Decolorization and biogas production by an anaerobic consortium: effect of different azo dyes and quinoid redox mediators

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The inhibitory effect of azo dyes and quinoid compounds on an anaerobic consortium was evaluated during a decolorization process and biogas production. In addition, the impact of quinoid compounds such as lawsone (LAW) and anthraquinone-2,6-disulfonate (AQDS) on the rate of decolorization of Direct Blue 71 (DB71) was assessed. The anaerobic consortium was not completely inhibited under all tested dye concentrations (0.1–2 mmol l−1), evidenced by an active decolorization process and biogas production. The presence of quinoid compounds at different concentrations (4, 8, and 12 mmol l−1) also inhibited biogas production compared to the control incubated without the quinoid compounds. In summary, the anaerobic consortium was affected to a greater extent by increasing the quantity of azo dyes or quinoid compounds. Nevertheless, at a lower concentration (1 mmol l−1) of quinoid compounds, the anaerobic consortium effectively decolorized 2 mmol l−1 of DB71, increasing up to 5.2- and 20.4-fold the rate of decolorization with AQDS and LAW, respectively, compared to the control lacking quinoid compounds.

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