CONTRERAS edgardo Martin
Modelling phenol biodegradation by activated sludges evaluated through respirometric techniques
CONTRERAS E.; ALBERTARIO M.E.; BERTOLA N.; ZARITZKY N.
JOURNAL OF HAZARDOUS MATERIALS.
Año: 2008 vol. 158 p. 366 - 374
In this paper respirometric techniques were used to study the effect of pH, phenol and dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations on the phenol biodegradation kinetics by activated sludges. In addition, a mathematical model was developed to interpret the obtained respirometric curves. Closed respirometer experiments showed that phenol inhibited the respiration rate of unacclimated sludges. On the contrary, oxygen uptake rate (OUR) of phenol acclimated sludges exhibiting the typical Haldane´s substrate inhibition curve. The Monod equation adequately represented the relation between OUR of acclimated biomass and DO concentration. Within the tested pH range (412) the oxygen saturation coefficient was independent of pH. On the contrary, the maximum OUR was strongly affected by the pH, being its maximum between 9.5 and 10.5. Open respirometer experiments shows that as pH decreased from 10.2 to 5.8, the maximum OUR also decreased, in accordance with the trend observed in the closed respirometer experiments. Although the respiration rate of phenol degrading bacteria was strongly affected by pH, a constant phenol oxidation coefficient was observed within the studied pH interval. A mathematical model was proposed to interpret the open respirometry curves. The coefficients of the model were estimated using both pseudo steady state and dynamic conditions for different biomass concentrations. The model adequately predicted the whole OUR and DO profiles as a function of time during the biodegradation of phenol under different DO conditions. The mathematical model proposed in the present work is useful for predicting transient responses such as substrate concentration and DO concentrations as a function of time in bioreactors treating phenolic wastewaters under an overload of phenolic compounds.