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Aartselaar, Belgium

Wan C.-Y.,Sun Yat Sen University | De Wever H.,Flemish Institute for Technological Research | Diels L.,Flemish Institute for Technological Research | Thoeye C.,Aquafin NV | And 3 more authors.
Water Research | Year: 2011

The total, ammonia-oxidizing, and denitrifying Bacteria in a full-scale membrane bioreactor (MBR) were evaluated monthly for over one year. Microbial communities were analyzed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and clone library analysis of the 16S rRNA and ammonia monooxygenase (amoA) and nitrous oxide reductase (nosZ) genes. The community fingerprints obtained were compared to those from a conventional activated sludge (CAS) process running in parallel treating the same domestic wastewater. Distinct DGGE profiles for all three molecular markers were observed between the two treatment systems, indicating the selection of specific bacterial populations by the contrasting environmental and operational conditions. Comparative 16S rRNA sequencing indicated a diverse bacterial community in the MBR, with phylotypes from the α- and β-Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes dominating the gene library. The vast majority of sequences retrieved were not closely related to classified organisms or displayed relatively low levels of similarity with any known 16S rRNA gene sequences and thus represent organisms that constitute new taxa. Similarly, the majority of the recovered nosZ sequences were novel and only moderately related to known denitrifiers from the α- and β-Proteobacteria. In contrast, analysis of the amoA gene showed a remarkably simple ammonia-oxidizing community with the detected members almost exclusively affiliated with the Nitrosomonas oligotropha lineage. Major shifts in total bacteria and denitrifying community were detected and these were associated with change in the external carbon added for denitrification enhancement. In spite of this, the MBR was able to maintain a stable process performance during that period. These results significantly expand our knowledge of the biodiversity and population dynamics of microorganisms in MBRs for wastewater treatment. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Krauss M.,Eawag - Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology | Krauss M.,Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research | Longree P.,Eawag - Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology | Van Houtte E.,Intermunicipal Water Company of Veurne Ambacht IWVA | And 2 more authors.
Environmental Science and Technology | Year: 2010

Source control or elimination of precursors of NDMA and other nitrosamines in wastewater requires information on their physicochemical properties, which is still limited. Thus we developed a multistep fractionation method based on a combination of consecutive filtration steps to <1 μm, <0.2 μm, and <2.5 kDa followed by solid-phase extraction on a C18 column and validated it using model NDMA precursors covering a wide polarity range. The membrane filtration to <2.5 kDa was suitable to separate a low-molecular weight precursor fraction but partially removed hydrophobic compounds by sorption. Fractionation on a C18 column allowed distinguishing highly polar precursors (such as dimethylamine) from less polar ones (such as ranitidine or other pharmaceuticals). Application of the fractionation procedure together with the formation potential test revealed that in the influent of one studied wastewater treatment plant about 50% of all precursors were associated with colloids or macromolecules, suggesting that these fractions comprise sorbed hydrophobic precursors. During activated sludge treatment small polar and charged NDMA and other nitrosamines' precursors were removed to about 80%. In contrast, less polar precursors were more recalcitrant. In advanced treatment steps, only small fractions of the precursors were removed by the prechlorination/ultrafiltration step, while reverse osmosis removed >98% of all precursors. © 2010 American Chemical Society. Source

Fenu A.,Aquafin NV | Guglielmi G.,University of Trento | Guglielmi G.,E.T.C. Engineering srl | Jimenez J.,Veolia | And 6 more authors.
Water Research | Year: 2010

