Regular articles

Biological removal of antiandrogenic activity in gray wastewater and coking wastewater by membrane reactor process

Dehua Ma , Lujun Chen , Cong Liu , Chenjun Bao , Rui Liu


Received September 05, 2014,Revised January 25, 2015, Accepted January 27, 2015, Available online May 14, 2015

Volume 27,2015,Pages 195-202

A recombinant human androgen receptor yeast assay was applied to investigate the occurrence of antiandrogens as well as the mechanism for their removal during gray wastewater and coking wastewater treatment. The membrane reactor (MBR) system for gray wastewater treatment could remove 88.0% of antiandrogenic activity exerted by weakly polar extracts and 97.3% of that by moderately strong polar extracts, but only 32.5% of that contributed by strong polar extracts. Biodegradation by microorganisms in the MBR contributed to 95.9% of the total removal. After the treatment, the concentration of antiandrogenic activity in the effluent was still 1.05 μg flutamide equivalence (FEQ)/L, 36.2% of which was due to strong polar extracts. In the anaerobic reactor, anoxic reactor, and membrane reactor system for coking wastewater treatment, the antiandrogenic activity of raw coking wastewater was 78.6 mg FEQ/L, and the effluent of the treatment system had only 0.34 mg FEQ/L. The antiandrogenic activity mainly existed in the medium strong polar and strong polar extracts. Biodegradation by microorganisms contributed to at least 89.2% of the total antiandrogenic activity removal in the system. Biodegradation was the main removal mechanism of antiandrogenic activity in both the wastewater treatment systems.

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