Phenol is a hydrocarbon compound that highly pollutes the environment. Aspergillus flavus having
high ability to degrade phenol was isolated. The fungus fully degraded phenol concentration of 100 mgl-
1 in 72 h, 300 mgl-1 in 96 h, 500 mgl-1 in 120 h, 700 mgl-1 in 240 h, while 900 and 1000 mgl-1 needed more
than 240 h. On the other hand, 2000 and 3000 mgl-1 was lethal to the fungal growth. Statistical designs
of the multi-factorial experiment consisting of two serial designs (Plackett-Burman and Box-Behnken)
were applied to optimize medium components and growth conditions to raise the fungus potency for
phenol degradation and to reduce required time. The fungus achieved 100% (of 500 mgl-1) phenol
degradation in 99 h, after application of Plackett-Burman design. The design reduced required time for
phenol degradation from 120 to 99 h. And after application of Box-Behnken design, the required time to
complete phenol degradation became 97 h instead of 99 h. So the statistical programs raised the
fungus efficiency by 20% and reduced required time to complete phenol degradation from 120 to 97 h.
These results were applied for the bioremediation of the crude sewage containing phenol concentration
of 0.7 mgl-1, which was obtained from the main track of Makkah sewage, where A. flavus completed
phenol degradation with optimized conditions in four hours. This efficiency proved the ability of this
fungus to remove the phenolic compounds from pollution.
African Journal of Biotechnology