Decolourisations and biodegradations of model azo dye solutions using a sequence batch reactor, followed by ultrafiltration

J. Korenak*, J. Ploder, J. Trček, Claus Hélix-Nielsen, I. Petrinic

*Corresponding author for this work

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The main objective of this study was to investigate the efficiency of biological treatment of azo dye-containing wastewater with a sequencing batch reactor system, followed by ultrafiltration. The performance of the system was quantified by measuring the chemical oxygen demand and azo dye concentration. The biodegradation was carried out under combined alternating anaerobic and aerobic conditions with Nylosan Yellow E2RL SGR as a model azo dye contaminant. The bioprocess revealed a maximal reduction in chemical oxygen demand and dye removal efficiency of 91 and 85%, respectively. After ultrafiltration of effluent from the biological treatment, the efficiency increased to 94% for chemical oxygen demand and to 97% for the azo dye decolourisation. Samples of activated sludge from the bioprocess were collected for microbial characterisation. Bacteria and fungi were isolated and identified by 16S rRNA gene and ITS1-5.8S rDNA-ITS2 sequence analysis, respectively. Serratia marcescens and Klebsiella oxytoca were the most common bacteria with the highest number present during the aerobic and anaerobic phases of the bioprocess. In addition, a high number of Elizabethkingia miricola, Morganella morganii, Comamonas testosteroni, Trichosporon sp. and Galactomyces sp. were detected. Taken together, our results demonstrated that the sequencing batch reactor system combined with ultrafiltration is an efficient technique for treatment of wastewater containing azo dye. Moreover, the ultrafiltration effectively removes the microbiota from the final effluent resulting in stable product water.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Science and Technology
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)483-492
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Azo dye wastewater
  • Decolourisation
  • Microbial characterisation
  • Sequencing batch reactor
  • Ultrafiltration

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