Anaerobic degradation of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in biosolids by Acidimicrobium sp. strain A6

Shan Huang, Matthew Sima, Ying Long, Courtney Messenger, Peter R. Jaffé

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33 Scopus citations


Anaerobic incubations were performed with biosolids obtained from an industrial wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) that contained perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), and with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances- (PFAS) free, laboratory-generated, biosolids that were spiked with PFOA. Biosolid slurries were incubated for 150 days as is, after augmenting with either Acidimicrobium sp. Strain A6 or ferrihydrite, or with both, Acidimicrobium sp. Strain A6 and ferrihydrite. Autoclaved controls were run in parallel. Only the biosolids augmented with both, Acidimicrobium sp. Strain A6 and ferrihydrite showed a decrease in the PFOA concentration, in excess of 50% (total, dissolved, and solid associated). Higher concentrations of PFOA in the biosolids spiked with PFOA and no previous PFAS exposure allowed to track the production of fluoride to verify PFOA defluorination. The buildup of fluoride over the incubation time was observed in these biosolid incubations spiked with PFOA. A significant increase in the concentration of perfluoroheptanoic acid (PFHpA) over the incubations of the filter cake samples from the industrial WWTP was observed, indicating the presence of a non-identified precursor in these biosolids. Results show that anaerobic incubation of PFAS contaminated biosolids, after augmentation with Fe(III) and Acidimicrobium sp. Strain A6 can result in PFAS defluorination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number127699
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
StatePublished - Feb 15 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry


  • Ammonium
  • Anaerobic
  • Feammox
  • Ferrihydrite
  • Filter cake
  • Iron reducing
  • Reductive defluorination


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