Bioremediation of hydrocarbon-rich wastewater by aerobic granules of oil degrading bacterial strains in salinity influence
Granulation of sewage and brewery sludge isolated oil degrader Brevibacterium and Staphylococcus were investigated in hydrocarbon-rich wastewater with 280 mg/L of hydrocarbon at 10-25 g/L NaCl salinity influence. Brevibacterium and Staphylococcus cultures were inoculated in aerobic granular reactors (AGRs) R1 and R2 which were operated with 24 h cycle time and 2 L/min air flow rate. Yellowish matured granules appeared within 15 days. R1 granules achieved stability till 15 g/L NaCl concentration but faced disintegration between 15-20 mg/L NaCl exposure which reduced granule size and hydrocarbon removal from 2.15-1.7 mm and 78-73%. R2 granules were more salt tolerant providing 2.5±0.5 mm granule size with 4±1 g/L volatile suspended solids (VSS) and 201±1 mg/g VSS extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) content achieving 81±0.7% hydrocarbon removal in 30 days. High granule stability and biomass concentration ensured less biomass washout from reactors. Granule settling velocity (GSV) in R1 and R2 reached 20±1 and 32±0.8 m/h which corresponded with granule size profiles. Kinetics analysis showed that at steady state, R1 and R2 were capable of 72 and 91% phenol removals in 30 and 24 h, respectively. Hence, the study provided salt tolerant oil degrading granules for refinery wastewater treatment.
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