An anoxic-aerobic system for simultaneous biodegradation of phenol and ammonia in a sequencing batch reactor Academic Article uri icon


  • A laboratory-scale sequencing batch reactor (SBR) was investigated to treat artificial pretreated coal gasification wastewater that was mainly contained of ammonia and phenol. The efficiency of SBR fed with increasing phenol concentrations (from 150 to 300 mg l-1) and the relationship among phenol, nitrogen removal, and the microbial community structure were evaluated. When the phenol feeding concentration was increased to about 300 mg l-1, the removal efficiency was above 99.0%, demonstrating the robustness of phenol removal capacity. The study showed that most phenol was degraded in anoxic stage. The average removal efficiencies of ammonia and total nitrogen were 98.4 and 81.9%, respectively, with average NH4+-N concentration of 107.5 mg l-1 and COD/N 7.5. Low temperature caused sludge loss that led to the decreased performance. Increasing the temperature could not recover the performance effectively. The data from bacterial analysis revealed that Delftia, Hydrogenophaga, and unclassified Xanthomonadaceae played a significant role in phenol degradation before the temperature increase, while uncultured Syntrophococcus sp. and unclassified Rhodocyclaceae were responsible for phenol degradation after the temperature increase. These results imply that the SBR holds potential for the simultaneous removal of phenolic compounds and nitrogen through aerobic ammonia oxidation and anoxic denitrification with phenol as the co-organic carbon source.

author list (cited authors)

  • Liu, Q., Singh, V. P., Fu, Z., Wang, J., & Hu, L. a.

citation count

  • 10

publication date

  • March 2017