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Kinetics of multiple phenolic compounds degradation with a mixed culture in a continuous-flow reactor

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A multiple substrate kinetic model was tested to predict the growth of a mixed culture receiving multiple phenolic compounds. Kinetic constants of the model were estimated from the results of initial rate experiments with the mixed culture obtained from a continuous-flow reactor (CFR) at steady state. The suggested model was useful to predict the interactions of substrates on the growth of a mixed culture. In the long-term study using three CFRs with internal cell recycle, 748 to 810 mg/L of influent phenol were completely degraded (hydraulic retention time = 36 hours). The addition of dichlorophenol (DCP) and/or pentachlorophenol (PCP) into the phenol feed caused system fluctuation. In a reactor fed phenol and DCP, both compounds were consumed completely, whereas the addition of PCP resulted in incomplete biodegradation of all phenolic compounds. However, the presence of DCP in a feed increased the removal of PCP up to 43%. The growth of the mixed culture on dual- and triple-phenolic compounds was predicted using the model. The long-term exposure of the mixed culture to DCP and/or PCP resulted in decreased maximum growth rates and increased substrate inhibition, perhaps caused by a loss in bacterial species diversity in the mixed culture.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 1995

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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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