Insights into the toxicity of troclocarban to anaerobic digestion: Sludge characteristics and methane production

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Journal Article
Journal of Hazardous Materials, 2020, 385
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© 2019 Elsevier B.V. Triclocarban (TCC), as the most typical antibacterial agent, is widely discovered in many ecological environment, especially in sludge. However, so far, no studies have reported the effect of TCC exposure on the properties of excess sludge. Therefore, in this study, TCC's toxicities to waste activated sludge (WAS) were analyzed by investigating the variation of physicochemical properties of sludge. It was found that TCC exposure has no effect on sludge pH, while it facilitated organic substances release from sludge, e.g. dissolved organic matter (DOM), protein and polysaccharide, which caused an increase of sludge reduction and changed the structure of functional groups and surface morphology of sludge. Moreover, we explored the effect of TCC on anaerobic digestion of WAS and found methane production was seriously inhibited by TCC. The related mechanism tests had illustrated that TCC exposure did not affect the hydrolysis process, but promoted the acidification and acetogenesis, and importantly inhibited the methanogenesis process. Methanogenic community was further evaluated and observed that the presence of TCC could vary the microbial community of methanogens with the abundance of aceticlastic methanogens increasing and hydrogenotrophic methanogens decreasing. These findings reached in this study would widen the understanding scope for TCC's toxicity to WAS.
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