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Water Environ Res. 2018 Jul 1;90(7):604-614. doi: 10.2175/106143017X15131012153095.

Acute Impact of Chlortetracycline on Nitrifying and Denitrifying Processes.

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INRS-ETE, Université du Québec, 490, Rue de la Couronne, Québec, Canada G1K 9A9.


  In the current study, sequential nitrification and anoxic experiments in synthetic municipal wastewater were exposed to 0.5 to 100 mg/L of chlortetracycline for 24 h to evaluate acute impact on the nitrification, and denitrification processes of biological treatment. Both processes were significantly (p < 0.05) inhibited at >50 mg/L of chlortetracycline, and the results revealed that nitrification was adversely affected by chlortetracycline compared with the anoxic process. In nitrification, chemical oxygen removal (COD) and ammonia oxidation kinetics were 50% inhibited at 10 mg chlortetracycline/L, and nitrite oxidation kinetics at 0.5 mg chlortetracycline/L. Likewise, in the anoxic process, 14 and 10 mg/L of chlortetracycline inhibited 50% of COD removal and nitrate reduction kinetics, respectively. In nitrification and denitrification, 90% of chlortetracycline was removed by adsorbing onto sludge suspended solids. In addition, a higher chlortetracycline concentration in anoxic effluent, compared with aerobic effluents, indicated a dissimilarity in the composition of sludge solids, pH, and biomass production for both processes.

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