Concern is growing over contamination of the environment with artificial sweeteners (ASWs) because of their widespread existence in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). To evaluate ASWs removal and the effect on activated sludge, acesulfame (ACE), sucralose (SUC), cyclamate (CYC) and saccharin (SAC) were introduced individually or in mixture to sequencing batch reactors (SBRs) in environmentally relevant concentrations (100 ppb) for 100 days. Comparisons between ACE removal in a full-scale WWTP and in lab-scale SBRs were conducted. Results showed that CYC and SAC were completely removed, whereas SUC was persistent. However, ACE removal in lab-scale SBRs was significantly greater than in the full-scale WWTP. In SBRs, chemical oxygen demand (COD), ammonia nitrogen (NH4 +-N) and total nitrogen (TN) removal appeared unchanged after adding ASWs (p > 0.05). Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) concentrations and triphenyl tetrazolium chloride-dehydrogenase activity (TTC-DHA) declined significantly (p < 0.05). The mixed ASWs had more evident effects than the individual ASWs. Microbial community analyses revealed that Proteobacteria decreased obviously, while Bacteroidetes, Chloroflexi and Actinobacteria were enriched with the addition of ASWs. Redundancy Analysis (RDA) indicated ACE had a greater impact on activated sludge than the other ASWs.
Scientific Reports – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 21, 2018
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