Kinetics of Microbial Transformation of Organic Pollutants in Natural Aquatic Systems

  • Robert E. Hodson
  • Huey-Min Hwang
  • David L. Lewis


In assessing the potential exposure of humans and other organisms to toxic organic pollutants, it is necessary to first determine the persistence of the pollutants in the environment. This assessment, in turn, requires that we understand the kinetics of microbial transformation and mineralization (to carbon dioxide) of the compounds in a given ecosystem. Models of pollutant transformation in aquatic ecosystems have heretofore often assumed that degradation followed simple, Michaelis-Menten, kinetics which can be described by a single hyperbolic relationship between substrate concentration and degradation rate. In such a relationship, the kinetics are defined by a single set of kinetic parameters which include a K (the concentration of substrate supporting half maximal degradation rate) and a Vmax (the maximal rate of substrate degradation).


Microbial Biomass Substrate Concentration Microbial Transformation Microbial Assemblage Maximal Degradation Rate 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert E. Hodson
    • 1
  • Huey-Min Hwang
    • 1
  • David L. Lewis
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology and Institute of EcologyUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  2. 2.Environmental Protection AgencyAthensUSA

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