In vitro toxicological evaluation of ionic liquids and development of effective bioremediation process for their removal.


Biochemistry Division, Department of Chemistry, Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune, 411007, India. Electronic address: [Email]


The present study deals with the cyto-genotoxicological impact of ionic liquids, 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium bromide, trihexyl tetradecylphosphonium dicyanamide, 1-decyl-3-methylimidazolium tetrafluoroborate, benzyldimethyltetradecylammonium chloride, and 1-butyl-4-methylpyridinium chloride, on animal cells and their biodegradation. The long alkyl chain containing ionic liquids were found to be more toxic whereas benzene functional group in benzyldimethyltetradecylammonium chloride enhances its toxicity. Aerobic bacterial granules, a bacterial consortium, were developed that have promising ability to break down these organic pollutants. These aerobic bacterial granules have been applied for the biodegradation of ionic liquids. The biological oxygen demand (5 days) and chemical oxygen demand parameters confirmed that the biodegradation was solely due to aerobic bacterial granules which further decreased the time period needed for regular biodegradation by biological oxygen demand (28 days). The high resolution mass spectrometry analysis further approved that the degradation of ionic liquids was mainly via removal of the methyl group. Elevated N-demethylase enzyme activity supports the ionic liquids degradation which may be occurring through demethylation mechanism. The amplicon sequencing of aerobic bacterial granules gives insight into the involvement of the bacterial community in the biodegradation process.


Aerobic bacterial granules,Biodegradation,Ionic liquids,Metagenomics,Toxicity,