Increasing use of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) inevitably leads to their potential release to the sewer system. The co-removal of nano fullerenes (nC60) and nanosilver as well as their impact on COD removal were studied in biological sequencing batch reactors (SBR) for a year. When dosing nC60 at 0.07-2mgL-1, the SBR removed greater than 95% of nC60 except for short-term interruptions occurred (i.e., dysfunction of bioreactor by nanosilver addition) when nC60 and nanosilver were dosed simultaneously. During repeated 30-d periods of adding both 2mgL-1 nC60 and 2mgL-1 nanosilver, short-term interruption of SBRs for 4d was observed and accompanied by (1) reduced total suspended solids in the reactor, (2) poor COD removal rate as low as 22%, and (3) decreased nC60 removal to 0%. After the short-term interruption, COD removal gradually returned to normal within one solids retention time. Except for during these "short-term interruptions", the silver removal rate was above 90%. A series of bottle-point batch experiments was conducted to determine the distribution coefficients of nC60 between liquid and biomass phases. A linear distribution model on nC60 combined with a mass balance equation simulated well its removal rate at a range of 0.07-0.76mgL-1 in SBRs. This paper illustrates the effect of "pulse" inputs (i.e., addition for a short period of time) of ENMs into biological reactors, demonstrates long-term capability of SBRs to remove ENMs and COD, and provides an example to predict the removal of ENMs in SBRs upon batch experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-121
Number of pages7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015


  • Nano fullerene
  • Nanosilver
  • SBR
  • Waste water treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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