Myco-remediation of Dairy Wastewater by Naturally Attenuated Aspergillus sp. Responsible for Sulfate Reduction

Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 Research and Development Centre, Maharishi Markandeshwar Medical College and Hospital, Maharishi Markandeshwar University, Solan- 173229, Himachal Pradesh, India

2 Instrumentation Laboratory Central Pollution Control Board Parivesh Bhawan, East Arjun Nagar Shahdara, Delhi- 110032, India

3 Department of Zoology, Poddar International College, Jaipur-302020, Rajasthan, India

4 Research and Development Centre, Maharishi Markandeshwar Medical College and Hospital, Maharishi Markandeshwar University, Solan- 173229, Himachal Pradesh, Indi

5 Department of Science Engineering and Technology, School of Science, Engineering and Technology, Mulungushi University, Kabwe.80415, Zambia

6 University of Zambia, School of Natural Sciences, Department of Biological Sciences, Lusaka-32379, Zambia


Dairy industries generate enormous volumes of waste water which are significantly rich in organic compounds; contributing to high BOD, COD and sulfates. As a mandate to ‘treat’ effluents generated by different unit operations in a dairy industry, current treatment methods rely on physico-chemical, mechanical and conventional biological interventions. This approach remains unviable because of cost intensiveness and excessive energy usage. Additionally, the significant lowering of pollution indicators remains a daunting task with inlet and outlet parameters. With these identifiable gaps, our study was aimed to screen bio-efficacious, naturally attenuated fungal isolates to lower exceeding levels of sulfate in effluents released by dairy industry. Effluent samples were collected from Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) of Jaipur Dairy, Rajasthan Dairy Co-operation Limited (RCDF), Jaipur. For mycological investigations, qualitative screening was carried out in Potato Dextrose Agar (PDA) supplemented with Calcium Sulfate (CaSo4) (0.1g/L). The most promising fungal isolates belonging to Aspergillus sp. was characterized based on its cultural and microscopic characteristics. Microcosm study was conducted by supplementing Aspergillus sp. in Untreated Dairy Effluent (UDE) for a period of 7 days at Room Temperature (RT) under static conditions. Following the incubation phase, mycelial mesh (plug) was indicative of exponential fungal growth. Effluent seeded with Aspergillus sp. and abiotic controls were spinned at 5000 rpm for 15 minutes to eliminate biomass. Sulfate estimation was carried out in Cell Free Extract (CFE) of both experimental and control group. A significant reduction of 67.3% was observed (p<0.05) with respect to positive control and 8.4% when contrasted with abiotic control. 


