UPH Biotechnology has Discovered Bacteria that Decolorize Textile Waste.

Dr. Reinhard Pinontoan (Head of UPH Biotechnology Program) and his team performed research on a bacterial species that can decolorize methylene blue. This research was conducted in March 2020 and aims to assess the potential of this bacteria to clean the Progo River that has been contaminated with excess waste.

The focus of this project was driven by Dr. Reinhard’s concerns on environmental issues in Indonesia, particularly water pollution due to textile industrial waste. This is particularly dangerous because the local community relies on the same water sources for daily water use. Dr. Reinhard conducted research by collecting samples in the Kulon Progo Regency in Yogyakarta, which has several textile factories around the Progo River. Methylene blue, one of the dyes commonly used by these factories, has a high tendency to contaminate and degrade the quality of the river’s water.

“We collected the samples for further research and isolated the bacteria. Through the process of bioremediation, we are able to use microbes in that environment and identify whether they can decolorize methylene blue; whether they can restore contaminated water to become clear again,” spoke Dr. Reinhard.

This study eventually identified the isolated bacteria as Comamonas aquatica and Ralstonia mannitolilytica. C. aquatica PMB-1 and R. mannitolilytica PMB-2, both of which are capable of decolorizing methylene blue up to 67.9% and 60.3% respectively. Each of these bacteria was incubated at 37 degrees Celsius for 96 hours.

“We hope that by removing the methylene blue color, toxins that exist in the contaminated water will be eliminated as well. This will allow us to have more mineral water sources fit for daily consumption,” added Dr. Reinhard.

In addition to generating food products and researching their contents, the UPH Biotechnology Study Program also conducts research that has a positive impact on the environment. Students are equipped with foundational scientific theories and practical technological applications, which enable them to create ideas and innovative products in the health, environment, and industry sectors. Enroll in the UPH Biotechnology Study Program and take advantage of our 100 billion Scholarship here. For more information, please contact our Student Consultant at 0811-1079-901.