Effect of phenol and acetate addition on 2-chlorophenol consumption by a denitrifying sludge.

Research paper by Emir E Martínez-Gutiérrez, Humberto H González-Márquez, Sergio S Martínez-Hernández, Anne-Claire AC Texier, Flor de María Fde M Cuervo-López, Jorge J Gómez

Indexed on: 04 Aug '12Published on: 04 Aug '12Published in: Environmental technology


Chlorophenols are widely distributed in the environment. Various strategies have been used to improve their biological elimination under anaerobic conditions; however, such information is still scarce. The aim of this study was to evaluate in batch assays the consumption of 2-chlorophenol (2-CP) by a denitrifying sludge and the influence of acetate or phenol as co-substrates in the 2-CP consumption. It was observed that phenol (69 and 92 mg phenol-C L(-1)) and acetate (60 and 108 mg acetate-C L(-1)) enhanced 2-CP consumption by the denitrifying sludge, increasing both the efficiency (up to 100%) and specific rate of 2-CP consumption. When phenol was added at 92 mg C L(-1), the specific consumption rate of 2-CP increased 2.6 times with respect to the control lacking co-substrates, whereas with acetate (108 mgC L(-1)) the increase was 9.0 times. Acetate appeared to be a better co-substrate for 2-CP consumption, obtaining a specific consumption rate of 2.48 +/- 0.14 mg 2-CP-C g(-1) VSS d(-1) at 108 mg acetate-C L(-1). The mass balance analysis indicated that the denitrifying sludge was able to simultaneously mineralize 2-CP, phenol or acetate (E2-CP, E(Phenol), and E(Acetate) close to 100% [E = consumption efficiency], Y(HCO3-) of 0.90 +/- 0.10 [Y = yield]) and reduce nitrate to nitrogen gas (E(NO3-) of 100% and Y(N2) of 0.96 +/- 0.02). It was shown that the addition of co-substrates as phenol or acetate could be a good alternative for improving the elimination of chlorophenols from wastewaters by denitrifying sludges.