Phenol Biodegradation by Ralstonia pickettii extracted from petroleum refinery oil sludge

Sulaiman Al-Zuhair, Muftah H. El-Naas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Phenol-degrading bacterial strains have been extracted from oil-sludge samples collected from a local refinery. A selective medium was used to isolate the active strain capable of utilizing phenol as a sole carbon source, which was identified as Ralstonia pickettii. The growth kinetics of mixed and isolated R. pickettii suspensions were investigated using different initial concentrations of phenol in the range of 25 to 200 g m -3 at 35°C and pH of 8.5. The results were compared to those of a commercially available mixed bacterial suspension, which was either acclimatized to 100 g m -3 phenol concentration, extracted from PVA particles that were subjected to real petroleum refinery wastewater containing phenol, or an isolated active strain grown on a selective medium that was identified as Pseudomonas putida. The effect of substrate inhibition was observed using all bacterial suspensions, and the growth results were used to determine the parameters of a suitable kinetic model. It was found that the phenol biodegradation ability of the indigenous bacteria, R. pickettii, isolated from refinery sludge was comparable to that of the commercially available bacteria.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1194-1204
Number of pages11
JournalChemical Engineering Communications
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2012


  • Bacteria isolation
  • Bubble column bioreactor
  • Growth kinetics
  • PVA particles
  • Phenol degradation
  • Pseudomonas putida
  • Ralstonia pickettii
  • Refinery wastewater
  • Spouted bed bioreactor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering


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