Biodegradation of Toxic Compounds in Olive Mill Wastewater by a Newly Isolated Potent Strain: Aspergillus niger van Tieghem


Thirty-two strains isolated from olive oil production plants were screened for their tolerance to the polyphenols and their ability to grow in olive oil mill wastewaters (OMW). An Ascomycete isolate that grew best on OMW was selected for further study to evaluate its effect on removal of organic pollutants, phenolic compounds and OMW toxicity. This strain was identified by DSMZ as Aspergillus niger van Tieghem. The growth of Aspergillus niger van Tieghem on stored OMW decreased pH and led to the reduction of phenolic compounds with a resultant discoloration of OMW and significant reduction of chemical oxygen demand (COD), in proportion to the dilution of OMW. The reduction of the COD, phenolics and color exceeded 50%. Tannase, the enzyme detected in the growth medium of Aspergillus niger van Tieghem was produced during primary metabolic growth. The maximal enzyme activity attaining 0.68 EU/ml was achieved in 3rd days of cultivation. The phytotoxicity of the stored OMW was reduced to about 40% after 4 days incubation with Aspergillus niger van Tieghem.

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F. Hanafi, M. Mountadar, S. Etahiri, M. Fekhaoui and O. Assobhei, "Biodegradation of Toxic Compounds in Olive Mill Wastewater by a Newly Isolated Potent Strain: Aspergillus niger van Tieghem," Journal of Water Resource and Protection, Vol. 5 No. 8, 2013, pp. 768-774. doi: 10.4236/jwarp.2013.58078.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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