Production of humic substances through coal-solubilizing bacteria
The in vitro depolymerization of humic acids derived from German lignite (low-rank coal, brown coal) was studied using a manganese peroxidase preparation from the white-rot fungus Nematoloma frowardii b19. The H2O2 required was continuously generated by glucose oxidase. Mn peroxidase depolymerized high-molecular-mass humic acids by forming fulvic-acid-like compounds. The depolymerization process was accompanied by the decolorization of the dark-brown humic acid fraction soluble in alkaline solutions (decrease in absorbance at 450 nm) and by the yellowish coloring of the fraction of acid-soluble fulvic-acid-like compounds (increase in absorbance at 360 nm). The Mn peroxidase of N. frowardii b19 has been proved to be highly stable; even after an in vitro reaction time of 7 days in the presence of humic acids, less than 10% loss in total oxidizing activity was detectable.