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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013, Article ID 373412, 8 pages
Research Article

Performance Study of Chromium (VI) Removal in Presence of Phenol in a Continuous Packed Bed Reactor by Escherichia coli Isolated from East Calcutta Wetlands

1Department of Biotechnology, Heritage Institute of Technology, Chowbaga Road, Anandapur, Kolkata 700107, India
2Department of Food Technology and Biochemical Engineering, Jadavpur University, S. C. Mallik Road, Kolkata 700032, India

Received 26 April 2013; Revised 22 July 2013; Accepted 23 July 2013

Academic Editor: Kannan Pakshirajan

Copyright © 2013 Bhaswati Chakraborty et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Organic pollutants, like phenol, along with heavy metals, like chromium, are present in various industrial effluents that pose serious health hazard to humans. The present study looked at removal of chromium (VI) in presence of phenol in a counter-current continuous packed bed reactor packed with E. coli cells immobilized on clay chips. The cells removed 85% of 500 mg/L of chromium (VI) from MS media containing glucose. Glucose was then replaced by 500 mg/L phenol. Temperature and pH of the MS media prior to addition of phenol were 30°C and 7, respectively. Hydraulic retention times of phenol- and chromium (VI)-containing synthetic media and air flow rates were varied to study the removal efficiency of the reactor system. Then temperature conditions of the reactor system were varied from 10°C to 50°C, the optimum being 30°C. The pH of the media was varied from pH 1 to pH 12, and the optimum pH was found to be 7. The maximum removal efficiency of 77.7% was achieved for synthetic media containing phenol and chromium (VI) in the continuous reactor system at optimized conditions, namely, hydraulic retention time at 4.44 hr, air flow rate at 2.5 lpm, temperature at 30°C, and pH at 7.