Performance of anaerobic sequencing batch reactor in the treatment of pharmaceutical wastewater containing erythromycin and sulfamethoxazole mixture

Aydin S., Ince B., CETECIOGLU Z., OZBAYRAM E. G., SHAHI A., Okay O., ...More

WATER SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, vol.70, no.10, pp.1625-1632, 2014 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 70 Issue: 10
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Doi Number: 10.2166/wst.2014.418
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1625-1632
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


This study evaluates the joint effects of erythromycin-sulfamethoxazole (ES) combinations on anaerobic treatment efficiency and the potential for antibiotic degradation during anaerobic sequencing batch reactor operation. The experiments involved two identical anaerobic sequencing batch reactors. One reactor, as control unit, was fed with synthetic wastewater while the other reactor (ES) was fed with a synthetic substrate mixture including ES antibiotic combinations. The influence of ES antibiotic mixtures on chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal, volatile fatty acid production, antibiotic degradation, biogas production, and composition were investigated. The influent antibiotic concentration was gradually increased over 10 stages, until the metabolic collapse of the reactors, which occurred at 360 days for the ES reactor. The results suggest that substrate/COD utilization and biogas/methane generation affect performance of the anaerobic reactors at higher concentration. In addition, an average of 40% erythromycin and 37% sulfamethoxazole reduction was achieved in the ES reactor. These results indicated that these antibiotics were partly biodegradable in the anaerobic reactor system.