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Phytotoxicity Assessment of Coir pith Effluent Generated during Lignin Recovery Process

Author Affiliations

  • 1 School of Environmental Studies, Cochin University of Science and Technology, Cochin, Kerala - 682022, INDIA

Res.J.chem.sci., Volume 4, Issue (4), Pages 17-21, April,18 (2014)


Research programs are advancing for tackling the pollution risks of coir pith by converting the substrate into valuable products. The product development process shall generate byproducts or effluents that may be toxic in nature. An efficient oxidative delignification process was developed followed by lignin recovery from the process effluent. The toxicity assessment of effluent generated during lignin recovery process is of utmost importance for the safe disposal plans and the present study aims at assessing the phytotoxicity of the effluent. The test involved 96 hour exposure of Oryza sativa to 0.0% to 100% effluent concentrations. The parameters of analysis included root length (RL), shoot length (SL), seedling length (SDL), seed germination (SG), germination index (GI) and seed vigour index (SVI). The effluent produced significant inhibitory effect on growth of the plant. Root length (EC25=3.05, EC50=5.14) and germination index (EC25=2.78, EC50=4.78) were the most sensitive endpoints, whereas seed germination was the least sensitive (EC25=36.63, EC50=45.45). Based on sensitivity, different endpoints were arranged in decreasing order of sensitivity as: RL=GI>SDL=SVI>SL>SG. The outcome of this study points out the importance of further characterisation of the effluent generated during lignin recovery and adoption of suitable detoxification method.


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