Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

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


Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Gordon Lewandowski

Second Advisor

Piero M. Armenante

Third Advisor

Basil Baltzis


The biological characteristics of four microbial mixtures were examined after successive exposure to phenol and 2-chlorophenol at room temperature. One of the microbial mixtures was an activated sludge from the Livingston, NJ municipal wastewater treatment plant. The other three mixtures were commercial preparations sold by Polybac Corp.(Hydrobac), Sybron Corp. (BI-CHEM DC 1006/1007), and General Environmental Sciences(LLMO).

The characteristics examined were relative counts and species of gram negative/gram positive bacteria, yeast and fungi, protozoa, and higher organisms. For the gram negative bacteria and yeasts, culturing techniques and diagnostic tubes were used to determine the predominant species. Biochemical tests were done on gram positive bacteria. Molds, protozoa, and higher organisms were identified morphologically under a light microscope.

These characteristics were determined for the freshly prepared microbial mixtures, after exposure to 100 ppm phenol for 10 days, and after further exposure to 20 ppm 2-chlorophenol for 10 more days(only the fresh LLMO was characterized).

As expected, the municipal mixed liquor exhibited a much wider ecological diversity than any of the commercial preparations. Furthermore, although numbers of organisms were reduced after phenolic exposure, the municipal mixed liquor continued to maintain surprising diversity.



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