Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Chemical Engineering (MSChE)

Degree Level



Chemical Engineering


Xianghong Qian

Committee Member

Ranil Wickramasinghe

Second Committee Member

Wen Zhang


Endocrine Disrupting Compounds, Membrane Bioreactor, Microfiltration, Wastewater Treatment


The presence of endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) and pharmaceutically active compounds (PhAC) such as pesticides, personal care products, antibiotics and pharmaceutical compounds, in sewage, industrial, and domestic waters has extensively become the major concern for health and environmental organizations. These compounds have the ability to interact with mammalian endocrine system and disrupting their functions. The traditional activated sludge processes are designed to degrade solids, organic carbon and nitrogen loading. Although several treatment steps in a wastewater treatment plant can contribute to partial removal of EDCs, effective removal has been a challenge due to their resistant chemical and biological degradation and extreme low concentrations. Membrane bioreactor (MBR) used in this study is novella better water reclamation technology that shows several advantages including stable operation conditions due to long solid retention time (SRT); concentrated mixed liquor suspended solids (MLSS); and low F/M ration in comparison with conventional wastewater treatment. This research will utilize these advanced membrane technologies to develop wastewater treatment processes for removal of EDCs in order to recover and reuse wastewater to augment drinking water supplies. A set of model EDCs including acetaminophen, amoxicillin, atrazine, estrone, and triclosan were selected to study the removal by membrane bioreactor. Those compounds were chosen based on their concentrations present in Oklahoma and Arkansas wastewater and to represent each group of compounds. Optimized HPLC method was used for detection of these model compounds. A Lab-scale MBR operated with real wastewater was tested under different operating conditions, such as retention time and volatile suspended solids concentrations to remove the spiked EDCs. The module MBR can reach desired chemical oxygen demand COD (< 30 ppm), Total nitrogen <10 ppm, and Nitrate nitrogen < 5 ppm in

different retention times. MBR have shown removal of amoxicillin, acetaminophen, triclosan with the efficiency can reach 100% while (50-55) % removal of atrazine can be achieved. Estrone disappearance was also more than 90%.