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Microrespirometric determination of the effectiveness factor and biodegradation kinetics of aerobic granules degrading 4-chlorophenol as the sole carbon source

Vital-Jacome, Miguel, Buitrón, Germán, Moreno-Andrade, Ivan, Garcia-Rea, Victor, Thalasso, Frederic
Journal of hazardous materials 2016 v.313 pp. 112-121
4-chlorophenol, acclimation, biodegradation, carbon, cell growth, granules, mass transfer, models, oxygen, sludge, specific growth rate, wastewater
In this study, a microrespirometric method was used, i.e., pulse respirometry in microreactors, to characterize mass transfer and biodegradation kinetics in aerobic granules. The experimental model was an aerobic granular sludge in a sequencing batch reactor (SBR) degrading synthetic wastewater containing 4-chlorophenol as the sole carbon source. After 15 days of acclimation, the SBR process degraded 4-chlorophenol at a removal rate of up to 0.9kg CODm⁻³d⁻¹, and the degradation kinetics were well described by the Haldane model. The microrespirometric method consisted of injecting pulses of 4-chlorophenol into the 24 wells of a microreactor system containing the SBR samples. From the respirograms obtained, the following five kinetic parameters were successfully determined during reactor operation: (i) Maximum specific oxygen uptake rate, (ii) substrate affinity constant, (iii) substrate inhibition constant, (iv) maximum specific growth rate, and (v) cell growth yield. Microrespirometry tests using granules and disaggregated granules allowed for the determination of apparent and intrinsic parameters, which in turn enabled the determination of the effectiveness factor of the granular sludge. It was concluded that this new high-throughput method has the potential to elucidate the complex biological and physicochemical processes of aerobic granular biosystems.