, Volume 90, Issue 1, pp 343-352
Date: 03 Dec 2010

Cunninghamella elegans biomass optimisation for textile wastewater biosorption treatment: an analytical and ecotoxicological approach

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The effect of pre-treatments on the composition of Cunninghamella elegans biomass and on its biosorption yields in the treatment of simulated textile wastewaters was investigated. The inactivated biomass was subjected to physical treatments, such as oven drying and lyophilisation, and chemical treatments using acid or alkali. The wastewater colour, COD and toxicity variations were evaluated. The lyophilisation sped up the biosorption process, whereas the chemical pre-treatment changed the affinity of biomass for different dyes. The alkali per-treated biomass achieved the highest COD reduction in the treatment of alkali wastewaters, probably because no release of alkali-soluble biomass components occurred under the alkaline pH conditions. Accordingly, only the acid pre-treated biomass decreased the COD of the acidic effluent. The ecotoxicity test showed significant toxicity reduction after biosorption treatments, indicating that decolourisation corresponds to an actual detoxification of the treated wastewaters. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry and thermogravimetric analyses of biomasses allowed highlighting their main chemical and physical properties and the changes induced by the different pre-treatments, as well as the effect of the chemical species adsorbed from wastewaters.