Attenuation of trace organic compounds (TOrCs) inbioelectrochemical systems
KAUST DepartmentWater Desalination and Reuse Research Center (WDRC)
Biological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE) Division
Environmental Science and Engineering Program
Water Desalination & Reuse Research Cntr
Environmental Biotechnology Research Group
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractMicrobial fuel cells (MFCs) and microbial electrolysis cells (MECs) are two types of microbial bioelectrochemical systems (BESs) that use microorganisms to convert chemical energy in wastewaters into useful energy products such as (bio)electricity (MFC) or hydrogen gas (MEC). These two systems were evaluated for their capacity to attenuate trace organic compounds (TOrCs), commonly found in municipal wastewater, under closed circuit (current generation) and open circuit (no current generation) conditions, using acetate as the carbon source. A biocide was used to evaluate attenuation in terms of biotransformation versus sorption. The difference in attenuation observed before and after addition of the biocide represented biotransformation, while attenuation after addition of a biocide primarily indicated sorption. Attenuation of TOrCs was similar in MFCs and MECs for eight different TOrCs, except for caffeine and trimethoprim where slightly higher attenuation was observed in MECs. Electric current generation did not enhance attenuation of the TOrCs except for caffeine, which showed slightly higher attenuation under closed circuit conditions in both MFCs and MECs. Substantial sorption of the TOrCs occurred to the biofilm-covered electrodes, but no consistent trend could be identified regarding the physico-chemical properties of the TOrCs tested and the extent of sorption. The octanol-water distribution coefficient at pH 7.4 (log DpH 7.4) appeared to be a reasonable predictor for sorption of some of the compounds (carbamazepine, atrazine, tris(2-chloroethyl) phosphate and diphenhydramine) but not for others (N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide). Atenolol also showed high levels of sorption despite being the most hydrophilic in the suite of compounds studied (log DpH 7.4=-1.99). Though BESs do not show any inherent advantages over conventional wastewater treatment, with respect to TOrC removal, overall removals in BESs are similar to that reported for conventional wastewater systems, implying the possibility of using BESs for energy production in wastewater treatment without adversely impacting TOrC attenuations.
SponsorsThis work was supported by a PhD fellowship award (C.W.), discretionary investigator funds (P.S.) from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), and Award KUS-I1-003-13 from KAUST.
- Removal and fate of trace organic compounds in microbial fuel cells.
- Authors: Wang H, Heil D, Ren ZJ, Xu P
- Issue date: 2015 Apr
- Towards practical implementation of bioelectrochemical wastewater treatment.
- Authors: Rozendal RA, Hamelers HV, Rabaey K, Keller J, Buisman CJ
- Issue date: 2008 Aug
- Investigating the role for adaptation of the microbial community to transform trace organic chemicals during managed aquifer recharge.
- Authors: Alidina M, Li D, Drewes JE
- Issue date: 2014 Jun 1
- Sorption of ionized and neutral emerging trace organic compounds onto activated sludge from different wastewater treatment configurations.
- Authors: Hyland KC, Dickenson ER, Drewes JE, Higgins CP
- Issue date: 2012 Apr 15
- Removal of trace organic chemicals in onsite wastewater soil treatment units: a laboratory experiment.
- Authors: Teerlink J, Martínez-Hernández V, Higgins CP, Drewes JE
- Issue date: 2012 Oct 15