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Chemosphere. 2006 Sep;65(1):165-9. Epub 2006 Apr 18.

Methods for the preparation of a biodesulfurization biocatalyst using Rhodococcus sp.

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State Key Lab of Microbial Technology of Shandong University, Jinan 250100, PR China.


Several methods to prepare a biodesulfurization (BDS) biocatalyst were investigated in this study using a strain of Rhodococcus sp. 1awq. This bacterium could selectively remove sulfur from dibenzothiophene (DBT) via the "4S" pathway. DBT, dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO), sodium sulphate and mixed sulfur sources were used to study their influence on cell density, desulfurization activity, desulfurization ability, and the cost of biocatalyst production. In contrast to that observed from bacteria cultured in DBT, only partial desulfurization activity of strain 1awq was induced by DBT after cultivation in a medium containing inorganic sulfur as the sole sulfur source. The biocatalyst, prepared from culture with mixed sulfur sources, was found to possess desulfurization activity. With DMSO as the sole sulfur source, the desulfurization activity was shown to be similar to that of bacteria incubated in medium with DBT as the sole sulfur source. The biocatalyst prepared by this method with the least cost could remove sulfur from hydrodesulfurization (HDS)-treated diesel oil efficiently, providing a total desulfurization percent of 78% and suggesting its cost-effective advantage.

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