Biodegradation of nonylphenol in a continuous bioreactor at low temperatures and effects on the microbial population

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A packed-bed bioreactor inoculated with a mixed culture obtained from a contaminated site was used to continuously treat a saturated solution of nonylphenol. The reactor was operated at feeding rates of 13–112 ml h−1 and temperatures of 5.5, 10, and 15°C. Optimal bioreactor performance was achieved at 10°C and at a feeding rate of 84 ml h−1 (with a removal rate of 43 mg l−1 day−1 of nonylphenol). No endocrine activity was observed in the effluent of the bioreactor at any of the temperatures tested, and the only metabolic products found were branched carboxylic acids and alkanes (lacking an aromatic ring). The study of the microbial populations in the biofilm at the three temperatures tested using fluorescence in situ hybridization showed that all the bacterial species that could be identified belonged to the phylum Proteobacteria. The most abundant class identified at all three temperatures was β-Proteobacteria. The proportions of bacteria that bound to the specific probes among the total population, identified with the bacterial probe EUB338MIX, were 60, 43, and 24% at 15, 10, and 5.5°C, respectively.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Industrial Biotechnology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)597-606
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Publication categoryResearch