Simultaneous removal of phenol, Cu and Cd from water with corn cob silica-alginate beads

Jaehong Shim, Jeong Muk Lim, Patrick J. Shea, Byung Taek Oh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Phenol and heavy metals in petroleum waste are environmental and human health concerns, but physicochemical removal is often cost-prohibitive and can produce toxic secondary products and treatment residues. An environmentally benign alternative combines corn cob silica with alginate and immobilized bacteria into beads for treating contaminated water. The concentration of phenol was decreased >92% by Pseudomonas putida YNS1 on aliginate-silica beads (2%, w/v) after equilibrating for 96. h with water containing 214. mg phenol/L. GC-MS analysis indicated formation of benzoquinone and other polar products. Beads containing corn cob silica decreased Cu concentrations by 84-88% and Cd by 83-87% within 24 h. In a mixture of 114. mg phenol, 43. mg Cu and 51. mg Cd/L, phenol removal (93% within 96 h) only occurred with beads containing the silica and bacterial strain. Beads containing corn cob silica removed >97% of the Cu and >99% of the Cd, critical for reducing toxicity to the bacteria. Beads with the immobilized strain removed phenol when zeolite was used instead of corn cob silica, but beads with silica were more effective for Cu and Cd removal. Results show the potential of corn cob silica combined with alginate and immobilized bacteria for removing phenol and heavy metals from contaminated water.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-136
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
StatePublished - May 15 2014


  • Corn cob silica
  • Degradation
  • Heavy metals
  • Immobilized bacteria
  • Phenol
  • Pseudomonas putida

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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