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Biological Decolorization of the Azo Dye Reactive Red 2 Under Various Oxidation–Reduction Conditions

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The decolorization of the azo dye reactive red 2 (RR2) was investigated under aerobic, anoxic, and methanogenic conditions. The dye was not decolorized by an aerobic culture kept under aerobic conditions for 7 days. However, incubation of the same culture under anoxic conditions resulted in RR2 decolorization with an initial rate of 40 mg/L·d and to an extent of 91.7% after the culture oxidation–reduction potential (ORP) dropped to less than -50 mV. A second addition of RR2 to the same culture kept under anoxic conditions resulted in a greater initial RR2 decolorization rate (86 mg/L·d) at an ORP value of –250 mV.

Decolorization of RR2 at an initial dye concentration of 300 mg/L was achieved by an unacclimated methanogenic culture at an initial rate of 83 mg/L·d and without any inhibition. However, as a result of acclimation, initial RR2 decolorization rates of 523 and 1050 mg/L·d were achieved by the same methanogenic culture after 5 months and 2 years of weekly additions of 300 mg/L RR2, respectively. Dye decolorization followed Michaelis–Menten kinetics. Under methanogenic conditions and at an initial dye concentration of 300 mg/L, the maximum RR2 decolorization rate per unit biomass was 0.12 and 0.70 mg RR2/mg volatile suspended solids d without acclimation and after a 2-year acclimation, respectively.

Lack of significant RR2 decolorization was observed in autoclaved methanogenic culture controls. Therefore, the reductive cleavage of the dye azo bond resulting in the decolorization of RR2 and formation of aromatic amines was biologically mediated and is attributed to the reduced conditions created and maintained by the anoxic and anaerobic cultures. Thus, biological decolorization of reactive azo dyes is feasible under anoxic–anaerobic conditions and should be further explored for textile wastewater management.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2000-11-01

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    Water Environment Research (WER) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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