Performance of a coupled micro-electrolysis, anaerobic and aerobic system for oxytetracycline (OTC) production wastewater treatment

Yuanfeng Qi, Suqing Wu, Fei Xi, Shengbing He, Chunzhen Fan, Bibo Dai, Jungchen Huang, Lei Gao

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12 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: The environmental and health effects caused by oxytetracycline (OTC) contamination of aquatic systems are a serious problem throughout the world. The OTC-contaminated wastewater cannot be treated effectively by conventional anaerobic and aerobic biological treatments. Few studies have investigated the systematic treatment of OTC-contaminated wastewater. RESULTS: A system including micro-electrolysis (ME), an expanded granular sludge bed (EGSB) and an anoxic/oxic activated sludge process (A/O) could treat OTC production wastewater effectively. First, a ME reactor packed with new ceramic-corrosion-cell fillers, serving as a pretreatment step, was effective in removing residual OTC and enhancing biodegradability of the wastewater. Second, EGSB and A/O reactors played the main role in removing chemical oxygen demand (COD), ammonium nitrogen (NH3-N) and chroma (color of the wastewater). After reaching steady state, the coupled ME-EGSB-A/O system removed more than 95.0% of COD, 90.0% of NH3-N and 80.0% of color, and the final effluent met the requirements of the national discharge standard (COD ≤ 500 mg L-1, NH3-N ≤ 45 mg L-1 and chroma ≤ 70; CJ 343-2010, China). CONCLUSION: The coupled ME-EGSB-A/O system could treat the OTC production wastewater effectively. These findings have significant implications for a cost-efficient system in OTC production systematic treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1290-1298
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2016 May 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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