Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering

ISSN 2095-2201

ISSN 2095-221X(Online)

CN 10-1013/X

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RESEARCH ARTICLE
Factors controlling N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) formation from dissolved organic matter
Chengkun WANG, Xiaojian ZHANG, Chao CHEN, Jun WANG
Front Envir Sci Eng. 2013, 7 (2): 151-157.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-013-0482-7

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The formation of cancinogenic nitrosamines, esp. N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in water and wastewater treatment plants has drawn much attention in recent years. Dissolved organic matter from the transported Luan River water as water source of Tianjin was fractionated with different XAD resins and a series of ultra-filtration membranes with molecular weight (MW) cut-offs of 5k Da, 3k Da, and 1k Da, respectively. The NDMA yields from the raw water and each fraction were measured to investigate their role in NDMA yield. Results indicated that the hydrophilic fraction had a higher NDMA yield than those of hydrophobic fraction and transphilic fraction. The fraction with MW below 1k Da had a higher NDMA yield than that with larger MW. NDMA formation increased as the dissolved organic carbon (DOC) to dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) ratio decreased, which indicated that DON might serve as the real important precursor for NDMA. The correlation between NDMA yield and specific ultraviolet absorbance at 254 nm (SUVA254) suggested that the latter might not represent the specific precursors for NDMA in the water. Besides the water quality, the influences of pH, disinfectant dosage, and disinfection contact time on the formation of NDMA were also examined. These results will help water treatment plants establish measures to control this harmful disinfection by-product.

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Removal of phenol by powdered activated carbon adsorption
Yan MA, Naiyun GAO, Wenhai CHU, Cong LI
Front Envir Sci Eng. 2013, 7 (2): 158-165.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-012-0479-7

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In this study, the adsorption performance of powdered activated carbon (PAC) on phenol was investigated in aqueous solutions. Batch adsorption studies were performed to evaluate the effects of various experimental parameters like PAC type, PAC dose, initial solution pH, temperature and pre-oxidation on the adsorption of phenol by PAC and establish the adsorption kinetics, thermodynamics and isothermal models. The results indicated that PAC adsorption is an effective method to remove phenol from water, and the effects of all the five factors on adsorption of phenol were significant. The adsorption rate of phenol by PAC was rapid, and more than 80% phenol could be absorbed by PAC within the initial 10 min. The adsorption process can be well described by pseudo-second-order adsorption kinetic model with rate constant amounted to 0.0313, 0.0305 and 0.0241 mg·μg -1·min -1 with coal, coconut shell and bamboo charcoal. The equilibrium data of phenol absorbed onto PAC were analyzed by Langmuir, Freundlich and Tempkin adsorption isotherms and Freundlich adsorption isotherm model gave the best correlation with the experimental data. Thermodynamic parameters such as the standard Gibbs free energy (?Go), enthalpy (?Ho) and entropy (?So) obtained in this study indicated that the adsorption of phenol by PAC is spontaneous, exothermic and entropy decreasing.

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Occurrence and removal of selected polycyclic musks in two sewage treatment plants in Xi’an, China
Yongxiang REN, Kai WEI, Hua LIU, Guoqiang SUI, Junping WANG, Yanjun SUN, Xiaohui ZHENG
Front Envir Sci Eng. 2013, 7 (2): 166-172.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-012-0471-2

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Polycyclic musks are widely used for cosmetics and other personal care and household cleaning products. The occurrence and removal of two representative polycyclic musks, galaxolide (HHCB) and tonalide (AHTN) were investigated in three different processes of two sewage treatment plants (STPs) in Xi’an, China. The samples were preconcentrated by solid phase extraction procedure and analyzed using a gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC/MS) by a modified procedure. The HHCB was in the range of 82.8 to 182.5 ng·L-1 in the influents and 22.6 to 103.9 ng·L-1 in the effluents. The AHTN ranged from 11.0 to 19.3 ng·L-1 in the influents and 2.2 to 8.8 ng·L-1 in the effluents. The removal efficiency of the two musks varied in the ranges of 43.1%–70.4% for HHCB and 54.2%–84.4% for AHTN. Concentrations of the two musks in aqueous phase of three processes slightly increased along the primary process, and significantly removed during the biologic treatment processes, revealing that the selected musks could be remarkably removed in varied activated sludge processes. Advanced processes of activated sludge did not show a significant superiority on selected musk removal compared to the conventional process. The selected musk removal mainly resulted from the adsorption function of activated sludge. There was no significant change of HHCB/AHTN ratios along the treatment flow, indicating that each sewage treatment structure had a similar removal efficiency for the two musks.

