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Analysis of Estrogens and Alkylphenols in Wastewater by Liquid Chromatography/Tandem Mass Spectrometry

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An analytical method for the determination of the estrogenic contaminants estrone (E1), 17-β- estradiol (E2), 17-α-ethynylestradiol (EE2), progesterone and alkylphenols (nonylphenol, octylphenol) in wastewater treatment plant effluents was developed using two liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) methods that incorporate an automated solid phase extraction workstation for analyte concentration and sample cleanup. These methods are capable of measuring estrogens and alkylphenols at low part per trillion (ppt; ng/L) concentrations. The reporting limits for final effluent wastewater matrices are 1 ppt for progesterone, 2 ppt for E1, E2, EE2, 5 ppt for octylphenol, and 25 ppt for nonylphenol. The reporting limits for the steroids are some of the lowest for wastewater matrices of which we are aware when using methods without sample derivatization. Initial demonstration of precision (% relative standard deviation) was 5.4% or less and accuracy (% recovery) was 100±6% for all compounds. The methods are robust, automated and have been validated for both unchlorinated secondary and tertiary effluents.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2008

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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