Journal of environmental management

Treatment of textile wastewater by submerged membrane bioreactor: In vitro bioassays for the assessment of stress response elicited by raw and reclaimed wastewater.

PMID 26108634


The performance of a pilot-scale membrane bioreactor (MBR) system for the treatment of textile wastewater was investigated. The MBR was continuously operated for 7 months. Very high treatment efficiencies were achieved (color, 100%; chemical oxygen demand (COD), 98%; biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5), 96%; suspended solids (SS), 100%). Furthermore, the MBR treatment efficiency was analyzed from a toxicological-risk assessment point of view, via different In vitro bioassays using Caco-2 cells, a widely used cell model in toxicological studies. Results showed that MBR treatment significantly reduced the raw textile wastewater (RTWW) cytotoxicity on Caco-2 cells by 53% for a hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 2 days. Additionally, the RTWW-induced disruption in the barrier function (BF) of the Caco-2 cell monolayer was also significantly reduced after MBR treatment under a HRT of 2 days (no disruption of BF was observed). Moreover, the effect of RTWW and treated wastewater on stress response was investigated using different stress genes: AHSA1, HSPD1, HSPA1A, HSPA5 and HSPA8. The cell exposure to RTWW significantly increased the expression of all used stress genes; interestingly, the treated wastewater (HRT 2 days) did not show any significant modulation of the stress genes.