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Organic and inorganic phosphorus uptake by bacteria in a plug-flow microcosm
Jinbo ZHAO, Xuehua LIU
Front Envir Sci Eng. 2013, 7 (2): 173-184.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-013-0494-3

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Phosphorus (P) is a vital nutrient for sustaining natural water productivity. Both particulate and dissolved forms of organic and inorganic P are potentially important sources of bioavailable P for primary and secondary producers. A microcosm system to imitate the bacterial community in Plym river sediment and pore water is described and bacterial uptake rates for inorganic and organic phosphorus are presented in this paper. The aim of this study was to investigate the uptake of two organic phosphorus compounds (phytic acid and D-glucose-6-phosphate) by freshwater bacteria. The bioreactors comprise glass columns packed with two types of small glass beads on which bacterial biofilm can develop. The glass beads with different porosity were introduced to simulate River SPM. The selected P compounds spiked into the inflow of the microcosm, and measured the step change of P concentration in the outflow to investigate the behavior of bacterial uptake of nutrients. The results showed that organic phosphorus was converted into inorganic phosphorus but the conversion rate depended on the type of phosphorus species. One experiment suggested that phytic acid (refractory) could displace phosphate from the biofilm surface; the other experiment showed that D-glucose-6-phosphate (labile) could be hydrolysed and utilized easily by the bacteria. The results also suggested that bacteria might break down the C-P bonds to utilize the carbon. Further experiments should investigate the effect of varying the C:N:P ratio in the microcosm system to determine which nutrient limits bacteria uptake.

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Biosorption and biotransformation of crystal violet by Aeromonas hydrophila DN322p
Tao PAN, Suizhou REN, Jun GUO, Meiying XU, Guoping SUN
Front Envir Sci Eng. 2013, 7 (2): 185-190.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-012-0435-6

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DN322p, an offspring of Aeromonas hydrophila DN322, has the capacity to adsorb and decolorize triphenylmethane dyes in wastewater simultaneously. As a common triphenylmethane dye, crystal violet (CV) was chosen to test the decolorization characteristics of DN322p. Within 0.5 h, the strain DN322p adsorbed a large amount of CV, producing a deep-colored cell pellet and colorless supernatant. The colors of the cell pellet and supernatant lightened over time. The supernatant and dichloromethane extract of the cell pellet both showed conspicuous CV and leuco CV (LCV) characteristic absorbance peaks at 590 nm and 260 nm, respectively, in the UV-vis spectral analysis. This finding indicated that the DN322p cells can adsorb the two dyes. A 99% (w/w) decolorization rate was achieved within 2.5 h with shaking at 30°C for 50 mg CV·L-1. High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) analysis of the dichloromethane extract of the supernatant and cell pellet confirmed that CV was mainly converted into its leuco form. Dead cells had a similar adsorption capacity with living cells. About 90% of CV in the dye solution (50 mg·L-1) was removed by autoclaved cells with an optical delnsity at 600 nm (OD600) above 1.0.

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Synergistic degradation of pyrene and volatilization of arsenic by cocultures of bacteria and a fungus
Shuang LIU, Yanwei HOU, Guoxin SUN
Front Envir Sci Eng. 2013, 7 (2): 191-199.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-012-0470-3

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The combination of two bacteria (Bacillus sp. PY1 and Sphingomonas sp. PY2) and a fungus (Fusarium sp. PY3), isolated from contaminated soils near a coking plant, were investigated with respect to their capability to degrade pyrene and volatilize arsenic. The results showed that all strains could use pyrene and arsenic as carbon and energy sources in a basal salts medium (BSM), with the combined potential to degrade pyrene and volatilize arsenic. Bacillus sp. PY1, Sphingomonas sp. PY2 and Fusarium sp. PY3 were isolated from the consortium and were shown to degrade pyrene and volatilize arsenic independently and in combination. Fungal-bacterial coculture has shown that the most effective removal of pyrene was 96.0% and volatilized arsenic was 84.1% after incubation in liquid medium after 9 days culture, while bioremediation ability was 87.2% in contaminated soil with 100 mg·kg-1 pyrene. The highest level of arsenic volatilization amounted to 13.9% of the initial As concentration in contaminated soil after 63 days. Therefore, a synergistic degradation system is the most effective approach to degrade pyrene and remove arsenic in contaminated soil. These findings highlight the role of these strains in the bioremediation of environments contaminated with pyrene and arsenic.

