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Comment Water Treatment

A continuous biotreatment process that degrades phenol in wastewater

By Chemical Engineering |

Although there are several ways to reduce the phenol concentration in industrial effluent, they each have drawbacks. Chemical treatment, such as adsorption and stripping, is fast but expensive, and the chemical degradation of phenol leads to the formation of toxic intermediates. On the other hand, biological treatment is economic and leads to complete mineralization of phenol, but the technique has been mainly limited to batch operations. There have been few studies involving a continuous phenol-degradation process by mixed cultures. Now, a study by professors Bhaswati Chakraborty and Srabanti Basu from the Department of Biotechnology, Heritage Institute of Technology, (Anandapur, Kolkata City, India; www.heritageit.edu) compared the performance of a co-current and a counter-current continuous, packed-bed reactor (continuous reactor packed with solid waste) in degrading phenol by a mixed consortium of bacteria isolated from the East Calcutta wetlands. The degradation rates and removal efficiencies of phenol by soil bacteria from East Calcutta wetlands under various mean hydraulic retention times, air flowrates and temperatures were observed and processes were optimized for both co-current and counter-current conditions. The researchers…
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