Volume No. 4 Issue No.: 1 Page No.: 106-115 July-Sept 2009




S.Bhuvaneshwari, S.Sabarunisha Begum, S.Senthilrani and P.Karthic*

1. Periyar Maniammai University ,Thanjavur,Tamilnadu, INDIA
2. Seethalakshmi Ramaswamy College, Trichy,Tamilnadu, INDIA


Received on : June 17, 2009




Industrial effluent contains chemicals and heavy metals that are harmful to human health and ecosystem. Distillery industry generates 15 liter (L) of spent wash for 1 liter of alcohol produced and the volume of effluent would be 60 to 100 liters per liter of alcohol. Recent developments in biotechnology have given positive indication in biomembrane separation, where biomembrane in their native or modified states may be used as alternative to conventional separations. The present study investigates the use of fungal biomass as a Biomembrane for effluent treatment. The distillery effluent contains the metal ions such as Zinc, Copper, Iron, Manganese, Lead, and Melanoidin pigment.

Biomembrane (chitosan) prepared by deacetylation of chitin (cell wall of Aspergillus niger) act as biodegradable, non toxic polymer to recover heavy metals, decolorize, and deodorize the distillery effluent. A. niger as dry powder, liquid culture, mixed culture and chemically modified was mixed with effluent at various ratios and agitated at different speeds to carry out the extraction studies. Chemically modified Biomembrane was found to enhance the process. The percentage recovery was high in chemically modified biomembrane (Fe-82.88%) and non modified biomembrane (Fe-82.37%) compared to conventional liquid membrane (Fe -25.7%).


Keywords : Biomembrane, Chitosan, Recovery, Decolorization, Deodorization