Deconcentration of Chromium Contained in Wastewater Using a Bacteria and Microalgae Consortia with a High Rate Algal Reactor System
 
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1
Department of Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Civil, Planning and Geo Engineering, Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember, Kampus ITS Sukolilo, Surabaya 60111, Indonesia
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Directorate of Coastal and Marine Pollution and Degradation Control, Directorate General of Environmental Pollution and Degradation Control, Ministry of Environment and Forestry Republic of Indonesia
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Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Civil, Planning, and Geo Engineering, Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember, Jalan Raya ITS, Keputih, Sukolilo, Surabaya 60111, Indonesia
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Bieby Voijant Tangahu   

Department of Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Civil, Planning and Geo Engineering, Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember, Kampus ITS Sukolilo, Surabaya 60111, Indonesia
Publication date: 2020-11-01
 
J. Ecol. Eng. 2020; 21(8):272–284
 
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ABSTRACT
Heavy metal pollution has recently gained serious attention as an environmental issue. One example of heavy metal pollution in the natural water environment is chromium released by several industries. Polyvalent chromium 6 is one of the most difficult pollutants to remove due to its dissolvable and unstable properties. Bioremediation using a consortium of bacteria and microalgae in a High Rate Algal Reactor (HRAR) system is expected to decrease the chromium concentration. The aim of this study is to determine the percentage of chromium removal by a bacteria and microalgae consortium and to determine the best ratio between these two kinds of microorganism in terms of pollutant reduction. In this study, artificial wastewater with a chromium concentration of 17 mg/L is used. The species of microalgae and bacteria were Chlorella vulgaris and Azotobacter S8. The chromium concentration used in the main experiment was determined through a preliminary Range Finding Test (RFT) for the microalgae and Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) for the bacteria. The chromium concentrations in RFT and MIC were 0, 17, 42, 85, 169 and 339 mg/L and the variables in the main study were the respective Azotobacter S8 and Chlorella vulgaris compositions (50:50, 75:25, 25:75 %v/v). This is the variation in the consortium composition being compared to the polluted media in the reactor (5:95 and 10:90 %v/v). Parameters such as pH, temperature, total chromium concentration, microalgae cell count, and bacterial colonies were monitored during the experiments. The chromium deconcentration study was conducted over seven days in a High Rate Algal Reactor (HRAR) with the microorganism inoculation conducted in the determined composition of artificial wastewater. The reactor was stirred 24 hours per day and illuminated using artificial light at an intensity of 6000-7000 lux. The deconcentration of chromium was analyzed using an Atomic Adsrober Spectrophotometer (AAS). The results showed that the highest chromium removal was reached in the reactor where the ratio of microorganisms and bacteria was 50%:50%, the initial inoculum of polluted media was 5%: 95% and there was a chromium removal rate of 18.68%. The consortium of Azotobacter S8 bacteria and Chlorella vulgaris microalgae can thus reduce the chromium concentration through the mechanisms of biosorption, bioaugmentation, and bioaccumulation.