Modeling biodegradation of nonylphenol

Kauser Jahan, Raúl Ordóñez, Ravi Ramachandran, Shira Balzer, Michael Stern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Nonylphenol is the primary breakdown product of nonylphenol ethoxylates, a certain class of nonionic surfactants. Nonylphenol has been found to be toxic to aquatic organisms and has been suspected of being harmful to humans due to its xenoestrogenic properties. Although there are known releases of nonylphenol to the environment, there is a lack of data describing the extent of biodegradation. This study thus focuses on much needed information on the biodegradation kinetics of nonylphenol. Oxygen uptake, cell growth and nonylphenol removal data were collected using batch reactors in an electrolytic respirometer. Nonylphenol removal, cell growth and substrate removal rates were modeled by the Monod, Haldane, Aiba, Webb, and Yano equations. The differential equations were solved by numerical integration to simulate cell growth, substrate removal, and oxygen uptake as a function of time. All models provided similar results with the Haldane model providing the best fit. The values of the kinetic parameters and the activation energy for nonylphenol were determined. These values can be used for predicting fate and transport of nonylphenol in the environment. The validity of applying each model to the biodegradation of nonylphenol was analyzed by computing the R 2 values of each equation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)395-404
Number of pages10
JournalWater, Air, and Soil Pollution: Focus
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Aug 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Pollution
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Modeling biodegradation of nonylphenol'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this