Kinetic evaluation and process performance of a fixed film bioreactor removing phthalic acid and dimethyl phthalate
Phthalate esters are toxic organic contaminants which can enter into the environment through various industrial processes. In this study, a 6-liter fixed film bioreactor was used to examine biodegradation of phthalic acid (PA) and dimethyl phthalate (DMP) in synthetic wastewater. Effect on the process of two operating factors, namely hydraulic retention time (HRT) (at four levels ranging between 6 and 48 h) and initial phthalate concentrations (at six levels ranging from 10 mg to 500 mg/l), was investigated. The process was stable at all operating conditions, except for the condition with influent PA and DMP of 500 mg/l and HRT of 6 h. More than 95% removal efficiency was achieved for the conditions with HRT longer than 10 h. Remarkable amount of DMP (398 mg/kg of sludge) was adsorbed on the biomass due to its higher hydrophobicity compared to PA (171 mg/kg). The kinetic parameters (mu(m,) K(s), Y and K(d)) were determined and compared for both substrates, PA and DMP. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.