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Enhanced production of laccase by Coriolus hirsutus using molasses distillery wastewater
Wei SUN, Meiying XU, Chunyu XIA, Anhua LI, Guoping SUN
Front Envir Sci Eng. 2013, 7 (2): 200-210.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-012-0457-0

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The effect of physical parameters of cultivation (load volume, temperature, pH, agitation, inoculum size, and incubation period) in the production of laccase by wood-rotting basidiomycete Coriolus hirsutus were studied using diluted molasses distillery wastewater (MDW) as a major composition. Using fractional factorial design, our study first identified load volume, agitation, and inoculum size as statistically significant factors. Optimal preferences and mutual interactions of the factors were then determined by the response surface method, which is based on the center composite design. A quadratic model was used to fit the experimental data. The optimized operational parameters for laccase production were determined to be the following: culture temperature of 25°C, pH 4, load volume of 40 mL diluted MDW in 150 mL flask, agitation rate of 183 r·min-1, inoculation of 11.5% v/v, and cultivation time of 6 d. The experimental validation under these conditions (the maximum laccase production of 2198.2 U·mL-1 was within the confidence interval) subsequently verified the accuracy of the constructed model. Moreover, the removal of chemical oxygen demand and nitrogen of MDW reached 62.85% and 48.00% respectively, and the decolorization ratio under the optimal condition was 41.85%. The enhanced production of laccase by C. hirsutus is a new recovery strategy for MDW.

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Modeling effects of a tidal barrage on water quality indicator distribution in the Severn Estuary
Guanghai GAO, Roger A. FALCONER, Binliang LIN
Front Envir Sci Eng. 2013, 7 (2): 211-218.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-012-0464-1

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In this study, emphasis has focused on assessing the potential hydro-environmental impacts of a barrage across the Severn Estuary, with a numerical model being developed and applied to the estuary to assess the impacts of proposed Severn Barrage on the hydrodynamic, sediment transport and faecal indicator organism distribution within the estuary. The results show that the Severn Barrage has the potential to reduce the tidal currents in a highly dynamic estuary. This leads to the reduction of suspended sediment concentrations, which in turn affects the bacterial transport processes which is highly related to the sediment transport processes.

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High cadmium pollution risk on vegetable amaranth and a selection for pollution-safe cultivars to lower the risk
Yihui ZHOU, Meng XUE, Zhongyi YANG, Yulian GONG, Jiangang YUAN, Chunyan ZHOU, Baifei HUANG
Front Envir Sci Eng. 2013, 7 (2): 219-230.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-012-0469-9

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A pot experiment was carried out by growing 29 different genotypes (Amaranthus spp.) of vegetable amaranth under low- (0.12 mg·kg-1) and middle- (0.40 mg·kg-1) cadmium (Cd) exposure. The result showed that amaranth was vulnerable to cadmium (Cd) contamination in soil. Variations of Cd concentrations in both roots and edible parts among genotypes were significant (P<0.001) in both treatments. Cd concentrations in edible parts of the tested genotypes grown under low- and middle-Cd levels were significantly correlated (p<0.01), implying that Cd-accumulating property of amaranth is genotype-dependent. Differences in Cd chemical forms between cv. Nanxingdayemashixian (cv. Nan), a selected typical pollution-safe cultivar (Cd-PSC), and cv. Pennongjianyexian (cv. Pen), a selected typical non-Cd-PSC, under different Cd exposure conditions were compared. It was found that the alternation of Cd in FNaCl (Cd form extracted by 1 mol·L-1 NaCl) may be a key factor in regulating Cd accumulation of different amaranth genotypes and that the protein-binding Cd is considered to be associated with Cd translocation. The results indicated that amaranth is capable of enduring high level of Cd pollution when grown as vegetable crop, and accordingly, consuming vegetable amaranth would bring high health risk. Therefore, adopting Cd-PSC strategy would help reducing the risk of Cd pollution in amaranth. In this study, cv. Nan was identified as a Cd-PSC and recommended to be applied production practice.

