TitleAerobic biodegradation of 2,4-DNT and 2,6-DNT: Performance characteristics and biofilm composition changes in continuous packed-bed bioreactors
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsPaca, J, Halecky, M, Bárta, J, Bajpai, R
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials

This manuscript deals with continuous experiments for biodegradation of individual dinitrotoluenes by a defined mixed culture in packed-bed reactors (PBRs) containing either poraver or fire-clay as packing material. Removal efficiencies and volumetric biodegradation rates were measured as a function of the loading rate of 2,4-dinitrotoluene (2,4-DNT) and 2,6-dinitrotoluene (2,6-DNT) under steady-state conditions. The poraver reactor showed higher removal efficiencies for both the DNTs. The removal efficiency for 2,4-DNT remained greater than 90% in the poraver reactor whereas it dropped steadily from 85 to 65% in the fire-clay reactor as the organic loading rates were increased from 19 to 60 mg L-1 day-1. Similar trends were seen for the volumetric degradation rate as well. In both the reactors, 2,4-DNT degraded more effectively than 2,6-DNT. The microbial consortium was characterized both in the inoculum as well as in the operating PBR. Cell numbers per gram dry packing material were similar in the two reactors. However, there was a distinct difference in the nature of microorganisms that were found in the two packings. The fire-clay contained a larger number of cells that were not primary degraders of DNTs.