African Journal of

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Biotechnol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1684-5315
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJB
  • Start Year: 2002
  • Published Articles: 12392

Full Length Research Paper

Reduction of organic load from palm oil mill effluent (POME) using selected fungal strains isolated from POME dump sites

Suseela Lanka
  • Suseela Lanka
  • Department of Biotechnology, Krishna University, Machilipatnam, 521001, Andhra Pradesh, India.
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Muralidhar Pydipalli
  • Muralidhar Pydipalli
  • Vimta Labs, Cherlapally, Hyderabad, 500 007, Telangana, India.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 02 December 2016
  •  Accepted: 08 November 2017
  •  Published: 05 September 2018


Environmental concerns are becoming important global tasks. Palm oil mill effluent (POME) contains oil and grease and also rich in organic matter in the form of total suspended solids which can increase biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and chemical oxygen demand (COD) of POME. It is generated in huge quantities during the production of crude palm oil and pollutes land, water and atmosphere if left untreated. The current study mainly focuses on evaluating the efficacy of fungal isolates screened and isolated from POME dump sites in the bioremediation of POME. Five fungal species used in the present study were previously isolated by the author from POME dump sites of Pedavegi palm oil mill industry. Out of these, Emericella nidulans NFCCI 3643 was proven to be an excellent biological agent in reducing the organic load of POME. The organism showed 80.28% reduction in COD, 88.23% in BOD and 87.34% in oil/grease content at their optimal environmental and nutritional conditions. The mixed cultures showed better reduction efficiency as compared to individual pure cultures. The natural inhabitants of POME dump sites showed their lipolytic ability and E. nidulans was found to be an excellent agent in the bioremediation of POME. Fungal isolates in consortium can function better in bioremediating POME than individual pure cultures.


Key words: Palm oil mill effluent (POME), oil and grease, biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), chemical oxygen demand (COD), organic load, Emericella nidulans, bioremediation.