Al-Wasify, R.L., Ali, M.N. and Hamed, S.R. (2017). Biodegradation of dairy wastewater using bacterial and fungal local isolates. Water Sci. Technol., 76(11); 3094–3100.
APHA/AWWA/WEH (2005). Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 21st Ed., American Public Health Association/ American Water Works Association/Water Environment Federation. (Washington, DC, USA)
Asses, N., Ayed, L., Hkiri, H. and Hamdi, M. (2018). Congo Red Decolorization and Detoxification by Aspergillus niger: Removal Mechanisms and Dye Degradation Pathway. Biomed. Res. Int., /10.1155/2018/3049686
Bardone, E. (2012). Associazione Italiana di Ingegneria Chimica, (3rd International Conference on Industrial Biotechnology, Palermo, Italy. 27: 175-180
Bejarano, Ortiz D.I., Thalassso, F., Cuervo Lopez, F. de M. and Texier, A.C. (2013). Inhibitory effect of sulphide on the nitrifying respiratory process. J. Chem. Technol. Biotechnol., 88; 1344-1349. /10.1002/jetb.398
Brahmachrimayum, B., Mohanty, M.P. and Ghosh, P.K. (2019). Theoretical and practical aspects of biological sulfate reduction: A Review. Glob. Nest. J., 21(2); 222-244. /10.30955/gnj.002577
Carvalho, F., Prazeres, A.R. and Rivas, J. (2013). Cheese Whey Waste Water: Characterization and Treatment. Sci. Total Environ., 15; 445-446, 385-96. https://doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.12.038
Djelal, H. and Amrane, A. (2013). Biodegradation by bioaugmentation of dairy wastewater by fungal consortium on a bioreactor lab-scale and on a pilot-scale. J. Env. Sci., 25(9); 1906-12. https://doi:10.1016/S1001-0742(12)60239-3
Jiang, J., Chan, A., Ali, S., Saha, A., Haushalter, K.J., Macrina Lam, W.,  Glasheen, M., Parker, J.,  Brenner, M., Mahon, S.B., Patel, H.H.,  Ambasudhan, R.,  Lipton, S.A., Pilz, R.B., Boss, G.R. (2016). Hydrogen Sulfide—Mechanisms of Toxicity and Development of an Antidote. Sci. Rep.,
José Carlos L M, Leonardo S, Jesús MC, Paola MR, Alejandro ZC, Juan AV, Ristóbal Noé A. (2020). Solid-State Fermentation with Aspergillus niger GH1 to Enhance Polyphenolic Content and Antioxidative Activity of Castilla Rose (Purshia plicata). Plants (Basel). 9(11);1518. https://doi: 10.3390/plants9111518
Kardag, G., Koroglu, O.E., Ozkaya, B. and Cakmacki, M. (2015). A review on anaerobic biofilm reactors for the treatment of dairy industry wastewater. Proc. Biochem., 50 (2); 262-271. https://doi: 10.1016/j.procbio.2014.11.005
Lens, P. and Hullshoff Pol, P.W. (2000) Environmental Technologies to Treat Sulphur Pollution: Principles and Engineering, (IWA Publishing, London)
Liamleam, A.W. and Annachhatre, A.P. (2007). Electrical Donors for Biological Sulphate Reduction. Biotechnol. Adv., 25(5); 452-6. https://doi: 10.1016/j.biotechadv.2007.05.002
Liang, Z.,  Sun, J.,  Zhan, C., Wu, S.,  Zhang, L. and  Jiang, F. (2020). Effects of sulfide on mixotrophic denitrification by Thauera-dominated denitrifying sludge. Environ. Sci.: Water Res. Technol., 6; 1186-1195.
Mainardis M, Buttazzoni M, Goi D. (2020) Up-Flow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket (UASB) Technology for Energy Recovery: A Review on State-of-the-Art and Recent Technological Advances. Bioengineering (Basel). 7(2); 43. https://doi: 10.3390/bioengineering7020043
Mannucci, A., Munz, G., Gualtiero, G. and Lubello, C. (2014). Factors Affecting Biological Sulphate Reduction in Tannery Wastewater Treatment. Environ. Eng. Manag. J., 13(4); 1005-1012
Neculita, C.M., Zagury, G.J. and Busiere, B. (2007). Passive Treatment of Acid Mine Drainage in Bioreactors using Sulfate-Reducing Bacteria: Critical Review and Research Needs. J. Environ. Qual. 36(1);1-16.
Porwal, H.J., Mane, A.V.   and Velhal, S.G. (2015). Biodegradation of dairy effluent by using microbial isolates obtained from activated sludge, Water Resour. Indus., 9,1-15.
Puyol, D. and Batstone, D.J. (2017). Resource Recovery from Wastewater by Biological Technologies. Front. Microbiol., 8; 998.
Richards, O.W. (2002) Effect of calcium Carbonate on the growth and fermentation of yeast. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 47(6).
Salvov, A.K. (2017). General Characteristics and Treatment Possibilities of Dairy Wastewater – A Review. Food Technol. Biotechnol., 55(1); 14–28. 10.17113/ftb.
Samal, L. and Pattnaik, A.K. (2004) Dairy Production in India - Existing Scenario and Future Prospects. Int. J. Livest. Res., 4(2); 105-113.
Sankaran, S., Khanal, S.K., Jasti, N., Jin. B., Pometto III, A.L. and Van Leewen, J.H. (2010). Use of Filamentous Fungi for Wastewater Treatment and Production of High Value Fungal Byproducts: A Review. Crit Rev Environ Sci Tec., 40(5); 400-449.
Schneider, I., and Topalava, Y. (2013). Microbial Structure and Functions of Biofilm During Wastewater Treatment in the Dairy Industry, Biotechnol. Biotechnol. Equip., 27(3); 3782-3786. 10.5504/BBEQ.2013.0015
Shah, M.P. (2016). Industrial Wastewater Treatment: A Challenging Task in the Industrial Waste Management. Adv Recycling Waste Manag., 10.4172/2475-7675.1000115
Sharma, N. and Dwivedi, A (2017) Bioremediation of Dairy Waste Water for Nitrate Reduction. World J. Pharm. Sci., 3(1); 375-384
Sharma, N. Saxena, S. Fatima, M., Iram, B., Datta, A. and Gupta, S. (2014). Microcosm Analysis of Untreated Textile Effluents by Autochthonous Bacteria. Int. J. Curr. Res. Pharm. Sci., 1(5); 15-23
Sharma, N., Chatterjee, S. and Bhatnagar, P. (2013.) An Evaluation of Physico-chemical Properties to Assess Quality of Treated Effluents from Jaipur Dairy. Int. J. Chem. Pharm. Res., 4 (4-3); 54-58
Sharma, N., Yadav, N., Bhagwani, H., Chahar, D. and Singh, B. (2018). Screening of lactic Acid Bacteria from Effluents of Jaipur City. Int. J. Waste. Resour.,
Shete, B.S. and Shinkar, N.P. (2013). Dairy Industry Wastewater Sources, Characteristics & its Effects on Environment. Int. J. Curr. Eng. and Technol. 3; 1611-1615
Thangiah, A.S. (2019). Spectrophotometric Determination of Sulphate and Nitrate in Drinking Water at Asia-Pacific International University Campus, Muak Lek, Thailand. Rasayan J. Chem., 12 (3); 1503 – 1508.
Venetsaneas, N., Antonopoulou, G., Stamatelatou, K., Kornaros, M., Lyberats, G. (2009). Using cheese whey for hydrogen and methane generation in a two-stage continuous process with alternative pH controlling approaches. Bioresour. Technol., 100; 3713-3717
Verma, P. and Madamwar, D. (2003). Comparative Study on Transformation of Azo Dyes by White Rot Fungi. Ind. J. Biotechnol., 1; 393-396
Wawrzak, D. (2014). Microbiological Reduction of Sulphates to Sulphides used in Dairy Waste Water Treatment. Inzynieria Mineralna 14(2);109-114