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Fate of Endocrine Disrupting Compounds in Wastewater Treatment Processes and Sludge Digestions

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This study investigated the fate and transport of endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) during wastewater treatment and sludge digestion. Samples were subjected to cyclohexane extraction before being measured by recombinant yeast estrogen screen assay (YES) using 17β-estradiol (E2) as standard. In wastewater samples, estrogenic activity was preferentially associated with larger colloids; a linear correlation between estrogenic activity and organic nitrogen concentration was observed in primary effluents. In sludge samples, the majority of estrogenic activity was found in the solid phase and less than 5% of the total estrogenic activity was contributed from the liquid phase. In a two-stage anaerobic-aerobic digestion, the measured estrogenic activity increased dramatically during the first anaerobic stage but dropped during the second aerobic stage. A higher estrogenic activity was detected in anaerobically digested sludge with a longer SRT, however, an opposite trend was observed in the aerobically digested sludge, in which a longer SRT resulted in a lower estrogenic activity. Introducing ultrasound treatment to the digestion system was found to slightly increase the estrogenic activity in the digested sludge.
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Keywords: Endocrine Disrupting Compounds (EDC); Organic Nitrogen (Org-N); Sludge Digestion; Wastewater Treatment

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-07-29

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