Chemical Papers

, Volume 66, Issue 12, pp 1103–1110 | Cite as

Biodegradation of tobacco waste by composting: Genetic identification of nicotine-degrading bacteria and kinetic analysis of transformations in leachate

  • Felicita BriškiEmail author
  • Nina Kopčić
  • Ivana Ćosić
  • Dajana Kučić
  • Marija Vuković
Original Paper


The tobacco industry produces large quantities of solid and liquid waste. This waste poses a significant environmental problem, as some major components are harmful and toxic. The aim of this work is to isolate and identify the nicotine-degrading microorganisms in the composting of tobacco waste. The bioremediation process for the detoxification of waste was carried out in a column reactor at an airflow-rate of 0.4 L min−1 kg−1. The concentrations of nicotine and number of CFU in the samples taken from reactor were monitored over nineteen days. After nineteen days, 89.8 % of nicotine conversion was obtained. A nicotine-degrading bacterium, strain FN, was isolated from the composting mass and identified as Pseudomonas aeruginosa on the basis of morphology, 16S rDNA sequence, and the phylogenetic characteristics. To confirm that the isolated Pseudomonas aeruginosa FN is the actual nicotine degrader, batch experiments were performed using tobacco leachate. It was confirmed that the strain FN possesses a considerable capacity to degrade nicotine with simultaneous COD removal. The Monod kinetic model for single substrate was applied to obtain the substrate degradation rate and half saturation constant.


bioremediation composting nicotine tobacco waste Pseudomonas aeruginosa FN Monod model 


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Copyright information

© Institute of Chemistry, Slovak Academy of Sciences 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Felicita Briški
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nina Kopčić
    • 1
  • Ivana Ćosić
    • 1
  • Dajana Kučić
    • 1
  • Marija Vuković
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Industrial Ecology, Faculty of Chemical Engineering and TechnologyUniversity of ZagrebZagrebCroatia

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