Azo dyes are frequently used at an industrial level to restore the color of raw materials once it has faded away, make an original color more vibrant or with the purpose of giving a material a different color that is considered more attractive. These processes however, have a negative impact on the environment, evidenced in colored wastewater that is subsequently dumped into water bodies, causing disruptions in the natural balance of ecosystems and deteriorating human health. Traditional strategies for the treatment of effluents contaminated with azo dyes are limited to physical and chemical processes that have a high energy and economic cost. For these reasons, current challenges are focused on the use of microorganisms capable of transforming dyes into less toxic products. This chapter will present a description of the main characteristics of azo dyes and the different methods used for their treatment, with special emphasis on the benefits associated with biological treatment. Likewise, it will provide relevant information about Enterococcus and show its potential to degrade azo dyes.
Part of the book: Coastal Environments