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Oil sands process affected water sourced Trichoderma harzianum demonstrates capacity for mycoremediation of naphthenic acid fraction compounds

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • Development of Alberta’s oil sands requires large volumes of water, leading to the abundance of oil sands process affected water (OSPW) that must be remediated prior to discharge or reuse. OSPW contains a variety of dissolved organic compounds, however naphthenic acids (NAs) have been found to contribute significantly to the toxicity of OSPW. A fungus, Trichoderma harzianum, isolated directly from OSPW, has previously demonstrated a high tolerance and capacity for growth in the presence of commercial NAs. This study conducted microcosm experiments to elucidate and characterize the capacity of T. harzianum to degrade labile commercial NAs (Merichem), and OSPW-sourced naphthenic acid fraction compounds (NAFCs). Additionally, two model NA compounds, the simple single ring cyclohexane carboxylic acid (CHCA) and complex diamondoid 1-adamanatane carboxylic acid (ADA), were utilized to determine the influence of NA structure on degradation. T. harzianum degraded 14% of CHCA, 13% of ADA, and 23–47% of Merichem NAs. Additionally, Orbitrap mass spectrometry revealed a large change in Z-series within NAFCs. This removal and shift in composition correlated to a 59% and 52% drop in toxicity as per Microtox, for Merichem NAs and NAFCs respectively. This proof of concept experiment confirms that the fungal species T. harzianum can contribute to the biodegradation of complex dissolved organics found in OSPW, including cyclic and diamondoid structures.

  • Date created
    2020-11-01
  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Type of Item
    Article (Published)
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/r3-02cn-6321
  • License
    Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
  • Language
  • Citation for previous publication
    • Miles, S. M., Balaberda, A.-L., Ulrich, A. C., & Asiedu, E.. (2020). Oil sands process affected water sourced Trichoderma harzianum demonstrates capacity for mycoremediation of naphthenic acid fraction compounds. Chemosphere, 258. https://doi-org.login.ezproxy.library.ualberta.ca/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.127281