Tokyo Tech News
May 31, 2009
Tomoya Kitazume and colleagues in Tokyo Tech's Graduate School of Bioscience and Biotechnology have reported isolating bacterial strains capable of degrading fluorinated materials. Fluorinated materials are extremely stable, largely because of fluorine's small van der Waals radius and the strength of the carbon fluorine bond. They are therefore environmentally burdensome, and finding ways to promote their biodegradation has been a pressing issue in efforts to protect the environment.
Kitazume and his colleagues placed fluorinated materials and aerobic bacteria in test tubes at 28°C. After two weeks, they removed the bacteria by centrifuging and filtration, and they evaluated the structures of the fluorinated materials in reference to H1 and 19F NMR spectra. The researchers found 8 strains of Actinobacteria that degraded ethyl difluoroacetate into difluoroacetic acid and fluoride ions, and they found 13 strains of Actinobacteria that degraded fluorobenzene, benzotrifluoride, or both. Their findings suggest exciting possibilities for coping with the environmental challenges posed by fluorinated materials.
N. Iwai, T. Tanaka, and T. Kitazume
Journal of Fluorine Chemistry 130, p. 434 (2009).
Tomoya Kitazume and his colleagues have identified strains of bacteria that degrade fluorinated materials by breaking down the carbon-fluorine bonds in those materials.
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