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Effect of adsorbents on degradation of toxic organic compounds by coimmobilized systems

Biotechnology and Bioengineering
Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
Publication Date
  • Biology
  • Design
  • Mathematics


The use of coimmobilized systems for treatment of toxic organic compounds has been proposed. The proposed approach combines the use of adsorbents and laboratory identified microorganisms immobilized in a protective permeable barrier to achieve a greater degree of control over the remediation process. This study was launched to understand the effect of adsorbents and changes in adsorption on the degradation of toxic compounds by coimmobilized systems. The specific case studied involved the degradation of pentachlorophenol (PCP) by Arthrobacter (ATCC 33790) coimmobilized with powdered activated carbon within calcium alginate capsules. The design parameters studied included adsorbent content and type as well as the effect of solution pH and surfactant concentration on adsorption and biodegradation. It was found that the equilibrium adsorption behavior of PCP was strongly influenced by solution pH and surfactant concentration. A mathematical model was developed that combined the physical processes of mass transfer and adsorption with biological degradation of PCP. The model was used to predict the effect of various parameters on the degradation of PCP. Based on model predictions, the degradation of PCP. Based on model predictions, the degradation of PCP was strongly dependent on variations in adsorbent capacity and affinity for this contaminant.

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