Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Biocalorimetric and respirometric studies on biological treatment of tannery saline wastewater


This study is focused on the biodegradation of saline tannery effluent by identified halotolerant bacterial consortia in a bench-scale reaction calorimeter. A satisfactory agreement was observed between oxygen uptake rate profiles and heat flux–time curves confirming that, under strict aerobic conditions, calorimetry and respirometry provided the same information. Oxycalorific equivalent determined from our experiments was found to agree well to the theoretical value. A linear relationship was observed between chemical oxygen demand consumption and total metabolic heat production. The study confirmed that the heat release profiles could be used as an indirect parameter for online monitoring of the degradation process. The effect of salt (NaCl) inhibition on acetate and ammonia \(\left( {{\text{NH}}_{\text{4}}^{\text{ + }} } \right)\) uptake by the halobacterial consortia is also reported in this paper.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7


  1. Albers E, Larsson C, Lidden G, Niklasson C, Gustaffson L (2002) Continuous estimation of product concentration with calorimetry and gas analysis during anaerobic fermentations of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Thermochim Acta 394:185–190

  2. APHA (1998) Standard methods for the analysis of water and wastewater, 20thth edn. American Public Health Association, Alexandria, VA

  3. Aulenta F, Bassani C, Lightart J, Majone M, Tilche A (2002) Calorimetry: a tool for assessing microbial activity under aerobic and anoxic conditions. Water Res 36:1297–1305

  4. Birou B, Marison IW, Von Stockar U (1987) Calorimetric investigation of aerobic fermentations. Biotechnol Bioeng 30:650–660

  5. Dhaneshwar RS (1990) Tannery wastewater treatment and disposal—state of art. Indian J Environ Prot 10:187–192

  6. Erickson LE, Selga SE, Viesturs UE (1978) Application of mass and energy balance regularities to product formation. Biotechnol Bioeng 20:1623–1638

  7. Groenestijn JW, Langerwerf JSA, Lucas M (2002) Reducing environmental emissions in tanneries. J Environ Sci Health Part A Environ Sci Eng Toxic Hazard Substance Control 37:737–743

  8. Hossein H, Lewis RA, Lonis TR, Parker BE, Stephenson KA (1996) The effect of operating conditions in a reaction calorimeter. Thermochim Acta 289:343–349

  9. Kadam RV (1990) Treatment of tannery waste. Indian J Environ Prot 10:212–216

  10. Kimita N (2003) Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolated from marine environments in Tokyo Bay. Microb Ecol 47:41–47

  11. Kjeldahl J (1883) A new method for the determination of nitrogen in organic matter. Z Anal Chem 22:366–367

  12. Lefebvre O, Vasudevan N, Torrijos M, Thanasekaran K, Moletta R (2005) Halophilic biological treatment of tannery soak liquor in a sequencing batch reactor. Water Res 39:1471–1480

  13. Lewis EL (1978) Salinity: its definition and calculation. J Geophys Res 83:466

  14. Luong JHT, Volesky B (1980) Determination of the heat of some aerobic fermentations. Can J Chem Eng 58:497–504

  15. Marison IW, Liu JS, Ampuero S, Von Stockar U, Schenker U (1998) Biological reaction calorimetry: development of high sensitivity bio-calorimeters. Thermochim Acta 30:157–173

  16. Minkevich I, Eroshin VK (1973) Productivity and heat generation of fermentation under oxygen limitation. Folia Microbiol 13:376

  17. Panswad T, Anan C (1999) Impact of high chloride wastewater on an anaerobic/anoxic/aerobic process with and without inoculation of chloride acclimated seeds. Water Res 33:1165–1172

  18. Roels JA (1983) Energetics and kinetics in biotechnology. Elsevier Biomedical. Inc, Amsterdam

  19. Voisard D, von Stockar U Marison IW (2002) Quantitative calorimetric investigation of fed batch cultures of Bacillus sphaericus 1539M. Thermochim Acta 394:99–111

  20. von Stockar U Marison IW (1989) The use of calorimetry in biotechnology. Adv Biochem Eng/Biotechnol 40:94–135

Download references


One of the authors, Mr. S Senthilkumar, is grateful to CSIR, New Delhi for the research fellowship. The authors thank the Director, CLRI for kind permission to publish this paper. The author also wishes to express his gratitude to Prof. KS Gandhi for his useful suggestions and Prof. NR. Rajagopal for his constant encouragement.

Author information

Correspondence to Mahadevan Surianarayanan.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Senthilkumar, S., Surianarayanan, M. & Swaminathan, G. Biocalorimetric and respirometric studies on biological treatment of tannery saline wastewater. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 78, 249–255 (2008).

Download citation


  • Soak liquor
  • Halotolerant
  • Biological treatment
  • Calorimetry
  • Oxycaloric equivalent
  • COD removal