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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Christopher Schmit


Information on biodegradation kinetics is important for the design and operation of activated sludge systems for removal of PPCPs. Removing PPCPs from a wastewater prevents harming the health of the environment and living organisms. A respirometry test method was used to measure the kinetic parameters of an activated sludge biomass degrading the pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) triclosan, caffeine, acetaminophen, estrone (E1), 17β estradiol (E2), and 17α ethinyl-estradiol (EE2). The activated sludge biomass used for respirometry testing was obtained from a local wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). The plant treats municipal wastewater, and the activated sludge biomass was not acclimated to relatively high doses of PPCP substrates, those being greater than 100 μg/L. A series of tests were conducted using each substrate during the testing period. The kinetic parameters: yield (Y), half saturation coefficient (Ks), maximum specific growth rate (um), and maximum specific substrate utilization rate (qm ) were determined for triclosan and caffeine from the results of respirometry tests. The kinetic parameters for estrone, 17β estradiol, and 17α ethinyl estradiol, and acetaminophen were not determined due to lack of any measurable response of the biomass during testing. Triclosan was dissolved in acetone for testing. For triclosan, the Y, Ks, um, qm were determined to be 0.775 ± 0.046 mg COD/mg COD, 26.6 ± 10.9 mg SCOD/L, 0.213 ± 0.061 /hr, and 0.270 ± 0.065 mg SCOD/mg MLSS-hr, respectively, at the 95% confidence interval. For caffeine, the Y, , , was determined to be 0.662 ± 0.055 mg COD/mg COD, 16.9 ± 4.3 mg SCOD/L, 0.113 ± 0.020 /hr, and 0.169 ± 0.018 mg SCOD/mg MLSS-hr, respectively, at the 95% confidence interval.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Sewage -- Purification -- Activated sludge process
Drugs -- Biodegradation
Hygiene products -- Biodegradation
Microbial respiration -- Measurement
Chemical kinetics


Includes bibliographical references (pages 99-110)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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