Biodegradation of fuel oxygenates by sol-gel immobilized bacteria Aquincola tertiaricarbonis L108

Angela Pannier, Claudia Oehm, Axel R. Fischer, Peter Werner, Ulrich Soltmann, Horst Böttcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


The development of long-term storable biofilters containing bacteria which are capable to degrade recalcitrant environmental compounds like the fuel oxygenates methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) and ethyl tert-butyl ether (ETBE) is of special interest for the treatment of contaminated water. Fuel oxygenates have been proven to be more persistent to biodegradation than other gasoline components. Only a few microorganisms, e.g. Aquincola tertiaricarbonis L108, are capable to biodegrade these substances.In order to develop highly efficient and long-term stable biocomposite materials for bioremediation, the applicability of sol-gel matrices for the immobilization of A. tertiaricarbonis was tested. Two different sol-gel immobilization techniques were used: (A) the immobilization within ceramic-like shapes by using the freeze-gelation technique and (B) sol-gel coatings on an inert, porous material. For comparison, the widely used alginate-bead immobilization technique has been applied.The embedding of A. tertiaricarbonis within freeze-gelation composites (method A) proved to be not applicable because this strain was too sensitive regarding the applied freezing and drying conditions even though cell-protecting additives were added. In contrast, A. tertiaricarbonis immobilized on porous expanded clay pellets (method B) could be stored under humid atmosphere at least for a time of 8 months without a significant reduction of their metabolic activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-296
Number of pages6
JournalEnzyme and Microbial Technology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 8 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Alginate beads
  • Aquincola tertiaricarbonis
  • Expanded clay pellets
  • Freeze-gelation biocers
  • Methyl tert-butyl ether
  • Sol-gel immobilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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