Environmental Contamination, Toxicity Profile, and Bioremediation Approaches for Detoxification of Paper Mill Wastewater

  • Shiv Shankar
  • Shikha
  • Arpna Ratnakar
  • Shailja Singh
  • Shalu Rawat


Pulp and paper mills are considered as core sector industries and are the fifth largest contributor to industrial water pollution globally. During the processing of lignocellulosic material for paper production, a large quantity of brown/black effluent is generated with high BOD, COD, potentially toxic chlorinated compounds, adsorbable organic halides (AOXs), suspended solids, tannins, resin acids, sulfur compounds, and lignins. Lignin and chlorinated derivatives (e.g., ligno-sulfonic acid, resins, phenols, and hydrocarbons) released during pulping and bleaching operations impart dark color and toxicity to the effluent. The discharge of untreated/partially treated effluent into the receiving water bodies results in an increase in BOD/COD, slime growth, thermal problems, scum formation, discoloration, loss of aesthetic quality, and toxicity to the aquatic life. The toxic chlorinated organic compounds and hazardous metals present in wastewater pose serious human health risks through long-term exposure via drinking water and/or through consumption of fish that can bioaccumulate certain toxic metals from the food chain. Hence, several attempts have been made to degrade/detoxify pulp and paper mill wastewater. Keeping in view several disadvantages associated with conventional physicochemical treatment methods, biological methods have drawn the significant attention of the researchers as safer and cost-effective technologies for the treatment of pulp and paper mill effluent. In aforesaid context, present chapter encompasses the problem of environmental contamination due to pulp and paper mill effluent and its adverse effects on the environment and human population. It also highlights novel, energy, and cost-effective environment-friendly technologies to treat pulp and paper mill effluent.


Pulp paper mill wastewater Lignin Environmental contamination Toxicity profile Bioremediation Detoxification 



The authors are thankful to Vice Chancellor, Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University, and Head, Department of Environmental Microbiology, Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University for rendering necessary facilities. Young Scientist Fellowship (Award No: CST/242/, dated 12/05/2015, Council of Science and Technology Uttar Pradesh Lucknow India) to first author Dr. Shiv Shankar is also gratefully acknowledged.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shiv Shankar
    • 1
  • Shikha
    • 1
  • Arpna Ratnakar
    • 1
  • Shailja Singh
    • 1
  • Shalu Rawat
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Science, School for Environmental SciencesBabasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University (A Central University)LucknowIndia

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