Kinetics of phenol biodegradation in the presence of glucose

K. W. Wang, B. C. Baltzis, G. A. Lewandowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


The kinetics of utilization of glucose, phenol, and their mixtures by Pseudomonas putida (ATCC 17514) were studied with a continuously aerated, jacketed batch reactor operating at 28°C and pH 7.2. It was found that when glucose is the sole carbon and energy source, the culture utilizes it following Monod kinetics. When phenol is the sole carbon and energy source, the culture biodegrades it following Andrews (inhibitory) kinetics. When both glucose and phenol are present in the medium, the culture uses them simultaneously but with lower specific rates. Reduction of the specific substrate utilization rates indicates that the two substances are involved in a cross-inhibitory pattern which can be classified as uncompetitive. The values of the kinetic interaction constants suggest that glucose inhibits the specific rate of phenol removal much more than phenol inhibits the specific rate of glucose utilization. The results suggest that substitutable substrates which are dissimilar in origin and molecular structure may be involved in an uncompetitive cross-inhibitory interaction when they are simultaneously removed. It is also concluded that the use of easily degradable substrates may not enhance the per-unit amount of biomass removal of compounds which are classified as toxic. A general classification of kinetic interactions between substitutable resources is proposed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-94
Number of pages8
JournalBiotechnology and Bioengineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 5 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biotechnology


  • biodegradation kinetics
  • cross-inhibition
  • glucose
  • phenol


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