Decrease in enzymatic activity (loss of wastewater treatment efficiency) can occur in enzymes when a change in structure or electrical charge of the active site occurs. This change is known as denaturation and usually occurs when hydrogen bonds or disulfide bonds (—S—S—) are disrupted. Denaturation may be temporary or permanent. Denaturation may occur in the presence of elevated temperatures, depressed or elevated pH values, and inhibitory or toxic wastes including heavy metals and oxidizing agents such as chlorine, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), and potassium permanganate (KMnO4).
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