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J Hazard Mater. 2010 Sep 15;181(1-3):241-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2010.05.003. Epub 2010 May 8.

Influence of feed characteristics on the removal of micropollutants during the anaerobic digestion of contaminated sludge.

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INRA, UR 050, Laboratoire de Biotechnologie de l'Environnement, Narbonne, France.


The removal of 13 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, 7 polychlorobiphenyls and nonylphenol was measured during the continuous anaerobic digestion of five different sludge samples. The reactors were fed with one of the following: primary/secondary sludge (PS/SS), thermally treated PS, cellulose-added SS, or SS augmented with dissolved and colloidal matter (DCM). These various feeding conditions induced variable levels of micropollutant bioavailability (assumed to limit their biodegradation) and overall metabolism (supposed to be linked to micropollutant metabolism throughout co-metabolism). On the one hand, overall metabolism was higher with secondary sludge than with primary and the same was observed for micropollutant removal. However, when overall metabolism was enhanced thanks to cellulose addition, a negative influence on micropollutant removal was observed. This suggests that either the co-metabolic synergy would be linked to a specific metabolism or co-metabolism was not the limiting factor in this case. On the other hand, micropollutant bioavailability was presumably diminished by thermal treatment and increased by DCM addition. In both cases, micropollutant removal was reduced. These results suggest that neither overall metabolism nor bioavailability would absolutely limit micropollutant removal. Each phenomenon might alternatively predominate depending on the feed characteristics.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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