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Title: Operating conditions for the continuous bioremediation of free cyanide contaminated wastewater using Aspergillus awamori
Authors: Santos, BAQ 
Ntwampe, Seteno KO 
Doughari, James Hamuel 
Muchatibaya, G 
Keywords: Aspergillus awamori;Bioremediation;Citrus sinensis;Free cyanide
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Water Science and Technology
Abstract: Generation of cyanide-containing wastewater is a growing problem worldwide as numerous cyanide complexes are highly unstable and degrade to form free cyanide (F-CN) – the most toxic form of cyanide. Agro-waste materials, such as sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) waste from the citrus industry, are rich in readily metabolisable carbohydrates that can supplement microbial activity and thus support biodegradation of toxic compounds in wastewater. This study reports on optimal operating conditions for the continuous biodegradation of cyanide F-CN in wastewater using an Aspergillus awamori isolate in a process supported solely using C. sinensis waste extract. The optimal degradation conditions were at pH 8.75 W and 37.02 W C with the isolate’s F-CN tolerance being observed up to 430 mg F-CN/L. Furthermore, the residual ammonium produced as a by-product of F-CN degradation, was also metabolised by the A. awamori, with negligible residual citric acid and formate being observed in effluent recovered, i.e. post treatment. This study demonstrates the feasibility of using agricultural waste as a primary and sole carbon source for the cultivation of a cyanide-degrading A. awamori species for F-CN degradation under alkaline conditions
Appears in Collections:Appsc - Journal Articles (DHET subsidised)
Prof. Seteno Karabo Ntwampe
Prof. Seteno Karabo Ntwampe

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