Title: Biodegradation of purified terephthalic acid manufacturing effluent from a petrochemical industry

Authors: Josephine Antonette Sophia Amalorpavanathan; Yamini Shah; Chandraprakash Gocher; Sunil Soni; Kalpana Gopalakrishnan; Rakshvir Jasra

Addresses: Reliance Industries Ltd., Vadodara Manufacturing Div., Research Centre, PO Petrochemicals, Vadodara 391346, Gujarat, India ' Reliance Industries Ltd., Vadodara Manufacturing Div., Research Centre, PO Petrochemicals, Vadodara 391346, Gujarat, India ' Reliance Ind. Ltd., Reliance Corpprate Park, RTG TC 30C, Ground Floor, Thane-Belapur Road, Ghansoli, Navi Mumbai 400701, Maharashtra, India ' Reliance Industries Ltd., Vadodara Manufacturing Div., Research Centre, PO Petrochemicals, Vadodara 391346, Gujarat, India ' Reliance Industries Ltd., Vadodara Manufacturing Div., Research Centre, PO Petrochemicals, Vadodara 391346, Gujarat, India ' Reliance Industries Ltd., Vadodara Manufacturing Div., Research Centre, PO Petrochemicals, Vadodara 391346, Gujarat, India

Abstract: Purified terephthalic acid (PTA) is the raw material for polyester fibres, plastics, coating and adhesives. Its manufacture generates large volumes of effluent with high concentration of terephthalic acid (500-600 ppm), a critical pollutant. In this study a mixed culture made up of five types of bacteria, derived from the effluent treatment plant (ETP) sludge was used to aerobically treat the PTA effluent, removing all the benzoates [4-carboxybenzyl alcohol, isophthalic acid, terephthalic acid, 4-carboxy benzaldehyde (4-CBA), benzoic acid, p-toluic acid and trimellitic acid] which contribute to its chemical oxygen demand (COD). The study included optimisation of pH (6-9), pH neutralisers and biomass concentration (≥2,000 ppm Mixed liquor suspended solids) for achieving 94–95% COD removal in 72–96 h, the results being supported by HPLC analysis. Metals (Co, Mn and Mg) reduced significantly (88%, ~100% and 83%, respectively), being utilised for growth or getting sequestered in the biomass. Characterisation of the five pure cultures was carried out.

Keywords: purified terephthalic acid; PTA; wastewater; biodegradation; ETP sludge; chemical oxygen demand; COD; HPLC; pH neutraliser.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEWM.2020.107562

International Journal of Environment and Waste Management, 2020 Vol.25 No.4, pp.409 - 429

Received: 03 Jul 2018
Accepted: 03 Jan 2019

Published online: 28 Apr 2020 *

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