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International Journal of Chemical Engineering
Volume 2013, Article ID 450542, 6 pages
Research Article

Evidence for PAH Removal Coupled to the First Steps of Anaerobic Digestion in Sewage Sludge

INRA, UR050, Laboratoire de Biotechnologie de l’Environnement, Avenue des Etangs, 11100 Narbonne, France

Received 7 September 2012; Revised 11 January 2013; Accepted 28 January 2013

Academic Editor: Claire Albasi

Copyright © 2013 Glenda Cea-Barcia 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.


Anaerobic degradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons has been brought to the fore, but information on removal kinetics and anaerobic degrading bacteria is still lacking. In order to explore the organic micropollutants removal kinetics under anaerobic conditions in regard to the methane production kinetics, the removal rate of 12 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons was measured in two anaerobic batch reactors series fed with a highly loaded secondary sludge as growth substrate. The results underscore that organic micropollutants removal is coupled to the initial stages of anaerobic digestion (acidogenesis and acetogenesis). In addition, the organic micropollutants kinetics suggest that the main removal mechanisms of these hydrophobic compounds are biodegradation and/or sequestration depending on the compounds.