Transformation of erythromycin during secondary effluent soil aquifer recharging: Removal contribution and degradation path

Liangliang Wei , Kena Qin , Ningbo Zhao , Daniel R. Noguera , Wei Qiu , Qingliang Zhao , Xiangjuan Kong , Weixian Zhang , Felix Tetteh Kabutey


Received February 24, 2016,Revised August 04, 2016, Accepted August 19, 2016, Available online September 05, 2016

Volume 29,2017,Pages 173-180

Erythromycin (ERY), a widely used antibiotic, has recently been detected in municipal secondary effluents and poses serious threats to human health during wastewater reusing. In this study, the removal, fate, and degradation pathway of ERY in secondary effluent during soil aquifer treatment was evaluated via laboratory-scale SAT tests. Up to a 92.9% reduction of ERY in synthetic secondary effluent was observed in 1.0 m depth column system, which decreased to 64.7% when recharged with wastewater treatment plant secondary effluent. XRD-fractionation results demonstrated that the transphilic acid and hydrophobic acid fractions in secondary effluent compete for the adsorption sites of the packed soil and lead to a declined ERY removal. Moreover, aerobic biodegradation was the predominant role for ERY removal, contributing more than 60% reduction of ERY when recharged with synthetic secondary effluent. Destruction of 14-member macrocyclic lactone ring and breakdown of two cyclic sugars (l-cladinose and d-desosamine) were main removal pathways for ERY degradation, and produced six new intermediates.

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