Mature landfill leachate (MLL) tend to be highly contaminated due to the presence of refractory contaminants such as humic-fulvic substances, xenobiotic compounds, and heavy metals. This study investigated the treatment efficiency of MLL by deploying Cladosporium sp., Trichoderma asperellum, and Tyromyces chioneus fungal strains. Chemical oxygen demand (COD) and soluble COD (sCOD) removal efficiencies were assessed along with the evaluation of lignocellulosic enzymatic activities of laccase (Lac), lignin-peroxidase (LiP), and manganese-peroxidase (MnP). Glucose, woodchips, and wheat straw were utilized as co-substrates. Higher percentage of COD and sCOD reduction efficiencies and lignocellulosic enzymatic activities were found for woodchips than glucose and wheat-straw. The highest sCOD removal rates were 44%, 38% and 59% by Cladosporium sp., T. asperellum, and T. chioneus, respectively. Overall, Lac activity was significantly higher than LiP and MnP activity for all three species. Tyromyces chioneus was the most effective strain among the three selected fungi in terms of COD and sCOD reduction efficiencies and high enzymatic activities of 165, 14 and 20 U/L were detected for Lac, LiP, and MnP, respectively. Tyromyces chioneus is a potentially effective fungal strain for the enhanced bioremediation of MLL and its further investigation is recommended to explore the removal of recalcitrant contaminants from problematic wastewater.
Keywords: Enzymatic activity; Fungal treatment; Mature landfill leachate; Tyromyces chioneus; Woodchips.