Biodegradation of phenol by using free and immobilized cells of Acinetobacter sp. BS8Y.

Research paper by Lichun L Jiang, Qiping Q Ruan, Rulan R Li, Tiandong T Li

Indexed on: 24 Aug '12Published on: 24 Aug '12Published in: Journal of Basic Microbiology


Strain BS8Y with high biodegradation activity and high tolerance of phenol was isolated from activated sludge in an insulating material plant of China. This strain was capable of removing 99.2% of the initial 600 mg/l phenol in liquid minimal medium within 24 h and tolerating phenol at concentrations of up to 1,200 mg/ml. DNA sequencing and homologous analysis of the 16S rRNA gene identified that the strain BS8Y belonged to an Acinetobacter species. Polyvinyl alcohol was used as gel matrix to immobilize the strain BS8Y. The factors affecting the phenol degradation by immobilized cells and the phenol removal efficiency of free and immobilized cells were investigated; the stability of the immobilized cells is also reported. The results show that the immobilized cells could tolerate a higher phenol level and protected the bacteria much more effectively against changes in temperature and pH. The phenol degradation efficiency was high at up to 96% within 30 h, with an initial concentration of 800 mg/l phenol, and the immobilized cells showed better performance than the suspended cells. Reusability tests revealed that the immobilized cells were stable enough even after reuse for ten times or storing at 4°C for 35 d. These results demonstrate that immobilized Acinetobacter sp. BS8Y possesses a good application potential in the treatment of phenol-containing wastewater.