Biodegradation of persistent polar pollutants in wastewater: comparison of an optimised lab-scale membrane bioreactor and activated sludge treatment.

Europa University of Applied Sciences Fresenius, Limburger Strasse 2, D-65510 Idstein, Germany.
Water Research (Impact Factor: 5.32). 11/2006; 40(18):3419-28. DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2006.07.011
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The biodegradation of selected non-adsorbing persistent polar pollutants (P(3)) during wastewater (WW) treatment was studied by comparing a lab-scale membrane bioreactor (MBR) running in parallel to activated sludge treatment (AST). The investigated P(3) are relevant representatives or metabolites from the compound classes: pesticides, pharmaceuticals, insect repellents, flame retardants and anionic surfactants. Analyses of all these P(3) at low ng L(-1) levels with sufficient standard deviations was performed in WW influents and effluents. Non-degradable micropollutants, such as EDTA and carbamazepine were not eliminated at all during WW treatment by any technique. However, the MBR showed significant better removals compared to AST for the investigated poorly biodegradable P(3), such as diclofenac, mecoprop and sulfophenylcarboxylates. An application of such an in terms of sludge retention time optimised MBR may lead to a reduction of these P(3) in the watercycle.

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