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Micropollutants removal in tertiary moving bed biofilm reactors (MBBRs): Contribution of the biofilm and suspended biomass

Abtahi, Seyed Mehran and Petermann, Maike and Juppeau Flambard, Agathe and Beaufort, Sandra and Terrisse, Fanny and Trotouin, Thierry and Joannis-Cassan, Claire and Albasi, Claire Micropollutants removal in tertiary moving bed biofilm reactors (MBBRs): Contribution of the biofilm and suspended biomass. (2018) Science of the Total Environment, 643. 1464-1480. ISSN 0048-9697

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Official URL: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.06.303


The performance of tertiary moving bed biofilm reactors (MBBRs) was evaluated in terms of micropollutants (MPs) removal from secondary-treated municipal wastewater. After stepwise establishment of a mature biofilm, monitored by scanning electron and confocal microscopies, abiotic and biotic removals of MPs were deeply studied. Since no MPs reduction was observed by the both photodegradation and volatilization, abiotic removal of MPs was ascribed to the sorption onto the biomass. Target MPs i.e. Naproxen, Diclofenac, 17ß-Estradiol and 4n-Nonylphenol, arranged in the ascending order of hydrophobicity, abiotically declined up to 2.8%, 4%, 9.5% and 15%, respectively. MPs sorption onto the suspended biomass was found around two times more than the biofilm, in line with MPs’ higher sorption kinetic constants (ksor) found for the suspended biomass. When comparing abiotic and biotic aspects, we found that biotic removal outperformed its counterpart for all compounds as Diclofenac, Naproxen, 17ß-Estradiol and 4n-Nonylphenol were biodegraded by 72.8, 80.6, 84.7 and 84.4%, respectively. The effect of the changes in organic loading rates (OLRs) was investigated on the pseudo-first order degradation constants (kbiol), revealing the dominant biodegradation mechanism of co-metabolism for the removal of Diclofenac, Naproxen, and 4n-Nonylphenol., while 17ß-Estradiol obeyed the biodegradation mechanism of competitive inhibition. Biotic removals and kbiol values of all MPs were also seen higher in the biofilm as compared to the suspended biomass. To draw a conclusion, a quite high removal of recalcitrant MPs is achievable in tertiary MBBRs, making them a promising technology that supports both pathways of co-metabolism and competitive inhibition, next to the abiotic attenuation of MPs.

Item Type:Article
HAL Id:hal-01844295
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:French research institutions > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - Toulouse INP (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - UT3 (FRANCE)
Other partners > Veolia Environnement (FRANCE)
Other partners > BIOVITIS (FRANCE)
Laboratory name:
EUDIME program (doctoral contract No. 2014-122), funded by the European Commission - Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) grant.
Deposited On:19 Jul 2018 09:24

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