Degradation of pharmaceuticals in non-sterile urban wastewater by Trametes versicolor in a fluidized bed bioreactor

Carles Cruz-Morató, Laura Ferrando-Climent, Sara Rodriguez-Mozaz, Damià Barceló, Ernest Marco-Urrea, Teresa Vicent, Montserrat Sarrà

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127 Citations (Scopus)


The constant detection of pharmaceuticals (PhACs) in the environment demonstrates the inefficiency of conventional wastewater treatment plants to completely remove them from wastewaters. So far, many studies have shown the feasibility of using white rot fungi to remove these contaminants. However, none of them have studied the degradation of several PhACs in real urban wastewater under non-sterile conditions, where mixtures of contaminants presents at low concentrations (ngL-1 to μgL-1) as well as other active microorganisms are present. In this work, a batch fluidized bed bioreactor was used to study, for the first time, the degradation of PhACs present in urban wastewaters at their pre-existent concentrations under non-sterile conditions. Glucose and ammonium tartrate were continuously supplied as carbon and nitrogen source, respectively, and pH was maintained at 4.5. Complete removal of 7 out of the 10 initially detected PhACs was achieved in non-sterile treatment, while only 2 were partially removed and 1 of the PhACs analyzed increased its concentration. In addition, Microtox test showed an important reduction of toxicity in the wastewater after the treatment. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5200-5210
JournalWater Research
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sep 2013


  • Bioreactor
  • Degradation
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Real urban wastewater
  • Trametes versicolor


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