Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Chemical Engineering - (M.S.)


Chemical Engineering, Chemistry and Environmental Science

First Advisor

Basil Baltzis

Second Advisor

Gordon Lewandowski

Third Advisor

Piero M. Armenante


Biodegradation of phenol and 4-chlorophenol (4CP) using Pseudomonas putida (ATCC 17514) was studied in batch and sequencing batch reactors. Batch experiments were first performed in order to reveal the kinetics of biodegradation for each substrate. 4-Chlorophenol was degradable only in the presence of phenol, or immediately after exposure of the organism to phenol. It was postulated that an enzyme induced by the presence of phenol was necessary to initiate degradation of 4-chlorophenol.

A mathematical model was then developed to describe the dynamic behavior of both substrates in a sequencing batch reactor (SBR). The model utilized rate parameters obtained from batch experiments with phenol as sole carbon source, and postulated an additional expression for 4-chlorophenol degradation. The added term for 4CP contained two parameters which were fit by SBR data. The model was tested by operating a 5-liter SBR with 60 ppm phenol and 20 ppm 4CP in the feed. For both transient and steady cycles, there was excellent agreement between the model results and the experimental data.



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