chapter  9
Bacterial Consortium and Axenic Cultures Isolated from Activated Sewage Sludge for Biodegradation of Imidazolium-based Ionic Liquid
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Ionic liquids (ILs) are chemicals usually composed of large asymmetric, organic cation and organic or inorganic anion. Physical and chemical properties of this group of compounds can vary significantly what allows them to be designed for a particular purpose (Krossing et al. 2006). The last decade has shown a growing interest in the application of ILs in gas storage and separation, catalysis, electrodeposition of metals, waste and biomass reprocessing, energy production, etc. (Kragl et al. 2002; Jiang et al. 2006; Plechkova and Seddon 2008). When applied in such industrial

processes, ILs will inevitably emerge in wastewaters and might end up in natural soils or water bodies by breaking through treatment systems or due to the accidental release during transport and storage. Although, the low volatility of ILs can be an advantage in reducing air emissions and thereby decreasing the risk of human exposure, the relatively high toxicity and resistance to biotic and abiotic degradation that could be observed for some of the ILs structures is a concern (Romero et al. 2008).