Removal of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria and Genes by UV-Assisted Electrochemical Oxidation on Degenerative TiO2 Nanotube Arrays

  • Siwen Wang
    Siwen Wang
    Linde+Robinson Laboratories, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, United States
    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Clarkson University, Potsdam, New York 13699, United States
    More by Siwen Wang
  • Shasha Yang
    Shasha Yang
    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Clarkson University, Potsdam, New York 13699, United States
    More by Shasha Yang
  • Estefanny Quispe
    Estefanny Quispe
    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Clarkson University, Potsdam, New York 13699, United States
  • Hannah Yang
    Hannah Yang
    Division of Biology and Biological Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, United States
    More by Hannah Yang
  • Charles Sanfiorenzo
    Charles Sanfiorenzo
    Division of Biology and Biological Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, United States
  • Shane W. Rogers
    Shane W. Rogers
    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Clarkson University, Potsdam, New York 13699, United States
  • Kaihang Wang
    Kaihang Wang
    Division of Biology and Biological Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, United States
    More by Kaihang Wang
  • Yang Yang*
    Yang Yang
    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Clarkson University, Potsdam, New York 13699, United States
    *(Y.Y.) Email: [email protected]. Phone: +1 315-268-3861. Fax: +1 315-268-7985.
    More by Yang Yang
  • , and 
  • Michael R. Hoffmann*
    Michael R. Hoffmann
    Linde+Robinson Laboratories, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, United States
    *(M.R.H.) Email: [email protected]. Phone: +1 626-395-4391. Fax: +1 626-395-2940.
Cite this: ACS EST Engg. 2021, 1, 3, 612–622
Publication Date (Web):March 2, 2021
https://doi.org/10.1021/acsestengg.1c00011
Copyright © 2021 American Chemical Society
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Abstract

Antibiotic resistance has become a global crisis in recent years, while wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) have been identified as a significant source of both antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARB) and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs). However, commonly used disinfectants have been shown to be ineffective for the elimination of ARGs. With the goal of upgrading the conventional UV disinfection unit with stronger capability to combat ARB and ARGs, we developed a UV-assisted electrochemical oxidation (UV-EO) process that employs blue TiO2 nanotube arrays (BNTAs) as photoanodes. Inactivation of tetracycline- and sulfamethoxazole-resistant E. coli along with degradation of the corresponding plasmid coded genes (tetA and sul1) is measured by plate counting on selective agar and qPCR, respectively. In comparison with UV254 irradiation alone, enhanced ARB inactivation and ARG degradation is achieved by UV-EO. Chloride significantly promotes the inactivation efficiency due to the electrochemical production of free chlorine and the subsequent UV/chlorine photoreactions. The fluence-based first-order kinetic rate coefficients of UV-EO in Cl are larger than those of UV254 irradiation alone by a factor of 2.1–2.3 and 1.3–1.8 for the long and short target genes, respectively. The mechanism of plasmid DNA damage by different radical species is further explored using gel electrophoresis and computational kinetic modeling. The process can effectively eliminate ARB and ARGs in latrine wastewater, though the kinetics were retarded.

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The Supporting Information is available free of charge at https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsestengg.1c00011.

  • Detailed method with figures for plasmid construction; lists of primers used in this study; effect of electrolytes on the DNA analysis by gel electrophoresis and qPCR inhibition; qPCR calibration curves for four different amplicons; degradation of intracellular ARGs with UV and UV-EO at various currents; wastewater conditions before and after the UV-EO treatment; summary of kinetic parameters for ARB deactivation and ARG degradation/deactivation from literature and this study, with the treatment related to this study; detailed preparation method and characterization results of BNTAs; stability tests for BNTAs with and without UV irradiation; critical reactions included in the kinetic model; radical speciation estimated by model simulation; and chlorine evolution during the UV-EO process in 30 mM NaCl at varied current densities (PDF)

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Cited By


This article is cited by 3 publications.

  1. Yiwei Cai, Tong Sun, Guiying Li, Taicheng An. Traditional and Emerging Water Disinfection Technologies Challenging the Control of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria and Antibiotic Resistance Genes. ACS ES&T Engineering 2021, 1 (7) , 1046-1064. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsestengg.1c00110
  2. Yinghan Liu, Shuai Zhang, Hao Fang, Qilin Wang, Shan Jiang, Chenxi Zhang, Pengxiang Qiu. Inactivation of antibiotic resistant bacterium Escherichia coli by electrochemical disinfection on molybdenum carbide electrode. Chemosphere 2022, 287 , 132398. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2021.132398
  3. Ying Huang, Yangyang Li, Minghao Kong, Dionysios D. Dionysiou, Lecheng Lei. Degradation of atrazine in the electrochemical LED-UV/Cl 2 system: the role of ˙OH and Cl˙. Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology 2021, 7 (9) , 1630-1642. https://doi.org/10.1039/D1EW00039J