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Degradation performance and microbial community analysis of microbial electrolysis cells for erythromycin wastewater treatment
- Hua, Tao, Li, Shengnan, Li, Fengxiang, Ondon, Brim Stevy, Liu, Yanwanjing, Wang, Haonan
- Biochemical engineering journal 2019 v.146 pp. 1-9
- Geobacter, anodes, antibiotic resistance genes, bacteria, biocathodes, biodegradation, biofilm, carbon, electrochemistry, erythromycin, high performance liquid chromatography, high-throughput nucleotide sequencing, microbial communities, microbial electrolysis cells, ribosomal DNA, scanning electron microscopy, wastewater, wastewater treatment
- Antibiotics represent a major environmental health concern worldwide. In this study, a high concentration of erythromycin (ERY) was degraded by using single-chamber MECs with carbon cloth anodes. The electrochemical characteristics of MECs and the correlation with ERY were analysed. High-performance liquid chromatography analysis showed that the removal of ERY reached 99% when the influent concentration of ERY was 20 mg/L. In addition, ermG was the most common antibiotic resistance gene, whether in the reactor effluent (3.37×105 copies/μL DNA) or in the anode biofilm (0.21×105 copies/μL DNA), while ermA was not detected. The SEM images indicated that the anodic and cathodic biofilm were mature and well-constructed. High throughput sequencing of 16S rDNA gene amplicons indicated that Geobacter, as a known genus of exoelectrogenic bacteria, is very dominant in the reactor anode biofilm, with a relative abundance of 77.0%. Acetoanaerobium was widely present in the biocathode. These results indicate that MECs can be considered to be a useful and reliable technology for improving ERY biodegradation efficiency in wastewater, thus providing a meaningful economic output and efficient operation in future scale-ups.