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Perspectives on the fate of micropollutants in mainstream anaerobic wastewater treatment
- Harb, Moustapha, Lou, Esther, Smith, Adam L, Stadler, Lauren B
- Current opinion in biotechnology 2019 v.57 pp. 94-100
- anaerobic treatment, drugs, pollutants, risk, sulfamethoxazole, trimethoprim, wastewater treatment
- Mainstream anaerobic treatment technologies are a viable alternative to conventional aerobic treatment to recover resources and improve process sustainability. However, resource recovery efforts must be coordinated with efforts to abate environmental risks associated with micropollutants (e.g. pharmaceuticals). The microbial and physical mechanisms of micropollutant removal in mainstream anaerobic systems remain poorly understood. Recent work suggests that anaerobic systems may enhance removal of compounds typically persistent during aerobic wastewater treatment, such as sulfamethoxazole, trimethoprim, clozapine, triclocarban, and amitriptyline. Process enhancements such as using sorptive materials or multi-stage treatment may further improve system-wide micropollutant removal. A better understanding of removal mechanisms in mainstream anaerobic treatment could reduce environmental pervasiveness of recalcitrant contaminants, while concomitantly advancing resource recovery.