Improvements in the enzymatic degradation of textile dyes using ionic-liquid-based surfactants


The intensive use of water containing dyes by the textile industry, and consequently the contamination of soils and water, represents serious environmental concerns. Amongst the several processes applied in the treatment of textile effluents, biological-based processes, if designed to be cost-effective and ecofriendly, are promising alternatives to decolorize textile effluents. In this work we investigate and propose the novel use of ionic liquids (ILs) with surfactant characteristics to improve the degradation of the largely used and highly hydrophobic textile dye indigo carmine (IC) by laccase. An initial screening on the activity of laccase in aqueous solutions of twelve surfactant-based Its from three different families, namely tetraalkylammonium- and imidazolium-based cationic surfactants and cholinium-based anionic surfactants, at different concentrations, was carried out. Significant improvements in the activity of laccase were observed with decyltrimethylammonium bromide, [N-10111]Br, and 1-decyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride, [C(10)mim]Cl, at 75mM (above the critical micellar concentration of each IL). These ILs were then investigated in aqueous solutions to simultaneously encapsulate lactase and IC for the in situ enzymatic biodegradation of the dye. The use of ILs remarkably increases the degradation rate of the dye and decolorization efficiency; a degradation efficiency of IC of 82% is attained in 0.5 h using aqueous solutions of [N-10111]Br, whereas without IL only 6% of IC is degraded. Furthermore, 93% of the dye decolorization was achieved with [N-10111]Br. The overall gathered results show that it is possible to significantly improve the degradation of hydrophobic dyes by enzymes using appropriate surfactant-based ILs, while foreseeing the use of the treated water by the same textile industries in new dyeing steps and thus contributing to a substantial decrease of the economic input and environmental footprint of these industries.



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Bento, RMF; Almeida, MR; Bharmoria, P; Freire, MG; Tavares, APM

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This work was developed within the scope of the project CICECOAveiro Institute of Materials, FCT Ref. UID/CTM/50011/2019, financed by national funds through the FCT/MCTES. This work was also financially supported by the project POCI-01-0145-FEER-031106 (IonCytDevice) and POCI-01-0145-FEDER-031268 funded by FEDER, through COMPETE2020 Programa Operational Competitividade e Intemacionalizacao (FOCI), and by national funds (OE), through FCT/MCTES. Ma P.M. Tavares acknowledges FCT for the Investigator Programme (IF/01634/2015).

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