Water science and technology : a journal of the International Association on Water Pollution Research

Co-degradation of phenol and m-cresols by upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactor.

PMID 17951870


The study was performed to assess the efficacy of an upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactor for the degradation of mixtures of phenol and m-cresol. The experiments were performed in an upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactor. The reactor was seeded with digested sewage sludge and was initially operated at 24 HRT. A phenol concentration of 200 mg/L was fed to the reactor to acclimatize the microorganisms to phenols. Subsequently the dosages of phenols were increased to 400 mg/L, 500 mg/L, and 600 mg/L. Cresols were introduced in the reactor when phenol removal efficiency of 77% was achieved at phenol concentration of 600 mg/L. Different phenol to m-cresol ratios were tried and the performance of the reactor was evaluated for each case. The result demonstrates that it is important to consider phenol/ m-cresol ratio to avoid toxic effects and both can be co-degraded successfully under anaerobic conditions provided proper acclimatization time is given.

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Cresol mixture of isomers, technical, crude, ~85% (sum of isomers, GC)