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Effects of Nano-Copper(II) Oxide and Nano-Magnesium Oxide Particles on Activated Sludge

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Effects of nano-copper(II) oxide (nano-CuO) and nano-magnesium oxide (nano-MgO) particles on activated sludge endogenous respiration (aerobic digestion), biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) biodegradation, and nitrification were investigated through respiration rate measurement. For comparison, the effects of Cu(II) and Mg(II) ions on activated sludge were also studied. Results indicated that soluble Cu(II) has half maximum inhibitory concentration (IC50) values of 19, 5.5, 53, and 117 mg Cu/L for endogenous respiration, BOD biodegradation, ammonium oxidation, and nitrite oxidation, respectively. However, nano-CuO only inhibited BOD biodegradation at 240 mg Cu/L or more, and its associated toxicity was primarily caused by soluble Cu(II). In contrast, soluble Mg(II) was not toxic to activated sludge in the experimental concentration range, but nano-MgO inhibited BOD biodegradation and nitrification with IC50 values of 70 and 143 mg Mg/L, respectively. Further study indicated that the toxicity of nano-MgO resulted primarily from increased pH following MgO hydrolysis.

Keywords: activated sludge; dissolution; nano-CuO; nano-MgO; toxicity

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/106143012X13373575830593

Publication date: July 1, 2012

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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