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Amirhossein Rezaei Adaryani

University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Ph.D.
EREF Scholar 2016

Biodegradation of Contaminants of Emerging Concern by White-rot Fungi in Municipal LeachateProject Description:
Municipal landfill leachate is a significant source of a wide variety of contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) such as pharmaceutical compounds (e.g. ibuprofen, carbamazepine) and plasticizers (e.g. bisphenol A), some of which have been shown to have negative environmental impacts (e.g. endocrine disruption in aquatic life). Landfill leachates treated at municipal wastewater treatment plants are a potential source of CECs in the environment that has received little attention. As future regulation may set limits for discharge of CECs from landfills and WWTPs, developing treatment methods for emerging contaminants in leachate is needed. Various methods have been applied for municipal leachate treatment comprising physical, chemical and biological processes, presenting varying efficiency degrees. The focus of Amirhossein’s research is on the utilization of white-rot fungi (WRF) and lignin modifying enzymes of WRF such as laccase enzymes in removal of CECs from leachate. White-rot fungi have a unique capacity to degrade recalcitrant organics, mainly by nonspecific extracellular enzymes like laccases enzymes which can oxidize numerous chemicals such as polyphenols and aromatics.

Project’s main objectives:

  1. Demonstration of the WRF’s ability to decompose plasticizers of environmental concern (bisphenol A, bisphenol S, bisphenol F)
  2. Demonstration of the WRF’s ability to decompose most prevalent CECs in leachate including phenol and carbamazepine
  3. Biotoxicity assessment of leachate before and after fungal treatment

Amirhossein was born and raised in Isfahan, a historic city in central region of Iran. He has a Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a Master’s degree in environmental engineering (minor in water and wastewater), both from Azad university, Iran. For a few years he was working for consulting engineering companies, experiencing process design of water and wastewater treatment plants, water reuse, and sewage networks.

In the interim, he had the opportunity to collaborate with Environment Research Center (ENVRC) at Isfahan University of Medical Sciences as a part time researcher in various projects. In one of those projects, he was a chief contributor to the compilation of “A Guide to Surveillance of Drinking Water Supply Systems”, published by Iranian Ministry of Health in Farsi. He got introduced to solid waste management planning by doing a project on hazardous waste management for an industrial park (Isfahan).

Amirhossein started his Ph.D. in Infrastructure and Environmental Systems (INES) program at UNC Charlotte in spring 2016, combining his interests in solid waste industry and wastewater treatment. Currently he is researching fungal treatment of landfill leachate utilizing white-rot fungi. He enjoys listening to Iranian traditional music, traveling and hiking in his free time.