The Performance of Net-Like Rotating Biological Contactor Bioreactor in Removal of Sulfamethoxazole Antibiotic

Document Type : Research Paper


1 PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering, Fan Avaran Ab Saze Iranian Consulting Engineering Company, Babol, Iran

2 Assist. Prof., Dept. of Civil Engineering, Qaemshahr Branch, Islamic Azad University, Qaemshahr, Iran

3 MSc of Environmental Engineering, Water and Wastewater Company, Sari, Iran


Pharmaceutical wastewater treatment is a complicated process due to presence of various kinds of toxic chemicals and antibiotics that are harmful to any type of organisms. In this paper, elimination of sulfamethoxazole antibiotic from artificial sewage was investigated.  A pilot scale Rotating Biological Contactor (RBC) with three compartments, 48 discs, and total volume of 78.75 L was employed. The antibiotic removal was measured at various COD concentration, hydraulic retention times (HRT) and concentrations of sulfamethoxazole. The results indicated that by increasing in OLR and HRT, SMX removal efficiency was increased and in the first 12 hours of the treatment process, SMX removal efficiency is about 50%, and the maximum removal occurred within the first 72 hours, which was more than 95%. Also, the obtained results demonstrated that increasing COD concentration had a positive impact on SMX removal efficiency, which was most probably due to the utilization of SMX as a nitrogen source. SMX removal efficiency in OLRs 0, 2, 4, 8, 16 and 32 g COD / L.d was 17, 44, 75, 72, 78 and 82 percent, respectively. It was also revealed that most SMX and organic matter removal occurred in the first compartment of the NRBC, that's about 57 percent. This study indicated that employing the attached growth system is a good alternative for conventional activated sludge system in pharmaceutical wastewater treatment.


Main Subjects

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