1 Department of the Environment, Faculty of Natural Resources, University of Zabol, Zabol, Iran

2 Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Biological Science, University of Shahid Beheshti, Tehran, Iran


Phenol is an environmental pollutant present in industrial wastewaters such as refineries, coal processing and petrochemicals products. In this study three phenol degrading bacteria from Arak Petrochemical Complex effluent were isolated which consume phenol. Molecular analysis was used to identify bacteria and isolated bacteria were identified as Rhodococcus pyridinivorans (NS1), Advenella faeciporci (NS2) and Pseudomonas aeroginosa (NS3). Among the isolated strains, NS1 had the highest ability to degrade phenol. In order to observe the best yield in phenol biodegradation using NS1, optimization was performed using one factor at a time of experimental design to investigate the effect of four factors, including pH, temperature, phosphate and urea concentration. The optimal biodegradation condition through or tho pathway was pH = 8, urea = 1 g/L, temperature = 30°C and K2HPO4 = 0.5 g/L. Under the suggested condition, a biodegradation efficiency of 100% was achieved. Moreover, NS1 has shown growth and phenol degradation in concentrations between 250 to 2000 mg/L. In a nutshell, the results revealed thatphenol efficiently consumed by NS1 as the sole carbon source. Obviously, the isolate strain may be seen as an important tool in the bioremediation of wastewater effluent, petrochemical complex.

Graphical Abstract

Optimization of phenol biodegradation by efficient bacteria isolated from petrochemical effluents


  • Isolating Rhodococcus pyridinivorans (NS1), Advenella faeciporci (NS2) and Pseudomonas aeroginosa (NS3), using phenol as the sole carbon and energy source
  • Optimal biodegradation condition was pH = 8, temperature = 30°C, urea = 1 g/L and K2HPO4 = 0.5 g/L
  • NS1 had the highest ability to degrade phenol and was able to degrade phenol in concentrations between 250 to 2000 mg/L
  • NS1 seems to be as an important tool in the bioremediation of petrochemical effluents.


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