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Alumina nanoparticles-induced effects on wastewater nitrogen and phosphorus removal after short-term and long-term exposure
Link to Journal Abstract
Alumina nanoparticles (Al2O3 NPs) have been widely used in many fields, which causes a growing concern about their potential health and environmental risks. However, their possible impacts on wastewater nitrogen and phosphorus removal have not yet been reported. In this study, both short-term and long-term effects of Al2O3 NPs on wastewater nutrient removal were investigated. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) analysis showed that most of Al2O3 NPs were adsorbed onto activated sludge, but these NPs had no adverse effects on the surface integrity and viability of activated sludge. It was found that short-term exposure to 1 and 50 mg/L Al2O3 NPs induced marginal influences on wastewater nitrification, denitrification and phosphorus removal. Nevertheless, the prolonged exposure to 50 mg/L Al2O3 NPs was observed to decrease the total nitrogen (TN) removal efficiency from 80.4% to 62.5% due to the suppressed denitrification process, although biological phosphorus removal and the transformations of intracellular polyhydroxyalkanoates and glycogen were not affected. Quantitative PCR assays indicated that compared with the control, 50 mg/L Al2O3 NPs decreased the abundance of denitrifying bacteria in activated sludge. Further enzyme activity tests showed that the activities of key denitrifying enzymes (nitrate reductase and nitrite reductase) were inhibited, which might be responsible for the negative effects of 50 mg/L Al2O3 NPs on wastewater nitrogen removal after long-term exposure.
In this study, both short-term and long-term effects of Al2O3 nanoparticles (Al2O3 NPs) on wastewater nutrient removal were investigated to determine possible impacts on wastewater nitrogen and phosphorus removal of this nanomaterial.
Peer Reviewed Journal Article
Exposure Or Hazard Target
Method Of Study
Environmental Fate and Transport
Risk Exposure Group
Water Research, 46(14):4379-4386 (September 2012)
Chen Y, Su Y, Zheng X, Chen H, Yang H
Last updated on October 18, 2012
This work is supported in part by the Nanoscale Science and Engineering Initiative of the National Science Foundation
under NSF Award Number EEC-0118007.
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