Determination of the Most Significant Factors Affecting the Degradation of Phenol Using Immobilized Aspergillus awamori Cells

1 Vellore Institute of Technology, Department of Chemical Engineering, Vellore-632014, Tamil Nadu, India
2University of Food Technologies, Department of Biotechnology, BG-4002 Plovdiv, Bulgaria


SHYAM SUNDAR, P., D. K. DANIEL and A. I. KRASTANOV, 2005. Determination of the most significant factors affecting the degradation of phenol using immobilized Aspergillus awamori cells. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci.,11: 61-71

In the present study, an attempt has been made to study the degradation of phenol by immobilized cells of Aspergillus awamoriNRRL 3112. After ascertaining the potential of the organism to degrade phenol, batch studies on the degradation of phenol were conducted with immobilized cells to analyze the effects of various parameters viz., initial phenol concentration, initial pH, carbon source concentration and bead size. After preliminary confirmation of the effects of these parameters, Taguchi's technique was applied to obtain an optimal setting of the parameters viz., initial phenol concentration, initial pH, carbon source concentration, bead size and time of contact. The results indicated that initial phenol concentration and time of contact were the control parameters and initial pH and bead size, were the signal parameters. Initial phenol concentrations, initial pH, time of contact and bead size were found to be the most significant parameters at levels 100 ppm, 5.5, 50 h and 3.05 mm respectively. The reusability studies of the immobilized beads indicated that there was no significant deterioration in the activity of the beads with subsequent usage up to four times.

Key words: Aspergillus awamori NRRL 3112, immobilized cells, phenol degradation