Effect of 4-nonylphenol on the performance and microbial community of a sequencing batch reactor.

4-nonylphenol (4-NP) is one of the most relevant endocrine-disrupting compounds that can be found in wastewaters. In this work, the effect of dosing 1 mg·L−1 of 4-NP to simulated wastewater on the activated sludge process was assessed. For it, two laboratory sequencing batch reactors (SBR) were operated for 94 days, adding 1 mg·L−1 of 4-NP to the wastewater entering one of them (SBR-NP), while the other one (SBR-B) worked as a control reactor. Holistic study of 4-NP influence on activated sludge treatment was carried out, which included both the evolution of the biomass characteristics and the effect of this substance on reactor performance. Although the COD removal efficiency in SBR-NP was lower than in the reactor without 4-NP addition (SBR-B), COD removal efficiency of SBR-NP was always higher than 90%. From day 50, nitrification bacteria were inhibited in SBR-NP and cellular viability decreased from 85.7 ± 11.0% in the first 50 days to 63.0 ± 10.2% in the last 44 days. Concerning the microbial community analysis, both Nitrosomonas and Nitrospira abundances decreased in SBR-NP (from 0.62% to 0.45%, and from 2.39% to 1.01%, respectively). Proteobacteria abundance was considerably higher in SBR-NP at the end of the experiment (44.28% in SBR-NP and 25.88% in SBR-B), which was due to increase of Aquabacterium genus (13.00% and 0.00% in SBR-NP and SBR-B, respectively), playing an important role in 4-NP degradation. Thus, 4-NP presence, in the concentrations studied, affected heterotrophic and autotrophic bacteria differently, having a negative effect in the second group.

Eva Ferrer-Polonio (1), Julián Fernández-Navarro (2), José Antonio Mendoza-Roca (1), María Amparo Bes-Piá (1), José Luis Alonso (2).
(1) Instituto de Seguridad Industrial, Radiofísica y Medioambiental. Universitat Politècnica de València.
(2) Instituto Ingeniería del Agua y Medio Ambiente. Universitat Politècnica de València.

E. Ferrer-Polonio, J. Fernández-Navarro, J.A. Mendoza-Roca, M.A. Bes-Piá, J.L. Alonso. 2022. Effect of 4-nonylphenol on the performance and microbial community of a sequencing batch reactor. Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering. 10 (2). 107249. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jece.2022.107249