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J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol. 2009 Feb;36(2):253-60. doi: 10.1007/s10295-008-0493-8. Epub 2008 Nov 1.

Bioremediation of nitroexplosive wastewater by an yeast isolate Pichia sydowiorum MCM Y-3 in fixed film bioreactor.

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Microbial Sciences Division, Agharkar Research Institute, G.G.Agarkar Road, Pune, 411004, Maharashtra, India.


Nitroexplosives are essential for security and defense of the nation and hence their production continues. Their residues and transformed products, released in the environment are toxic to both terrestrial and aquatic life. This necessitates remediation of wastewaters containing such hazardous chemicals to reduce threat to human health and environment. Bioremediation technologies using microorganisms become the present day choice. High Melting Explosive (HMX) is one of the nitroexplosives produced by nitration of hexamine using ammonium nitrate and acetic anhydride and hence the wastewater bears high concentration of nitrate and acetate. The present investigation describes potential of a soil isolate of yeast Pichia sydowiorum MCM Y-3, for remediation of HMX wastewater in fixed film bioreactor (FFBR). The flask culture studies showed appreciable growth of the organism in HMX wastewater under shake culture condition within 5-6 days of incubation at ambient temperature (28 +/- 2 degrees C). The FFBR process operated in both batch and continuous mode, with Hydraulic Retention Time (HRT) of 1 week resulted in 50-55% removal in nitrate, 70-88% in acetate, 50-66% in COD, and 28-50% in HMX content. Continuous operation of the reactor showed better removal of nitrate as compared to that in the batch operation, while removal of acetate and COD was comparable in both the modes of operation of the reactor. Insertion of baffles in the reactor increased efficiency of the reactor. Thus, FFBR developed with baffles and operated in continuous mode will be beneficial for bioremediation of high nitrate and acetate containing wastewater using the culture of P. sydowiorum.

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