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Title: Biodegradation of acetonitrile by adapted biofilm in a membrane-aerated biofilm reactor
Authors: Li, T.
Bai, R. 
Ohandja, D.-G.
Liu, J.
Keywords: Acetonitrile
Adapted biofilm
Haldane kinetics
Membrane-aerated biofilm reactor
Substrate inhibition
Issue Date: Jul-2009
Citation: Li, T., Bai, R., Ohandja, D.-G., Liu, J. (2009-07). Biodegradation of acetonitrile by adapted biofilm in a membrane-aerated biofilm reactor. Biodegradation 20 (4) : 569-580. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: A membrane-aerated biofilm reactor (MABR) was developed to degrade acetonitrile (ACN) in aqueous solutions. The reactor was seeded with an adapted activated sludge consortium as the inoculum and operated under step increases in ACN loading rate through increasing ACN concentrations in the influent. Initially, the MABR started at a moderate selection pressure, with a hydraulic retention time of 16 h, a recirculation rate of 8 cm/s and a starting ACN concentration of 250 mg/l to boost the growth of the biofilm mass on the membrane and to avoid its loss by hydraulic washout. The step increase in the influent ACN concentration was implemented once ACN concentration in the effluent showed almost complete removal in each stage. The specific ACN degradation rate achieved the highest at the loading rate of 101.1 mg ACN/g-VSS h (VSS, volatile suspended solids) and then declined with the further increases in the influent ACN concentration, attributed to the substrate inhibition effect. The adapted membrane-aerated biofilm was capable of completely removing ACN at the removal capacity of up to 21.1 g ACN/m2 day, and generated negligible amount of suspended sludge in the effluent. Batch incubation experiments also demonstrated that the ACN-degrading biofilm can degrade other organonitriles, such as acrylonitrile and benzonitrile as well. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis studies showed that the ACN-degrading biofilms contained a stable microbial population with a low diversity of sequence of community 16S rRNA gene fragments. Specific oxygen utilization rates were found to increase with the increases in the biofilm thickness, suggesting that the biofilm formation process can enhance the metabolic degradation efficiency towards ACN in the MABR. The study contributes to a better understanding in microbial adaptation in a MABR for biodegradation of ACN. It also highlights the potential benefits in using MABRs for biodegradation of organonitrile contaminants in industrial wastewater. © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Source Title: Biodegradation
ISSN: 09239820
DOI: 10.1007/s10532-008-9246-7
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