Inhibit or promote? Trade-off effect of dissolved organic matter on the laccase-mediator system

J Hazard Mater. 2024 May 14;473:134595. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2024.134595. Online ahead of print.


A biocatalytic system comprising fungal laccase and mediators can generate phenol radicals and efficiently eliminate various triarylmethane dyes. This study systematically explores the kinetic impact of dissolved organic matter (DOM), represented by humic substance (HS consisting of 90% fulvic acid, from lignite), on the decolorization of seven typical triarylmethane dyes by Trametes versicolor laccase and twenty natural mediators. Among these, 4-hydroxybenzyl alcohol (4-HA) and methyl violet (MV) undergo in-depth investigation regarding degradation products, pathways, and reaction mechanisms. In instances where HS hampers laccase-alone decolorization, such as malachite green, Coomassie brilliant blue, bromophenol blue, and acid magenta, this inhibition may persist despite mediator introduction. Conversely, in cases where HS facilitates decolorization, such as crystalline violet and ethyl violet, most laccase-mediator systems (LMSs) can still benefit. For MV decolorization by laccase and 4-HA, HS’s kinetic effect is controlled by concentration and reaction time. A 5 mg/L HS increased the decolorization rate from 50% to 67% within the first hour, whereas 10 mg/L HS only achieved 45%. After 16 h of reaction, HS’s impact on decolorization rate diminishes. Furthermore, the addition of HS enhances precipitation production, probably due to its involvement in polymerization with MV and mediator. Computational simulations and spectral monitoring reveal that low HS concentrations accelerate laccase-mediated demethylation by disrupting the chromophores bound to MV, thus promoting the decolorization of MV. Conversely, inhibition by high HS concentrations stems from the competitive binding of the enzyme pocket to the mediator, and the reduction of phenol free radicals in the system. Molecular docking and kinetic simulations revealed that laccase forms complexes with both the mediator and MV. Interestingly, the decolorization of MV occurred through a non-radical mechanism in the presence of HS. This work provided a reference for screening of high catalytic performance mediators to remove triarylmethane dyes in the actual water environment.

PMID:38761769 | DOI:10.1016/j.jhazmat.2024.134595