Microbial degradation of acetonitrile using a suspended-carrier biofilm process

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A microbial process for the destruction of acetonitrile has been developed. Suitable microorganisms were enriched from activated sludge by cultivation with a high selection pressure when acetonitrile was the sole source of carbon and nitrogen. The process is based on cultivating the microorganisms as a biofilm on plastic carriers. These are utilised in a stirred-tank reactor with continuous feeding of 40-150 mM acetonitrile and an outlet for spent medium. The observed efficiency in the conversion process was from 53-100%, depending on the organic load. To improve the capacity and reliability of the process, a two-step process was developed with two stirred-tank reactors coupled in series. With such an arrangement, conversion efficiencies from 92-100% were achieved when the organic load was 2 g acetonitrile l(-1) d(-1) in the first reactor.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Industrial Biotechnology


  • microbial process, destruction, biofilm, acetonitrile, activated sludge
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-291
JournalBiotechnology Letters
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Publication categoryResearch