Fungal treatment for the removal of endocrine disrupting compounds from reverse osmosis concentrate: Identification and monitoring of transformation products of benzotriazoles

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The removal of 27 endocrine-disrupting compounds and related compounds (suspect effect) from a reverse osmosis concentrate using an alternative decontamination method based on a fungal treatment involving Trametes versicolor was assessed. In addition to chemical analysis, the toxicity of the treated water during the treatment was monitored using a bioluminescence inhibition test and estrogenic and anti-estrogenic tests. The compounds 1H-benzotriazole (BTZ) and two tolyltriazoles (TTZs), 4-methyl-1H-benzotriazole (4-MBTZ) and 5-methyl-1H-benzotriazole (5-MBTZ), were present in the reverse osmosis concentrate at the highest concentrations (7.4 and 12.8 μg L −1 , respectively) and were partially removed by the fungal treatment under sterile conditions (58% for BTZ and 92% for TTZs) and non-sterile conditions, although to lesser extents (32% for BTZ and 50% for TTZs). Individual biotransformation studies of BTZ and the TTZs by T. versicolor in a synthetic medium and further analysis via on-line turbulent flow chromatography coupled to an HRMS-Orbitrap allowed the tentative identification of the transformation products (TPs). Six TPs were postulated for BTZ, two TPs were postulated for 4-MBTZ, and four TPs were postulated for 5-MBTZ. Most of these TPs are suggested to have been generated by conjugation with some sugars and via the methylation of the triazole group. Only TP 148 A, postulated to be derived from the biotransformation of BTZ, was observed in the effluent of the bioreactor treating the reverse osmosis concentrate ​
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