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UN SDG Category : Clean Water and Sanitation
Innovator : Ambika Saxena, Dr. Sarika Gupta
Project Guide: Dr. Sarika Gupta
Institution : Banasthali Vidyapith, Banasthali

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Problem Statement
Rapid industrialization and urbanization accompanied with the discharge of large amount of waste into the environment is a wide spread problem and alarms public health concern. In recent years, India has emerged as a promising Industrial hub. We are surrounded by a big cluster of textile, mining, dyeing and printing industries. The effluent from these textile industries comprises of acids, bleaching agents, salts, heavy metals and dyes as contaminants. A significant amount of mainly untreated textile dye effluent 10 - 15 Kl/ day is released into various adjoining water-bodies thereby altering its physio-chemical properties and subsequently affects the landscapes in the vicinity. Out of the total dyes approximately 10,000 dyes exploited in the textile manufacturing unit, azo-dyes which posses complex structure and are synthetic in origin contributes nearly 70% to overall produce. Subsequently the contaminated water takes the solvate thereby adversely affecting biota. Remediation of such hazardous waste sites considered as most critical environmental challenges. Compared to conventional treatment technologies microorganism based bioremediation are gaining considerable importance as by possessing high efficiency in removal, detoxification and degradation. Indigenous microbes present in textile industrial areas, contains a lot of synthetic compounds, metals and other toxicants, develop interaction with the compounds by various mechanisms through complex biogeochemical reactions. These are significant for the development of micro-based remediation strategies to mitigate the recalcitrant compounds. In recent years considerable efforts have been made to explore the microbial community structure and their functional diversity indicating a large number of very diverse microorganisms with great potential for bioremediation dyes in the industrial effluents. Recently, nanotechnology utilizing the nano-sized particles has become evident as a feasible alternative being robust, readily accessible, large surface area and heterogeneous catalyst support. These micro-nano particles enhance the contact between the reactants and the catalyst drastically by increasing the exposed surface area of the active component. This gives us impetus to achieve ultimate goal of the project to deliver a technology either microbe-based or nano-based alone or in combination under ex situ conditions.

Azo dyes (Orange II, Acid Red 183, Disperse Yellow 1/3, Disperse orange 3/37/76, Basic Red 9, Basic Violet 14, Direct Black 38, Biebrich Scarlet, Methyl Red Sodium, tartrazine, carmoisine, p-di-methyl aminobenzene, Sudan 1, etc.) constitute a major portion of the dyes used in textile industries, causing adverse environmental impacts because of their color, bio-recalcitrance and potential toxicity to the flora and fauna. The most significantly used group of dyes are the azo-dyes however, they are also the ones raising the biggest concern due to their mutagenic and carcinogenic nature. They link the aromatic structures with the help of one or more azo bond (-N=N-), and the cleavage of this bond biologically or chemically often releases more mutagenic and toxic end products. Azo dyes have a more intense color than anthraquinone dyes and are also relatively cheap to produce which has resulted in their dominance in the market usability. Azo dyes form the majority of dyes being discharged into effluents. Wastewater of textiles also possesses heavy metal salts and their conjugates (mainly chromium, cobalt, copper, etc.) enhancing their toxicity profile. There are mainly two sources of metals primarily as impurity, along with the chemicals used during processing (caustic soda, sodium carbonate, salts, etc.) and secondly, the dye stuffs like metalized mordent dyes (Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board, Environmental Guidance Manual–Textiles Projects, 2011). Most of the residual dye and heavy metals are highly toxic by acting as a carcinogen posing a potential threat to all living organisms. Through this project we wish to deliver a consortium of microbes alone or in combination with micro-nanoparticle approach that can provide us with a more efficient candidate to be used during the treatment in the effluent treatment plant after rigorous QC/QA analysis. Biological treatments fundamentally rely on the ability of microbe to transform the contaminants by using them as sources of energy, carbon and other minerals which are essential for their growth. Microbial based enzymatic treatment is preferred for the degradation of the xenobiotic and recalcitrant azo-dyes from the textile effluent because of the following advantages: (1) environmentally-benevolent, (2) economic, (3) produces less sludge, (4) yielding end products that are non-toxic or have complete mineralization; and (5) requiring less water consumption as compared to the physicochemical methods. Thus, the challenge is to find microorganisms endowed with potential to degrade all azo dyes conjugates, at the same time thrive in the presence of salts, metals, other toxicants and atypical conditions of textile effluents. With the present project we wish to propose effective bioremediation options for textile waste water like, bio-augmentation, microbial degradation and natural attenuation to bio-stimulation by producing microbes. In this project we wish to foresee the micro-based utilization at in vitro and in vivo system. Our project wish to deliver guidelines for the improvised conventional treatment systems with more sustainable options that might provide more local benefits.

The project utilizes the enzymatic deinking technology, where we wish to explore the native microbes of the dye discharge site for the production of azo-reductase enzyme for dye degradation. The sole buyers of the product will be the industries utilizing dyes in any form viz. textile, paper, etc. We will reach out to them; provide them with complementary samples to get feedback for its quality check parameters. Cost effectively of our product over the existing methodology employing chemicals will give us an edge in expansion of our horizon for its marketing.

Discharge of untreated textile effluents in the natural environment is a widespread problem and is challenging as it contains various toxic compounds possessing low biodegradability and being recalcitrant. The most significantly used group of dyes are the azo-dyes however, they are also the ones raising the biggest concern due to their mutagenic and carcinogenic nature. They link the aromatic structures with the help of one or more azo bond -N=N- , and the cleavage of this bond biologically or chemically often releases more mutagenic and toxic end products. Considering the vast metabolic genetic diversity of microbial world and their role in dealing with various toxic compounds in textile waste water is unexplored. We wish to elucidate the structural and functional diversity of the microbial community in these contaminated sites that can tolerate or degrade these recalcitrant. In particular, for industrial waste sites, the success of in situ remediation efforts could be critically monitored by studying the physiology and abundance of desirable bacteria/fungi by targeting the functional genes of indigenous microbial population. Nanoparticles, on the other hand, represents a promising new technology for environmental clean-up technology, not only because of their high treatment efficiency, but also for their cost-effectiveness, as they have the flexibility for in situ and ex situ applications. Nanoparticles work by increasing the surface area of a heterogeneous catalyst its active component , enhancing the contact between the catalytic site and its substrate moiety. Efficacy of microbe associated nanoparticle in bioremediation and its translational effects are unexploited. Thus recovery of environmentally relevant microorganisms in combination with the ‘omics’ concept would facilitate an improved understanding on the physiology of microorganisms together with their nanoparticle synthesis catalyzing environmental processes which will further help to design and operate relevant bioremediation strategies. Through this project we aim to elucidate the structure diversity and composition of microbial community in textile wastewater effluents thereby identify the potent dye degrading detoxifying microbe or their assisted nanoparticle for the reclamation of the water bodies and associated land.

India's Sustainable Development
Current proposal focuses on the transfer of microbial enzyme technology from lab to land and its analysis pre- and post effluent treatment. This bio-solution alone or in combination with very less chemical will address the problem solution approach in terms of toxicity, economic feasibility and eco-friendly. This also helps is reclaiming the aesthetic beauty of our surrounding. Our product offers an environmental friendly solution to the dye accumulating environment through microbial intervention. It reduces the use of chemicals (to the lowest possible concentration) for the treatment of the dye effluent. The product is economically viable that provides a cutting edge in utilization at an industrial scale nationally and globally.


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