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Effect of Activated Sludge Selector Designs on Estrogen Degradation Kinetics

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Lab–scale sequencing batch reactors (SBRs) were operated to simulate aerobic only, anoxic/aerobic and anaerobic/aerobic activated sludge selector designs at 5 and 10–day aerobic solids retention times (SRTs). At the 5–day aerobic SRT, higher 17α–ethinylestradiol (EE2) degradation kinetics were obtained with an anaerobic/aerobic process versus aerobic only and anoxic/aerobic with pseudo first-order biodegradation (kb) coefficients of 19, 6, and 3 L/gVSS·d for the anaerobic/aerobic, aerobic only and anoxic/aerobic mixed liquors, respectively. At the 10-day aerobic SRT, EE2 kb values for the aerobic only and anoxic/aerobic mixed liquors increased to 16 and 22 L/gVSS·d, respectively, and were close to the anaerobic/aerobic kb value of 19 L/gVSS·d. Improvements in estrone (E1) degradation were observed swith an anaerobic/aerobic process and at a longer SRT. E1 was reduced to 17β-estradiol (E2) during the anaerobic period while E2 was oxidized to E1 during the anoxic period. No EE2 degradation occurred during the anoxic or anaerobic periods.

Keywords: Estrogens; activated sludge; anaerobic; anoxic; biological nutrient removal

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2011

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