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Reduction of wastewater toxicity and change of microbial community in a hydrolysis acidification reactor pre-treating trimethylolpropane wastewater

Xing, Xin, Yu, Yin, Xi, Hongbo, Song, Guangqing, Wang, Yajiao, Zuo, Jiane, Zhou, Yuexi
Frontiers of environmental science & engineering 2018 v.12 no.6 pp. 12
Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, acidification, biological treatment, formaldehyde, hydrolysis, microbial activity, microbial communities, oxygen, pretreatment, sludge, spectroscopy, tap water, toxic substances, toxicity, wastewater
Trimethylolpropane (TMP) wastewater is one of the most toxic petrochemical wastewater. Toxicants with high concentrations in TMP wastewater often inhibit the activity of microorganisms associated with biological treatment processes. The hydrolysis acidification process (HAP) is widely used to pretreat petrochemical wastewater. However, the effects of HAP on the reduction of wastewater toxicity and the relevant underlying mechanisms have rarely been reported. In this study, an HAP reactor was operated for 240 days, fed with actual TMP wastewater diluted by tap water in varying ratios. The toxicity of TMP wastewater was assessed with the inhibition ratio of oxygen uptake rate. When the organic loading rates were lower than 7.5 kg COD/m³/d, the toxicity of TMP wastewater was completely eliminated. When the actual TMP wastewater was directly fed into the reactor, the toxicity of TMP wastewater decreased from 100% to 34.9%. According to the results of gas chromatographymass spectrometry analysis, four main toxicants contained in TMP wastewater, namely, formaldehyde, 2-ethylacrolein, TMP and 2-ethylhexanol, were all significantly removed, with removal efficiencies of 93.42%, 95.42%, 72.85% and 98.94%, respectively. Compared with the removal efficiency of CODCr, the reduction rate of toxicity is markedly higher by HAP. In addition, the change of microbial community in the HAP reactor, along the operation period, was studied. The results revealed that, compared with the seed sludge, Firmicutes became the dominant phylum (abundance increased from 0.51% to 57.08%), followed by Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes (abundance increased from 59.75% to 25.99% and from 4.70% to 8.39%, respectively).