The present study compares in vitro toxicity of electroplating effluent after the batch treatment process with that obtained after the sequential treatment process. Activated charcoal prepared from sugarcane bagasse through chemical carbonization, and tolerant indigenous bacteria, Bacillus sp. strain IST105, were used individually and sequentially for the treatment of electroplating effluent. The sequential treatment involving activated charcoal followed by bacterial treatment removed 99% of Cr(VI) compared with the batch processes, which removed 40% (charcoal) and 75% (bacteria), respectively. Post-treatment in vitro cyto/genotoxicity was evaluated by the MTT test and the comet assay in human HuH-7 hepatocarcinoma cells. The sequentially treated sample showed an increase in LC50 value with a 6-fold decrease in comet-assay DNA migration compared with that of untreated samples. A significant decrease in DNA migration and an increase in LC50 value of treated effluent proved the higher effectiveness of the sequential treatment process over the individual batch processes.
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