The biological treatment of spent wash from molasses distilleries was investigated. Analysis of raw spent wash showed it to be a recalcitrant waste, with a high COD of 85,170 mg/l and containing inhibitory phenolic compounds. Reverse phase thin layer chromatography identified gallic and vanillic acid present in spent wash. The fungi Geotrichum candidum, Coriolus versicolor; Phanerochaete chyrsosporium and Mycelia sterilia were screened for their ability to decolourize spent wash and to reduce the COD level. A 10 day pretreatment with Geotrichum candidum at 30 degrees C resulted in reducing the COD by 53.17% and total phenols by 47.82%, enabling other bioremediating organisms to grow. Coriolus verisicolor immobilized in a packed-bed reactor reduced the COD of spent wash by a further 50.3% giving an overall reduction in COD of 77% to 15,780 mg/l. A small amount of decolourization was achieved (4.2%), although the spent wash was still coloured. Present studies are encouraging and indicate that it is possible to bioremediate spent wash using a multi-stage treatment process involving an intial pretreatment step with Geotrichum candidum.
|Journal||JOURNAL OF BASIC MICROBIOLOGY|
|Publication status||Published - 1995|