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Sustained trichloroethylene cometabolism by phenol-degrading bacteria in sequencing biofilm reactors

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Bench-scale studies of a sequencing packed-bed bioreactor were conducted for the treatment of waters contaminated with trichloroethylene (TCE). The reactor contained a mixed-culture biofilm grown aerobically on phenol; the biofilm cometabolized TCE in the absence of phenol. These studies focused on the effect of phenol-feeding strategies in relation to sustaining high levels of TCE removal efficiency. The reactor was cycled between a rejuvenation stage, during which phenol at 5, 25, or 100 mg/L was supplied in a nutrient water, and a degradation stage, during which TCE was supplied as a contaminant at 100 μg/L in the absence of phenol. Two to three hours of rejuvenation per 24 hours of TCE degradation were required for stable operation. Pseudo-first-order rate constants for TCE degradation between 50 and 100 L/g volatile suspended solids┬Ěd were sustained for up to 29 days. The successful feeding strategies yielded average TCE removals between 70 and 90% at a packed-bed hydraulic residence time of 14 minutes. Conceivably, a full-scale sequencing reactor could operate indefinitely with the proper feeding strategy.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 July 1995

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  • Water Environment Research (WER) is published monthly, including an annual Literature Review. A subscription to WER includes access to the latest content back to 1992, as well as access to fast track articles. An individual subscription is valid for 12 months from month of purchase.

    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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