Ozone as a Pretreatment Method for Antibiotic Contaminated Wastewater and Sludge

The capability of ozone to reduce the hazardous impact of environmentally persistent antibiotic tiamulin in term of toxicity reduction and enhancement of biodegradability was investigated. Different ozone doses were applied but ozonation was not effective enough to increase the biodegradability of tiamulin in the aqueous phase. The opposite effect was observed in anaerobic digestion experiments, where ozonation as a pretreatment step of antibiotic-contaminated sludge detoxify tiamulin and improves biogas production for 75%. As confirmed by 1H NMR and HPLC-HRMS analyses, the tiamulin molecule completely reacts with ozone at low ozone/COD molar ratio of 0.03, primarily attacking the vinyl double bond with further oxidation of sulfur and nitrogen atom, and gradual decomposition of tiamulin skeleton.