Publication Details

Asif, M. B., Hai, F. I., Kang, J., van de Merwe, J. P., Leusch, F. D. L., Yamamoto, K., Price, W. E. & Nghiem, L. D. (2017). Degradation of trace organic contaminants by a membrane distillation-enzymatic bioreactor. Applied Sciences, 7 (9), 879-1-879-15.


A high retention enzymatic bioreactor was developed by coupling membrane distillation with an enzymatic bioreactor (MD-EMBR) to investigate the degradation of 13 phenolic and 17 non-phenolic trace organic contam inants (TrOCs). TrOCs were effectively retained (90-99%) by the MD membrane. Furthermore, significant laccase-catalyzed degradation (80-99%) was achieved for 10 phenolic and 3 non-phenolic TrOCs that contain strong electron donating functional groups. For the remaining TrOCs, enzymatic degradation ranged from 40 to 65%. This is still higher than those reported for enzymatic bioreactors equipped with ultrafiltration membranes, which retained laccase but not the TrOCs. Addition of three redox-mediators, namely syringaldehyde (SA), violuric acid (VA) and 1-hydroxybenzotriazole (HBT), in the MD-EMBR significantly broadened the spectrum of efficiently degraded TrOCs. Among the tested redox-mediators, VA (0.5 mM) was the most efficient and versatile mediator for enhanced TrOC degradation. The final effluent (i.e., membrane permeate) toxicity was below the detection limit, although there was a mediator-specific increase in toxicity of the bioreactor media.



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