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Change in bacterial community and pollution load in lab-scale bioreactors designed with waste material for the treatment of paper and pulp mill effluent

Author Affiliations

  • 1Institute of Environmental Studies, Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra-136119, India
  • 2Institute of Environmental Studies, Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra-136119, India
  • 3Institute of Environmental Studies, Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra-136119, India

Int. Res. J. Environment Sci., Volume 7, Issue (5), Pages 19-28, May,22 (2018)


Two lab-scale airlift bioreactors using different waste material such as coconut shells (ALBRc) and gravel (ALBRg) as substrates for bacterial growth and a rotating biological contactor (RBC), were designed for the treatment of paper mill effluents. Change in community during the treatment was assessed and it was found that biodiversity of the bacterial species changed during the acclimatization process, with the replacement of some species with the dominant ones at the end of acclimatization. The results showed Bacillus sp., Flavobacterium sp. Pseudomonas sp. and Arthrobacter sp. as the most dominant species. Maximum bacterial growth was observed in ALBRc (120×106 CFU/ml), followed by RBC (98×106 CFU/ml). Hence, ALBRc was the most effective bioreactor for the microbial biomass production and also for wastewater treatment of paper mill effluents, maximum reduction in pollution load (pH, EC, TDS, BOD, COD and phosphates) was observed in case of ALBRc, (7.05%, 32.9%, 33.9%, 41.8%, 53.7% and 37.4%, respectively). Therefore, it can be concluded that the bacteria related to nutrient removal dominate in the bioreactors and at the same time make the system efficient not only for the wastewater treatment but for biomass production as well.


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