Biological transformation of fexofenadine and sitagliptin by carrier-attached biomass and suspended sludge from a hybrid moving bed biofilm reactor

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  • Nina Henning, Federal Institute of Hydrology
  • ,
  • Per Falås, Lund University
  • ,
  • Sandro Castronovo, Federal Institute of Hydrology
  • ,
  • Kevin S. Jewell, Federal Institute of Hydrology
  • ,
  • Kai Bester
  • Thomas A. Ternes, Federal Institute of Hydrology
  • ,
  • Arne Wick, Federal Institute of Hydrology

Laboratory-scale experiments were conducted to investigate the (bio)transformation of the antidiabetic sitagliptin (STG) and the antihistamine fexofenadine (FXF) during wastewater treatment. As inoculum either attached-growth on carriers or suspended sludge from a hybrid moving bed biofilm reactor (HMBBR) was used. Both target compounds were incubated in degradation experiments and quantified via LC-MS/MS for degradation kinetics. Furthermore transformation products (TPs) were analyzed via high resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS). Structural elucidation of the TPs was based on the high resolution molecular ion mass to propose a molecular formula and on MS2 fragmentation to elucidate the chemical structure of the TPs. In total, 22 TPs (9 TPs for STG and 13 TPs for FXF) were detected in the experiments with STG and FXF. For all TPs, chemical structures could be proposed. STG was mainly transformed via amide hydrolysis and conjugation of the primary amine moiety. In contrast, FXF was predominantly transformed by oxidative reactions such as oxidation (dehydrogenation) and hydroxylation. Furthermore, FXF was removed significantly faster in contact with carriers compared to suspended sludge, whereas STG was degraded slightly faster in contact with suspended sludge. Moreover, the primary TP of FXF was also degraded faster in contact with carriers leading to higher proportions of secondary TPs. Thus, the microbial community of both carriers and suspended sludge catalyzed the same primary transformation reactions but the transformation kinetics of FXF and the formation/degradation of FXF TPs were considerably higher in contact with carrier-attached biomass. The primary degradation of both target compounds in pilot- and full-scale conventional activated sludge (CAS) and MBBR reactors reached 42 and 61% for FXF and STG, respectively. Up to three of the identified TPs of FXF and 8 TPs of STG were detected in the effluents of pilot- and full-scale CAS and MBBR.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115034
JournalWater Research
Volume167
Number of pages16
ISSN0043-1354
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019

    Research areas

  • ACTIVATED-SLUDGE, BIODEGRADATION, BIOTRANSFORMATION, Biotransformation, DRUGS, Fexofenadine, Moving bed biofilm reactor, PHARMACEUTICALS, POLAR ORGANIC MICROPOLLUTANTS, PRODUCTS, REMOVAL, Sitagliptin, TREATMENT PLANTS, Transformation products, WASTE-WATER TREATMENT

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