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Selective Isolation and Identification of Microorganisms with Dual Capabilities: Leather Biodegradation and Heavy Metal Resistance for Industrial Applications.

Microorganisms 2024 May 21
Tanning, crucial for leather production, relies heavily on chromium yet poses risks due to chromium's oxidative conversion, leading to significant wastewater and solid waste generation. Physico-chemical methods are typically used for heavy metal removal, but they have drawbacks, prompting interest in eco-friendly biological remediation techniques like biosorption, bioaccumulation, and biotransformation. The EU Directive (2018/850) mandates alternatives to landfilling or incineration for industrial textile waste management, highlighting the importance of environmentally conscious practices for leather products' end-of-life management, with composting being the most researched and viable option. This study aimed to isolate microorganisms from tannery wastewater and identify those responsible for different types of tanned leather biodegradation. Bacterial shifts during leather biodegradation were observed using a leather biodegradation assay (ISO 20136) with tannery and municipal wastewater as the inoculum. Over 10,000 bacterial species were identified in all analysed samples, with 7 bacterial strains isolated from tannery wastewaters. Identification of bacterial genera like Acinetobacter , Brevundimonas , and Mycolicibacterium provides insights into potential microbial candidates for enhancing leather biodegradability, wastewater treatment, and heavy metal bioremediation in industrial applications.

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