Alternative nonlinear model for estimating second-order rate coefficients for biodegradation
Applied and Environmental Microbiology
A modification of the second-order model for biodegradation was derived, applied to an example data set, and shown to be superior for describing the anaerobic biodegradation of p-cresol by an enriched bacterial consortium. The modified model circumvents the no-growth assumption implicit in the use of the second-order rate equation, but still requires the assumption of first-order kinetics over the course of substrate depletion. Violation of the no-growth assumption is particularly important
... larly important since overestimates of the pseudo-first-order rate coefficient lead to underestimates of the time required for the removal of a xenobiotic chemical from a contaminated environment. Our calculations show that the errors introduced into the pseudo-first-order rate coefficient (and the resulting estimates of the second-order rate coefficient) approach 100% if one doubling occurs in activity over the course of substrate depletion. For an exemplary data set, use of a first-order model resulted in a 100% overestimate of the first-order decay coefficient, which would in turn lead to a corresponding overestimate of the second-order rate coefficient. The modified model we describe is a potential alternative to the pseudo-first-order model for the routine estimation of second-order rate coefficients.