The treatment characteristics of concentrated p-phenol sulfonic acid (PSA) wastewater in a submerged bioreactor and a solid phase bioreactor packed with ACP particles (polyvinyl alcohol particles coated with powered activated carbon) were compared experimentally. The changes in biomass and microbial community with the degradation of PSA at both bioreactors were also evaluated using microbial quinones as an index. Greater than 95% of influent PSA was mineralized at the solid phase bioreactor under the volumetric loading of PSA ranging from 0.3 to 1.8 kg-C·m-3·d-1 at the steady state, but less than 10% of the influent PSA was mineralized in the submerged bioreactor. The solid phase aerobic biological treatment process was more effective for the treatment of concentrated refractory chemicals such as PSA than the submerged bioreactor. The dominant quinone species in the solid phase bioreactor were ubiquinone-10 and menaquinone-8(H4), while those in the submerged bioreactor were ubiquinone-8 and menaquinone-8. This suggests hat different microbes had contributed to the degradation in the two bioreactors.

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