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Removal of antibiotics by sequencing-batch membrane bioreactor for swine wastewater treatment

Xu, Zhicheng, Song, Xiaoye, Li, Yun, Li, Guoxue, Luo, Wenhai
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.684 pp. 23-30
adsorption, biodegradation, biosolids, biotransformation, fluoroquinolones, membrane bioreactors, nutrients, organic matter, polymers, sludge, sulfonamides, swine, tetracyclines, veterinary drugs, wastewater, wastewater treatment
This study investigated the removal of antibiotics by sequencing-batch membrane bioreactor (SMBR) for swine wastewater treatment. Nine compounds categorized into three groups of commonly used veterinary antibiotics, namely sulfonamides, tetracyclines and fluoroquinolones, were evaluated. Results showed that both sulfonamides and tetracyclines were efficiently removed by SMBR (>90%) while a lower removal was observed for fluoroquinolones (<70%). Mass balance analysis evidenced that biodegradation/biotransformation was the main mechanism for the removal of antibiotics in SMBR operation. Moreover, sludge adsorption and membrane retention also slightly contributed to antibiotic removal. Of the three groups of antibiotics, tetracyclines and fluoroquinolones were more prone to accumulate in biosolids. It is noteworthy that antibiotics temporarily affected SMBR performance by inhibiting sludge growth and activity as well as increasing the concentrations of extracellular polymeric substances and soluble microbial products in the mixed liquor. Nevertheless, >60% of organic matter and nutrients in swine wastewater could be removed over SMBR operation.