Characterization of soluble microbial products (SMPs) in a membrane bioreactor (MBR) treating municipal wastewater containing pharmaceutical compounds

Zhang, Dongqing and Trzcinski, Antoine Prandota and Kunacheva, Chinagarn and Stuckey, David C. and Liu, Yu and Tan, Soon Keat and Ng, Wun Jern (2016) Characterization of soluble microbial products (SMPs) in a membrane bioreactor (MBR) treating municipal wastewater containing pharmaceutical compounds. Water Research, 102. pp. 594-606. ISSN 0043-1354

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This study investigated the behaviour and characteristics of soluble microbial products (SMP) in two anoxic-aerobic membrane bioreactors (MBRs): MBRcontrol and MBRpharma, for treating municipal wastewater. Both protein and polysaccharides measured exhibited higher concentrations in the MBRpharma than the MBRcontrol. Molecular weight (MW) distribution analysis revealed that the presence of pharmaceuticals enhanced the accumulation of SMPs with macro- (13,091 kDa and 1,587 kDa) and intermediate-MW (189 kDa) compounds in the anoxic MBRpharma, while a substantial decrease was observed in both MBR effluents. Excitation emission matrix (EEM) fluorescence contours indicated that the exposure to pharmaceuticals seemed to stimulate the production of aromatic proteins containing tyrosine (10.1-32.6%) and tryptophan (14.7-43.1%), compared to MBRcontrol (9.9-29.1% for tyrosine; 11.8-42.5% for tryptophan). Gas chromatography - mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis revealed aromatics, long-chain alkanes and esters were the predominant SMPs in the MBRs. More peaks were present in the aerobic MBRpharma (196) than anoxic MBRpharma (133). The SMPs identified exhibited both biodegradability and recalcitrance in the MBR treatment processes. Only 8 compounds in the MBRpharma were the same as in the MBRcontrol. Alkanes were the most dominant SMPs (51%) in the MBRcontrol, while aromatics were dominant (40%) in the MBRpharma. A significant decrease in aromatics (from 16 to 7) in the MBRpharma permeate was observed, compared to the aerobic MBRpharma. Approximately 21% of compounds in the aerobic MBRcontrol were rejected by membrane filtration, while this increased to 28% in the MBRpharma.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: First prize winner for the USQ School-Specific 2016 Publication Excellence Awards for Journal Articles - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying. Submitted version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying
Date Deposited: 19 Jul 2016 03:56
Last Modified: 13 May 2019 00:16
Uncontrolled Keywords: soluble microbial products (SMP); pharmaceutical compounds; membrane bioreactor (MBR); anoxic-aerobic; wastewater treatment
Fields of Research : 09 Engineering > 0904 Chemical Engineering > 090409 Wastewater Treatment Processes
09 Engineering > 0904 Chemical Engineering > 090404 Membrane and Separation Technologies
05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management
09 Engineering > 0907 Environmental Engineering > 090703 Environmental Technologies
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960912 Urban and Industrial Water Management
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2016.06.059

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