This study investigated the influence of inorganic salts on enzymatic activity and the removal of trace organic contaminants (TrOCs) by crude laccase from the white-rot fungus Pleurotus ostreatus. A systematic analysis of 15 cations and anions from common inorganic salts was presented. Laccase activity was not inhibited by monovalent cations (i.e. Na+ , NH4+ , K+ ), while the presence of divalent and trivalent cations showed variable impact - from negligible to complete inhibition - of both laccase activity and its TrOC removal performance. Of interest was the observation of discrepancy between residual laccase activity and TrOC removal in the presence of some ions. Mg2+ had negligible impact on residual laccase activity but significant impact on TrOC removal. Conversely, F− showed greater impact on residual laccase activity than on TrOC removal. This observation indicated different impacts of the interfering ions on the interaction between laccase and TrOCs as compared to that between laccase and the reagent used to measure its activity, implicating that residual laccase activity may not always be an accurate indicator of TrOC removal. The degree of impact of halides was in the order of F− > I− > Br− > Cl− . Particularly, the tolerance of the tested laccase to Cl − has important implications for a range of industrial applications.
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