Microbial flocs formed from raw textile wastewater in a prototype Aerobic Biofilm Reactor (ABR) system were characterised and studied for their potential use in the treatment of textile wastewater. After 90-100 days of operation, microbial flocs of loose irregular structures were obtained from the reactor with good settling velocity of 33 m/h and sludge volume index (SVI) of 48.2 mL/g. Molecular analysis of the flocs using PCR-amplified 16S rDNA sequence showed 98% homology to those of Bacillus sp, Paenibacillus sp and Acromobacter sp. Detection of Ca(2+)(131 mg/g) and Fe(2+)(131 mg/g) using atomic absorption spectrometer might be implicated with the flocs formation. In addition, presence of Co(2+) and Ni(2+) were indicative of the flocs ability to accumulate at least a fraction of the metals' present in the wastewater. When the flocs were used for the treatment of raw textile wastewater, they showed good removal of COD and colour about 55% and 70% respectively, indicating their potential application.
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