The microbial activity during the aerobic acclimation of activated sludge to phenol was studied. Carbon dioxide evolution rate (CER), measured in a sequencing batch reactor coupled to an infra-red system, was utilized as the activity control parameter. It was found that CER is representative of the microbial metabolism. Moreover, it was observed that starvation periods during acclimation had a negative effect on biodegradation rate.

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