Using succinonitrile as a sole source of carbon and nitrogen, two bacterium strains named as J-1-3 and J-13-1 were isolated and screened out from the treatment facilities of Shanghai petrochemical wastewater treatment plant treating acrylic fiber production wastewater. The optimal growth conditions of the two strains in the degradation of succinonitrile with varied initial concentrations were determined through flask tests as follows: temperature 30°C, shaker rotary speed of 250 r/min, inoculum percentage 0.1%, and initial pH 6. Results indicate that the two strains, especially J-13-1, exhibited a high efficiency for succinonitrile degradation. Thereafter, the bacterium strains were immobilized separately by sodium alginate and polyvinyl alcohol 1750±50, and applied to succinonitrile degradation again. Results show that in a very broad range of the initial succinonitrile concentration, i.e., 30–5,000 mg/L, the sodium alginate immobilized grains could degrade more than 80% of succinonitrile after 24 h under the experimental conditions of 30°C, pH 6.5, and shaker rotary speed of 250 r/min. However, the polyvinyl alcohol immobilized grains tended to inflate and break down due to a weak mechanical strength.

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