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Contaminants of Emerging Concern Removal in an Effluent of Wastewater Treatment Plant under Biological and Continuous Mode Ultrafiltration Treatment

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Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, Barrio Sarriena s/n, 48940 Bizkaia, Spain
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Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering in Bilbao, University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, Plaza Ingeniero Torres Quevedo, 1, 48013 Bilbao, Spain
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Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering Vitoria-Gasteiz, University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, Nieves Cano 12, 01006 Vitoria-Gasteiz, Araba, Spain
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Department of Analytical Chemistry, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, Barrio Sarriena s/n, 48940 Bizkaia, Spain
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 725; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020725
Received: 26 December 2019 / Revised: 15 January 2020 / Accepted: 16 January 2020 / Published: 19 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Removal of Emerging Pollutants from Wastewater Effluent)
This work presents a case study of a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP), located in Biscay (Spain), in which the removal of high-occurrence contaminants of emerging concern (CEC) was studied. The existing biological treatment in the WWTP was complemented with a continuous ultrafiltration (c-UF) pilot plant, as a tertiary treatment. Thus, the effect on CEC removal of both treatments could be analyzed globally and after each operation. A total of 39 CEC were monitored, including pharmaceutical products, industrial additives, food additives, herbicides and personal care products. For evaluation of the efficiencies, the removal rates of the biological and of the c-UF treatments, including their variability over a day and a week in relation to the ammonium content, were examined in the influent of the WWTP. In the biological treatment, a wide range of different removal rates was obtained due to the different CEC’s biodegradability and concentration. In UF, lower, but more constant removal rates, were achieved. In addition, the reduction of the general toxicity by the UF treatment in terms of the Microtox® toxicity assay was also evaluated. After UF, all of the samples yielded values of TU50 lower than 1, confirming this result the UF effectiveness for toxicity removal. View Full-Text
Keywords: emerging contaminants; ultrafiltration; wastewater treatment plant; ammonium; toxicity; Microtox emerging contaminants; ultrafiltration; wastewater treatment plant; ammonium; toxicity; Microtox
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ferreiro, C.; Gómez-Motos, I.; Lombraña, J.I.; de Luis, A.; Villota, N.; Ros, O.; Etxebarria, N. Contaminants of Emerging Concern Removal in an Effluent of Wastewater Treatment Plant under Biological and Continuous Mode Ultrafiltration Treatment. Sustainability 2020, 12, 725.

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