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Ecological Engineering
Vol. 91, 2016, Pages: 419–425

Bioremediation of tannery wastewater by chromium resistant novel fungal consortium

Smiley Sharma, Piyush Malaviya

Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Jammu, Jammu (J&K), India.


A consortium of four Cr-resistant ascomycetous fungi (Cladosporeum perangustum andPenicillium commune – isolated from tannery wastewater contaminated soil;Paecilomyces lilacinus and Fusarium equiseti – isolated from tannery sludge) was employed for tannery wastewater bioremediation. For construction of immobilized fungal consortium, various natural as well as synthetic support materials were screened. Nylon mesh was selected as the best support as it exhibited maximum immobilization of the fungal strains. The tannery wastewater treatment by nylon mesh immobilized fungal consortium in a stirred tank bioreactor showed good reduction in various pollution parameters [COD (82.52%), color (86.19%), Cr(VI) (100%), Total Cr (99.92%), Total Pb (95.91%)] after 120 h of treatment. A major part of reduction in these parameters occurred within first 24 h of the treatment. Moreover, toxicity assessment of the tannery wastewater on Triticum aestivum revealed 49.33% germination in treated wastewater compared to complete inhibition of seed germination in untreated wastewater.

Keywords: Bioremediation; Fungi; Toxicity; Wastewater.
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