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Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(9), 879; doi:10.3390/app7090879

Degradation of Trace Organic Contaminants by a Membrane Distillation—Enzymatic Bioreactor

1
Strategic Water Infrastructure Lab, School of Civil, Mining and Environmental Engineering, University of Wollongong, Wollongong NSW 2522, Australia
2
Strategic Water Infrastructure Lab, School of Chemistry, University of Wollongong, Wollongong NSW 2522, Australia
3
Australian Rivers Institute and Griffith School of Environment, Griffith University, Gold Coast QLD 4222, Australia
4
Environmental Science Centre, Department of Urban Engineering, University of Tokyo, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 July 2017 / Revised: 24 August 2017 / Accepted: 25 August 2017 / Published: 28 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wastewater Treatment and Reuse Technologies)
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Abstract

A high retention enzymatic bioreactor was developed by coupling membrane distillation with an enzymatic bioreactor (MD-EMBR) to investigate the degradation of 13 phenolic and 17 non-phenolic trace organic contaminants (TrOCs). TrOCs were effectively retained (90–99%) by the MD membrane. Furthermore, significant laccase-catalyzed degradation (80–99%) was achieved for 10 phenolic and 3 non-phenolic TrOCs that contain strong electron donating functional groups. For the remaining TrOCs, enzymatic degradation ranged from 40 to 65%. This is still higher than those reported for enzymatic bioreactors equipped with ultrafiltration membranes, which retained laccase but not the TrOCs. Addition of three redox-mediators, namely syringaldehyde (SA), violuric acid (VA) and 1-hydroxybenzotriazole (HBT), in the MD-EMBR significantly broadened the spectrum of efficiently degraded TrOCs. Among the tested redox-mediators, VA (0.5 mM) was the most efficient and versatile mediator for enhanced TrOC degradation. The final effluent (i.e., membrane permeate) toxicity was below the detection limit, although there was a mediator-specific increase in toxicity of the bioreactor media. View Full-Text
Keywords: enzymatic membrane bioreactor (EMBR); laccase; membrane distillation; redox-mediators; trace organic contaminants (TrOCs) enzymatic membrane bioreactor (EMBR); laccase; membrane distillation; redox-mediators; trace organic contaminants (TrOCs)
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Asif, M.B.; Hai, F.I.; Kang, J.; van de Merwe, J.P.; Leusch, F.D.L.; Yamamoto, K.; Price, W.E.; Nghiem, L.D. Degradation of Trace Organic Contaminants by a Membrane Distillation—Enzymatic Bioreactor. Appl. Sci. 2017, 7, 879.

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