Biofilm systems for the removal of micro-pollutants from wastewater: Comparing different technologies to remove micro-pollutants from wastewater

Research output: Book/anthology/dissertation/reportPh.D. thesisResearch

  • Monica Escola
Among the different technologies available to improve the removal of organic micropollutants in wastewater, biofilms (a microbial community founded on a surface) have been envisioned as a promising solution. Different processes involving the degradation of micro-pollutants by biofilms were studied. First, the usage of slow sand-filtration for the removal of micro-pollutants was tested and showed to slowly remove micro-pollutants that are otherwise recalcitrant. It was demonstrated that slow sand-filtration is a simple and robust technology for the removal of micropollutants. Second, moving bed biofilm reactors (MBBRs) and hybrid biofilm activated sludge reactors (HYBAS) operated under aerobic conditions were tested for the removal of pharmaceuticals from hospital wastewater and it was demonstrated that such systems could be applied for this purpose. The degradation kinetics constants of the target compounds were obtained and could be used for further MBBR or HYBAS designs. Third, MBBRs were tested for the removal of pharmaceuticals during the post-denitrification step with methanol and ethanol as carbon sources. The results indicated that post-denitrifiaction achieved high pharmaceuticals removal and, in some
cases, those were higher than the ones achieved in aerobic reactors. The results also indicated that methanol could lead to a more efficient biofilm than ethanol towards pharmaceuticals removal. Finally, some work was made on analytical method development. The separation, isolation and identification of enantiomers of the fungicide imazalil were achieved, allowing further studies on enantioselective toxicity and degradation. Testing the performance of different biofilm reactors for the removal of micro-pollutants provided a first insight on the efficiency of biofilms for micro-pollutants removal in different situations. Further investigations should keep focusing in understanding the parameters controlling micro-pollutants removal. At the same time, analytical
tools should be used to study the formation of degradation products as well as
enantioselective degradation processes.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages98
Publication statusPublished - 2016

See relations at Aarhus University Citationformats

ID: 93572649