This study demonstrated that a microbial community dominated by fungi can be selected and maintained in the long-term under non-sterile conditions, in a pilot-scale packed-bed reactor fed with tannery wastewater. During the start-up phase, the reactor, filled with 0.6 m3 of polyurethane foam cubes, was inoculated with a pure culture of Aspergillus tubingensis and Quebracho tannin, a recalcitrant compound widely used by tannery industry, was used as sole carbon source in the feeding. During the start-up, fungi grew attached as biofilm in carriers that filled the packed-bed reactor. Subsequently, the reactor was tested for the removal of chemical oxygen demand (COD) from an exhaust tanning bath collected from tanneries. The entire experiment lasted 121 days and average removals of 29% and 23% of COD and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) from the tannins bath were achieved, respectively. The evolution of the microbial consortium (bacteria and fungi) was described through biomolecular analyses along the experiment and also developed as a function of the size of the support media.
|Number of pages||18|
|Journal||International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health|
|Publication status||Published - 11 Jun 2021|
- Community structure
- Wastewater treatment