Removal of antibiotics in sponge membrane bioreactors treating hospital wastewater: Comparison between hollow fiber and flat sheet membrane systems

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Journal Article
Bioresource Technology, 2017, 240 pp. 42 - 49
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© 2017 Elsevier Ltd.Hollow fiber (HF) and flat sheet (FS) Sponge MBRs were operated at 10-20 LMH flux treating hospital wastewater. Simultaneous nitrification denitrification (SND) occurred considerably with TN removal rate of 0.011-0.020mg TN mgVSS-1 d-1. Furthermore, there was a remarkable removal of antibiotics in both Sponge MBRs, namely Norfloxacin (93-99% (FS); 62-86% (HF)), Ofloxacin (73-93% (FS); 68-93% (HF)), Ciprofloxacin (76-93% (FS); 54-70% (HF)), Tetracycline (approximately 100% for both FS and HF) and Trimethoprim (60-97% (FS); 47-93% (HF). Whereas there was a quite high removal efficiency of Erythromycin in Sponge MBRs, with 67-78% (FS) and 22-48% (HF). Moreover, a slightly higher removal of antibiotics in FS than in HF achieved, with the removal rate being of 0.67-32.40 and 0.44-30.42μgmgVSS-1 d-1, respectively. In addition, a significant reduction of membrane fouling of 2-50 times was achieved in HF-Sponge MBR for the flux range.
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