American Society of Civil Engineers

Simultaneous Removal of Phenol and Nitrate in an Anaerobic Bioreactor

by Jian-Hang Zhu, (corresponding author), (Prof., Dept. of Chem. Engrg., Key Lab. of Poyang Lake Ecology and Bio-resource Utilization of Ministry of Education, School of Envir. Sci. and Engrg., Nanchang Univ., East Beijing Rd. 339, Nanchang, Jiangxi 330029, PR China E-mail:, Jin-Ping Lin, (Res. Assoc., State Key Lab. of Bioreactor Engrg., East China Univ. of Sci. and Engrg., Shanghai200237, PR China), Bao Zhang, (Lectuer, Dept. of Bioengineering, Jiangxi Agric. Univ., Nanchang, Jiangxi 330045, PR China), Xi-Luan Yan, (Res. Asst., Dept. of Chemical Engrg., School of Envir. Sci. and Engrg., Nanchang Univ., East Beijing Rd., Nanchang, Jiangxi 330047, PR China), and Zan-Guo Peng, (Res. Assoc., Inst. of Envir. Sci. and Engrg., Nanyang Technological Univ., Singapore 637723)

Journal of Environmental Engineering, Vol. 132, No. 9, September 2006, pp. 1073-1077, (doi:

     Access full text
     Purchase Subscription
     Permissions for Reuse  

Document type: Technical Note
Abstract: Phenol and nitrate are two major pollutants simultaneously occurring in several industrial wastewaters. In this study, a 110-day gradual enrichment of an anaerobic culture has been carried out at 25°C in an anaerobic bioreactor for continuously treating a synthetic wastewater containing 600 mg/L phenol and 430 mg/L NO-3 — N. The results showed that the enriched culture can utilize phenol as a sole electron donor and nitrate as a sole electron acceptor. At the end of the enrichment (on Day 110), 93.3% of phenol and 98.0% of NO-3 — N were simultaneously removed at a hydraulic retention time of 20.25 h in the anaerobic bioreactor. The removal of 1 g NO-3 — N required about 3.19 g chemical oxygen demand as the electron donor. Batch tests further revealed that cresol, nitrophenol, and monochlorinated phenol (MCP) could exert detrimental influences on the treatment abilities of the enriched culture. However, the inhibitory effects of cresol were impermanent, as compared to those of nitrophenol and MCP. In order to operate the anaerobic bioreactor steadily, high concentrations of cresol should be diluted before being fed while the existence of nitrophenol and MCP in the bioreactor should be avoided.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Abatement and removal
Anaerobic treatment