Modeling trichloroethylene degradation by a recombinant pseudomonad expressing toluene ortho-monooxygenase in a fixed-film bioreactor

  • Sun A
  • Hong J
  • Wood T
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Burkholderia cepacia PR123(TOM23C), expressing constitutively the TCE- degrading enzyme toluene ortho-monooxygenase (Tom), was immobilized on SIRANtrade mark glass beads in a biofilter for the degradation and mineralization of gas-phase trichloroethylene (TCE). To interpret the experimental results, a mathematical model has been developed which includes axial dispersion, convection, film mass-transfer, and biodegradation coupled with deactivation of the TCE-degrading enzyme. Parameters used for numerical simulation were determined from either independent experiments or values reported in the literature. The model was compared with the experimental data, and there was good agreement between the predicted and measured TCE breakthrough curves. The simulations indicated that TCE degradation in the biofilter was not limited by mass transfer of TCE or oxygen from the gas phase to the liquid/biofilm phase (biodegradation limits), and predicts that improving the specific TCE degradation rates of bacteria will not significantly enhance long-term biofilter performance. The most important factors for prolonging the performance of biofilter are increasing the amount of active biomass and the transformation capacity (enhancing resistance to TCE metabolism). Copyright 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Inc

Author-supplied keywords

  • Biofilter model
  • Fixed-film bioreactor
  • Trichloroethylene degradation

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  • Adam K. Sun

  • Juan Hong

  • Thomas K. Wood

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