Kinetics of phenol and chlorophenol utilization by Acinetobacter species

Oliver J. Hao, Michael H. Kim, Eric A. Seagren, Hyunook Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

174 Scopus citations


Although microbial transformations via cometabolism have been widely observed, the few available kinetic models of cometabolism have not adequately addressed the case of inhibition from both the growth and nongrowth substrates. The present study investigated the degradation kinetics of self-inhibitory growth (phenol) and nongrowth (4-chlorophenol, 4-CP) substrates, present individually and in combination. Specifically, batch experiments were performed using an Acinetobacter isolate growing on phenol alone and with 4-CP present. In addition, batch experiments were also performed to evaluate the transformation of 4-CP by resting, phenol-induced Acinetobacter cultures. The Haldane kinetic model adequately predicted the biodegradation of phenol alone, although a slight discrepancy was noted in cases of higher initial phenol concentrations. Similarly, a Haldane model for substrate utilization was also able to describe the trends in 4-CP transformation by the resting cell cultures. The 4-CP transformation by the Acinetobacter species growing on phenol was modeled using a competitive kinetic model of cometabolism, which included growth and nongrowth substrate inhibition and cross-inhibition terms. Excellent agreement was obtained between the model predictions using experimentally estimated parameter values and the experimental data for the synchronous disappearance of phenol and 4-CP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)797-807
Number of pages11
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2002


  • 4-chlorophenol
  • Acinetobacter
  • Cometabolism
  • Inhibition
  • Kinetics
  • Phenol


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