, Volume 20, Issue 5, pp 717–726 | Cite as

Biodegradation of phenol by immobilized Aspergillus awamori NRRL 3112 on modified polyacrylonitrile membrane

  • G. Yordanova
  • D. Ivanova
  • T. Godjevargova
  • A. Krastanov
Original Paper


Covalent immobilization of Aspergillus awamori NRRL 3112 was conducted onto modified polyacrylonitrile membrane with glutaraldehyde as a coupling agent. The polymer carrier was preliminarily modified in an aqueous solution of NaOH and 1,2-diaminoethane. The content of amino groups was determined to be 0.58 mgeq g−1. Two ways of immobilization were used—in the presence of 0.2 g l−1 phenol and without phenol. The capability of two immobilized system to degrade phenol (concentration—0.5 g l−1) as a sole carbon and energy source was investigated in batch experiments. Seven cycles of phenol biodegradation were conducted. Better results were obtained with the immobilized system prepared in the presence of phenol, regarding degradation time and phenol biodegradation rate. Scanning electron micrographs of the polyacrylonitrile membrane/immobilized Aspergillus awamori NRRL at the beginning of repeated batch cultivation and after the 7th cycle were compared. After the 7th cycle of cultivation the observations showed large groups of cells. The results from the batch experiments with immobilized system were compared to the results produced by the free strain. Phenol biodegradation experiments were carried out also in a bioreactor with spirally wound membrane with bound Aspergillus awamori NRRL 3112 in a regime of recirculation. 10 cycles of 0.5 g l−1 phenol biodegradation were run consecutively to determine the degradation time and rate for each cycle. The design of the bioreactor appeared to be quite effective, providing large membrane surface to bind the strain.


Biodegradation Phenol Aspergillus awamori NRRL3112 Immobilization Polymer membrane 



The authors gratefully acknowledge to the Bulgarian Ministry for Education and to the National Science Fund for their financial support and encouragement of the scientific research work in state universities.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Yordanova
    • 1
  • D. Ivanova
    • 1
  • T. Godjevargova
    • 1
  • A. Krastanov
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BiotechnologyUniversity “Prof. Dr. A Zlatarov”BourgasBulgaria
  2. 2.Department of BiotechnologyUniversity of Food TechnologiesPlovdivBulgaria

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