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Biodegradation of phenol: a comparative study with and without applying magnetic fields.

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Department of Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, and Environmental Science, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark 07102.


The objective of this work was to study the effect of magnetic fields on the rate of phenol biodegradation using immobilized activated sludge. A recirculation flow bioreactor employing immobilized bacterial beads was used with phenol as the substrate to study the biodegradation process. This study was conducted by applying separately the north pole and the south pole magnetic fields to the bioreactor. Rate of dissolved oxygen consumption, phenol concentration and extracellular protein concentration were the parameters monitored during the process. It was observed that by applying a magnetic south pole to the process, biodegradation in the form of biological oxidation was enhanced. A 30% increase in biodegradation rate was obtained by applying a magnetic south pole of strength of 0.45 Tesla to the bioreactor with immobilized microbial beads as compared to the control. Magnetic north pole irradiation inhibited this type of biooxidation. This process has potential for biological treatment of organic wastes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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