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Water Science & Technology Vol 65 No 5 pp 795–801 © IWA Publishing 2012 doi:10.2166/wst.2012.692

Optimization of a bacterial consortium for nitrobenzene degradation

D. F. Jin, H. Hu, D. F. Liu, H. T. Ding, X. M. Jia and Y. H. Zhao

College of Life Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China E-mail: yhzhao225@zju.edu.cn
Department of Biology, The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC 20064, USA


ABSTRACT

Three bacterial strains, Arthrobacter sp. NB1, Serratia sp. NB2 and Stenotrophomonas sp. NB3, were isolated from contaminated sludge by using nitrobenzene as a sole source of carbon and nitrogen. It was observed that all three strains could degrade nitrobenzene at 400 mg/L initial concentration and mixed-cultivation of these strains could enhance the degradation of nitrobenzene compared with mono-cultivation. Mixture design was used for adjusting the proportions of each strain and the optimal ratio of inoculation size was NB1:NB2:NB3 = 4:4:5, where the nitrobenzene degradation percentage was two times higher than for by the single strain. The results of Plackett-Burman design indicated that Mg2+, Ca2+, Fe2+, Zn2+ and Mn2+ had a positive effect on the degradation of nitrobenzene, while Cu2+ and Co2+ had a negative effect on it.

Keywords: bacterial consortium; degradation; mixture design; nitrobenzene; Plackett-Burman design


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