FATE OF ESTROGENS IN A NITRIFYING SEQUENCING BATCH REACTOR RECEIVING A HIGH ORGANIC STRENGTH, NITROGEN-RICH INDUSTRIAL WASTEWATER
Abstract:The fate of six estrogenic compounds during aerobic biological treatment of a high strength industrial wastewater was examined in a bench-scale sequencing batch reactor. Both free and conjugated forms of the estrogens were analyzed. Custom GC/MS analytical methods were developed by others and used during this study to measure both soluble and solids-associated estrogens. A complete mass balance was developed around the reactor for each individual estrogen compound by accounting for influent mass loading, effluent decant mass loading (liquid and solids-associated), mass loading in the biomass waste stream (liquid and solids-associated), and volatilization of the estrogens in the off-gas. The discrepancy between the influent and other mass loadings was attributed to biodegradation and/or biotransformation. Biodegradation/biotransformation levels of 77.3–99.9% were realized for individual compounds. Overall biodegradation/biotransformation levels of 99% were realized for the aggregate of estrogens tested. These removal percentages were realized for estrogens that were present individually at concentrations from 3.3 to 550 μg/L in the influent. This study corroborates successful removal of individual estrogens during operation of a pilot-scale membrane bioreactor (MBR) from a pharmaceutical manufacturing wastewater (Helmig et al., 2005), thereby further demonstrating the promising application of standard aerobic biological treatment methods to meet increasingly stringent discharge limits of estrogens from industrial operations.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2005-01-01
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