The aerobic biodegradation of the three dihydroxybenzene isomers (catechol, resorcinol and hydroquinone) by an activated sludge acclimated to consume p-nitrophenol (PNP) was studied through batch respirometric tests. The PNP-degrading biomass was able to consume each isomer as the sole organic carbon source, as well as, mixtures of two or three dihydroxybenzenes. However, the biodegradation rates were significantly different for each isomer and were highly influenced by the simultaneous presence of the other dihydroxybenzenes in binary or ternary mixtures. In general, hydroquinone was the isomer consumed at the fastest rate while the consumption rate of resorcinol was the slowest one. The kinetics of aerobic biodegradation of hydroquinone and catechol were successfully described by a Haldane model. The values of the kinetic coefficients showed that the affinity of PNP-degrading biomass for both isomers was low while catechol caused less substrate inhibition than hydroquinone. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
- Haldane model