Groundwater

Oral

397997 - Effects of biodegradation and adsorption on the removal of SMX from subsurface wastewater discharges

Thursday, June 7
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Lakeshore B

Large amounts of antibiotics are consumed and subsequently discharged into wastewater flow streams every year. The slow rates of metabolism for these products and their poor removal efficiencies in conventional wastewater treatment systems result in high risks of environmental pollution through wastewater effluent discharges. Sulfamethoxazole (SMX), a common antibiotic, is difficult to treat and has been found to be persistent in groundwater, surface water and drinking water. Because previous studies have shown that biochar has high adsorption capacity for SMX, we completed a set of batch experiments to assess the use of a variety of biochars (produced at different mixes and feedstock temperatures) for SMX removal. A set of column experiments was also completed to represent a conditions in a soil layer. Three 50-cm-long r columns were amended with 0%, 1%, and 2% biochar, respectively. SMX was added to septic effluent and injected at a steady rate for a 1-month time period. The SMX was detected in the effluent for all columns, although the removal rates (exceeding more than 90% removal) were observed in all columns. Significant reductions of in ammonium and sulfate were also observed. Additional batch experiments were completed which showed that biodegradation was a key removal mechanism for SMX. A geochemical reactive transport model (PHREEQC) was also used to simulate the various transport processes. The results de7monstrate the potential role of dissolved organic carbon and biodegradation processes in the removal of SMX in the subsurface, and illustrate the need for further investigation of transformations affecting emerging contaminants.

Paul Mathisen, Ph.D., P.E.

Associate Professor
Dept of Civil and Envir Engr

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Wenwen Yao, PhD

Graduate Student
Worcester Polytechnic Institute

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397997 - Effects of biodegradation and adsorption on the removal of SMX from subsurface wastewater discharges



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