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Substrate inhibition of degradation of 2,4-dinitrophenol in activated sludge

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Substrate inhibition of 2,4-dinitrophenol (2,4-DNP) degradation was investigated in activated sludge previously adapted to mineralize low concentrations of DNP. Typically, the time required for 95% degradation of 10 mg/L DNP under aerobic conditions and with mixed liquor suspended solids (MLSS) of 600 to 1 000 mg/L was less than 4 hours without any lag. However, when the initial DNP concentration increased to 75 mg/L, lags and even complete inhibition of DNP degradation were observed. The length of the lag was found to increase proportionally with decreasing MLSS. When dilute activated sludge was incubated for extended periods (192 hours), degradation of 75 mg/L DNP did eventually occur after lag periods of 37 to 144 hours, depending on MLSS concentration. Assays for most probable number of DNP-degrading bacteria were made to ascertain the effect of high DNP concentrations on bacterial populations in the activated sludge.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 1998

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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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