Independent prediction of naphthalene transport and biodegradation in soil with a mathematical model

Ik Sung Ahn, William C. Ghiorse, Leonard W. Lion, Michael L. Shuler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Experiments were performed to test the ability of a mathematical model to predict naphthalene transport and biodegradation. Pseudomonas putida G7, a model bacterial strain capable of degrading naphthalene, was added to a column packed with the soil that had been pre-equilibrated with naphthalene. Model prediction for transport and degradation were based on predetermined parameters that described naphthalene desorption kinetics and the utilization of naphthalene by the test bacterium. However, initial prediction for naphthalene biodegradation was high, and the formation of cell aggregates is advanced as a plausible explanation. Access of substrate to cells in the interior of an aggregate would be restricted. When the numerical simulation was conducted with a factor to account for cell aggregation, it successfully described the experimental data. Thus, with a single adjustable parameter (an average effectiveness factor), the model predicted macroscopic responses of naphthalene in soil-columns where naphthalene was subject to transport and biodegradation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-75
Number of pages11
JournalBiotechnology and Bioengineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Oct 5

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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