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Revista mexicana de ingeniería química

versión impresa ISSN 1665-2738

Rev. Mex. Ing. Quím vol.8 no.2 México ago. 2009




Biodegradation of [bmim][PF6] using Fusarium sp


Biodegradación de [bmim][PF6] utilizando Fusarium sp


A. Esquivel–Viveros1, F. Ponce–Vargas1, P. Esponda–Aguilar1,2, L.A. Prado–Barragán1, M. Gutiérrez–Rojas1, G.J. Lye2 and S. Huerta–Ochoa1*


1 Departamento de Biotecnología, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana–Iztapalapa, Av. San Rafael Atlixco 186, Col. Vicentina, 09340, México D.F., México. * Corresponding author. E-mail: Fax 55 58044712

2 The Advanced Centre for Biochemical Engineering, Department of Biochemical Engineering, University College London, London, WC1E 7JE, United Kingdom


Received 12 of February 2009
Accepted 11 of June 2009



The increased use of ionic liquids in industry has led to the study of their biodegradability and toxicity to prevent contamination of the environment by these synthetic compounds. A Fusarium strain was isolated and tested for its ability to tolerate and grow in the presence of [bmim] [PF6], a potential contaminant of wastewaters. The Fusarium strain was able to grow in both surface and submerged liquid media using [bmim] [PF6] as the sole carbon source up to 19 and 21 g [bmim] [PF6] L–1, respectively. A membrane–aerated biofilm reactor was used for biodegradation studies of synthetic wastewaters. Up to 80% biodegradation was observed after 28 days of incubation at 30 °C. This is the first time that [bmim][PF6] has been subjected to fungal biodegradation.

Keywords: ionic liquids, [bmim][PF6] biodegradation, Fusarium, membrane–aerated biofilm reactor.



El uso creciente de líquidos iónicos en la industria conduce a estudios de bio–degradabilidad y toxicidad para prevenir la contaminación del medio ambiente por estos compuestos sintéticos. Se aisló una cepa de Fusarium y se probó su habilidad para tolerar y crecer en presencia de [bmim] [PF6], un contaminante potencial de aguas residuales. La cepa de Fusarium fue capaz de crecer tanto en cultivo superficial y sumergido utilizando [bmim] [PF6] como única fuente de carbono hasta 19 y 21 g [bmim] [PF6] L–1, respectivamente. Se utilizó un reactor de biopelícula de membrana aireada para los estudios de biodegradación de aguas residuales sintéticas. Se observó una biodegradación del 80% después de 28 días de incubación a 30 °C. Ésta es la primera vez que se estudia la biodegradación de [bmim][PF6] con hongos filamentosos.

Palabras clave: líquidos iónicos, biodegradación de [bmim][PF6], Fusarium, eactor de biopelícula de membrana aireada.





We are grateful to the National Council of Science and Technology of Mexico (Conacyt México) for its financial support of Project 2003–CO2–42694.



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