A comparative study of different tests for biodegradability enhancement determination during AOP treatment of recalcitrant toxic aqueous solutions.Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2010 Sep; 73(6):1189-95.EE
Four biodegradability tests (Pseudomonas putida bioassay, Zahn-Wellens test, BOD5/COD ratio and respirometry assay) have been used to determine the biodegradability enhancement during the treatment of wastewater containing 200 mg L(-1) of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) of a five commercial pesticides mixture (Vydate, Metomur, Couraze, Ditumur and Scala) by an advanced oxidation process (AOP). A comparative study was carried out taking into account repeatability and precision of each biodegradability test. Solar photo-Fenton was the AOP selected for pesticide degradation up to three levels of mineralization: 20%, 40% and 60% of initial DOC. Intra- and interday precisions were evaluated conducting each biodegradability test by triplicate and they were applied three times on different dates over a period of three months. Fisher's least significant difference method was applied to the means, P. putida and Zahn-Wellens tests giving higher repeatability and precision. The P. putida test requires a shorter time to obtain reliable results using a standardized inoculum and constitutes a worthwhile alternative to estimate biodegradability in contrast to other less accurate or more time consuming methods.