Yeast Growth Potential and COD Reduction in Waste Water from Ergot Alkaloid Production

Marjeta Recek and Peter Raspor*

University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty, Department of Food Science and Technology, Department of Biotechnology, Jamnikarjeva 101, Sl-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

Article history:
Received December 4, 1998
Accepted July 14, 1999

Key words:

COD reduction, ergot alkaloid, waste water, yeast


The screening of yeast cultures for their growth and chemical oxygen demand (COD) reduction capability in waste water from ergot alkaloid production was evaluated. Efficient COD reduction in filtered waste water was the main criterion for the screening of 27 previously selected yeast strains from the Culture Collection of Industrial Microorganisms (ZIM), Ljubljana, Slovenia. Sixteen 16 isolated yeast strains originating from the waste water were also included. The results showed that 3 yeasts from the ZIM Culture Collection reduced COD by over 60 % and 10 out of 16 isolated yeast strains reduced 68 to 74 % of the initial COD value within 72 hours. Final screening among yeast cultures was performed in a 2 L airlift bioreactor. It was found that 10 yeast isolates, identified as Pichia anomala strains could be used for reducing the COD load of the waste water from ergot alkaloid production. One of the isolated yeasts, ZIM 419, was further cultivated in a 3.5 L stirred bioreactor and 81 % reduction of the initial COD was achieved within 37 hours. 

*Corresponding author: 
                                               ++386 61 274 092

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