Document Type


Date of Award

Spring 12-31-1986

Degree Name

Doctor of Engineering Science in Chemical Engineering


Chemical Engineering, Chemistry and Environmental Science

First Advisor

Gordon Lewandowski

Second Advisor

Basil Baltzis

Third Advisor

Joseph W. Bozzelli

Fourth Advisor

Theodore Petroulas

Fifth Advisor

John W. Liskowitz


In an effort to gain a more fundamental understanding of the performance of mixed microbial cultures in the biodegradation of toxic organic chemicals, studies have been conducted using three phenol degrading species isolated from a municipal treatment plant. The rate of phenol degradation was investigated for each of the three pure phenol degrading species, and various combinations of the three species. A simple competitive model was used to predict the behavior of the mixed cultures by using the pure culture Monod rate constants. The model fit the growth data for total biomass very well, although (as with the pure culture experiments) the fit of the phenol degradation data was less accurate.