Membrane bioreactors (MBRs) have been increasingly employed for municipal and industrial wastewater treatment in the last decade. The efforts for modelling of such wastewater treatment systems have always targeted either the biological processes (treatment quality target) as well as the various aspects of engineering (cost effective design and operation). The development of Activated Sludge Models (ASM) was an important evolution in the modelling of Conventional Activated Sludge (CAS) processes and their use is now very well established. However, although they were initially developed to describe CAS processes, they have simply been transferred and applied to MBR processes. Recent studies on MBR biological processes have reported several crucial specificities: medium to very high sludge retention times, high mixed liquor concentration, accumulation of soluble microbial products (SMP) rejected by the membrane filtration step, and high aeration rates for scouring purposes. These aspects raise the question as to what extent the ASM framework is applicable to MBR processes. Several studies highlighting some of the aforementioned issues are scattered through the literature. Hence, through a concise and structured overview of the past developments and current state-of-the-art in biological modelling of MBR, this review explores ASM-based modelling applied to MBR processes. The work aims to synthesize previous studies and differentiates between unmodified and modified applications of ASM to MBR. Particular emphasis is placed on influent fractionation, biokinetics, and soluble microbial products (SMPs)/exo-polymeric substances (EPS) modelling, and suggestions are put forward as to good modelling practice with regard to MBR modelling both for end-users and academia. A last section highlights shortcomings and future needs for improved biological modelling of MBR processes. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Butler C.S.,University of Notre Dame | Butler C.S.,Arizona State University | Clauwaert P.,Ghent University | Clauwaert P.,Aquafin NV | And 3 more authors.
Environmental Science and Technology | Year: 2010

Perchlorate is an emerging surface water and groundwater contaminant, and it is of concern because of its mobility in the environment and its inhibitory effect on thyroid function. Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) may be a suitable method for its treatment. We investigated a MFC with a denitrifying biocathode for perchlorate reduction and utilized the system to identify putative biocathode-utilizing perchlorate-reducing bacteria (PCRB). Perchlorate reduction in the MFC was established by increasing the perchlorate loading to the biocathode, while decreasing nitrate loading. Perchlorate reduction was obtained without the need for exogenous electron shuttles or fixed electrode potentials, achieving a maximum perchlorate removal of 24 mg/L-d and cathodic conversion efficiency of 84%. The perchlorate-reducing biocathode bacterial community, which contained putative denitrifying Betaproteobacteria, shared little overlap with a purely denitrifying biocathode community, and was composed primarily of putative iron-oxidizing genera. Despite differences in cathodic function, the anode communities from the perchlorate-reducing MFC and the denitrifying MFC were similar to each other but different than their corresponding biocathode community. These data indicate that PCRB can utilize a cathode as an electron donor, and that this process can be harnessed to treat perchlorate while producing usable electrical power. © 2010 American Chemical Society. Source

Page D.,CSIRO | Dillon P.,CSIRO | Toze S.,CSIRO | Toze S.,Water for a Healthy Country National Research Flagship | And 4 more authors.
Water Research | Year: 2010

A quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) was performed at four managed aquifer recharge (MAR) sites (Australia, South Africa, Belgium, Mexico) where reclaimed wastewater and stormwater is recycled via aquifers for drinking water supplies, using the same risk-based approach that is used for public water supplies. For each of the sites, the aquifer treatment barrier was assessed for its log10 removal capacity much like for other water treatment technologies. This information was then integrated into a broader risk assessment to determine the human health burden from the four MAR sites. For the Australian and South African cases, managing the aquifer treatment barrier was found to be critical for the schemes to have low risk. For the Belgian case study, the large treatment trains both in terms of pre- and post-aquifer recharge ensures that the risk is always low. In the Mexico case study, the risk was high due to the lack of pre-treatment and the low residence times of the recharge water in the aquifer. A further sensitivity analysis demonstrated that human health risk can be managed if aquifers are integrated into a treatment train to attenuate pathogens. However, reduction in human health disease burden (as measured in disability adjusted life years, DALYs) varied depending upon the number of pathogens in the recharge source water. The beta-Poisson dose response curve used for translating rotavirus and Cryptosporidium numbers into DALYs coupled with their slow environmental decay rates means poor quality injectant leads to aquifers having reduced value to reduce DALYs. For these systems, like the Mexican case study, longer residence times are required to meet their DALYs guideline for drinking water. Nevertheless the results showed that the risks from pathogens can still be reduced and recharging via an aquifer is safer than discharging directly into surface water bodies. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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