Author(s): Rao JR, Viraraghavan T
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Abstract Phenols in trace quantities are usually present in the treated effluent of many wastewater-treatment plants. Phenol contamination of drinking water even at 1 microg/l concentration can cause significant taste and odor problems. This study investigates the use of non-viable pretreated cells of Aspergillus niger to remove phenol from an aqueous solution. Five types of non-viable pretreated A. niger biomass powders were used as a biosorbent to remove phenol present in an aqueous solution at a concentration of 1,000 microg/l. Sulfuric acid-treated non-viable biomass powder, which was the most effective, was used as a biosorbent in a further study. The maximum removal of phenol was observed at an initial pH of 5.1 for the sulfuric acid-treated biomass. The adsorption of phenol by pretreated A. niger biomass was best described by the Brunauer Emmet Teller model. Desorption of phenol using distilled deionized water was found to be approximately 5\% suggesting a strong biosorption by the biomass. Sulfuric acid-treated biomass beads developed through immobilization in polysulphone were used in a column study. Approximately 66\% of phenol was removed in the column operated at an initial pH of 5.1 and an initial concentration of 1,000 microg/l of phenol.
This article was published in Bioresour Technol
and referenced in Journal of Bioremediation & Biodegradation