Author(s): Cammarota MC, Freire DM
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Wastewater from dairies and slaughterhouses contains high levels of fats and proteins that present low biodegradability. A large number of pretreatment systems are employed to remove oil and grease (O&G) to prevent a host of problems that may otherwise arise in the biological process, and reduce the efficiency of the treatment station. Problems caused by excessive O&G include a reduction in the cell-aqueous phase transfer rates, a sedimentation hindrance due to the development of filamentous microorganisms, development and flotation of sludge with poor activity, clogging and the emergence of unpleasant odors. Therefore the application of a pretreatment to hydrolyze and dissolve lipids may improve the biological degradation of fatty wastewaters, accelerating the process and improving time efficiency. However thus far, only a few studies describing the degradation of fats and oils by alkaline/acid/enzymatic hydrolysis have been reported; the treatment of effluents from several origins is a new and promising application for lipases. Among the strains that produce the hydrolytic enzymes studied, the fungus Penicillium restrictum is a particularly promising one. When cultivated in low-cost solid medium composed of agro-industrial waste, P. restrictum produces a pool of hydrolases capable of degrading the most complex organic compounds. This degradation enables a considerable increase in organic matter removal efficiency to be realized, which results in the attainment of a high-quality effluent in the subsequent biological treatment stage. Consequently, there is presently a wide variety of ongoing scientific investigation in the field of developing enzymatic hydrolysis processes to precede traditional biological treatment.
This article was published in Bioresour Technol
and referenced in Journal of Civil & Environmental Engineering