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Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering

Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.    2019, Vol. 13 Issue (3) : 31
Influence of hydraulic retention time on behavior of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance genes in aerobic granular reactor treating biogas slurry
Jie Liao1, Chaoxiang Liu2, Lin Liu1,2,3(), Jie Li2, Hongyong Fan2, Jiaqi Ye1, Zhichao Zeng1
1. Key Laboratory of Environmental Biotechnology, Fujian Province University, Xiamen University of Technology, Xiamen 361024, China
2. Key Laboratory of Urban Pollutant Conversion, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen 361021, China
3. Fujian Institute of Innovation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Fuzhou 350002, China
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Longer HRT can enhance degradation rate of sulfamethoxazole in granular reactor.

Longer HRT can reduce accumulated concentrations of TCs and QNs in sludge.

Longer HRT may have increased relative abundances of ARGs in aerobic granules.

The behavior of antibiotics and the corresponding resistance genes in aerobic granular reactors for treating biogas slurry under different hydraulic retention times (10.7 h, R1; 8 h, R2) was investigated in this study. The results indicated that the hydraulic retention time could affect the effluent concentrations and removal efficiencies of sulfonamides. The average removal rates of tetracyclines, fluoroquinolones, and sulfonamides were 63%, 46%, and 90% in R1, and 62%, 46%, and 86% in R2, respectively. Although the removal efficiencies of tetracyclines and fluoroquinolones were similar in both reactors, the respective accumulated concentrations of tetracyclines and fluoroquinolones in R1 were 7.00 and 11.15 µg/g SS, which were lower than those in R2 (8.92 and 13.37 µg/g SS, respectively). The difference in the relative abundance of target antibiotic resistance genes between both reactors was not significant, yet the average relative abundances of all target resistance genes in R1 were higher than those in R2 after 45 days of operation. The results of this study suggested that a longer hydraulic retention time could enhance the antibiotic removal ability of aerobic granular sludge, yet it may also increase the risk of surplus sludge utilization from a resistance genes point of view.

Keywords Aerobic granules      Swine wastewater      Tetracyclines      Fluoroquinolones      Sulfonamides     
This article is part of themed collection: Environmental Antibiotics and Antibiotic Resistance (Xin Yu, Hui Li & Virender K. Sharma)
Corresponding Author(s): Lin Liu   
Issue Date: 22 April 2019
 Cite this article:   
Jie Liao,Chaoxiang Liu,Lin Liu, et al. Influence of hydraulic retention time on behavior of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance genes in aerobic granular reactor treating biogas slurry[J]. Front. Environ. Sci. Eng., 2019, 13(3): 31.
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Jie Liao
Chaoxiang Liu
Lin Liu
Jie Li
Hongyong Fan
Jiaqi Ye
Zhichao Zeng
Fig.1  Operational performance of the two aerobic granular reactors during 40 days of operation.
Parameters R1 R2
COD 240±19 231±14
TP 1.5±0.4 1.8±0.4
NH4+-N 156±26 112±18
TN 60±17 41±11
TCs 5.07±0.69 4.91±0.57
QNs 3.76±0.82 3.69±0.70
SMs 6.60±0.84 6.18±0.47
Tab.1  Average specific removal rates of organic matter and nutrients during the steady-state stage (mg/g MLSS cycle), and the average specific removal rates of each antibiotic family during 40 days of operation (mg/g MLSS cycle)
Fig.2  Removal efficiencies and concentrations in the influent and effluent of target antibiotics in this experiment.
Antibiotics 20th day 45th day
R1 R2 R1 R2
TC 1.17±0.18 1.47±0.15 2.35±0.31 3.06±0.12
OTC 1.77±0.21 2.24±0.18 2.40±0.17 2.55±0.23
CTC 0.9±0.11 0.93±0.14 2.25±0.06 3.31±0.24
TCs 3.84±0.50 4.64±0.47 7.00±0.54 8.92±0.59
CIP 2.63±0.24 3.75±0.35 2.96±0.41 4.19±0.48
OFL 4.67±0.32 5.04±0.42 5.37±0.39 6.05±0.30
ENX 2.64±0.22 2.77±0.29 2.82±0.30 3.13±0.28
QNs 9.94±0.78 11.56±1.06 11.15±1.10 13.37±1.06
SA 0.26±0.02 0.29±0.05 0.31±0.02 0.39±0.02
SMZ 0.41±0.04 0.45±0.01 0.39±0.03 0.41±0.01
SMX 0.19±0.01 0.20±0.01 0.23±0.02 0.24±0.02
SMs 0.86±0.07 0.93±0.07 0.93±0.07 1.04±0.05
Tab.2  Accumulated concentrations of antibiotics in the aerobic granular sludge of the two reactors (µg/g SS dry weight)
Fig.3  Relative abundances of five tet genes and two sul genes in the granular sludge of both reactors during the steady-state stage.
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