BackgroundThe presence of a wide range of bioactive organic pollutants in wastewater and municipal water sources is raising concerns about their potential effects on humans. Not surprisingly, various approaches are being explored that can efficiently degrade these persistent organic pollutants. Use of peroxidases has recently been recognized as a novel remediation approach that may have potential advantages over conventional degradation techniques. However, testing the abilities of different peroxidases to degrade diverse emerging pollutants is tedious and cumbersome.ResultsIn the present study, we present a rapid and robust approach to easily test the degradability of 21 different emerging pollutants by five different peroxidases (soybean peroxidase, chloroperoxidase, lactoperoxidase, manganese peroxidase, and horseradish peroxidase) using an LC-MSMS approach. Furthermore, this approach was also used to examine the role of a redox mediator in these enzymatic degradation assays. Our results show that some of the organic pollutants can be easily degraded by all five of the peroxidases tested, whereas others are only degraded by a specific peroxidase (or when a redox mediator was present) and there are some that are completely resistant to degradation by any of the peroxidases tested (even in the presence of a redox mediator). The degradation of furosemide and trimethoprim by soybean peroxidase and chloroperoxidase, respectively, was investigated in detail by examining the transformation products generated during their degradation. Some of the products generated during enzymatic breakdown of these pollutants have been previously reported by others, however, we report many new transformation products.ConclusionsLC-MSMS approaches, like the one described here, can be used to rapidly evaluate the potential of different peroxidases (and redox requirements) to be used as bioremediation agents. Our preliminary result shows peroxidases hold tremendous potential for being used in a final wastewater treatment step.