Present study deals with the biodegradation of p-cresol by using Pseudomonas putida in a batch reactor and a continuous bioreactor packed with calcium alginate beads. The maximum specific growth rate of 0.8121 h−1 was obtained at 200 mg L−1 concentration of p-cresol in batch reactor. The maximum p-cresol degradation rate was obtained 6.598 mg L−1 h−1 at So=200 mg L−1 and 62.8 mg L−1 h−1 at So=500 mg L−1 for batch reactor and a continuous bioreactor, respectively. The p-cresol degradation rate of continuous bioreactor was 9 to 10-fold higher than those of the batch reactor. It shows that the continuous bioreactor could tolerate a higher concentration of p-cresol. A Haldane model was also used for p-cresol inhibition in batch reactor and a modified equation similar to Haldane model for continuous bioreactor. The Haldane parameters were obtained as μmax 0.3398 h−1, Ks 110.9574 mg L−1, and KI 497.6169 mg L−1 in batch reactor. The parameters used in continuous bioreactor were obtained as Dmax 91.801 mg L−1 h−1, Ks 131.292 mg L−1, and KI 1217.7 mg L−1. The value KI of continuous bioreactor is approximately 2.5 times higher than the batch reactor. Higher KI value of continuous bioreactor indicates P. putida can grow at high range of p-cresol concentration. The ability of tolerance of higher p-cresol concentrations may be one reason for biofilm attachment on the packed bed in the continuous operation.

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