Assessing the efficiency in assisted depuration of coffee processing wastewater from mixed wild microbial selected inoculum

  • Josiane Ferreira Pires
  • Rosane Freitas Schwan
  • Cristina Ferreira SilvaEmail author


This work evaluated the efficiency of bacterial bio-augmentation to the biological treatment of coffee processing wastewater (CPWW) in a pilot wastewater treatment plant (WTP). Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and chemical oxygen demand (COD) values were the basis for the treatment efficiency. Serratia marcescens CCMA 1010 and CCMA 1013, Corynebacterium flavescens CCMA 1006 and Acetobacter indonesiensis CCMA 1002 were previously selected. The microbial cocktail was inoculated and persisted in CPWW during all treatments. The richness of wild species was a little altered over time and up to nine species were found in each sampled season. The microbiota composition presented variation of a total of 13 species, despite the inoculation of the microbial inoculum. The biodegradability index of effluent, close to 0.5, was favourable to biological treatment. The pollution parameters of CPWW were decreased in function of the variation of community composition and microbial activity. The greatest reduction of BOD (~ 33%) and COD (~ 25%) was observed between 72 h and 8 days of the biological treatment. The CPWW toxicity in Allium cepa seeds was lower by up to 60%, and the germination index (GI) exceeded 100% in the treated CPWW. The results of the CPWW biological treatment by bio-augmentation from native micro-organisms in the pilot-scale WTP indicated the greatest efficiency relating to the spontaneous biological treatment of CPWW. After this treatment, the discharge of effluent in the environment would not have toxic effects on the plants.


Bio-augmentation Indigenous micro-organism Mixed cultures Biological treatment Biodegradability index Fitotoxicity 



The authors are grateful to the CNPq, CAPES and FAPEMIG for their financial support and scholarship. They are also indebted to the Daterra farm, Patrocínio in the State of Minas Gerais, for the opportunity to build the WTP on a pilot scale and for the partial financial support.

Authors’ contributions

JFP carried out this study as a part of his PhD thesis, conducted the experiments, collected and interpreted the data and wrote the manuscript. CFS and RFS supervised the study at all stages and edited the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Josiane Ferreira Pires
    • 1
  • Rosane Freitas Schwan
    • 1
  • Cristina Ferreira Silva
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversidade Federal de Lavras. Campus UniversitárioLavrasBrazil

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