It is common that phenol and quinoline co-exist in the same industrial wastewater, such as coking wastewater. For both biodegradations, the initial steps are mono-oxygenation reactions, which require two co-substrates: molecular oxygen (O2) and an intercellular electron donor (2H). Competition for O2 and 2H was investigated using a vertical baffled bioreactor (VBBR) with a biofilm acclimated to phenol and quinoline biodegradation. Batch experiments documented mutual inhibition between phenol and quinoline, which competed for O2, 2H, or both during simultaneous biodegradation. Low DO was a limiting factor for phenol and quinoline biodegradations, as both rates slowed significantly for DO ≤ 3 mg/L, compared to DO ≥ 5 mg/L. A DO concentration of 0.5 mg/L led to 89% and 65% slower removal kinetics for phenol and quinoline, respectively. Although adding succinate as an exogenous electron donor was able to alleviate competition when the DO was 4 ∼ 5 mg/L, it had no benefit for a DO ≤ 3 mg/L. Thus, significant DO limitation could not be overcome by addition of more donor. The results imply that a strategy that involves adding or creating an exogenous electron donor may be effective only when DO is not significantly rate limiting for the initial oxygenation reactions.
- Intracellular electron donors
- Molecular oxygen
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology