Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 2437–2447 | Cite as

Treatment process and toxicities assessment of wastewater issued from anaerobic digestion of household wastes

  • Hayet Djelal
  • Leyla Tahrani
  • Salem Fathallah
  • Audrey Cabrol
  • Hedi Ben MansourEmail author
Research Article


Modern society grapples with large amounts of household waste. The anaerobic digestion of this waste offers a promising source for energy-rich biogas production but generates high toxic effluents that require treatment before reuse or disposal into the environment. This study aimed to investigate three techniques, namely coagulation/flocculation, electro-coagulation, and activated sludge, in terms of efficiency in the treatment of these effluents. It also aimed to assess their toxicity effects on the germination and growth of durum wheat Triticum aestivum L. seeds before and after 6 days of treatment. Activated sludge was most efficient in reducing chemical oxygen demand, turbidity, and conductivity (95.7 %, 15.8 %, and 37.5 %, respectively). The effluent treated with this technique induced a marked delay in germination (low mean time of germination) and a significant reduction in the percentages of seed germination and root and leaf growths. It was also noted to strongly induce lipid peroxidation in roots and leaves, which presumably explained the germination/growth inhibition of the wheat seeds. The effluent also induced marked lipid peroxidation effects and strongly inhibited the activities of butyrylcholinesterase in mice bone marrows. The effluent shows a high ability to inhibit the growth of three microalgae; these endpoints are useful tools to biomonitor the physico-chemical quality of this wastewater. Overall, while no significant alterations were observed in terms of animal and vegetable toxicities when the effluent was treated by coagulation/flocculation, activated sludge treatment proved efficient in reducing the toxicities induced by the untreated effluents. The results indicate that the application of this technique is promising with regards to attaining efficient, eco-friendly, and cost-effective strategies for the management and treatment of household waste.


Anaerobic digestor Wastewater treatment Phytotoxicity In vivo toxicity Cholinesterase Lipoperoxidation 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hayet Djelal
    • 1
    • 2
  • Leyla Tahrani
    • 3
  • Salem Fathallah
    • 4
  • Audrey Cabrol
    • 1
  • Hedi Ben Mansour
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Ecole des Métiers de l’EnvironnementBruzFrance
  2. 2.Université Européenne de BretagneRennesFrance
  3. 3.Laboratoire de Biotechnologie et Valorisation de Bio Géo Ressources Institut Supérieur de BiotechnologieUniversité de la Manouba BioTechPole Sidi ThabetSidi Thabet ArianaTunisia
  4. 4.Laboratoire d’Aquaculture–Institut National des Sciences et Technologies de la Mer BP59MonastirTunisia

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