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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2002 Nov;60(3):361-6. Epub 2002 Sep 26.

Kinetics of biodegradation of mixtures of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

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  • 1Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2G6 Canada.


The kinetics of biodegradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) by a mixed culture were determined in a creosote-contaminated soil and in a pristine soil. A competitive-inhibition model was able to represent the kinetics of degradation of PAHs from the creosote-contaminated soil, from the lag phase through to active degradation, but not data from pristine soil with the same PAHs alone and in mixtures. The presence of phenanthrene introduced a lag phase of 4.5 days in the degradation of fluoranthene and 5 days for chrysene. Rapid degradation of pyrene followed a lag phase of circa 5 days, regardless of the presence of other PAHs. These results show that even when kinetics of PAH degradation by mixed cultures appear to follow competitive-inhibition kinetics, the underlying mechanisms may be more complex.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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