Environmental biology

Biodegradation by bioaugmentation of dairy wastewater by fungal consortium on a bioreactor lab-scale and on a pilot-scale

Hayet Djelal , Abdeltif Amrane


Received November 13, 2012,Revised February 18, 2013, Accepted , Available online September 06, 2013

Volume ,2013,Pages 1906-1912

A fungal consortium including Aspergillus niger, Mucor hiemalis and Galactomyces geotrichum was tested for the treatment of dairy wastewater. The bio-augmentation method was tested at lab-scale (4 L), at pilot scale (110 L) and at an industrial scale in Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTP). The positive impact of fungal addition was confirmed when fungi was beforehand accelerated by pre-culture on whey (5 g/L lactose) or on the dairy effluent. Indeed, chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal yields increased from 55% to 75% for model medium, diluted milk. While after inoculation of an industrial biological tank from a dairy factory with the fungal consortium accelerated by pre-cultivation in a 1000 L pilot plant, the outlet COD values decreased from values above the standard one (100 mg/L) to values in the range of 50-70 mg/L. In addition, there was a clear impact of fungal addition on the ‘hard' or non-biodegradable COD owing to the significant reduction of the increase of the COD on BOD5 ratio between the inlet and the outlet of the biological tank of WWTP. It was in the range of 451%-1111% before adding fungal consortium, and in the range of 257%-153% after bio-augmentation with fungi. An inoculated bioreactor with fungal consortium was developed at lab-scale and demonstrated successfully at pilot scale in WWTP.

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