Sulfamethoxazole degradation in anaerobic sulfate-reducing bacteria sludge system

Yanyan Jia, Samir Kumar Khanal, Huiqun Zhang, Guang-Hao Chen, Hui Lu
Water Research 2017 August 1, 119: 12-20
Sulfamethoxazole (SMX) is one of the most commonly used antibiotics. SMX degradation in sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) sludge systems has not been reported so far. This research investigated the SMX degradation using SRB sludge in a sulfate-reducing up-flow sludge bed reactor. Moreover, the mechanisms and kinetics of SMX removal were also investigated using SRB sludge via a series of batch experiments. The results showed that SMX removal was characterized by a rapid sorption onto SRB sludge, and desorption from SRB sludge to aqueous phase until achieving equilibrium, and then followed by slow biodegradation. Biodegradation was the dominant route for SMX removal. The sorption process conformed well to a pseudo-second-order kinetic model, meaning that the sorption occurred primarily via a chemical sorption process. The removal of SMX followed the pseudo-zero-order kinetic model with a specific removal rate of 13.2 ± 0.1 μg/L/d at initial SMX concentration 100 μg/L in batch tests. Based on the analysis of metabolites, most of the SMX biotransformation products' structures altered in the isoxazole ring, which were significantly different from that produced by aerobic and anaerobic sludge systems. Thus, SRB sludge system could play an important role in SMX biodegradation, especially in Sulfate-reduction Autotrophic denitrification and Nitrification Integrated (SANI) process for sewage treatment.

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