Applied Enzymology & Environmental Biotechnology. Enzyme-based methods are being developed as an alternative strategy for industrial wastewater treatment. This work is done in close collaboration with a campus group in environmental engineering using isolated enzymes, either free in solution or in immobilized form. In some cases, enzymatic methods of analysis are developed to complement the spectroscopic and chromatographic ones that are used in process development and modeling. We have broadened the scope of applicability by developing two, separate chemical "front-ends" for the enzyme-based process. Thus, zero-valent metal reduction converts nitro-aromatics into anilines. Similarly, Fenton-type chemistry converts aromatics of the BTEX, PAH, PCB and dioxin classes into phenolics. The products of both of these chemical processes are readily treated by the enzyme-based process. The goal of this project is to design cost-effective reactors for treatment of selected target streams to yield effluents in compliance with environmentally-acceptable discharge limits. Knowledge of protein chemistry, enzyme mechanisms and inactivation, spectroscopic and chromatographic methods, environmental (organic) chemistry and process monitoring, optimization and control will be required or acquired in varying degrees. Students gaining experience in the above areas would be well-suited for employment related to the chemical aspects of environmental biotechnology (analytical techniques, purification, characterization, utilization, downstream processing, production) and this would be complementary to the engineering and molecular biological aspects of the field.
- M. Mani Biswas, N. Biswas, K.E. Taylor and J.K. Bewtra (2007). Enzymatic treatment of sulfonated aromatic amines generated from reductive degradation of reactive azo dyes. Water Environment Research 79, 351 – 356.
- S. Dasgupta, K.E. Taylor, N. Biswas and J.K. Bewtra (2007). Inactivation of enzyme laccase and role of co-substrate oxygen in enzymatic removal of phenol from water. Water Environment Research 79, 858 – 867.
- J. Patapas, M. Mousa Al-Ansari, K.E. Taylor, J.K. Bewtra and N. Biswas (2007). Removal of dinitrotoluenes from water via reduction with iron and peroxidase-catalyzed oxidative polymerization: a comparison between Arthromyces ramosus peroxidase and soybean peroxidase. Chemosphere 67, 1485 – 1491 (doi:1010.1016/j.chemosphere.2006.12.040).
- J.P. Ghosh, K.E. Taylor, J.K. Bewtra and N. Biswas (2008). Laccase-catalyzed removal of 2,4-dimethylphenol from synthetic wastewater: effect of polyethylene glycol and dissolved oxygen. Chemosphere 71, 1709 – 1717 (doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2008.01.002).
- B. Saha, K. E. Taylor, J. K. Bewtra, N. Biswas (2008). Laccase-catalyzed removal of diphenylamine from synthetic wastewater. Water Environment Research 80, 2118 – 2124 (doi: 10.2175/106143008X304712).
- A Steevensz, M. Mousa Al-Ansari, K.E. Taylor, J.K. Bewtra, N. Biswas (2009). Comparison of soybean peroxidase with laccase in the removal of phenol from synthetic and refinery wastewater samples. Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology 84, 761 – 769 (doi: 10.1002/jctb.2109).
- M. Mousa Al-Ansari, A. Steevensz, N. Al-Aasm, K.E. Taylor, J.K. Bewtra, N. Biswas (2009). Soybean peroxidase-catalyzed removal of phenylenediamines and benzenediols from water. Enzyme and Microbial Technology 45, 253 – 260 (doi:10.1016/j.enzymictec.2009.07.004).
- Mohammad Mousa Al-Ansari, A. Steevensz, K. E. Taylor, J. K. Bewtra and N. Biswas (2010). Soybean peroxidase-catalyzed removal of an aromatic thiol, 2-mercaptobenzothiazole, from water. Water Environment Research 82, 2285 – 2289(5); (doi:10.2175/106143010X12681059116617).
- M. Mousa Al-Ansari, Katy Modaressi, K. E. Taylor, J. K. Bewtra and N. Biswas (2010). Soybean peroxidase-catalyzed oxidative polymerization of phenols in coal-tar wastewater: Comparison of additives in enhancing the treatment. Environmental Engineering Science 27, 967 – 975 (doi:10.1089/ees.2010.0143).
- B. Saha, K. E. Taylor, N. Biswas and J. K. Bewtra (2011). Laccase-catalyzed removal of phenol and benzenediols from wastewater. American Society of Civil Engineering’s Practice Periodical, Journal of Hazardous, Toxic and Radioactive Waste Management 15(1), 13 – 20 (online July 26, 2010; doi: 10.1061/(ASCE)HZ.1944-8376.0000050).
- B. Saha, K. E. Taylor, J. K. Bewtra and N. Biswas (2011). Removal of benzene from wastewater via Fenton pre-treatment followed by enzyme-catalyzed polymerization. Water Science and Technology 63.8, 1663 – 1668 (doi: 10.2166/wst2011.331).
- M. Mousa Al-Ansari, B. Saha, S. Mazloum, K.E. Taylor, J.K. Bewtra and N. Biswas (2011). Soybean peroxidase applications in wastewater treatment. In “Soybeans: Cultivation, Uses and Nutrition”, J.E. Maxwell (ed.), Nova Science Publishers, Inc., Hauppauge, NY, ISBN: 978-1-61761 -762-1; Chapter 5, 33 pages.
- A. Steevensz, M. Mousa Al-Ansari, K.E. Taylor, J.K. Bewtra and N. Biswas (2012). Oxidative coupling of various aromatic phenols and anilines in water using a laccase from Trametes villosa and insights into the “PEG effect”. Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology 87, 21 – 32 (published online Oct. 12, 2011; doi: 10.1002/jctb.2734).
- W. Feng, K.E. Taylor, N. Biswas and J.K. Bewtra (2013). Case study: phenolic precipitate utilization to enhance enzymatic wastewater treatment. Canadian Society for Civil Engineering 2013 General Conference (Montreal, May 29 – June 1) Proceedings, paper GEN-121 (6-page extended abstract).
- W. Feng, K.E. Taylor, N. Biswas and J.K. Bewtra (2013). Soybean peroxidase trapped in product precipitate during phenol polymerization retains activity and may be recycled. Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology, in press, accepted 27 Feb., 2013 (7 pages, doi: 10.1002/jctb.4075).
- A. Steevensz, S. Madur, M. Mousa Al-Ansari, K.E. Taylor, J.K. Bewtra, N. Biswas (2013). A simple lab-scale extraction of soybean hull peroxidase shows wide variation among cultivars. Industrial Crops and Products, in press, accepted 25 Mar., 2013 (doi: 10.1016/j.indcrop.2013.03.030).