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Combined bioremediation and enzyme production by Aspergillus sp. in olive mill and winery wastewaters

Salgado, José Manuel, Abrunhosa, Luís, Venâncio, Armando, Domínguez, José Manuel, Belo, Isabel
International biodeterioration & biodegradation 2016 v.110 pp. 16-23
Aspergillus niger, bioremediation, chemical oxygen demand, color, effluents, environmental impact, fungi, mixing, nutrients, olives, phenolic compounds, proteinases, proteolysis, screening, tannase, vinasse, wastewater, wine industry, Mediterranean region
Olive mill wastewaters (OMW) and vinasses (VS) are effluents produced respectively by olive mills and wineries, both sectors are of great economic importance in Mediterranean countries. These effluents cause a large environmental impact, when not properly processed, due to their high concentration of phenolic compounds, COD and colour. OMW may be treated by biological processes but, in this case, a dilution is necessary, increasing water consumption. The approach here in proposed consists on the bioremediation of OMW and VS by filamentous fungi. In a screening stage, three fungi (Aspergillus ibericus, Aspergillus uvarum, Aspergillus niger) were selected to bioremediate undiluted OMW, two-fold diluted OMW supplemented with nutrients, and a mixture of OMW and VS in the proportion 1:1 (v/v). Higher reductions of phenolic compounds, colour and COD were achieved mixing both residues; with A. uvarum providing the best results. In addition, the production of enzymes was also evaluated during this bioremediation process, detecting in all cases lipolytic, proteolytic and tannase activities. A. ibericus, A. uvarum and A. niger achieved the highest value of lipase (1253.7 ± 161.2 U/L), protease (3700 ± 124.3 U/L) and tannase (284.4 ± 12.1 U/L) activities, respectively. Consequently, this process is an interesting alternative to traditional processes to manage these residues, providing simultaneously high economic products, which can be employed in the same industries.