Vázquez-Rodríguez G., Ben Youssef C. and Waissman-Vilanova J. (2006) Two-step modeling of the biodegradation of phenol by an acclimated activated sludge. Chemical Engineering Journal 117: 245-252. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cej.2005.11.015
Phenol biodegradation by an acclimated activated sludge was investigated in batch cultures with variable initial conditions of substrate and biomass (0.10 ? S0/X0 ? 1 g phenol g TSS?1). As conventional Haldane model could not explain the biomass growth observed after phenol exhaustion, a model based on the production and later consumption of an inhibitory metabolic intermediate was developed to describe the phenol biodegradation and the biomass growth profiles. This two-step model considers that biodegradation is accomplished by two microbial populations constituting the whole biomass. The new model depicts successfully both biomass and phenol courses by using a single set of kinetic parameters, and support the notion that the production of metabolic intermediates has a determinant role in phenol biodegradation kinetics.