Wastewater from the textile industry is difficult to treat effectively due to the prevalent use and wide variety of synthetic dyes that are resistant to conventional treatment methods. White-rot fungi, such as Trametes versicolor, have been found to be effective in decolorizing many of these synthetic dyes and current research is focusing on their application to wastewater treatment. Although numerous studies have been conducted on the ability of both living and nonliving Trametes versicolor to separately decolorize textile dyes, no studies were found to have investigated the use of a mixture of live and dead fungus for decolorization. This study explored potential interactions between live and dead, autoclaved Trametes versicolor biomass in a mixed system by utilizing a series of batch tests with two structurally different synthetic textile dyes. Samples were analyzed by spectrophotometer and compared with controls to determine the effect of any interactions on decolorization. The results of this study indicate that an interaction between living and nonliving biomass occurred that affected the specific dye removal for both Reactive Blue 19, an anthraquinone textile dye, and Reactive Orange 16, an azo textile dye. This interaction was seen to improve the specific dye removal during the first 10-46 hours of experimentation but then diminish the specific dye removal after this period. This effect could be due to hydrophobins, which are surface-active proteins excreted by live fungi that may alter hydrophobicity. Additionally, the presence of adsorptive dead biomass could affect dye contact with degrading enzymes released from the live fungus. By expanding current knowledge of the interactions that take place in a fungal bioreactor and their effect on textile dye decolorization, this research aims to inspire more effective and less costly bioreactor designs for the treatment of textile wastewater.


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Thesis Completion





Randall, Andrew


Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering (B.S.Env.E.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science

Degree Program

Environmental Engineering


Dissertations, Academic -- Engineering and Computer Science;Engineering and Computer Science -- Dissertations, Academic







Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access


Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis