Kinetics of benzene biodegradation by Pseudomonas aeruginosa: Parameter estimation

Song Bae Kim, Choon Hwa Park, Dong Ju Kim, William A. Jury

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23 Citations (Scopus)


This study determined the model parameters describing biodegradation of benzene by conducting kinetic microcosm batch tests in both pure solution and saturated aquifer material conditions for various initial benzene (100-700 mg/L) and microbial concentrations (107-109 colony-forming units [CFU]/ml) using Pseudomonas aeruginosa as benzene-degrading bacteria. In both tests, benzene and microbial concentrations were monitored over time in order to investigate which of two Monod kinetic equations, the Monod-with-growth or the Monod-no-growth model, was more suitable for describing benzene biodegradation and to estimate the associated model parameters. Parameter estimation was performed by fitting the numerical solution of each model obtained by the fourth-order Runge-Kutta integration to the measured data of benzene and/or microbial concentrations. For the Monod-withgrowth model, the best fit of the numerical solution was significantly different than the measured benzene concentrations, especially at early times, because of the gradual increase of microbial population in the growth curve. In contrast, the solution based on the Monod-no-growth model produced reasonable agreement with the measured benzene data. The estimated parameters of maximum substrate utilization rate (kmax) and half-saturation constant (Kc) were in the range of 61 to 105 mg/L/d and about 270 mg/L, respectively, which differ significantly from values previously reported in the literature. We attribute the differences observed in our study to our experimental conditions of initial substrate and bacterial concentrations and oxygen and nutrient supply. Our results imply that an appropriate model type and reasonable values of kinetic parameters should be chosen to model the biodegradation of hydrocarbons in the subsurface environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1038-1045
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2003 May 1


  • Benzene
  • Biodegradation
  • Monod kinetics
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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