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Kinetics of biodegradation of gasoline and its hydrocarbon constituents

Yerushalmi, L., Guiot, S.R.
Applied microbiology and biotechnology 1998 v.49 no.4 pp. 475-481
benzene, biodegradation, byproducts, enrichment culture, ethylbenzene, gasoline, mineralization, models, soil, toluene
Aerobic biodegradation of gasoline and its constituents, benzene, toluene and ethylbenzene were studied by an enrichment from soil indigenous microbial population. The enrichment culture completely degraded 16.1-660 mg/l gasoline in 2.5-16 days respectively, without accumulation of any by-products. The kinetics of gasoline as well as benzene, toluene and ethylbenzene biodegradation was investigated with initial gasoline concentrations of 16.1-62.6 mg/l. The maximum specific rates of biodegradation of benzene, toluene and ethylbenzene were 0.12, 0.38 and 0.19 mg mg biomass-1 day-1 respectively. When benzene and toluene were used as sole substrate, the maximum specific rates of their biodegradation were 62.9 and 16.4 times greater than the corresponding values for a mixture (gasoline). The microbial culture was able to mineralize up to 200 mg/l pure toluene and benzene. Maximum mineralization efficiencies of benzene and toluene were 76.7 +/- 5.1% and 76.8 +/- 1.3% respectively. Self-inhibition and competitive inhibition patterns were observed during the biodegradation of benzene and toluene alone and in the mixture respectively. The observed kinetics was modeled according to Andrews' inhibition model.