The role of sorption processes in the removal of pharmaceuticals by fungal treatment of wastewater

D. Lucas, F. Castellet-Rovira, M. Villagrasa, M. Badia-Fabregat, D. Barceló, T. Vicent, G. Caminal, M. Sarrà, S. Rodríguez-Mozaz

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36 Citations (Scopus)


© 2017 Elsevier B.V. The contribution of the sorption processes in the elimination of pharmaceuticals (PhACs) during the fungal treatment of wastewater has been evaluated in this work. The sorption of four PhACs (carbamazepine, diclofenac, iopromide and venlafaxine) by 6 different fungi was first evaluated in batch experiments. Concentrations of PhACs in both liquid and solid (biomass) matrices from the fungal treatment were measured. Contribution of the sorption to the total removal of pollutants ranged between 3% and 13% in relation to the initial amount. The sorption of 47 PhACs in fungi was also evaluated in a fungal treatment performed in 26 days in a continuous bioreactor treating wastewater from a veterinary hospital. PhACs levels measured in the fungal biomass were similar to those detected in conventional wastewater treatment (WWTP) sludge. This may suggest the necessity of manage fungal biomass as waste in the same manner that the WWTP sludge is managed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1147-1153
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Chromatography
  • Emerging contaminants
  • Sludge
  • Trametes versicolor
  • Wastewater treatment
  • Water quality


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