Bioremediation of Vegetable Oil and Grease from Polluted Wastewater Using a Sand Biofilm System

  • Mohamed H. El-Masry
  • Ebtesam El-Bestawy
  • Nawal I. El-Adl


Pseudomonas sp. (L1), P. diminuta(L2) were among eight bacterial strains isolated from vegetable grease and oil-contaminated industrial wastewater, four of which only were found to have the ability to degrade oil and grease. They were identified and investigated for oil and grease degradation either individually or in combinations in previous unpublished work by the authors. Since the combination M1 (Pseudomonas sp. andP. diminuta) produced the highest degradative activity, it was used in the present study in a biofilm sand filter system for vegetable oil and grease removal. This system was tested either as one unit or two units in sequence where different flow rates (30, 50, 100 ml/h) were applied compared to a control unit(s). Results showed that both biofilm systems reduced oily wastewater, even in cases of high degree of pollution (fat, oil & grease (FOG), 7535 ppm; biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5), 525 ppm; chemical oxygen demand (COD), 1660 ppm). Results also showed a removal of FOG with efficiency at 100%; BOD5 at 95.9% and COD at 96%, at 50 ml/h flow rate using one unit of biofilm system. On using two units in sequence, a complete removal of FOG, BOD5 and COD with efficiency 100%, at flow rate 100 ml/h was achieved. In conclusion, the previous biofilm results indicated the efficiency of such a system in treating oily polluted wastewater (vegetable oil origin) on the basis of bacterial isolates being used, the optimum flow rate, and the number of biofilm units used in sequence to obtain the highest removal capacity of such a system.

Biofilm bioremediation grease oil vegetable 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohamed H. El-Masry
    • 1
  • Ebtesam El-Bestawy
    • 2
  • Nawal I. El-Adl
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Biotechnology, Institute of Graduate Studies & ResearchAlexandria UniversityEgypt
  2. 2.Department of Environmental Studies, Institute of Graduate Studies & ResearchAlexandria UniversityEgypt Tel.:
  3. 3.Quality Control LabExtracted Oils and Derivatives CompanyEgypt

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