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Bioremoval of Heavy Metals from Effluent of Portharcourt Refinery Company Limited, Eleme, Nigeria

Author Affiliations

  • 1 Rexall Research Services, Port Harcourt, NIGERIA

Int. Res. J. Environment Sci., Volume 3, Issue (5), Pages 73-79, May,22 (2014)

Abstract

Bioremoval of heavy metals from the effluent of Port Harcourt Refinery Company limited was studied. Eight treatment options were set up. These include Natural process (positive control), poisoned and filtered sample (negative control), Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Bacillus subtilis, Rhizopus stolonifer, Aspergillus niger, Chlorella vulgaris and a mixed culture of the above microorganisms. The experiment was conducted at ambient temperature (30 ± 2C and pH range of 6.8 to 8.9 and incubated for 60days. Physicochemicalanalyses of the effluent on day zero revealed the presence of Cadmium (0.041mg/l), Chromium (0.5mg/l) and Zinc (0.521mg/l) and were found to be relatively high in relation to the DPR standards for petroleum industries in Nigeria. At the end of 60 days, the various treatment options (Natural process(positive control), poisoned and filtered sample(negative control), Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Bacillus subtilis, Rhizopus stolonifer, Aspergillus niger, Chlorella vulgaris and a mixed culture of the above microorganisms) were able to bioaccumulate 78%, 14.6%, 58.5%, 45%, 79.5%, 83% and 26.9% of Cadmium; 61.4%, 2.1%, 95.9%, 74.9%, 34%, 62% and 49% of Zinc and 61.4%, 13%, 50.6%, 84.8%, 87%, 87% and 38.2% of Chromium respectively. The mixed culture recovered 100% of Cadmium in 42days; 100% of Zinc and Chromium in 28days. However, not all the heavy metals recovered from the sample were bioconcentrated. Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Bacillus subtilis, Rhizopusstolonifer, Aspergillusniger, Chlorella vulgaris and the mixed culture bioconcentrated 61%, 31.7%, 53.7%, 73.1%, 22% and 70.7% of Cadmium; and 62.6%, 55.9%, 16.5%, 38.6%, 35.9% and 74.7% of Zinc. Besides, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Bacillus subtilis and the mixed culturebioconcentrated 32, 42.2 and 50% of Chromium. This study has demonstrated the great potential of the above listed microorganisms to clean-up the refinery effluent of certain heavy metals and can be employed in treatment of environments polluted with effluents containing high levels of Cadmium, Chromium and Zinc.

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