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Verification of the fate of a volatile organic compound in activated sludge

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The fate of the volatile organic compound, 1,4-dichlorobenzene (DCB) was examined in a bench-scale activated sludge system. A shift in removal mechanism, from stripping to biodegradation, was observed at different stages of acclimation. The response of an unacclimated sludge to DCB perturbations showed a preferential loss of DCB by stripping. Radiolabeled DCB tracer studies with an acclimated sludge demonstrated 10 to 20% mineralization of DCB, 25 to 30% loss by stripping, and the remaining DCB transformed to intermediate metabolites that were found in the mixed liquor and effluent. Biodegradation rates determined for DCB fell into two distinct ranges depending on the degree of sludge acclimation.

Keywords: activated sludge; biodegradation; dichlorobenzene; fate; volatile organic compounds

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 1994

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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