, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 599–611 | Cite as

Description of by-product inhibiton effects on biodesulfurization of dibenzothiophene in biphasic media

  • Ainhoa Caro
  • Karina Boltes
  • Pedro Letón
  • Eloy García-Calvo
Original Paper


As several authors have reported previously, the Biodesulfurization of hydrodesulfurization recalcitrants, such as dibenzothiophene, is not yet commercially viable because mass transfer limitations and feedback inhibition effects are produced during the conversion. This work has been focused to investigate the inhibition process in aqueous and oil-water systems with two different aerobic biocatalysts types, Rhodococcus erythropolis IGTS8 and Pseudomonas putida CECT 5279. The results obtained have proven that global DBT desulfurization process using CECT 5279 was not clearly deactivated due to final product accumulation, under the experimental conditions assayed. Consistently, the desulfurization pattern has been described with the Michaelis-Menten equation, determining the kinetic parameters. On other hand, the assays have shown that important mass transfer limitations produced the decrease of the yields obtained with this Gram strain in biphasic media. With strain IGTS8 it was observed lower mass transfer problems, but contrary the reaction was severely affected by the final product accumulation, in both aqueous and biphasic systems. Therefore it has been proposed an enzymatic kinetic model with competitive inhibition to describe the BDS evolution pattern when this Gram+ strain was used.


Biodesulfurization Dibenzothiophene Inhibition Kinetic model Pseudomonas sp. CECT 5279 Rhodococcus sp. IGTS8 





Concentration (μM)








Dry cell








Inhibitor concentration (μM of HBP)


Kinetic constant (μM)


Product (HBP) concentration (μM)


Specific substrate consume rate (mmol substrate·KgDC−1 h−1)


Substrate concentration (μM)


Biomass concentration (g DC L−1)


Biodesulfurization percentage (%)


Fitting model parameter





Inhibition over main substrate


Inhibition over intermediate substrate






Substrate, saturation



This work has been supported by MEC-Plan Nacional de I + D-Programa de Ciencia y Tecnología Química, under contract no. CTQ2004-06553-C02-02.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ainhoa Caro
    • 1
  • Karina Boltes
    • 1
  • Pedro Letón
    • 1
  • Eloy García-Calvo
    • 1
  1. 1.Dpto. Química Analítica e Ingeniería Química, Facultad de CienciasUniversidad de AlcaláMadridSpain

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