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Removal and dissipation pathway of typical fluoroquinolones in sewage sludge during aerobic composting

Zhang, Jun, Bao, Yu, Jiang, Yu, Liu, Hong-Tao, Xi, Bei-Dou, Wang, Dun-Qiu
Waste management 2019 v.95 pp. 450-457
adsorption, aeration, biodegradation, composting, composts, half life, norfloxacin, ofloxacin, sewage sludge, volatilization
To observe the effect of aeration strategies on the dissipation of fluoroquinolones (FQs) during aerobic composting and explore their dissipation pathways, 60-L composting and 0.5-L incubation experiments were carried out in this study. Three aeration strategies (windrow, static aeration, feedback aeration) were applied to remove two typical FQs (Norfloxacin (NOR) and Ofloxacin (OFL)) during the 60-L composting of sewage sludge with 5 mg kg−1 of FQs added. Then, three 0.5 L-sample groups were taken during the three phases of the 60-L composting matrixes without FQs under static aeration, and were inoculated separately at 35 °C, 55 °C and 40 °C after being added with 5 mg kg−1 of FQs. In each group, incubation was carried out for three treatments (sterilization + no aeration, sterilization + aeration, and no sterilization + aeration). The FQs in the sewage sludge were mainly removed in the mesophilic and thermophilic phases in all the aeration strategies. The removal efficiencies were high for the whole process: 89.6–95.4% for NOR and 87.2–95.4% for OFL. The order of removal efficiency of FQs was static aeration > feedback aeration > windrow. The combination of composting phases facilitated to the rapid dissipation of FQs, which reduced the half-life to about 1/6 to 1/5 of the values in each phase. In the mesophilic and thermophilic compost, biodegradation was the main pathway for the dissipation of FQs followed by irreversible adsorption. Irreversible adsorption and biodegradation provided similar removal efficiencies for the curing compost. The volatilization of FQs was non-negligible in all phases.