Aug 24, 2015 | Abhipsa Nayak
Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India (MHRD) organized a short term course cum workshop from 2-5 March 2015 on “Emerging micropollutants in the environment: Occurrence, Transportation, Monitoring and treatment” at IIT Guwahati. Two students from the Chemical Engineering Department of NIT Rourkela participated in this workshop. Adya Das, a PhD scholar brought laurels to the department by bagging the first prize in paper presentation. The topic of her presentation was “Simultaneous Removal of Sulphate and Chromium from Tannery Waste Water using microbes.”
Tannery industry waste water releases various contaminants and heavy metals which cause threat to the environment. Sulphate and Chromium are two such major contaminants. In comparison to various physical and chemical method of treatment, biological method is more cost effective, efficient and eco-friendly. The Paper presentation was based on such type of study where microorganisms isolated from contaminated site were used for removal of sulphate and chromium.
Leather industry contributes to one of the major industrial pollution problems our country is facing today due to high concentration of Cr (VI) along with Sulphate in their effluent. This study outlines the effect of different microbial consortium found in tannery effluent for degradation of Cr (VI) and Sulphate. Consortium of Pseudomonas aeruginosa & Micrococcus yunnanensis isolated from the wastewater produced maximum Cr (VI) (98%) and Sulphate (24%) removal capacity at their optimum condition. The treated effluent when subjected to consortium of SRBs could enhance the Sulphate removal capacity significantly and was able to reduce Sulphate to 63.9%. Hence double stage biological treatment of tannery waste water can be sorted to remove Cr (VI) and Sulphate efficiently.
The general hypothesis for this research work is that the microbial communities present in the waste water sludge has the potential of degrading Cr (VI) and Sulphate without altering their dynamics within the population. Tannery waste water contains exceptionally high concentration of Chromium. No Sulphate reducing bacteria can survive that high concentration. Hence in the first stage, the Cr (VI) is attempted to be brought down following which Sulphate Reducing Bacterias can be employed to reduce sulphates and residual Cr (VI).
Such research work must be promoted and actively encouraged to take the research output of the institute to next level.