Skip to main content


Optimization of white water treatment of woodfree paper industries

PI: dr. Nada Verdel

Programme group: Integrated approach to water pollution prevention, head Pintar Albin, code P2-0150 (C)

Participating researcher: dr. Aleš Lapanje (IJS)

Call and no. of the operation: Early Career Researchers 2.0


1.      Financing 

The investment is co-financed by the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport of the Republic of Slovenia and the European Union under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The public tender for the selection of operations is carried out within the Operational Program for the Implementation of European Cohesion Policy in the period 2014–2020 (

2.      Purpose, methods and results of the study

The purpose of this study was to better understand degradation activities of microorganisms, autochthounous to woodfree paper-mills white water (WW), for potential use in bioaugmentation. To the author`s best knowledge this is the first study of adopted bacteria for all organic compounds interfering with the papermaking process.

Selection media with papermaking chemicals used as sole carbon sources were prepared and simple spectroscopic methods for selection of the isolates were developed (Figure 1), appropirate for further industrial applications. Relationship of species and genera were visually depicted as phylogenetic tree based on 16S rRNA sequences. Prinicipal component analysis was used for correlation study on degradation activities, genera and inoculum source of selected bacteria.

By prinicipal component analysis we found that mostly bacterial isolates are specialised either in readily biodegradable compounds, like carbohydrates, resin acids and alkyl ketene dimer sizings, or in polyaromatic azo dyes. Pseudomonas sp. 1 with P. boreopolis sp., as the closest relative, are the most interesting, since they are all highly active for biodegradable compounds and some also discolor azo dyes. Agromyces sp. RED15A and WH5, Micrococcus RED14A and Microbacterium sp. are able to degrade fluorescent whitener and Aeromonas sp. RES19 is the most active general degrader of all compounds. A consortium of six bacteria was selected with the highest potential for bioaugmentation of the white water.

Figure 1: Photograph of cometabolism test for selection of bacteria for discoloring of direct red 253 dye.


3.      Bibliography resulting directly from the implementation of the project

1.08 Published scientific conference contribution

VERDEL, Nada, PINTAR, Albin, LAPANJE, Aleš. White water treatment optimization of wood-free paper industries by means of bioaugmentation-assisted bioremediation. V: Smart solutions for water resilience : conference e-proceeding. 8th IWA-ASPIRE Conference and Exhibition, 31 October - 2 November 2019, Hong Kong. Hong Kong: [s. n.], 2019. Str. 474-476. [COBISS.SI-ID 6753562]

color contrast
text size
highlighting content
zoom in