with or without HA. Both abiotic and biotic 1-naphthol transformation pathways accumulated similar products, and these products were more recalcitrant than 1-naphthol. The sorption of 1-naphthol abiotic transformation products and bacterial metabolites to HA (not 1-naphthol) reduced 1-naphthol mineralization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)343-351
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Engineering Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2000


  • 1-naphthol
  • Bioavailability
  • Biodegradation
  • Humic acid
  • Naphthoquinones

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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