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Removal of pharmaceuticals and personal care products by ammonia oxidizing bacteria acclimated in a membrane bioreactor: Contributions of cometabolism and endogenous respiration

Park, Junwon, Yamashita, Naoyuki, Wu, Guangxue, Tanaka, Hiroaki
The Science of the total environment 2017 v.605-606 pp. 18-25
adsorption, ammonia, bacteria, biodegradability, biodegradation, biomass, drugs, membrane bioreactors, personal care products
We carried out batch experiments using biomass from a membrane bioreactor (MBR) to study the influence of ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB) on the removal of 45 pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs). Kinetic parameters such as biodegradation constants and adsorption coefficients with and without AOB inhibition were estimated. No significant differences in adsorption tendency were found, but the biodegradability of most compounds was enhanced when ammonia was completely oxidized, indicating that AOB present in MBR played a critical role in eliminating the PPCPs. Moreover, target PPCPs were degraded in 2 stages, first by cometabolic degradation related to AOB growth, and then by endogenous respiration by microorganisms in the absence of other growth substrate. The compounds were classified into 3 groups according to removal performance and cometabolic degradation. Our approach provides new insight into the removal of PPCPs via cometabolism and endogenous respiration under AOB enrichment cultures developed in MBR.