Commenced in January 2007
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1 Potential of Agro-Waste Extracts as Supplements for the Continuous Bioremediation of Free Cyanide Contaminated Wastewater

Authors: Seteno K. O. Ntwampe, Bruno A. Q. Santos

Abstract:

Different agricultural waste peels were assessed for their suitability to be used as primary substrates for the bioremediation of free cyanide (CN-) by a cyanide-degrading fungus Aspergillus awamori isolated from cyanide containing wastewater. The bioremediated CN- concentration were in the range of 36 to 110 mg CN-/L, with Orange (C. sinensis) > Carrot (D. carota) > Onion (A. cepa) > Apple (M. pumila), being chosen as suitable substrates for large scale CN- degradation processes due to: 1) the high concentration of bioremediated CN-, 2) total reduced sugars released into solution to sustain the biocatalyst, and 3) minimal residual NH4- N concentration after fermentation. The bioremediation rate constants (k) were 0.017h-1 (0h < t < 24h), with improved bioremediation rates (0.02189h-1) observed after 24h. The averaged nitrilase activity was ~10 U/L.

Keywords: Agricultural waste, Bioremediation, Cyanide, Wastewater.

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