Treatment of micropollutants in municipal wastewater: study of a sequential batch biofilter
A fungal biofilter composed of woodchips was designed in order to remove micropollutants from the effluents of waste water treatment plants. Two fungi were tested: Pleurotus ostreatus and Trametes versicolor in order to evaluate their efficiency for the removal of two micropollutants: the anti-inflammatory drug naproxen and the antibiotic sulfamethoxazole. Although Trametes versicolor was able to degrade quickly naproxen, this fungus was not any more active after one week of operation in the filter. Pleurotus ostreatus was, on contrary, able to survive more than 3 months in the filter, showing good removal efficiencies of naproxen and sulfamethoxazole during all this period, in tap water but also in real treated municipal wastewater. Several other experiments have provided insight on the removal mechanisms of these micropollutants in the fungal biofilter (degradation and adsorption) and also allowed to model the removal trend. Fungal treatment with Pleurotus ostreatus grown on wood substrates appeared to be a promising solution to improve micropollutants removal in wastewater.