Date: 01 Mar 2005

Nitrile bioconversion by Microbacterium imperiale CBS 498-74 resting cells in batch and ultrafiltration membrane bioreactors

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The biohydration of acrylonitrile, propionitrile and benzonitrile catalysed by the NHase activity contained in resting cells of Microbacterium imperiale CBS 498-74 was operated at 5, 10 and 20°C in laboratory-scale batch and membrane bioreactors. The bioreactions were conducted in buffered medium (50 mM Na2HPO4/NaH2PO4, pH 7.0) in the presence of distilled water or tap-water, to simulate a possible end-pipe biotreatment process. The integral bioreactor performances were studied with a cell loading (dry cell weight; DCW) varying from 0.1 mgDCW per reactor to 16 mgDCW per reactor, in order to realize near 100% bioconversion of acrylonitrile, propionitrile and benzonitrile without consistent loss of NHase activity.