In this paper, mathematical models were developed to simulate the inhibition effect of some physicochemical parameters on the biodegradation rate of aromatic compounds in the presence of low and high concentration of salinity. The inhibitive effects of salinity, in this case, were investigated. The aromatic compounds were obtained from an oil-servicing firm in Port Harcourt, and the microbial analysis was conducted on the water samples for the purpose of identification, isolation and characterization of the Pseudomonas putida. A head-to head comparison of the degradation rates of toluene, phenol and benzene in fresh medium was done based on the data obtained from experiments conducted. The result showed that salinity did not inhibit the degradation rate of toluene and benzene. However, phenol was significantly affected by salinity. The aromatic compounds removal from water solution varied depending on the conditions, that is, the type of compound, the composition of the water solution and the conditions of their exposure. The results obtained from this investigation was compared with Suietlik et al. (2001) work which revealed 22 to 28% reduction in aromatic compounds degradation while the present research shows 45-75% reduction in aromatic compounds under investigation for a period of 2 weeks (21 days) exposure. The parameters form the bedrock for further improvement of the kinetic models and also, serve as an outline for possible pilot-scale bioremediation by engineers.
Key words: Kinetic, inhibition, biodegradation, model, salinity.
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