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[Publication]: Release of taste and odour compounds during Zizania latifolia decay: A microcosm system study

Professor Guoxiang Wang published a research paper in Environmental Pollution (2019 (254): 112954)



Organic matter-induced black bloom frequently occurs in a number of large eutrophic shallow lakes; this can result in the release of malodorous compounds and has a negative impact on water quality. In the study, a microcosm system containing Zizania latifolia (Z. latifolia), a common aquatic plant, was established and the release of seven taste and odour compounds, dimethyl sulphide (DMS), dimethyl disulphide (DMDS), dimethyl trisulphide (DMTS), 2-methylisoborneol (MI6), geosmin (GSM), beta-cyclocitral, and beta-ionone, was investigated. The results showed that these compounds were all detected during Z latifolia decay, and that volatile organic sulphur compounds (VOSCs), such as DMS, DMDS, and DMTS, were the main factors responsible for the strong foul odour (the maximum reached 5.0 mu g L-1). The release of odorous compounds was stronger during the initial seven days, and then progressively decreased in the middle stage of the experiment. Furthermore, large amounts of nutrients were released into the overlying water; nutrient concentration increased with increasing plant biomass. A positive correlation was observed between the odorant concentration and plant biomass. These results indicate that the density of aquatic plants should be controlled as part of future management of aquatic ecosystems.