Construction of biotreatment platforms for aromatic hydrocarbons and their future perspectives

Ravi Kumar SONWANI, Ki-Hyun KIM, Ming ZHANG, Yiu Fai TSANG, Sang Soo LEE, Balendu Shekher GIRI, Ram Sharan SINGH, Birendra Nath RAI

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22 Citations (Scopus)


Aromatic hydrocarbons (AHCs) are one of the major environmental pollutants introduced from both natural and anthropogenic sources. Many AHCs are well known for their toxic, carcinogenic, and mutagenic impact on human health and ecological systems. Biodegradation is an eco-friendly and cost-effective option as microorganisms (e.g., bacteria, fungi, and algae) can efficiently breakdown or transform such pollutants into less harmful and simple metabolites (e.g., carbon dioxide (aerobic), methane (anaerobic), water, and inorganic salts). This paper is organized to offer a state-of-the-art review on the biodegradation of AHCs (monocyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (MAHs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)) and associated mechanisms. The recent progress in biological treatment using suspended and attached growth bioreactors for the biodegradation of AHCs is also discussed. In addition, various substrate growth and inhibition models are introduced along with the key factors governing their biodegradation kinetics. The growth and inhibition models have helped gain a better understanding of substrate inhibition in biodegradation. Techno-economic analysis (TEA) and life cycle assessment (LCA) aspects are also described to assess the technical, economical, and environmental impacts of the biological treatment system. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Article number125968
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Early online dateApr 2021
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


Sonwani, R. K., Kim, K.-H., Zhang, M., Tsang, Y. F., Lee, S. S., Giri, B. S., . . . Rai, B. N. (2021). Construction of biotreatment platforms for aromatic hydrocarbons and their future perspectives. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 416. Retrieved from


  • Aromatic hydrocarbons
  • Biodegradation
  • Suspended growth bioreactor
  • Attached growth bioreactor


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