Model-based assessment of estrogen removal by nitrifying activated sludge
- Publication Type:
- Journal Article
- Chemosphere, 2018, 197 pp. 430 - 437
- Issue Date:
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© 2018 Elsevier Ltd Complete removal of estrogens such as estrone (E1), estradiol (E2), estriol (E3) and ethinylestradiol (EE2) in wastewater treatment is essential since their release and accumulation in natural water bodies are giving rise to environment and health issues. To improve our understanding towards the estrogen bioremediation process, a mathematical model was proposed for describing estrogen removal by nitrifying activated sludge. Four pathways were involved in the developed model: i) biosorption by activated sludge flocs; ii) cometabolic biodegradation linked to ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB) growth; iii) non-growth biodegradation by AOB; and iv) biodegradation by heterotrophic bacteria (HB). The degradation kinetics was implemented into activated sludge model (ASM) framework with consideration of interactions between substrate update and microorganism growth as well as endogenous respiration. The model was calibrated and validated by fitting model predictions against two sets of batch experimental data under different conditions. The model could satisfactorily capture all the dynamics of nitrogen, organic matters (COD), and estrogens. Modeling results suggest that for E1, E2 and EE2, AOB-linked biodegradation is dominant over biodegradation by HB at all investigated COD dosing levels. However, for E3, the increase of COD dosage triggers a shift of dominant pathway from AOB biodegradation to HB biodegradation. Adsorption becomes the main contributor to estrogen removal at high biomass concentrations.
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