, Volume 52, Issue 2, pp 174-178

A novel method for characterisation of microbial growth kinetics on volatile organic compounds

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A novel method for the determination of microbial growth kinetics on hydrophobic volatile organic compounds (VOC) has been developed. A stirred tank reactor was operated as a fed-batch system to which the VOC was continuously fed via the gas phase, assuring a constant VOC concentration in the mineral medium. A flow of air was saturated with the VOC, and then mixed with a further flow of air, to obtain a predetermined VOC concentration. Thus, different VOC concentrations in the mineral medium could be obtained by altering the VOC concentration in the feed gas. The growth kinetics of Xanthobacter autotrophicus GJ10 on 1,2-dichloroethane (DCE) and of Pseudomonas sp. strain JS150 on MonoChloroBenzene (MCB) were assessed using this method. The growth of strain JS150 was strongly inhibited at MCB concentrations higher than 160 mg l−1, and the results were fitted using a piecewise function. The growth kinetics of strain GJ10 were described by the Luong model where maximum growth rate μmax = 0.12 h−1, substrate saturation constant K S = 7.8 mg l−1, and maximum substrate concentration S m (above which growth is completely inhibited) = 1080 mg l−1. Varying nitrogen and oxygen flows enabled the effect of oxygen concentration on the growth kinetics of Pseudomonas JS150 to be determined.