AEROBIC MICROBIAL DEGRADATION OF M-CRESOL
Wastewater or sewage sludge is a complex mixture of organic and inorganic compound. Cresol is one of the major constituents found in waste water. Cresol being toxic/ carcinogenic for aquatic and terrestrial animals including humans, removal of these compounds to sufficiently low levels in wastewater is of great importance. The major disadvantages with the available conventional treatments are cost involved in disposal of the final effluent, production of toxic intermediates, and incomplete mineralization of the compounds. In such cases, the present study was aimed at assessing the efficiency of biodegradation of m-cresol using isolated microorganism. The experiment was performed in laboratory. After the enrichment of effluent obtained from Amla khadi, Ankleshwar, meta-cresol was introduced and the performance of microorganism was evaluated. Various physicochemical parameters optimized were pH, initial concentration of m- cresol, additional carbon source, and additional nitrogen source for the maximum degradation of m-cresol. The proper acclimatization period is essential for the biodegradation of the meta-cresol. Complete degradation of meta-cresol was obtained after 4 days in 1000 ppm solution by isolated microbial strain.
Key words: Phenolic compounds, Meta-Cresol, Biodegradation, Carcinogens.