Treatment of metalworking fluids: Development of a bioconsortium for the treatment of nanofiltration permeate

Nidal Hilal, Gerald Busca, Martin D. Waller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Traditional treatment methods of waste metalworking fluids produce an aqueous phase containing toxic components and with a high Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD). In this paper, a biological solution is proposed to further reduce both the effluent COD and its toxicity. A method to develop a bioconsortium from microbes found in the waste metalworking fluid is proposed. The development took place in three phases: feasibility, bioconsortium development and optimisation. Flask tests have been used to show the feasibility of using the metalworking fluid indigenous microbial community for the degradation of the nanofiltration permeate of the metalworking fluid. A suspended bioreactor allowed the development of a better-adapted consortium. Finally, a fixed bed bioreactor inoculated with the developed bioconsortium was set up and run for 8 months to test the bioconsortium's robustness and to optimise the biological process. A bioconsortium was successfully developed using a simple method and a 90% reduction in the original nanofiltration COD level was achieved by the fixed bed bioreactor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)641-648
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2005


  • Bacterial consortia
  • Biodegradation
  • Combine technology
  • Membrane filtration
  • Metalworking fluids
  • Mixed chemical effluent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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