Journal of Pure and Applied MicrobiologyVol. 9 No. Special Edition May. 2015

Isolation and Identification of Novel Bioflocculant- Producing Bacteria from Palm Oil Mill Effluent

Nurul Adela Bukhari1*, Nasrin Abu Bakar1, Soh Kheang Loh1 and Madihah Ahmad Zairun2

1Energy & Environment Unit, Engineering & Processing Research Division, 2Biology Research Division, Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB), 6, Persiaran Institusi, Bandar Baru Bangi, 43000 Kajang, Selangor, Malaysia.

Received on 01 Feburary 2015 and accepted on 03 March 2015



Bioflocculants produced by microorganisms from waste stream are regarded as being environmentally safe since they are nontoxic and biodegradable. In this study, the potential of palm oil mill effluent (POME) ? a wastewater from the palm oil milling process ? as a source of bioflocculant-producing bacteria was assessed. Several bacterial strains were isolated from POME and screened for bioflocculant production using kaolin suspension as indicator. Culture broth was used to determine the flocculating activity of the isolated strains, thereby assessing their potential to produce bioflocculant. Of the 23 screened isolates, 13 showed capability to produce bioflocculant. Four such isolates having the highest flocculation rate were identified as the potential bioflocculant-producing bacteria via 16S rDNA as Bacillus marisflavi NA8, Xanthomonas oryzae NA9, Stenotrophomonas daejeonensis NA12 and Bacillus toyonensis NA23. Interestingly, there was a high diversity of bioflocculant-producing bacteria in POME ecosystem suggesting that POME can be a highly suitable substrate in bioflocculant production.

Keywords : Bioflocculant, Bioflocculant-producing bacteria, Palm oil mill effluent, Isolation, Molecular identification, Phylogenetic tree.