The effects of operating factors on the removal of total ammonia nitrogen and florfenicol antibiotic from synthetic trout fish farm wastewater through nanofiltration

Document Type : Research Paper


1 University of Isfahan

2 University of Iran


An aquaculture system can be a potentially significant source of antibacterial compounds and ammonia in an aquatic environment. In this study, the removal of total ammonia nitrogen and florfenicol antibiotic from synthetic aqueous wastewater was assessed by applying a commercial TFC (thin film composite) polyamide nanofilter. The effects of pH (6.5-8.5), pressure (4-10 bar), concentration of total ammonia nitrogen (1-9 mg/L), and florfenicol (0.2-5 mg/L) on the removal efficiency of the nanofilter were studied at a constant 70% recovery rate. It was found that by increasing the pH within the range of 6.5 to 8.5, it enhanced the removal efficiency by up to 98% and 100% for total ammonia nitrogen and florfenicol, respectively. With an increase in pressure from 4 to 7 bar, the removal percentage increased and then, it decreased from 7 to 10 bar. The interactions factors did not have significant effects on the both pollutants removal efficiencies. To obtain optimal removal efficiencies, an experimental design and statistical analysis via the response surface method were adopted.


Main Subjects

[1] Schindler, D. W. (2006). Recent advances in the understanding and management of eutrophication. Limnology and oceanography, 51(1), 356-363.
[2] Smith, V. H. (2003). Eutrophication of freshwater and coastal marine ecosystems a global problem. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 10(2), 126-139.
[3] McVicar, A. H. (1997). Disease and parasite implications of the coexistence of wild and cultured Atlantic salmon populations. ICES Journal of marine science: Journal du conseil, 54(6), 1093-1103
[4] Elizondo-Patrone, C., Hernández, K., Yannicelli, B., Olsen, L. M., Molina, V. (2015). The response of nitrifying microbial assemblages to ammonium (NH4+) enrichment from salmon farm activities in a northern Chilean Fjord.Estuarine, Coastal and shelf science, 166, 131-142.
[5] Gravningen, K. (2007, May). Driving forces in aquaculture: different scenarios towards 2030. In Summary of the Global Trade Conference on Aquaculture. Qingdao, China (p. 19).
[6] dos Santos Rosa, R., Aguiar, A. C. F., Boëchat, I. G., Gücker, B. (2013). Impacts of fish farm pollution on ecosystem structure and function of tropical headwater streams. Environmental pollution, 174, 204-213.
[7] FAO. The state of world fisheries and aquaculture. E-ISBN 978-92-5-108276-8, Rome: 2014. Available at Last access 31.10.15.
[8] Chen, H., Liu, S., Xu, X. R., Liu, S. S., Zhou, G. J., Sun, K. F., Ying, G. G. (2015). Antibiotics in typical marine aquaculture farms surrounding Hailing Island, South China: occurrence, bioaccumulation and human dietary exposure. Marine pollution bulletin, 90(1), 181-187.
[9] Santos, L., Ramos, F. (2016). Analytical strategies for the detection and quantification of antibiotic residues in aquaculture fishes: A review. Trends in food science and technology, 52, 16-30.
[10] Norambuena, L., Gras, N., Contreras, S. (2013). Development and validation of a method for the simultaneous extraction and separate measurement of oxytetracycline, florfenicol, oxolinic acid and flumequine from marine sediments. Marine pollution bulletin, 73(1), 154-160.
[11] Akinbowale, O. L., Peng, H., Barton, M. D. (2006). Antimicrobial resistance in bacteria isolated from aquaculture sources in Australia. Journal of applied microbiology, 100(5), 1103-1113.
[12] Anadón, A., Martínez, M. A., Martínez, M., Ríos, A., Caballero, V., Ares, I., Martínez-Larrañaga, M. R. (2008). Plasma and tissue depletion of florfenicol and florfenicol-amine in chickens. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 56(22), 11049-11056.
[13] Nora’aini, A., Mohammad, A. W., Jusoh, A., Hasan, M. R., Ghazali, N., Kamaruzaman, K. (2005). Treatment of aquaculture wastewater using ultra-low pressure asymmetric polyethersulfone (PES) membrane. Desalination, 185(1), 317-326.
[14] Mook, W. T., Chakrabarti, M. H., Aroua, M. K., Khan, G. M. A., Ali, B. S., Islam, M. S., Hassan, M. A. (2012). Removal of total ammonia nitrogen (TAN), nitrate and total organic carbon (TOC) from aquaculture wastewater using electrochemical technology: A review. Desalination, 285, 1-13.
[15] Lee, J. H. W., Choi, K. W., Arega, F. (2003). Environmental management of marine fish culture in Hong Kong. Marine pollution bulletin, 47(1), 202-210.
[16] Ali, N. A., Halim, N. S. A., Jusoh, A., Endut, A. (2010). The formation and characterisation of an asymmetric nanofiltration membrane for ammonia–nitrogen removal: Effect of shear rate. Bioresource technology, 101(5), 1459-1465.
[17] Aitcheson, S. J., Arnett, J., Murray, K. R., Zhang, J. (2000). Removal of aquaculture therapeutants by carbon adsorption: 1. Equilibrium adsorption behaviour of single components. Aquaculture, 183(3), 269-284.
