Skip to main content

Biodegradation of two polyethoxylated nonionic surfactants in sequencing batch reactors

Buy Article:

$30.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)


Application of surfactants to increase the mobility of hydrophobic contaminants in soils will create a secondary aqueous waste stream containing mobilized contaminant and surfactant that may be biodegraded. Previous research on surfactant biodegradation focused on low surfactant concentrations, typically less than 0.01% (weight/weight). The goal of this project was to investigate the effect of surfactant concentration, greater than 0.01%, on the rate and extent of surfactant biodegradation.

Two nonionic polyethoxylated surfactants, Neodol 91-8 and Makon 12, were selected for study based on their ability to solubilize hydrophobic organic compounds. Investigations were conducted in bench-scale sequencing batch reactors at initial surfactant concentrations of 0.01, 0.025, and 0.05%. The surfactants served as the sole carbon source.

The average residual nondegradable fractions of surfactant were 0.35 and 0.15 for Makon 12 and Neodol 91-8, respectively. Although the extent of degradation did not change with initial surfactant concentration, the residual concentration did increase with initial surfactant concentration. Organic carbon removal was best fit by a modified first-order model. The first-order rate constant seemed to decrease exponentially with increasing initial surfactant concentration.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 1997

More about this publication?
  • 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.
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Submit a Paper
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Membership Information
  • Information for Advertisers
  • WEF Bookstore
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Partial Open Access Content
Partial Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more