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Fate of endocrine disruptor compounds in an anaerobic membrane bioreactor (AnMBR) coupled to an activated sludge reactor

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Abstract

The occurrence and fate of three groups of micropollutants – alkylphenols, pentachlorophenol and hormones – were studied in a pilot plant consisting of an anaerobic membrane bioreactor (AnMBR) coupled to an activated sludge reactor (University of Cape Town configuration – UCT). Under anaerobic conditions, the octylphenol and technical-nonylphenol soluble concentrations increased producing negative degradation ratios (i.e., −175 and −118%, respectively). However, high 4-n-nonylphenol and bisphenol-A degradation ratios (92 and 59% for 4-n-nonylphenol and bisphenol-A, respectively) as well as complete pentachlorophenol, estrone, 17β-estradiol and 17α-ethinylestradiol removal were observed. Under aerobic conditions (UCT), octylphenol, technical-nonylphenol, 4-n-nonylphenol and bisphenol-A degradation ratios were higher than 84%. The AnMBR thus removes a high proportion of 4-n-nonylphenol, pentachlorophenol, estrone, 17β-estradiol and 17α-ethinylestradiol, but requires a later post-treatment process (such as UCT) to improve bisphenol-A, octylphenol and technical-nonylphenol degradation ratios. The overall AnMBR–UCT degradation ratios were 48% and 70% for octylphenol and technical-nonylphenol, respectively, and higher than 97% for 4-n-nonylphenol and bisphenol-A. The AnMBR produced a higher micropollutant accumulation in the sludge than the UCT: removal by adsorption in the AnMBR process was between 0.5 and 10%, and less than 0.5% in the UCT process. The combination of AnMBR and UCT technologies produces an effluent stream with low concentrations of micropollutants.

Graphical abstract: Fate of endocrine disruptor compounds in an anaerobic membrane bioreactor (AnMBR) coupled to an activated sludge reactor

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Publication details

The article was received on 24 Sep 2017, accepted on 08 Nov 2017 and first published on 29 Nov 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7EW00382J
Citation: Environ. Sci.: Water Res. Technol., 2018, Advance Article
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    Fate of endocrine disruptor compounds in an anaerobic membrane bioreactor (AnMBR) coupled to an activated sludge reactor

    M. R. Abargues, J. Ferrer, A. Bouzas and A. Seco, Environ. Sci.: Water Res. Technol., 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7EW00382J

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