Utilization of a bioluminescence toxicity assay for optimal design of biological and physicochemical wastewater treatment processes

Asher Brenner, Shimshon Belkin, Shimon Ulitzur, Aharon Abeliovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


A comprehensive laboratory investigation was conducted to test the feasibility of employing biological and physicochemical treatment processes for complex wastewaters discharged by several chemical industries. Results obtained during this study indicated that the wastes contain a fraction of toxic and nonbiodegradable organic matter, which limits the implementation of a conventional biological treatment process for the combined wastewater stream. Toxicity, as measured by a bioluminescence assay (Microtox), served as a valuable tool to assess biological treatability of various waste sources, with the aim to select an economically feasible and environmentally acceptable treatment/management program for an industrial park. Toxicity values served as quantitative indices for the establishment of baseline data of removability potential, defined either by biodegradation or carbon adsorption. This removability data enabled identification of problematic waste sources, which are only partially biodegradable and/or possess considerable toxicity. Further investigation of the problematic waste streams focused on the evaluation of activated carbon adsorption characteristics, using toxicity balances instead of traditional chemical determinations. This method could be successfully employed to yield simultaneously both adsorption characteristics and an assessment of the impact of the treated effluent on biota in receiving waters. © 1994 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc..

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-316
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Water Quality
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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