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Title: Effect of physical, chemical and biological treatment on the removal of five pharmaceuticals from domestic wastewater in laboratory-scale reactors and full-scale plant
Authors: Alajmi, Hasan Mubarak
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: Pharmaceuticals and their metabolites are known to enter the environment from the effluent of wastewater treatment plants. From statistical analysis on the usage of pharmaceuticals, and their effects on the environment, five pharmaceuticals were selected for this study (Metronidazole, Trimethoprim, Sulphamethoxazole, Paracetamol and Ranitidine). Trace concentrations of pharmaceuticals were determined using a sensitive analytical method, comprising solid phase extraction (SPE) and liquid chromatography with a mass spectrometry detector (LC- MS),operating in selected ion monitoring (SIM) mode. It was found that Metronidazole, Trimethoprim, Sulphamethoxazole, Paracetamol and Ranitidine were detected at the highest levels in the wastewater entering the Sulaibiya WWTP Kuwait, with concentrations of up to 58 ng.L , 1814 ng.L , 1669 ng.L , 2086 ng.L and 2009 -1 ng.L , respectively. High removal efficiencies of these pharmaceuticals were found in the Sulaibiya WWTP. One year study was conducted to investigate the occurrence, persistence and fate of a range of these pharmaceuticals at different sampling points at the Sulaibiya WWTP. The treatment processes consisted of screening, grit removal and diffused air activated sludge treatment (primary and secondary treatment), followed by microfiltration (MF), reverse osmosis (RO), and chlorine oxidation (tertiary treatment). During primary and secondary treatment, Metronidazole, Trimethoprim, Sulphamethoxazole, Paracetamol and Ranitidine were removed efficiently with average removals efficiencies of 83.4%, 86.1%, 77.5%, 97.5% and 77.5%, respectively. The RO system lowered these pharmaceuticals further, giving overall removal efficiencies of 97%, 99%, 99%, 100% and 100% for Metronidazole, Trimethoprim, Sulphamethoxazole, Paracetamol and Ranitidine, respectively. All selected pharmaceuticals were tested in laboratory scale reactors to assess their -1 removal by chlorination and ozonation, and results showed that 10 mg.L of chlorine -1 removed these pharmaceuticals better than 15 mg.L of ozone. Lab-scale aerobic reactors (2 L), seeded with activated sludge inoculum from the Sulaibiya WWTP and fed with different concentrations of pharmaceuticals (0.1, 1 and -1 10 mg.L ), spiked individually into a synthetic wastewater showed that the TOC could be removed efficiently without inhibition by these pharmaceuticals. The fate of Metronidazole, Trimethoprim, Sulphamethoxazole, Paracetamol and Ranitidine was investigated in a membrane bioreactors (MBR), and a sequencing batch reactors (SBR), operating under strictly aerobic, and anoxic/aerobic conditions at different concentrations of a pharmaceutical mixture (PM) of the same -1 -1 -1 pharmaceuticals (1 µg.L , 1 mg.L and 10 mg.L ). The COD and TOC removal -1 efficiency decreased when the PM concentration was increased to 10 mg.L . The removal of Metronidazole and Trimethoprim was moderately effective, and similar in all the reactors. Sulphamethoxazole and Paracetamol were removed efficiently, but -1 this decreased when the PM was increased to 10 mg.L for most of the reactors, whilst Ranitidine experienced high removal rates at all concentrations in all the reactors. Analysis of the microbial diversity in laboratory reactors treating pharmaceuticals wastewater showed decreases in microbial community diversity when the PM concentration was increased. Pure cultures of bacteria isolated on selected pharmaceutical growth media were also detected in the microbial communities of reactor sludge by performing polymerase chain reaction–denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE).
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences

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