Summer Research Fellowship Programme of India's Science Academies

Biodegradation of dye in biofuel cell: An innovative way to minimise waste along with electricity production


Dept. of Enivironmental sciences, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam 530003.


Professor, Dept of Chemical Engineering and Technology, IIT-BHU, Varanasi 221005.


Water pollution is the contamination of water bodies, usually as a result of human activities. Releasing of inadequately treated waste water into natural water bodies can lead to degradation of aquatic ecosystems. A growing number of contaminants are entering water supplies like heavy metals, Dyes, pesticides, phenols, and detergents. Central Pollution Control Board has listed the dyeing industries as one of the heavily polluting industries. Today there are more than ten thousand dyes available commercially and are produced annually. Dyes can be of many different structural varieties like acidic, basic, disperse, azo, anthraquinone based and metal complex dyes among others.

Synthetic dyes are extensively used in textile dyeing, paper printing and photography, petroleum products industries, and tannery. The dye effluent contains certain chemicals that could be toxic, carcinogenic, mutagenic or teratogenic to various organisms.

Treatments of Textile effluents are broadly classified into three methods namely physical, chemical and biological. They are physical methods such as Adsorption, filtration, ion-exchange, coagulation and reverse osmosis etc. Chemical methods such as Oxidation, Electrolysis, and Ozonation etc. Both methods have some serious disadvantages such as cost, time, and release of residues into the environment. Biological degradation of the azo dyes has gained more consideration because of its environmentally friendly nature. The reduced forms of such azo dyes are further mineralized into simpler compounds and are used as their energy sources. Based on the survey of literature, the microbial decolorization of the azo dyes is more effective under combined effects of anaerobic and aerobic conditions.

The waste water sample was collected from Bhagwanpur treatment plant and inoculated with different concentrations of dye. This solution was introduced in the microbial fuel cell for biodegradation. The dye removal rate was observed and the bacterial species responsible for this biodegradation were isolated. Optical density, electrical parameters were observed continuously.

Highlights: Kinetic study of biodegradation of dye

Keywords: Dye, Biodegradation, Textile effluents, Bacterial species



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