Aerobic inhibition assessment for anaerobic treatment effluent of antibiotic production wastewater

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2014 Feb;21(4):2856-64. doi: 10.1007/s11356-013-2243-3. Epub 2013 Oct 22.


Biological treatment of antibiotic production effluents is an economical approach; however, there are still difficulties to overcome because of the recalcitrant characteristics of these compounds to biodegradation. This study aims to reveal that anaerobic treatment technology can be an option as pretreatment before the activated sludge system treatment to treat antibiotic production effluents. The ISO 8192 method was chosen to test the inhibitory effect of raw and treated antibiotic production effluents in this work. Inhibition tests, which were applied according to ISO 8192, highlighted that the anaerobic treatment effluent is less inhibitory than antibiotic production effluent for activated sludge system. Early EC50 concentrations (30-min values) of raw and treated wastewaters were lower than 180-min values. Also, triple effects (sulfamethoxazole-erythromycin-tetracycline) of antibiotics are more toxic than dual effects (sulfamethoxazole-tetracycline). In light of the experimental results obtained and their evaluation, it can be concluded that anaerobic digestion can be applied as a biological pretreatment method for pharmaceutical industry wastewater including antibiotic mixtures prior to aerobic treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aerobiosis
  • Anaerobiosis
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / metabolism*
  • Bioreactors*
  • Drug Industry
  • Erythromycin / metabolism
  • Industrial Waste
  • Sewage / microbiology
  • Sulfamethoxazole / metabolism
  • Tetracycline / metabolism
  • Waste Disposal, Fluid / methods*
  • Waste Water
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / metabolism*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Industrial Waste
  • Sewage
  • Waste Water
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • Erythromycin
  • Tetracycline
  • Sulfamethoxazole