Removal of antibiotics in wastewater by enzymatic treatment with fungal laccase

June 30, 2016

In this study, the performance of immobilised laccase (Trametes versicolor) was investigated in combination with the mediator syringaldehyde (SYR) in removing a mixture of 38 antibiotics in an enzymatic membrane reactor (EMR). Antibiotics were spiked in osmosed water at concentrations of 10μg·L(-1) each. Laccase without mediator did not reduce the load of antibiotics significantly. The addition of SYR enhanced the removal: out of the 38 antibiotics, 32 were degraded by >50% after 24h. In addition to chemical analysis, the samples' toxicity was evaluated in two bioassays (a growth inhibition assay and the Microtox assay). Here, the addition of SYR resulted in a time-dependent increase of toxicity in both bioassays. In cooperation with SYR, laccase effectively removes a broad range of antibiotics. However, this enhanced degradation induces unspecific toxicity. If this issue is resolved, enzymatic treatment may be a valuable addition to existing water treatment technologies.

Becker, D and Della Giustina, S V and Rodriguez, S

Journal: Bioresource Technology

Original article