Biodegradation of Congo Red Using Co-Culture Anode Inoculum in a Microbial Fuel Cell

Kalpana Sharma, Soumya Pandit, Bhim Sen Thapa, Manu Pant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Congo red is an azo dye widely used as a colouring agent in textile industries. It is a serious threat due to its carcinogenic effects. Its degradation has been challenging due to its complex yet stable structure. The present study was aimed to investigate the effective degradation of Congo red by bioremediating bacteria isolated from different environments. To investigate predominant microorganisms that degrade Congo red and its functions in microbial fuel cells (MFCs), strains isolated from cow dung (Enterococcus faecalis SUCR1) and soil (Pseudomonas aeruginosa PA1_NCHU) were used as a co-culture inocula. The remarkable results establish that E. faecalis as an excellent microbial source for the biological degradation of dye-contaminated wastewater treatment alongside bioactive treating wastewater with varied concentrations of congo red dye. The highest efficiency percentage of dye degradation was 98% after 3 days of incubation at pH 7 and 37 °C, whereas findings have shown that the decolorization at pH 5 and 6 was lower at 66% and 83.3%, respectively, under the same incubation conditions. Furthermore, the co-culture of E. faecalis SUCR1 and P. aeruginosa at a 1:1 ratio demonstrated improved power generation in MFCs. The maximum power density of 7.4 W/m3 was recorded at a 150 mg L−1 concentration of Congo red, indicating that the symbiotic relation between these bacterium resulted in improved MFCs performance simultaneous to dye degradation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1219
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Congo red
  • Enterococcus faecalis SUCR1
  • biological treatment
  • dye degradation
  • microbial fuel cells
  • power density

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Environmental Science
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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