[18] Sharrer, M. J., Rishel, K., Summerfelt, S. T. (2010). Evaluation of a membrane biological reactor for reclaiming water, alkalinity, salts, phosphorus, and protein contained in a high-strength aquacultural wastewater. Bioresource technology, 101(12), 4322-4330.
[19] Davidson, J., Helwig, N., Summerfelt, S. T. (2008). Fluidized sand biofilters used to remove ammonia, biochemical oxygen demand, total coliform bacteria, and suspended solids from an intensive aquaculture effluent. Aquacultural engineering, 39(1), 6-15.
[20] Bebak-Williams, J., Bullock, G., Carson, M. C. (2002). Oxytetracycline residues in a freshwater recirculating system. Aquaculture, 205(3), 221-230.
[21] Kumar, K., Gupta, S. C., Chander, Y., Singh, A. K. (2005). Antibiotic use in agriculture and its impact on the terrestrial environment. Advances in agronomy, 87, 1-54.
[22] Ferro, G., Guarino, F., Castiglione, S., Rizzo, L. (2016). Antibiotic resistance spread potential in urban wastewater effluents disinfected by UV/H2Oprocess. Science of the total environment, 560, 29-35.
[23] Cancino-Madariaga, B., Hurtado, C. F., Ruby, R. (2011). Effect of pressure and pH in ammonium retention for nanofiltration and reverse osmosis membranes to be used in recirculation aquaculture systems (RAS). Aquacultural engineering, 45(3), 103-108.
[24] Li, K., Zhang, P., Ge, L., Ren, H., Yu, C., Chen, X., Zhao, Y. (2014). Concentration-dependent photodegradation kinetics and hydroxyl-radical oxidation of phenicol antibiotics. Chemosphere, 111, 278-282.
[25] Seidel, A., Waypa, J. J., Elimelech, M. (2001). Role of charge (Donnan) exclusion in removal of arsenic from water by a negatively charged porous nanofiltration membrane. Environmental engineering science, 18(2), 105-113.
[26] Bandini, S., Drei, J., Vezzani, D. (2005). The role of pH and concentration on the ion rejection in polyamide nanofiltration membranes. Journal of membrane science, 264(1), 65-74.
[27] Jurecska, L., Dobosy, P., Barkács, K., Fenyvesi, É. Záray, G. (2014). Characterization of cyclodextrin containing nanofilters for removal of pharmaceutical residues. Journal of pharmaceutical and biomedical analysis, 98, 90-93.
[28] Hilal, N., Al-Zoubi, H., Darwish, N. A., Mohamma, A. W., Arabi, M. A. (2004). A comprehensive review of nanofiltration membranes: Treatment, pretreatment, modelling, and atomic force microscopy. Desalination, 170(3), 281-308.
[29] Greenbery, A.E., Trussell, R.R., Clesceri, L.S., (1985). Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater American Public Health Association. Sixteenth ed. American Water Works Association, Washington.
[30] Martins, A., Guimarães, L., Guilhermino, L. (2013). Chronic toxicity of the veterinary antibiotic florfenicol to Daphnia magna assessed at two temperatures. Environmental toxicology and pharmacology, 36(3), 1022-1032.
[31] Mahmoodi, P., Hosseinzadeh Borazjani, H., Farhadian, M., Solaimany Nazar, A. R. (2015). Remediation of contaminated water from nitrate and diazinon by nanofiltration process. Desalination and water treatment, 53(11), 2948-2953.
[32] Myer, R. H., Montgomery, D. C. (2002). Response surface methodology: process and product optimization using designed experiment. John Wiley and sons, New York, 343-350.
[33] Košutić, K., Dolar, D., Ašperger, D., Kunst, B. (2007). Removal of antibiotics from a model wastewater by RO/NF membranes. Separation and purification technology, 53(3), 244-249.
[34] Yu, S., Liu, M., Ma, M., Qi, M., Lü, Z., Gao, C. (2010). Impacts of membrane properties on reactive dye removal from dye/salt mixtures by asymmetric cellulose acetate and composite polyamide nanofiltration membranes. Journal of membrane science, 350(1), 83-91.
[35] Peeters, J. M. M., Boom, J. P., Mulder, M. H. V., Strathmann, H. (1998). Retention measurements of nanofiltration membranes with electrolyte solutions. Journal of membrane science, 145(2), 199-209.
[36] Hurtado, C. F., Cancino-Madariaga, B. (2014). Ammonia retention capacity of nanofiltration and reverse osmosis membranes in a non steady state system, to be use in recirculation aquaculture systems (RAS). Aquacultural engineering, 58, 29-34.
[37] Chellam, S., Taylor, J. S. (2001). Simplified analysis of contaminant rejection during ground-and surface water nanofiltration under the information collection rule. Water research, 35(10), 2460-2474.
[38] Bruni, L., Bandini, S. (2009). Studies on the role of site-binding and competitive adsorption in determining the charge of nanofiltration membranes. Desalination, 241(1), 315-330.
[39] Amisha, D. S., Huang, C. H., Kim, J. H. (2012). Mechanisms of antibiotic removal by nanofiltration membranes: Model development and application. Journal of membrane science, 389, 234-244.
[40] Korzenowski, C., Minhalma, M., Bernardes, A. M., Ferreira, J. Z., de Pinho, M. N. (2011). Nanofiltration for the treatment of coke plant ammoniacal wastewaters. Separation and purification technology, 76(3), 303-307.
[41] Zheng, Y., Yu, S., Shuai, S., Zhou, Q., Cheng, Q., Liu, M., Gao, C. (2013). Color removal and COD reduction of biologically treated textile effluent through submerged filtration using hollow fiber nanofiltration membrane. Desalination, 314, 89-95.