Removal processes of individual and a mixture of organic micropollutants in the presence of Scenedesmus obliquus

Kaiyi Wu, Rosaria Tizzani, Hans Zweers, Huub Rijnaarts, Alette Langenhoff, Tânia V. Fernandes*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

8 Downloads (Pure)


Organic micropollutants (OMPs) need to be removed from wastewater as they can negatively affect aquatic organisms. It has been demonstrated that microalgae-based technologies are efficient in removing OMPs from wastewater. In this study, the removal processes and kinetics of six persistent OMPs (diclofenac, clarithromycin, benzotriazole, metoprolol, carbamazepine and mecoprop) were studied during cultivation of Scenedesmus obliquus in batch mode. These OMPs were added as individual compounds and in a mixture. Short experiments (8 days) were performed to avoid masking of OMP removal processes by light and nutrient limitation. The results show that diclofenac, clarithromycin, and benzotriazole were mainly removed by photodegradation (diclofenac), biodegradation (benzotriazole), or a combination of these two processes (clarithromycin). Peroxidase was involved in intracellular and extracellular biodegradation when benzotriazole was present as individual compound. Carbamazepine, metoprolol and mecoprop showed no biodegradation or photodegradation, and neglectable removal (<5%) by bioadsorption and bioaccumulation. Using an OMP mixture had an adverse effect on the photodegradation of clarithromycin and diclofenac, with reduced first-order kinetic constants compared to the individual compounds. Benzotriazole biodegradation was inhibited by the presence of the OMP mixture. This indicates that the presence of OMPs inhibits the photodegradation and biodegradation of some individual OMPs. These results will improve our understanding of removal processes of individual and mixtures of OMPs by microalgae-based technologies for wastewater treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number156526
Pages (from-to)156526
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Bioaccumulation
  • Biodegradation kinetics
  • Microalgae
  • OMPs
  • Photodegradation kinetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Removal processes of individual and a mixture of organic micropollutants in the presence of Scenedesmus obliquus'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this