Toluene biodegradation in a two phase partitioning system—Use of a biodegradable solvent

Authors

  • Rebiha Chikh,

    Corresponding author
    1. Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Rennes, CNRS, UMR 6226, Avenue du Général Leclerc, CS 50837, 35708 Rennes Cedex 7, France
    2. Université européenne de Bretagne, 5 Bd René Laennec, 35000, Rennes, France
    • Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Rennes, CNRS, UMR 6226, Avenue du Général Leclerc, CS 50837, 35708 Rennes Cedex 7, France
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  • Annabelle Couvert,

    1. Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Rennes, CNRS, UMR 6226, Avenue du Général Leclerc, CS 50837, 35708 Rennes Cedex 7, France
    2. Université européenne de Bretagne, 5 Bd René Laennec, 35000, Rennes, France
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  • Hamid Aït Amar,

    1. Laboratoire de Génie des Procédés et Environnement, USTHB, BP 32 El-Alia, Algiers, Algeria
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  • Abdeltif Amrane

    1. Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Rennes, CNRS, UMR 6226, Avenue du Général Leclerc, CS 50837, 35708 Rennes Cedex 7, France
    2. Université européenne de Bretagne, 5 Bd René Laennec, 35000, Rennes, France
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Abstract

A biodegradable solvent was used in a two-phase aqueous-organic system for hydrophobic VOC (volatile organic compounds) elimination by activated sludge. Unlike usual two-phase aqueous-organic systems where the organic phase is chosen nonbiodegradable in view of its recycling, in this study the solvent was assimilated by micro-organisms simultaneously with the VOC. The chosen solvent and VOC were hexadecane and toluene. Experiments showed in a first step that activated sludge were able to assimilate part of hexadecane at different phase ratios (5and 10% v/v) and a higher biomass growth was obtained for the lower ratio. Toluene was removed simultaneously with organic solvent elimination; cells were readily able to completely consume the toluene available at low and even at high concentrations within 48 h (0.2 and 4.3 g L−1 in the organic phase), even if they were not previously preadapted to these substrates. Consequently, a two-phase partitioning bioreactor conception with a biodegradable solvent can be envisaged. © 2010 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Environ Prog, 2011.

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