Efficiency of Tetracycline-Contaminated Wastewater Treatment by Activated Sludge Microorganisms in Free, Attached, and Entrapped Cell Forms

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Pongsatorn Taweetanawanit
Sudawadee Yasaka
Narupawan Prommawai
Tongpak Donprajum


The purpose of this study is to compare the efficiency of activated sludge cells in free cell (FC), attached cell (AC) and entrapped cell (EC) modes to treat of synthetic wastewater with tetracycline contamination. Synthetic wastewater has contained COD of 270.33±6.64 mg/L and tetracycline of 9.25±0.08 mg/L. The batch experiment was tested under aerobic condition for 72 h. The results showed that all experiments removed COD rapidly within 24 h. (36.95 68.97 and 83.77% for FC, AC, and EC, respectively) and COD was stable thereafter. The tetracycline removal was 10.36, 30.20 and 36.33% (from the test of FC, AC, and EC, respectively), because the treatment process is a biological treatment which relies on microorganisms, causing microorganisms to take time to remove (it takes time to acclimate, and it grows by decomposing organic matter). When comparing the efficiency of the activated sludge cells in FC, AC and EC models, the author found that the highest removal efficiency of COD and tetracycline was the activated sludge cells in the EC model. Cell entrapment was helped to prevent microbial inhibition from tetracycline, and also, the entrapped material absorbs organic matter, thereby, increasing the efficiency of organic removal. As for the trace of pH and Suspended Solid (SS), the author found that the pH was in the range of 7.02-8.31, which was the range of microorganisms in the wastewater could grow, and all experimental sets had no different results. The SS level increased with all trial set. The free cell experimental set had the highest of SS. The higher SS level was due to the effect of free microorganisms which suspended in the system. When the samples were collected and analyzed for the SS level, the amount of SS level was higher. But in the AC and EC, there was an increase in SS caused by the surface of the entrapped material which peeling off, and microorganisms were growing outside the entrapped material. The results of this study suggested that the entrapped cell has the potential to be applied in the future to treat tetracycline contaminated wastewater.

Article Details

บทความวิจัย (Research Article)
Author Biographies

Sudawadee Yasaka, Division of Environmental Health, Faculty of Public Health, Naresuan University Phitsanulok 65000

Faculty of Public Health, Division of Environmental Health

Narupawan Prommawai, Division of Health Science, Faculty of Science, Udon Thani Rajabhat University Udon Thani 41000

Faculty of Science, Division of Health Science

Tongpak Donprajum, Division of Community Health, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Science, Sisaket Rajabhat University Sisaket 33000

Faculty of Liberal Arts and Science, Division of Community Health


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