A Penicillium camemberti strain isolated in our laboratory has been studied for its ability to degrade chlorinated pulping wastes, presumably containing a variety of chlorinated polyphenols. In batch tests, the highest removals (76% AOX, 61% color and 65% TOC) were obtained with 0.2 g/l feed acetate concentration. The tendency of the fungus to dechlorinate bleachery effluents better under non-shaking conditions and to attach onto surfaces suggested the use of immobilized cells rather than freely suspended ones in further exploitation of the process. An upflow glass wool packed column reactor established with this fungus could be operated for nearly two years in the laboratory. At best around 70% AOX could be removed from chlorinated pulping wastes in 7.3 h of contact with no aeration and with a minimal amount of carbon supplement (0.2 g/l). Finally, an asymptotic mathematical formula for determining Michaelis-Menten kinetic rates has been derived. The kinetic rates Km (the Michaelis constant or saturation constant for the substrate) and V-m (the product of maximum rate for the enzymatic reaction and biomass concentration) were then calculated as 126.386 mg/l and 2.83017 mg/l h, respectively. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.