This work describes a model of the biodegradation of phenol carried out by aerobic granules. These granules were obtained by culturing an activated sludge supernatant in a sequencing batch reactor fed with a synthetic waste water and subsequently, by acclimation to phenol (100 mg/L). The kinetics of phenol biodegradation by the aerobic granules was investigated over a wide range of initial phenol concentrations (40-1112 mg/L) in shake-flask cultures. A Haldane-type model was adjusted to the experimental results, which depicts successfully the phenol biodegradation profiles in the entire range of initial concentrations studied by using only one set of parameters. It is our view that the proposed model could contribute to the knowledge about the ability of aerobic granular systems to biodegrade toxic, inhibitory compounds such as phenol. © 2008 Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering.