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The Science of the total environment

Hospital wastewater treatment by fungal bioreactor: removal efficiency for pharmaceuticals and endocrine disruptor compounds.


PMID 24951894

Abstract

Hospital effluents contribute to the occurrence of emerging contaminants in the environment due to their high load of pharmaceutical active compounds (PhACs) and some endocrine disruptor compounds (EDCs). Nowadays, hospital wastewaters are co-treated with urban wastewater; however, the dilution factor and the inefficiency of wastewater treatment plants in the removal of PhACs and EDCs make inappropriate the co-treatment of both effluents. In this paper, a new alternative to pre-treat hospital wastewater concerning the removal of PhACs and EDCs is presented. The treatment was carried out in a batch fluidized bed bioreactor under sterile and non-sterile conditions with Trametes versicolor pellets. Results on non-sterile experiments pointed out that 46 out of the 51 detected PhACs and EDCs were partially to completely removed. The total initial PhAC amount into the bioreactor was 8185 μg in sterile treatment and 8426 μg in non-sterile treatment, and the overall load elimination was 83.2% and 53.3% in their respective treatments. In addition, the Microtox test showed reduction of wastewater toxicity after the treatment. Hence, the good efficiency of the fungal treatment regarding removal of the wide diversity of PhACs and EDCs detected in hospital effluents is demonstrated.

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