The effect of granular sludge source on the anaerobic biodegradability of aromatic compounds

Elías Razo-Flores, Anna Svitelskaya, Brian Donlon, Jim Field, Gatze Lettinga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The ability of bacteria from five different granular sludge sources to anaerobically biodegrade aromatic compounds was evaluated. The biodegradabilities of phenol 4-cresol, 2-aminobenzoate (2-AB) and 5-aminosalicylate (5-ASA) were determined by measuring compound conversion to methane in batch serum bottles at 30°C under agitated conditions over a period of at least 100 days. Phenol and 4-cresol were completely mineralized by all the granular sludges tested. This observation indicates a universal capacity of granular sludge to degrade phenol and 4-cresol; which would be expected since these compounds are intermediates in the anaerobic degradation of the commonly occurring amino acid tyrosine. In contrast, 5-ASA and 2-AB were degraded by only one or two granular sludges. Previous acclimation to an N-substituted aromatic was a prerequisite for 5-ASA degradation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-220
Number of pages6
JournalBioresource Technology
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 1996


  • Anaerobic degradation
  • Aromatic compounds
  • Granular sludge
  • Methanogenesis
  • Phenol degradation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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