Two contaminating fungi were isolated from a bioreactor containing diethylketone and
Streptococcus equisimilis, subsequently characterized at molecular level and identified as belonging to
the Alternaria and Penicillium genera. The ability of these fungi to biodegrade DEK is evaluated. The
kinetic parameters are estimated using four growth kinetic models for biodegradation of organic compounds
available in literature. The experimental data for Alternaria sp. and Penicillium sp. was found
to be better fitted by the Haldane and the Luong respectively. Biodegradation rate kinetics was evaluated
using zero-order, pseudo-first order, pseudo-second order and three-half order models. The
pseudo-second-order model was found suitable for all the concentrations of DEK tested for the biodegradation
assays using Penicillium sp. whereas for the Alternaria sp. this model just describes properly the assays with initial
concentrations of DEK higher than 0.5 g/L. The percentage of biodegraded DEK were approximately 100%, for all the
initial concentrations tested.
Keywords: Biodegradation, diethylketone, fungi, genetic identification, kinetics.
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