Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 5, pp 4521–4536 | Cite as

Enhanced biodiesel industry wastewater treatment via a hybrid MBBR combined with advanced oxidation processes: analysis of active microbiota and toxicity removal

  • Luciano de Oliveira Gonçalves
  • Maria Clara V. M. Starling
  • Cintia Dutra Leal
  • Daniel V. M. Oliveira
  • Juliana Calábria Araújo
  • Mônica Maria D. Leão
  • Camila C. AmorimEmail author
Advanced Oxidation Technologies: State-of-the-Art in Ibero-American Countries


In the present study, a multistage route is proposed for the treatment of biodiesel industry wastewater (BWW) containing around 1000 mg L−1 of total organic carbon (TOC), 3500 mg L−1 of chemical oxygen demand (COD), and 1325 mg L−1 of oil and grease. Initially, BWW aerobic biodegradability was assessed via Zhan-Wellens biodegradability test to confirm the appropriate treatment route. Then, a hybrid moving bed bioreactor (MBBR) system was chosen as the first treatment stage. The hybrid MBBR achieved 69 and 68% removal of COD and TOC removals, respectively, and provided great conditions for biomass growth. The bacterial community present in the hybrid MBBR was investigated by PCR-DGGE and potential biodegraders were identified such as: members of Desulfuromonadales, Nocardioidaceae and Pseudomonadaceae. Since biodegradation in the hybrid MBBR alone was unable to meet quality requirements, advanced oxidation processes, such as Fenton and photo-Fenton, were optimized for application as additional treatment stages. Physicochemical properties and acute toxicity of BWW were analyzed after the multistage routes: hybrid MBBR + Fenton, hybrid MBBR + photo-Fenton and hybrid MBBR + UV-C254nm/H2O2. Hybrid MBBR + Fenton or photo-Fenton showed overall COD removal efficiencies greater than 95% and removed acute toxicity, thus being appropriate integrated routes for the treatment of real BWW.

Graphical abstract


Biodiesel wastewater AOP Toxicity Fenton Biological treatment Microbial community 



Advanced oxidation processes


Activated sludge


Biodiesel wastewater


Chemical oxygen demand


Moving bed bioreactors


Oil and grease


Total organic carbon


Total suspended solids


Volatile suspended solids



The authors would like to thank FAPEMIG, CAPES, and CNPQ for the financial support and the biodiesel industry for the trustworthy collaboration.

Supplementary material

11356_2018_2710_MOESM1_ESM.docx (320 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 319 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luciano de Oliveira Gonçalves
    • 1
  • Maria Clara V. M. Starling
    • 1
  • Cintia Dutra Leal
    • 1
  • Daniel V. M. Oliveira
    • 2
  • Juliana Calábria Araújo
    • 1
  • Mônica Maria D. Leão
    • 1
  • Camila C. Amorim
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Sanitary and Environmental EngineeringUniversidade Federal de Minas GeraisBelo HorizonteBrazil
  2. 2.Civil Engineering DepartmentUniversity Center-Catholic of Santa CatarinaJoinvilleBrazil

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