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Modeling the Fate of Estrogenic Hormones in Municipal Wastewater Treatment

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A dynamic model of biotransformation of two natural estrogenic hormones, 17β-estradiol (E2) and estrone (E1), and the synthetic estrogen 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2), was created using GPS-X software. Published biokinetic rates from batch laboratory tests were initially used in modeling, but they were subsequently modified to reflect typical literature values for removal efficiencies. Sorption to primary and waste secondary solids was included as a fate mechanism. The modeling indicated that sorption to primary solids was an important removal mechanism. Following test model calibration, data from a separate published study were used to validate the model biotransformation rates. Of the three plants used for validation, the agreement of reported and predicted concentrations of the hormones in the effluents of two plants was good, especially for E1. Using a sensitivity analysis, the wastewater temperature, hydraulic retention time of the aerobic bioreactor and solids retention time at lower temperatures were found to be important factors in biotransformation of the hormones.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-01-01

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