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Emerging technologies for treatment of antibiotic residues from wastewater influent/effluent for sustainable environment: A case study with NFC-doped titania immobilized on polystyrene as an efficient technology

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Abstract: In this study, 5 urban and 2 industrial wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) were investigated. Raw wastewaters
and effluents of WWTPs were characterized in terms of both organic and inorganic pollutants and antibiotic
residues. According to the analysis results; organic pollutants for raw wastewaters and influents in urban WWTP
were measured between 412 and 921 mg L1 for COD, 345–421 mg L1 for TOC, 61–160 mg L1 for COD, 48–83
mg L1 for TOC, respectively. However, in industrial WWTPs, these values were determined in raw wastewaters
between 1404 and 2367 mg L1 for COD, 821–826 mg L1 for TOC and in effluents between 272 and 408 mg L1
for COD and 97–208 mg L1 for TOC, respectively.
In addition, in the characterization study of antibiotic residues by the results of HPLC/MS-MS measurements,
the amounts of Ciprofloxacin (from the fluoroquinolones), Erythromycin (from the macrolides group) and Sulfamethoxasol
(from the sulfonamide group), which are one of the three main groups of antibiotics in the waste
water samples, were found in high amounts in both urban and industrial WWTPs despite the biological treatment
process. More antibiotic residues (Erythromycin-ERY, Ciprofloxacin-CIP and Sulfamethoxasol-SMX) were detected
in untreated raw wastewater compared to effluent wastewater. While CIP antibiotic was not found only one
urban WWTP, the highest amounts in the effluents of 4 urban WWTPs were measured between 13,800 ng L1 and
38,800 ng L1. Moreover, ERY is only detected in high amount in one urban WWTP raw and effluent wastewater
as 23,100 ng L1 and 5430 ng L1, respectively. The SMX was detected in 2 separates urban WWTPs at a value of
19,700 ng L1 in the raw wastewater sample and at a value 10,100 ng L1 in effluent sample of another urban
WWTP. Antibiotic residue removal ratios after Advanced Oxidation Process using specially prepared NFC-doped
TiO2 photocatalyst immobilized on polystyrene (PS) cup inner surface at amount 0.45 g were determined as 97%–
~100% for CIP, 100% for ERY, 86%–~100% for SMX, 57%–64% for COD and 61,5%–72% for TOC, respectively.
According to the above mentioned results, this study proved that photocatalytic oxidation processes performed
under visible light with a specially prepared immobilized form (PS/Cup–NFC–0.45 g) photocatalyst provide
higher antibiotic removal from both urban and industrial wastewater. Thus, these results showed us that if the
application of NFC-doped Titania, immobilized on polystyrene, can be integrated with an appropriate reactor
design on the real/pilot scale, this technology can be proposed as an efficient technology for sustainable
environment. Keywords:
NFC-Doped TiO2
Antibiotic residues
Urban and industrial wastewater
Sustainable environment
Emerging technology


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