Assessing the removal of pharmaceuticals and personal care products in a full-scale activated sludge plant

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Abstract

Purpose: This study aimed to investigate the removal mechanisms of pharmaceutical active compounds (PhACs) and musks in a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). Biological removal and adsorption in the activated sludge tank as well as the effect of UV radiation used for disinfection purposes were considered when performing a mass balance on the WWTP throughout a 2-week sampling campaign. Methods: Solid-phase extraction (SPE) was carried out to analyse the PhACs in the influent and effluent samples. Ultrasonic solvent extraction was used before SPE for PhACs analysis in sludge samples. PhAC extracts were analysed by LC-MS. Solid-phase microextraction of liquid and sludge samples was used for the analysis of musks, which were detected by GC-MS. The fluxes of the most abundant compounds (13 PhACs and 5 musks) out of 79 compounds studied were used to perform the mass balance on the WWTP. Results: Results show that incomplete removal of diclofenac, the compound that was found in the highest abundance, was observed via biodegradation and adsorption, and that UV photolysis was the main removal mechanism for this compound. The effect of adsorption to the secondary sludge was often negligible for the PhACs, with the exceptions of diclofenac, etofenamate, hydroxyzine and indapamide. However, the musks showed a high level of adsorption to the sludge. UV radiation had an important role in reducing the concentration of some of the target compounds (e. g. diclofenac, ibuprofen, clorazepate, indapamide, enalapril and atenolol) not removed in the activated sludge tank. Conclusions: The main removal mechanism of PhACs and musks studied in the WWTP was most often biological (45%), followed by adsorption (33%) and by UV radiation (22%). In the majority of the cases, the WWTP achieved <75% removal of the most detected PhACs and musks, with the exception of diclofenac. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1818-1827
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Volume19
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2012

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activated sludge
drug
adsorption
sludge
mass balance
PPCP
removal
photolysis
disinfection
biodegradation
wastewater treatment plant
effluent
liquid
sampling
radiation

Cite this

@article{aa059ab8d354410d8e7d63c6a80ac98e,
title = "Assessing the removal of pharmaceuticals and personal care products in a full-scale activated sludge plant",
abstract = "Purpose: This study aimed to investigate the removal mechanisms of pharmaceutical active compounds (PhACs) and musks in a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). Biological removal and adsorption in the activated sludge tank as well as the effect of UV radiation used for disinfection purposes were considered when performing a mass balance on the WWTP throughout a 2-week sampling campaign. Methods: Solid-phase extraction (SPE) was carried out to analyse the PhACs in the influent and effluent samples. Ultrasonic solvent extraction was used before SPE for PhACs analysis in sludge samples. PhAC extracts were analysed by LC-MS. Solid-phase microextraction of liquid and sludge samples was used for the analysis of musks, which were detected by GC-MS. The fluxes of the most abundant compounds (13 PhACs and 5 musks) out of 79 compounds studied were used to perform the mass balance on the WWTP. Results: Results show that incomplete removal of diclofenac, the compound that was found in the highest abundance, was observed via biodegradation and adsorption, and that UV photolysis was the main removal mechanism for this compound. The effect of adsorption to the secondary sludge was often negligible for the PhACs, with the exceptions of diclofenac, etofenamate, hydroxyzine and indapamide. However, the musks showed a high level of adsorption to the sludge. UV radiation had an important role in reducing the concentration of some of the target compounds (e. g. diclofenac, ibuprofen, clorazepate, indapamide, enalapril and atenolol) not removed in the activated sludge tank. Conclusions: The main removal mechanism of PhACs and musks studied in the WWTP was most often biological (45{\%}), followed by adsorption (33{\%}) and by UV radiation (22{\%}). In the majority of the cases, the WWTP achieved <75{\%} removal of the most detected PhACs and musks, with the exception of diclofenac. {\circledC} 2011 Springer-Verlag.",
keywords = "Pharmaceutical active compounds (PhAC), Mass balance, Wastewater treatment, Musks, UV disinfection, Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCP)",
author = "Noronha, {Jo{\~a}o Paulo da Costa de} and Gilda Carvalho and Oehmen, {Adrian Michael} and Reis, {Maria D'ascens{\~a}o Carvalho Fernandes Miranda}",
year = "2012",
month = "6",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1007/s11356-011-0693-z",
language = "English",
volume = "19",
pages = "1818--1827",
journal = "Environmental Science And Pollution Research",
issn = "0944-1344",
publisher = "Springer-Verlag",
number = "5",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Assessing the removal of pharmaceuticals and personal care products in a full-scale activated sludge plant

