Degradation characteristics of methyl ethyl ketone by Pseudomonas sp. KT-3 in liquid culture and biofilter

Tae Ho Lee, Jaisoo Kim, Min Joo Kim, Hee Wook Ryu, Kyung Suk Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


With ketone pollution forming an ever-growing problem, it is important to identify a ketone-degrading microorganism and establish its effect. Here, a methyl ethyl ketone (MEK)-degrading bacterium, Pseudomonas sp. KT-3, was isolated and its MEK degradation characteristics were examined in liquid cultures and a polyurethane-packed biofilter. In liquid cultures, strain KT-3 could degrade other ketone solvents, including diethyl ketone (DK), methyl propyl ketone (MPK), methyl isopropyl ketone (MIPK), methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK), methyl butyl ketone (MBK) and methyl isoamyl ketone (MIAK). The maximum specific growth rate (μmax) of the isolate was 0.136 h -1 in MEK medium supplemented with MEK as a sole carbon source, and kinetically, the maximum removal rate (Vm) and saturation constant (Km) for MEK were 12.28 mM g-1 DCW h-1 (DCW: dry cell weight) and 1.64 mM, respectively. MEK biodegradation by KT-3 was suppressed by the addition of MIBK or acetone, but not by toluene. In the tested biofilter, KT-3 exhibited a > 90% removal efficiency for MEK inlet concentrations of around 500 ppmv at a space velocity (SV) of 150 h -1. The elimination capacity of MEK was more influenced by SV than by the inlet concentration. Kinetic analysis showed that the maximum MEK removal rate (Vm) was 690 g m-3 h-1 and the saturation constant (Km) was 490 ppmv. Collectively, these results indicate the polyurethane sequencing batch biofilter with Pseudomonas sp. KT-3 will provide an excellent performance in the removal of gaseous MEK.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-322
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was financially supported by the Korea Science and Engineering Foundation, through the Advanced Environmental Biotechnology Research Center at Pohang University of Science and Technology (R11-2003-006).


  • Biodegradation
  • Biofilter
  • Ketones
  • Methyl ethyl ketone (MEK)
  • Pseudomonas sp. KT-3


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