Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Journal of Chemistry
Volume 2015, Article ID 705275, 8 pages
Research Article

Treatment of Antibiotic Pharmaceutical Wastewater Using a Rotating Biological Contactor

1Department of Environmental Engineering, Harbin Commerce University, Harbin 150076, China
2School of Municipal and Environmental Engineering, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150090, China
3School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA

Received 20 October 2014; Revised 29 December 2014; Accepted 2 January 2015

Academic Editor: Wenshan Guo

Copyright © 2015 Rongjun Su et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Rotating biological contactors (RBC) are effective for treating wastewater, while they are rarely reported to be used for treating antibiotic pharmaceutical wastewater (APW). The current study investigates treatment of APW using an RBC. The effects of influent concentration, number of stages, and temperature on the remediation of APW were studied. The results indicated, even at low ambient temperature, 45% COD and 40% -N removal efficiencies. Moreover, the BOD5 removal efficiency was 85%. Microscopic observations illustrated that there were various active microorganisms displayed in the biofilms and their distribution changed from stage to stage. Compared with activated sludge, the biofilms in this study have higher content of dry matter and are easier to dehydrate and settle. Compared with current commercial incineration processes or advanced oxidation processes, RBC can greatly reduce the treatment cost. This research shows RBC is effective for such an inherently biorecalcitrant wastewater even at low ambient temperature.