Electroactive Ultrafiltration Membrane for Simultaneous Removal of Antibiotic, Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria, and Antibiotic Resistance Genes from Wastewater Effluent
Li, J.; Ren, S.; Qiu, X.; Zhao, S.; Wang, R.; Wang, Y.
Environmental Science and Technology 56(21): 15120-15129
To combat the spread of antibiotic resistance into the environment, we should adequately manage wastewater effluent treatment to achieve simultaneous removal of antibiotics, antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARB), and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs). Herein, we fabricate a multifunctional electroactive poly(vinylidene fluoride) ultrafiltration membrane (C/PVDF) by phase inversion on conductive carbon cloth. The membrane possesses not only excellent retention toward ARB and ARGs but also exhibits high oxidation capacity as an electrode. Notably, sulfamethoxazole degradation involving hydroxylation and hydrolysis by the anode membrane is predominant, and the degradation efficiency is up to 81.5% at +4 V. Both electro-filtration processes exhibit significant ARB inactivation, anode filtration is superior to cathode filtration. Moreover, the degradation of intracellular ARGs (iARGs) located in the genome is more efficient than those located in the plasmid, and these degradation efficiencies at -2 V are higher than +2 V. The degradation efficiencies of extracellular ARGs (eARGs) are opposite and are lower than iARGs. Compared with regular filtration, the normalized flux of electroactive ultrafiltration membrane is improved by 18.0% at -2 V, 15.9% at +2 V, and 30.4% at +4 V during treating wastewater effluent, confirming its antifouling properties and feasibility for practical application.