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Modeling the impact of uncertainty in emissions trading markets with bankable permits
Yongliang ZHANG, Bing ZHANG, Jun BI, Pan HE
Front Envir Sci Eng. 2013, 7 (2): 231-241.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-012-0431-x

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The various forms of uncertainty that firms may face in bankable emission permit trading markets will affect firms’ decision making as well as their market performance. This research explores the effect of increased uncertainty over future input costs and output prices on the temporal distribution of emission. In a dynamic programming setting, the permit price is a convex function of stochastic prices of coal and electricity. Increased uncertainty about future market conditions increases the expected permit price and causes a risk neutral firm to reduce ex ante emissions in order to smooth out marginal abatement costs over time. Finally, safety valves, both low-side and high-side, are suggested to reduce the impact of uncertainty in bankable emission trading markets.

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Estimation of regional physical imports and exports of EW-MFA in China using monetary input-output tables
Nan LI, Tianzhu ZHANG
Front Envir Sci Eng. 2013, 7 (2): 242-254.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-012-0443-6

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Given the statistical gaps in material flow among provinces in China, a method was introduced to estimate regional physical imports and exports (RPIE), which includes international and interregional imports/exports. This method uses provincial monetary input-output tables (MIOT) and international trade statistics. A coefficient matrix representing correlations between monetary value and physical mass for years 2000–2009 was obtained based on a detailed commodity classification and 22 material production sectors in MIOT. With the coefficient matrix as reference, RPIE was measured. Pilot calculation of both regional physical trade balance and domestic material consumption, as well as a brief analysis of these methods, were conducted using 2002 data.

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Simulation of soil carbon changes due to land use change in urban areas in China
Cui HAO, Jo SMITH, Jiahua ZHANG, Weiqing MENG, Hongyuan LI
Front Envir Sci Eng. 2013, 7 (2): 255-266.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-013-0485-4

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Land use change can have a strong impact on soil carbon dynamics and carbon stocks in urban areas. Due to rapid urbanization, large areas of land have been paved, and other areas have undergone rapid land use change. Evaluation of the impact of urbanization on carbon dynamics and carbon stock (30 cm) has become an issue of urgent concern. The soil carbon dynamics, due to rapid land use change in Tianjin Binhai New Area of China, have been simulated in this paper using the RothC model. Because this area is saline, a modified version of RothC that includes a salt rate modifier provided more accurate simulations than the original model. The conversion to urban green land was not accurately simulated by either of the models because of the undefined changes in soil and plant conditions. According to the model, changes of arable to grassland resulted in a decline in soil carbon stocks, and changes of grassland to forest and grassland to arable resulted in increased soil carbon stocks in this area. Across the whole area simulated, the total carbon stocks in 2010 had decreased due to land use change by 6.5% from the 1979 value. By 2050, a further decrease of 21.9% is expected according to the 2050 plan for land use and the continuing losses from the soils due to previous land use changes.

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Denitrification and phosphorus uptake by DPAOs using nitrite as an electron acceptor by step-feed strategies
Bin MA, Shuying WANG, Guibing ZHU, Shijian GE, Junmin WANG, Nanqi Ren, Yongzhen PENG
Front Envir Sci Eng. 2013, 7 (2): 267-272.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-012-0439-2

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Denitrifying phosphorus accumulating organisms (DPAOs) using nitrite as an electron acceptor can reduce more energy. However, nitrite has been reported to have an inhibition on denitrifying phosphorus removal. In this study, the step-feed strategy was proposed to achieve low nitrite concentration, which can avoid or relieve nitrite inhibition. The results showed that denitrification rate, phosphorus uptake rate and the ratio of the phosphorus uptaken to nitrite denitrified (anoxic P/N ratio) increased when the nitrite concentration was 15 mg·L-1 after step-feeding nitrite. The maximum denitrification rate and phosphorus uptake rate was 12.73 mg NO2-N·g MLSS-1?h-1 and 18.75 mg PO43-–P·g MLSS-1?h-1, respectively. These rates were higher than that using nitrate (15 mg·L-1) as an electron acceptor. The maximum anoxic P/N ratio was 1.55 mg PO43--P?mg NO2--N-1. When the nitrite concentration increased from 15 to 20 mg NO2--N?L-1 after addition of nitrite, the anoxic phosphorus uptake was inhibited by 64.85%, and the denitrification by DPAOs was inhibited by 61.25%. Denitrification rate by DPAOs decreased gradually when nitrite (about 20 mg·L-1) was added in the step-feed SBR. These results indicated that the step-feed strategy can be used to achieve denitrifying phosphorus removal using nitrite as an electron acceptor, and nitrite concentration should be maintained at low level (<15 mg·L-1 in this study).

