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Removal of Pollutants in Mine Wastewater by a Non-Cytotoxic Polymeric Bioflocculant from Alcaligenes faecalis HCB2

Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, University of Zululand, KwaDlangezwa 3886, South Africa
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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(20), 4001; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16204001
Received: 23 July 2019 / Revised: 17 September 2019 / Accepted: 27 September 2019 / Published: 19 October 2019
Bioflocculation is a physicochemical technique often employed to efficiently remove colloidal water pollutants. Consequently, in this study, a bioflocculant was produced, characterised and applied to remove pollutants in mine wastewater. The maximum flocculation activity of 92% was recorded at 30 °C, pH 9.0 when maltose and urea were used as energy sources and 72 h of fermentation at the inoculum size of 1% (v/v). K+ proved to be a favourable cation. The bioflocculant yield of 4 g/L was obtained. Scanning electron microscopy illustrated a hexagonal-like structure of the bioflocculant. It is composed of carbohydrates and proteins in mass proportion of 88.6 and 9.5%, respectively. The Fourier transform infrared spectrum revealed the presence of hydroxyl, amide and amino functional groups. More than 73% of the bioflocculant was obtained after exposure to 600 °C using the thermogravimetric analyser. Human embryonic kidney 293 (HEK 293) cells exhibited 95% viability after being treated with 200 µg/µL of the bioflocculant. The flocculation mechanisms were proposed to be as a result of a double layer compression by K+, chemical reactions and bridging mechanism. The removal efficiencies of 59, 72, and 75% on biological oxygen demand, chemical oxygen demand and sulphur, were obtained respectively. Thus, the bioflocculant have potential use in wastewater treatment. View Full-Text
Keywords: bioflocculant; flocculating activity; cytotoxicity; removal efficiency bioflocculant; flocculating activity; cytotoxicity; removal efficiency
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Maliehe, T.S.; Basson, A.K.; Dlamini, N.G. Removal of Pollutants in Mine Wastewater by a Non-Cytotoxic Polymeric Bioflocculant from Alcaligenes faecalis HCB2. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 4001.

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