The toxic effects of phenol, a common constituent of many industrial effluents, necessitates treatment of the polluted streams. Biodegradation is a popular technique and enjoys many advantages. The degradation of phenol with Arthrobacter species is studied in batch cultures and it is observed that the substrate is inhibiting. The fit of various models, including the model proposed earlier by us , to the experimental data is studied. The model is used to fit available data in literature, which unfortunately is very sparse. In all the cases the present model fits the data best. © 1995 Springer-Verlag.