Studies on the Influence of Various Metabolic Uncouplers on the Biodegradation Rate of Toluene in a Biofilm Bio-Filter Reactor

Document Type: Research Article

Authors

Department of Chemical Engineering, Sri Venkateswara College of Engineering, Pennalur, Sriperumbudur, Tamilnadu-602117, INDIA

Abstract

Biological inhibition of air pollution has vast advantages over physicochemical methods. One of the biggest challenges faced by researchers with traditional bio-filter in controlling Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) such as Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, and Xylene (BTEX) is, low degradation rate (elimination capacity) and accumulation of very high biomass. The use of metabolic uncouplers involves uncoupling electron transport from oxidative phosphorylation reactions and thereby ATP production is less efficient, leads to more substrate utilization. So, this research is aimed to study the influence of different metabolic uncouplers on the biodegradation rate of toluene in a biofilm bio-filter reactor. The bio-filter reactor with Pseudomonas putida MTCC 10617 as biofilm in the presence of five different metabolic uncouplers such as Pentachlorophenol (PCP), 2, 4-Dinitrophenol (DNP), 2, 4, 6-Trichlorophenol (TCP), Benzoic Acid (BA) and Malonic Acid (MA) were studied. Results showed that only PCP and TCP increased the Surface Elimination Capacity (SEC) by 87% and 38% respectively. From the SEM analysis, larger and wider air interface cavities were observed in the biofilm subjected to PCP than TCP exposed biofilm. This infers the higher mass transfer in biofilm exposed to PCP.

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