Enzymatic cometabolic biotransformation of organic micropollutants in wastewater treatment plants: A review

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Bioresource Technology Volume 344, Part B, January 2022, 126291
Biotransformation of trace-level organic micropollutants (OMPs) by complex microbial communities in wastewater treatment facilities is a key process for their detoxification and environmental impact reduction. Therefore, understanding the metabolic activities and mechanisms that contribute to their biotransformation is essential when developing approaches aiming to minimize their discharge. This review addresses the relevance of cometabolic processes and discusses the main enzymatic activities currently known to take part in OMPs removal under different redox environments in the compartments of wastewater treatment plants. Furthermore, the most common methodologies to decipher such enzymes are discussed, including the use of in vitro enzyme assays, enzymatic inhibitors, the analysis of transformation products and the application of several -omic techniques. Finally, perspectives on major challenges and future research requirements to improve OMPs biotransformation are proposed.