Texas A&M University
Dr. Chu is a Professor of Zachry Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas. Dr. Chu is an expert in environmental engineering and applied microbiology with extensive experience on biodegradation of pollutants such as chlorinated solvents, 1,4-dioxane, EDCs, RDX, and PFAS.
Effects of Nutrient on Biotransformation of Precursors to perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs)
N-ethyl perfluorooctane sulfonamide (N-EtFOSA) and 6:2 fluorotelomer sulfonamide alkylbetaine (6:2 FTAB) have been widely used in insecticides and aqueous film forming foams (AFFF). Recent studies have shown that these compounds are precursors to perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs). Thus, their presumable contribution to the accumulation of their biotransformation products in humans and different environmental matrices is a rising concern. Accordingly, a better understanding of their biodegradation mechanism is warranted. This study investigated factors affecting the biotransformation of N-EtFOSA and 6:2 FTAB under different nutrient conditions. Our preliminary results showed that this strain could grow on both compounds as a carbon, a nitrogen, and a sulfur source under various nutrient-limiting conditions. Ongoing microcosm studies are to identify biotransformation metabolites of these compounds and to propose degradation pathways of these compounds under different nutrient conditions. The results would provide a groundwork to understand how N-EtFOSA and 6:2 FTAB biodegradation occur in contaminated environments.