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Influence of the sewage irrigation on the agricultural soil properties in Tongliao City, China
Hong YAO, Shichao ZHANG, Xiaobo XUE, Jie YANG, Kelin HU, Xiaohua YU
Front Envir Sci Eng. 2013, 7 (2): 273-280.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-013-0497-0

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Increasing shortages of fresh water has led to greater use of treated wastewater for irrigation of crops. This study evaluates the spatial variability of soil properties after irrigation with wastewater and freshwater. Geostatistical techniques were used to identify the variability of soil properties at the different sites. A set of physical and chemical soil properties were measured including total nitrogen (TN), total phosphorus (TP), organic matter (OM) and soil moisture. The TN concentration levels varied from 567 to 700 mg·kg-1, while OC levels ranged from 7.3 to 16.3 mg·kg-1 in wastewater-irrigated zones. The concentration levels of TP were between 371.53 and 402.88 mg·kg-1 for the wastewater-irrigated sites. Wastewater irrigation resulted in higher TN, TP and OM concentrations by 18.4%, 8% and 25%, respectively. The highest TN and OM occurred along the wastewater trunk. It was also observed that nitrogen concentrations correlate with the soil's organic matter. The increase of salinity may be associated with the increase of pH, which might suggest that a reduction of pH will be beneficial for plant growth due to the decrease of salinity. The average concentrations of nitrogen in topsoil were higher than those in subsurface soils in irrigated areas. Such differences of the N profile might be due to variations in organic matter content and microbial populations. Consistent with TN and OM, soil C:N decreased significantly with an increase of depth. This phenomenon possibly reflects a greater degree of breakdown and the older age of humus stored in the deeper soil layers. The analysis of pH levels at different depths for the three sites showed that pH values for wastewater irrigation were slightly lower than the controlled sites at the same depths.

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Bioleaching of copper from pre and post thermally activated low grade chalcopyrite contained ball mill spillage
Sandeep PANDA, Nilotpala PRADHAN, Umaballav MOHAPATRA, Sandeep K. PANDA, Swagat S. RATH, Danda S. RAO, Bansi D. NAYAK, Lala B. SUKLA, Barada K. MISHRA
Front Envir Sci Eng. 2013, 7 (2): 281-293.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-013-0484-5

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Bioleaching of a low grade chalcopyrite (ball mill spillage material) was tested for copper recovery in shake flasks. The original samples (as received) were thermally activated (600°C, 30 min) to notice the change in physico-chemical and mineralogical characteristics of the host rock and subsequently its effect on copper recovery. A mixed culture of acidophilic chemolithotrophic bacterial consortium predominantly entailing Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans strain was used for bioleaching studies and optimization of process parameters of both original and thermally activated samples. Mineralogical characterization studies indicated the presence of chalcopyrite, pyrite in the silicate matrix of the granitic rock. Field emission scanning electron microscopy coupled with Energy dispersive spectroscopy (FESEM-EDS) and X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) analysis indicated mostly SiO2. With pH 2, pulp density 10% w/v, inoculum 10% v/v, temperature 30°C, 150 r·min-1, 49% copper could be recovered in 30 days from the finest particle size (-1+ 0.75 mm) of the original spillage sample. Under similar conditions 95% copper could be recovered from the thermally activated sample with the same size fraction in 10 days. The study revealed that thermal activation leads to volume expansion in the rock with the development of cracks, micro and macro pores on its surface, thereby enabling bacterial solution to penetrate more easily into the body, facilitating enhanced copper dissolution.

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Bisphenol A removal from synthetic municipal wastewater by a bioreactor coupled with either a forward osmotic membrane or a microfiltration membrane unit
Hongtao ZHU, Wenna LI
Front Envir Sci Eng. 2013, 7 (2): 294-300.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-013-0486-3

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Forward osmotic membrane bioreactor is an emerging technology that combines the advantages of forward osmosis and conventional membrane bioreactor. In this paper, bisphenol A removal by using a forward osmotic membrane bioreactor and a conventional membrane bioreactor that shared one biologic reactor was studied. The total removal rate of bisphenol A by the conventional membrane bioreactor and forward osmotic membrane bioreactor was as high as 93.9% and 98%, respectively. Biodegradation plays a dominant role in the total removal of bisphenol A in both processes. In comparison of membrane rejection, the forward osmosis membrane can remove approximately 70% bisphenol A from the feed, much higher than that of the microfiltration membrane (below 10%). Forward osmosis membrane bioreactor should be operated with its BPA loading rate under 0.08 mg·g-1·d-1 to guarantee the effluent bisphenol A concentration less than10 μg·L-1.

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16 articles