The evaluation of benzene and phenol biodegradation kinetics by applying non-structured models

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The biodegradation kinetics of the aromatic hydrocarbons benzene and phenol as single substrates and as a mixture were investigated through non-structured model analysis. The material balance equations involving the models of Monod and Andrews and representing the biodegradation kinetics of individual substrates in batch mode were numerically solved. Further, utilization of a benzene–phenol mixture was described by applying more sophisticated mathematical forms of competitive, noncompetitive and uncompetitive inhibition models as well as the sum kinetic interactions parameters (SKIP) model. In order to improve the performance of the studied models, some modifications were also proposed. The Particle Swarm Global Optimization method, coded in Maple, was applied to the parameter identification procedure of each model, where the least square method was used as a search statistical criterion. The description of the biodegradation kinetics of a benzene–phenol mixture by the competitive inhibition model was based on the information that the compounds could be catabolized via one metabolic pathway of Pseudomonas putida F1. Simulation results were in good agreement with the experimental data and proved the robustness of the applied methods and models. The developed knowledge database could be very useful in the optimization of the biodegradation processes of different bioreactor types and operational conditions.

Keywords: benzene, biodegradation, competitive inhibition model, kinetic parameters, phenol, PSO method

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