Chemical characterization and aquatic biotoxicity testing of dye wastewaters and their reduction products

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Virginia Tech


The compound p-(2-hydroxyethylsulfone) aniline was isolated from a reduced solution of a fiber-reactive azo dye. The identity and purity of this product was assessed through elemental composition analysis, high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy (GC/MS), and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR). The toxicity of this purified compound was measured with Microtox and Daphnia pulex tests. Microtox tests were also performed on compounds with similar structures to p- (2-hydroxyethylsulfone) aniline.

Wastewater samples containing textile dye wastes from a Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW) that treated textile dye wastes were monitored for the presence of p-(2-hydroxyethylsulfone) aniline using HPLC. Microtox testing was performed on these samples.

Analytical tests confirmed the identity and purity of p-(2-hydroxyethylsulfone) aniline as the reduced product. Microtox tests revealed the concentration at which 50% of the light output was reduced (EC₅₀) after 5 minutes of exposure was 12.8 mg/L. Daphnia pulex testing yielded the concentration which was lethal to 50% of the tested organisms (LC₅₀) to be 113 mg/L. The 5-minute Microtox EC₅₀, values of aniline, sulfanilamide, 2-hydroxyethylsulfone, and 4-ethylaniline were 106.7, 8.15, >80, and 2.05 mg/L, respectively.

The reduction product, p-(2-hydroxyethylsulfone)aniline, was not detected in textile-containing wastewater from the Martinsville POTW. The Microtox EC₅₀, for this wastewater, ranged from 6.05 to >75 mg/L.