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Evaluating the potential of immobilized bacterial consortium for black liquor biodegradation


Two indigenous bacterial strains, Bacillus megaterium ETLB-1 (accession no. KC767548) and Pseudomonas plecoglossicida ETLB-3 (accession no. KC767547), isolated from soil contaminated with paper mill effluent, were co-immobilized on corncob cubes to investigate their biodegradation potential against black liquor (BL). Results exhibit conspicuous reduction in color and lignin of BL upto 913.46 Co-Pt and 531.45 mg l−1, respectively. Reduction in chlorophenols up to 12 mg l−1 was recorded with highest release of chloride ions, i.e., 1290 mg l−1. Maximum enzyme activity for lignin peroxidase (LiP), manganese peroxidase (MnP), and laccase (LAC) was recorded as 5.06, 8.13, and 8.23 U ml−1, respectively, during the treatment. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) revealed successful immobilization of bacterial strains in porous structures of biomaterial. Gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy (GC/MS) showed formation of certain low molecular weight metabolites such as 4-hydroxy-benzoic acid, 3-hydroxy-4-methoxybenzaldehyde, ferulic acid, and t-cinnamic acid and removal of majority of the compounds (such as teratogenic phthalate derivatives) during the period of treatment. Results demonstrated that the indigenous bacterial consortium possesses excellent decolorization and lignin degradation capability which enables its commercial utilization in effluents treatment system.

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U ml−1 :

Unit per mililiter

w/v :


v/v :





Optical density


Carbon and nitrogen ratio


Ecotechnology laboratory bacteria


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Dr. Ajay Kumar (AIRF, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi) is thankfully acknowledged for his assistance with the GC/MS analysis. The authors also sincerely appreciate other laboratory facilities received from G.B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar.

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Correspondence to Rashmi Paliwal.

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Responsible editor: Philippe Garrigues

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Paliwal, R., Uniyal, S. & Rai, J.P.N. Evaluating the potential of immobilized bacterial consortium for black liquor biodegradation. Environ Sci Pollut Res 22, 6842–6853 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-014-3872-x

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  • Biodegradation
  • Bacterial consortium
  • Immobilization
  • Corncob
  • GC/MS
  • SEM