Bioremediation of perfluorochemicals: current state and the way forward

By Kuok Ho Daniel Tang and Risky Ayu Kristanti
Bioprocess Biosyst Eng
February 7, 2022
DOI: 10.1007/s00449-022-02694-z

Perfluorochemicals are widely found in the environment due to their versatile uses and persistent nature. Perfluorochemicals have also been detected in human and animals due to direct or indirect exposures, giving rise to health concerns. This review aims to examine the bioremediation of perfluorochemicals with plants, bacteria and fungi, including their efficiency and limitations. It also aims to propose the future prospects of bioremediation of perfluorochemicals. This review retrieved peer-reviewed journal articles published between 2010 and 2021 from journal databases consisting of Web of Science, Scopus and ScienceDirect. This review shows that multiple Pseudomonas species could degrade perfluorochemicals particularly perfluoroalkyl acids under aerobic condition. Acidimicrobium sp. degraded perfluoroalkyl acids anaerobically in the presence of electron donors. A mixed Pseudomonas culture was more effective than pure cultures. Multiple plants were found to bioconcentrate perfluorochemicals and many demonstrated the ability to hyperaccumulate perfluoroalkyl acids, particularly Festuca rubra, Salix nigra and Betula nigra. Fungal species, particularly Pseudeurotium sp. and Geomyces sp., have the potential to degrade perfluorooctanoic acid or perfluorooctane sulphonic acid. Perfluorochemicals bioremediation could be advanced with identification of more candidate species for bioremediation, optimization of bioremediation conditions, mixed culturing, experiments with environmental media and studies on the biochemical pathways of biotransformation. This review provides comprehensive insight into the efficiency of different bacterial, plant and fungal species in perfluorochemicals bioremediation under different conditions, their limitations and improvement.


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