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Komal Verma, Speaker at Chemical Engineering Conferences
IIT Guwahati, India
Title : Enhancing industrial wastewater treatment: Efficacy and optimization of ultrasound-assisted laccase immobilized on magnetic Fe3o4 nanoparticles


In developed countries, water pollution caused by industrial discharge has emerged as a significant environmental concern over the past decades. However, despite ongoing efforts, a fully effective and sustainable remediation strategy has yet to be identified. This paper describes how enzymatic and sonochemical treatments have demonstrated great promise in degrading bio-refractory pollutants. Mainly, a compelling area of interest lies in the combined technique of sono-enzymatic treatment, which has exhibited a synergistic enhancement effect surpassing that of the individual techniques. This study employed the covalent attachment method to immobilize Laccase from Trametes versicolor onto amino-functionalized magnetic Fe3O4 nanoparticles. To comprehensively characterize the synthesized free nanoparticles and the laccase-immobilized nanoparticles, various techniques such as X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), scanning electron microscope (SEM), vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM), and surface area through BET were employed. The size of immobilized Fe3O4@Laccase was found to be 60 nm, and the maximum loading of laccase was found to be 24 mg/g of nanoparticle. An investigation was conducted to study the effect of various process parameters, such as immobilized Fe3O4@Laccase dose, temperature, and pH, on the % COD removal as a response. The statistical design pinpointed the optimum conditions (immobilized Fe3O4@Laccase dose = 1.46 g/L, pH = 4.5, and Temperature = 66 oC), resulting in a remarkable 65.58% COD removal within 60 minutes. An even more significant improvement (90.31% COD removal) was achieved with ultrasound-assisted enzymatic reaction utilizing a 10% duty cycle. The investigation of various kinetic models for free and immobilized laccase, such as the Haldane, Yano, and Koga, and Michaelis-Menten, showed that ultrasound application impacted the kinetic parameters Vmax and Km. Specifically, Vmax values for free and immobilized laccase were found to be 0.021 mg/L min and 0.045 mg/L min, respectively, while Km values were 147.2 mg/L for free laccase and 136.46 mg/L for immobilized laccase. The lower Km and higher Vmax for immobilized laccase indicate its enhanced affinity towards the substrate, likely due to ultrasound-induced alterations in the enzyme's confirmation and increased exposure of active sites, leading to more efficient degradation. Furthermore, the toxicity and LC-MS analysis revealed that after the treatment process, the wastewater exhibited 70% less toxicity than before treatment, with over 25 compounds degrading by more than 75%. At last, the prepared immobilized laccase had excellent recyclability retaining 70% activity up to 6 consecutive cycles. A straightforward manufacturing strategy and outstanding performance make the recyclable magnetic immobilized Laccase (Fe3O4@Laccase) an up-and-coming option for various environmental applications, particularly in water pollution control and treatment.

Audience Takeway Notes: 

  • From this presentation audience will get to know about green catalysis and its application in wastewater treatment.
  • Nowadays, WWT plays a crucial role by applying various technologies. By using this technology audience can scale up this process.
  • By using this technique, WWT is done in a few minutes, whereas conventional methods take hours to clean it.


I am Komal Verma, a Ph.D. scholar from the Chemical Engineering Department at the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati. Currently, I am working on wastewater treatment using various nanocatalysts. My primary studies are based on catalysis reactions and mechanisms. Following my undergraduate degree (got 86.23 % with a university topper), I am pursuing a Master's program at the Department of Chemical Engineering in Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology, Allahabad (got 9.45 CGPA), and with it, I deepened my understanding of the fascinating world of chemical engineering and carried out some innovative work. I am doing a project in the research area of “gasification and pyrolysis.” In Ph.D. I have one publication in the ACS journal. At present, I have a total of four publications.