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Chemosphere. 2017 Sep;182:231-237. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2017.04.144. Epub 2017 May 8.

Effects of graphite nanoparticles on nitrification in an activated sludge system.

Author information

1
School of Environment, State Key Joint Laboratory of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control, Tsinghua University, Beijing, 100084, China.
2
School of Environment, State Key Joint Laboratory of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control, Tsinghua University, Beijing, 100084, China. Electronic address: liuyc@mail.tsinghua.edu.cn.

Abstract

Graphite nanoparticles (GNPs) might result in unexpected effects during their transportation and transformation in wastewater treatment systems, including strong thermo-catalytic and catalytic effects and microbial cytotoxicity. In particular, the effects of GNPs on the nitrification process in activated sludge systems should be addressed. This study aimed to estimate the influence of GNPs on the nitrification process in a short-term nitrification reactor with exposure to different light sources. The results indicated that GNPs could only improve the efficiency of photothermal transformation slightly in the activated sludge system because of its photothermal effects under the standard illuminant (imitating 1 × sun). However, even with better photothermal effects, the nitrification efficiency still decreased significantly with GNP dosing under the standard illuminant, which might result from stronger cytotoxic effects of GNPs on the nitrifying bacteria. The disappearance of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) around bacterial cells was observed, and the total quantity of viable bacteria decreased significantly after GNP exposuring. Variation in bacterial groups primarily occurred in nitrifying microbial communities, including Nitrosomonas sp., Nitrosospira sp., Comamonas sp. and Bradyrhizobiace sp. Nitrifiers significantly decreased, while the phyla Gammaproteobacteria, Deinocccus, and Bacteroidetes exhibited greater stability during GNP treatment.

KEYWORDS:

Graphite nanoparticles; Nitrification; PMA-Miseq sequencing; PMA-qPCR; Photothermal effects

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