The effects of mediator and granular activated carbon addition on degradation of trace organic contaminants by an enzymatic membrane reactor

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Journal Article
Bioresource Technology, 2014, 167 pp. 169 - 177
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The removal of four recalcitrant trace organic contaminants (TrOCs), namely carbamazepine, diclofenac, sulfamethoxazole and atrazine by laccase in an enzymatic membrane reactor (EMR) was studied. Laccases are not effective for degrading non-phenolic compounds; nevertheless, 22-55% removal of these four TrOCs was achieved by the laccase EMR. Addition of the redox-mediator syringaldehyde (SA) to the EMR resulted in a notable dose-dependent improvement (15-45%) of TrOC removal affected by inherent TrOC properties and loading rates. However, SA addition resulted in a concomitant increase in the toxicity of the treated effluent. A further 14-25% improvement in aqueous phase removal of the TrOCs was consistently observed following a one-off dosing of 3. g/L granular activated carbon (GAC). Mass balance analysis reveals that this improvement was not due solely to adsorption but also enhanced biodegradation. GAC addition also reduced membrane fouling and the SA-induced toxicity of the effluent. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.
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