p-Cresol mineralization and bacterial population dynamics in a nitrifying sequential batch reactor

Carlos David Silva , Lizeth Beristain-Montiel , Flor de Maria Cuervo-López , Anne-Claire Texier


Received August 29, 2013,Revised April 23, 2014, Accepted , Available online September 10, 2014

Volume 26,2014,Pages 1885-1893

The ability of a nitrifying sludge to oxidize p-cresol was evaluated in a sequential batch reactor (SBR). p-Cresol was first transformed to p-hydroxybenzaldehyde and p-hydroxybenzoate, which were later mineralized. The specific rates of p-cresol consumption increased throughout the cycles. The bacterial population dynamics were monitored by using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and sequencing of DGGE fragments. The ability of the sludge to consume p-cresol and intermediates might be related to the presence of species such as Variovorax paradoxus and Thaueramechernichensis. p-Cresol (25to200 mg C/L)didnotaffect thenitrifyingSBR performance (ammonium consumption efficiency and nitrate production yield were close to 100% and 1, respectively). This may be related to the high stability observed in the nitrifying communities. It was shown that a nitrifying SBR may be a good alternative to eliminate simultaneously ammonium and p-cresol, maintaining stable the respiratory process as the bacterial community.

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