Tuesday, August 07, 2018 by Michelle Simmons
Scientists continue to search for more natural solutions to address water pollution. A group of scientists aimed to find an eco-friendly, economical, and effective biological way of removing phenolic compounds in water polluted by industrial wastes.
In their study, which was published in the IOSR Journal of Environmental Science, Toxicology and Food Technology, the researchers extracted peroxidase from natural sources such as radish, broccoli, carrot, soybean, and beetroot, as well as from microorganisms such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, and Bacillus subtilis, using ammonium sulphate fractionation technique.
Peroxidases catalyze the oxidation of phenols through hydrogen peroxide, causing the formation of water insoluble polymers that can be set apart by coagulation or sedimentation.
The microorganisms were examined to determine their potential for biodegradation of phenol. Their ability to use phenol as a sole carbon source was also tested. Then, they grew the microorganisms on a mineral salt agar medium supplemented with phenol concentration of 200 milligrams per liter (mg/L) at 25 degrees Celsius for three days or 72 hours to determine their potential biodegradation of phenol.
Results showed that there was no growth on the mineral salt agar medium and the microorganisms could not utilize phenol as a sole carbon source. The researchers also discovered that among all the peroxidase enzymes, white radish peroxidase was the most effective peroxidase enzyme; it exhibited maximum enzyme activity and displayed more than 90 percent phenol removal potential.
The scientists concluded that horse radish peroxidase can be used as an eco-friendly and effective method for the removal of phenol from industrial waste. (Related: Natural pollution solutions: Moss can be used to decontaminate soil and water polluted with heavy metals like lead.)
Water pollution occurs when harmful substances contaminate water bodies, such as lakes, rivers, and oceans. These toxic substances get dissolved in the water bodies, are suspended in the water, or deposited on the bed. These can also reach the water supply and groundwater systems, which may get into the households as contaminated water used in drinking and other daily activities.
One of the greatest sources of water pollution are industrial facilities as most of them use freshwater to carry away waste from the plant into bodies of water. Apart from water pollution, industrial facilities also cause soil and air pollution, wildlife extinction, and climate change. Industrial pollution is commonly caused by the following:
Learn more about pollution mitigation methods at Pollution.news.