Removal of Heavy Metal Compounds from Industrial Wastes Using a Novel Locally-Isolated Vanrija sp. HMAT2

Fe F. Coronado, Noel M. Unciano, Romeo M. Cabacang, and Josefina T. Hernandez

Industrial Technology Development Institute
Department of Science and Technology
Bicutan, Taguig, Metro Manila, 1631 Philippines

*Corresponding author: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


A novel yeast, Vanrija sp. HMAT2 was isolated from the PHILEX mine site, which was capable of adsorbing heavy metals (chromium, copper, manganese, nickel, and zinc); neutralizing acidic wastewaters and was effective as either free or immobilized cells for laboratory bioreactor for bioremediation.  Using the novel strain, its efficiency to treat different industrial wastewater streams including simulated acid mine tailings, actual untreated electroplating waste effluents, and untreated or treated tannery effluents were evaluated.  Heavy metal removal efficiencies after 48 h were for Cu (97.29%) and Mn (94.22%) from simulated acid mine tailings; after five days for Zn (97.55%), Cr (68.65%), Cu (87.28%) and Ni (82.69%) from actual electroplating effluents.  Highly efficient chromium removal rates of 99.15% (for untreated tannery) and 100% (for pre-treated tannery wastewater) were obtained using corncob-immobilized HMAT2 after five days and 20 h, respectively.  The change in pH was greatest for simulated acid mine tailings from 3.7 to 8.9; intermediate for electroplating effluents from 3.0 to 6.6 and for untreated tannery effluents from 3.0 to 6.8; least for the treated tannery effluents from 7.2 to 7.3.  These results suggested that the HMAT2 strain could be used for treatment of chromium-laden tannery waste effluents and help mitigate the source of heavy metal pollution of the Meycauayan River.

The Philippine river systems have been suffering from heavy metal pollution due to unabated discharges of wastewater from industrial plants.  Government regulations prohibit this practice and required industrial plants to install wastewater treatment facilities for compliance prior to discharge.  The small-scale tannery plants along the Meycauayan River (Bulacan Province) practically failed to comply (Coronado FF, personal communication with DOST Region III) with the wastewater quality standards of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) due to the inadequately installed technologies based on the conventional removal of chromium and had no means to provide the advanced treatment technologies.  Thus, a microbial based technology would be necessary as an alternative and affordable mode for the local tanning industry. . . . .read more

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