Advances in Recycling & Waste Management

ISSN: 2475-7675

Open Access

Perspectives on Biological Treatment of Tannery Effluent


Sabumon PC

Leather processing is an important economic activity around the world and uncontrolled release of tannery effluents to natural water bodies causes environmental degradation and increases health risks to human beings. The treatment of tannery effluent is a complex technological challenge because of the presence of high concentrations of organic and inorganic pollutants of both conservative and non conservative nature. In this review paper information relevant to tannery effluents and its prospective on biological treatment processes and other recent potential biological processes are discussed. Emphasis is laid on the removal of organic matter (COD/BOD), NH4-N and sulphide/sulphate from tannery effluent. Though the aerobic process is efficient in treating tannery effluent, it requires an extended aeration time at low organic loading rates and thereby increasing the overall treatment cost. Anaerobic process is not effective because of sulphide inhibition problems. Sulphide inhibition control is essential for successful anaerobic treatment of tannery effluent. Sequencing Batch Reactor (SBR) and membrane reactor technologies are found to be effective for removal of organic matter and ammonia, but they are having very high operational cost. A recent development is the employment of alternate electron acceptor/donor already present in tannery effluent for simultaneous removals of COD/BOD, NH4-N and sulphide/sulphate with possibility of elemental sulphur recovery at higher organic loading rates. The recent development shows possibility of high rate treatment of tannery effluent in an alternate and an effective way suitable to both developing and developed countries.


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