The aim of this work is to study the acclimation of an activated sludge inoculum fed at a constant COD volumetric load, to a recalcitrant substrate: 2,4,6-TCP. Phenol was used as an inductive and energy-supplier co-substrate and was progressively replaced by TCP. A loss in TCP removal activity to a value of 40 and then 6% was the result of two events: a shock load due to the first TCP addition that had represented 5% of the COD volumetric load and a second shock achieved with a 100% TCP inlet. This last overload stage was characterized by the reduction of non-TCP halogenated compounds concentration in the reactor effluent. On the other hand, the progressive increase of TCP generated a loss in dehalogenation and mineralization activities while TCP removal rate remained high. A load of 11.3 mgCOD.g-1VSS.h-1 of TCP as sole carbon and energy source was achieved and was accompanied with a net biomass production.

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