Simultaneous chromium(VI) reduction and phenol degradation in an anaerobic consortium of bacteria

Evans N. Chirwa, Yi Tin Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

124 Scopus citations


Simultaneous removal of Cr(VI) and phenol was investigated in an anaerobic consortium of bacteria supplemented with a Cr(VI)-reducing organism, Escherichia coli ATCC 33456. Neither E. coli nor the anaerobic phenol-degrading consortium culture was acclimated to Cr(VI) prior to the batch experiments. Optimum Cr(VI) reduction was observed at a phenol concentration of 200 mg/l at an initial Cr(VI) concentration of 2.0 mg/l. The interaction between E. coli and phenol-degraders was observed by varying initial concentrations of chromate, phenol and phenol-degrader/E. coli ratio in the anaerobic consortium. Higher phenol-degrader/E. coli ratios resulted in higher rates of Cr(VI) reduction. The highest observed cumulative Cr(VI) reduced per unit weight of metabolite utilized by E. coli (1.25 mg Cr(VI)/mg organic acids consumed) approximated the theoretical value (1.32 mg Cr(VI)/mg organic acids consumed). A positive correlation noted between phenol degradation and Cr(VI) reduction indicated that E. coli utilized metabolites formed from phenol degradation as electron donors for Cr(VI) reduction. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2376-2384
Number of pages9
JournalWater Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jun 2000

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the United States Environmental Protection Agency through an exploratory research grant awarded to Yi-Tin Wang under the agreement R-822307-01-0. Additional support was provided by the University of Kentucky Graduate School through a Graduate Research Fellowship.


  • Acetate
  • Anaerobic consortium
  • Biotransformation
  • Chromate
  • E. coli
  • Phenol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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