AU - Noronha, João Paulo da Costa de

AU - Carvalho, Gilda

AU - Oehmen, Adrian Michael

AU - Reis, Maria D'ascensão Carvalho Fernandes Miranda

PY - 2012/6/1

Y1 - 2012/6/1

N2 - Purpose: This study aimed to investigate the removal mechanisms of pharmaceutical active compounds (PhACs) and musks in a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). Biological removal and adsorption in the activated sludge tank as well as the effect of UV radiation used for disinfection purposes were considered when performing a mass balance on the WWTP throughout a 2-week sampling campaign. Methods: Solid-phase extraction (SPE) was carried out to analyse the PhACs in the influent and effluent samples. Ultrasonic solvent extraction was used before SPE for PhACs analysis in sludge samples. PhAC extracts were analysed by LC-MS. Solid-phase microextraction of liquid and sludge samples was used for the analysis of musks, which were detected by GC-MS. The fluxes of the most abundant compounds (13 PhACs and 5 musks) out of 79 compounds studied were used to perform the mass balance on the WWTP. Results: Results show that incomplete removal of diclofenac, the compound that was found in the highest abundance, was observed via biodegradation and adsorption, and that UV photolysis was the main removal mechanism for this compound. The effect of adsorption to the secondary sludge was often negligible for the PhACs, with the exceptions of diclofenac, etofenamate, hydroxyzine and indapamide. However, the musks showed a high level of adsorption to the sludge. UV radiation had an important role in reducing the concentration of some of the target compounds (e. g. diclofenac, ibuprofen, clorazepate, indapamide, enalapril and atenolol) not removed in the activated sludge tank. Conclusions: The main removal mechanism of PhACs and musks studied in the WWTP was most often biological (45%), followed by adsorption (33%) and by UV radiation (22%). In the majority of the cases, the WWTP achieved <75% removal of the most detected PhACs and musks, with the exception of diclofenac. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.

AB - Purpose: This study aimed to investigate the removal mechanisms of pharmaceutical active compounds (PhACs) and musks in a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). Biological removal and adsorption in the activated sludge tank as well as the effect of UV radiation used for disinfection purposes were considered when performing a mass balance on the WWTP throughout a 2-week sampling campaign. Methods: Solid-phase extraction (SPE) was carried out to analyse the PhACs in the influent and effluent samples. Ultrasonic solvent extraction was used before SPE for PhACs analysis in sludge samples. PhAC extracts were analysed by LC-MS. Solid-phase microextraction of liquid and sludge samples was used for the analysis of musks, which were detected by GC-MS. The fluxes of the most abundant compounds (13 PhACs and 5 musks) out of 79 compounds studied were used to perform the mass balance on the WWTP. Results: Results show that incomplete removal of diclofenac, the compound that was found in the highest abundance, was observed via biodegradation and adsorption, and that UV photolysis was the main removal mechanism for this compound. The effect of adsorption to the secondary sludge was often negligible for the PhACs, with the exceptions of diclofenac, etofenamate, hydroxyzine and indapamide. However, the musks showed a high level of adsorption to the sludge. UV radiation had an important role in reducing the concentration of some of the target compounds (e. g. diclofenac, ibuprofen, clorazepate, indapamide, enalapril and atenolol) not removed in the activated sludge tank. Conclusions: The main removal mechanism of PhACs and musks studied in the WWTP was most often biological (45%), followed by adsorption (33%) and by UV radiation (22%). In the majority of the cases, the WWTP achieved <75% removal of the most detected PhACs and musks, with the exception of diclofenac. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.

KW - Pharmaceutical active compounds (PhAC)

KW - Mass balance

KW - Wastewater treatment

KW - Musks

KW - UV disinfection

KW - Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCP)

U2 - 10.1007/s11356-011-0693-z

DO - 10.1007/s11356-011-0693-z

M3 - Article

VL - 19

SP - 1818

EP - 1827

JO - Environmental Science And Pollution Research

JF - Environmental Science And Pollution Research

SN - 0944-1344

IS - 5

ER -