Removal efficiency of phenol from aqueous solutions was measured using a freely suspended monoculture of indigenous Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Experiments were performed as a function of temperature (25– 45oC), aeration (1.0 – 3.5 vvm) and agitation (200 – 600 rpm). Optimization of these three process parameters for phenol biodegradation was studied. Statistically designed experiments using response surface methodology was used to get more information about the significant effects and the interactions between the three parameters. A 23 full-factorial central composite designed followed by multistage Monte-Carlo optimization technique was employed for experimental design and analysis of the results. The optimum process conditions for maximizing phenol degradation (removal) were recognized as follows: temperature 30.1oC, aeration 3.0 vvm, and agitation 301 rpm. Maximum removal efficiency of phenol was achieved (94.5%) at the optimum process conditions.
Key words: Pseudomonas aeruginosa, phenol, biodegradation, regression model, statistical optimization.
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