Effects Of Xenobiotic Organic Chemicals

So far we have focused on the fate of XOCs in bioreactors. However, XOC's can also affect the performance of a bioreactor by retarding the removal of biogenic organic matter and nitrification. This can occur through inhibition and toxicity. In-

hibition is when the presence of a chemical reduces the rate of a microbial process, such as growth and substrate utilization. Toxicity is when the presence of a chemical causes all microbial activity to cease. Inhibition increases as the concentration of an inhibitor increases and toxicity occurs when the concentration of the inhibitor becomes sufficiently high to stop microbial activity. Currently, inhibition is treated by environmental engineers as if it were fully reversible, but whether this is generally true is unclear. Toxicity, on the other hand, is usually considered to be irreversible, although little evidence exists concerning this either.

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