Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 24, Issue 33, pp 25667–25675 | Cite as

Simultaneous oxidation of ammonium and cresol isomers in a sequencing batch reactor: physiological and kinetic study

  • Juan Antonio Salas-Cortés
  • Flor de María Cuervo-López
  • Anne-Claire TexierEmail author
4th International Symposium on Environmental Biotechnology and Engineering-2014


The aim of this study was to evaluate the physiological and kinetic capacities of a nitrifying consortium to simultaneously oxidize ammonium (138 mg N/L day), m-cresol, o-cresol, and p-cresol (180 mg C/L day in mixture) in a sequencing batch reactor (SBR). A 1-L SBR was firstly operated without cresol addition (phase I) for stabilizing the nitrification respiratory process with ammonium consumption efficiencies close to 100 % and obtaining nitrate as the main end product. When cresols were added (phase II m-cresol (10, 20, and 30 mg C/L); phase III m-cresol (30 mg C/L) and o-cresol (10, 20, and 30 mg C/L); phase IV a mixture of three isomers (30 mg C/L each one)), inhibitory effects were evidenced by decreased values of the specific rates of nitrification compared with values from phase I. However, the inhibition diminished throughout the operation cycles, and the overall nitrifying physiological activity of the sludge was not altered in terms of efficiency and nitrate yield. The different cresols were totally consumed, being o-cresol the most recalcitrant. The use of SBR allowed a metabolic adaptation of the consortium to oxidize the cresols as the specific rates of consumption increased throughout the cycles, showing that this type of reactor can be a good alternative for treating industrial effluents in a unique reactor.


Ammonium Cresols Kinetic data Nitrification Physiological data Sequencing batch reactor 



This work was supported financially by the Council of Science and Technology of Mexico (CONACYT) (Grant No. SEP-CONACYT-CB-2011-01-165174).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juan Antonio Salas-Cortés
    • 1
  • Flor de María Cuervo-López
    • 1
  • Anne-Claire Texier
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Departamento de Biotecnología, División CBSUniversidad Autónoma Metropolitana-IztapalapaMéxicoMexico

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