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Removal of sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim from reclaimed water and the biodegradation mechanism

Liu, Qinqin, Li, Miao, Liu, Xiang, Zhang, Quan, Liu, Rui, Wang, Zhenglu, Shi, Xueting, Quan, Jin, Shen, Xuhui, Zhang, Fawang
Frontiers of environmental science & engineering 2018 v.12 no.6 pp. 6
Bacillus subtilis, aerobic conditions, ammonium, antibiotics, bacteria, biodegradation, clay, engineering, nitrates, soil treatment, sorption, sulfamethoxazole, trimethoprim, wastewater treatment
Sulfamethoxazole (SMX) and trimethoprim (TMP) are two critical sulfonamide antibiotics with enhanced persistency that are commonly found in wastewater treatment plants. Recently, more scholars have showed interests in how SMX and TMP antibiotics are biodegraded, which is seldom reported previously. Novel artificial composite soil treatment systems were designed to allow biodegradation to effectively remove adsorbed SMX and TMP from the surface of clay ceramsites. A synergy between sorption and biodegradation improves the removal of SMX and TMP. One highly efficient SMX and TMP degrading bacteria strain, Bacillus subtilis, was isolated from column reactors. In the removal process, this bacteria degrade SMX and TMP to NH₄⁺, and then further convert NH₄⁺ to NO₃– in a continuous process. Microbial adaptation time was longer for SMX degradation than for TMP, and SMX was also able to be degraded in aerobic conditions. Importantly, the artificial composite soil treatment system is suitable for application in practical engineering.