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Effect of Primary Substrate and Solids Retention Time on Biodegradation of 17α-Ethinylestradiol (EE2)

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Estrogens released into surface waters from municipal wastewater treatment facility (WWTF) effluents may contribute to serious concern for aquatic ecosystems at concentrations less than 1 ng/L. This study investigated the effect of solids retention times (SRTs) of 3.5 to 10.5 days, and heterotrophic bacterial growth substrates, on 17α‐Ethinylestradiol (EE2) degradation kinetics in bench-scale suspended growth systems. Pseudo-first order degradation coefficients were not significantly affected by SRT, indicating that the critical SRT for sustaining EE2-degrading bacteria was below 3.5 days at 20°C for treating municipal primary effluent. EE2-degrading bacterial enrichments were grown on a variety of organic substrates without the presence of EE2. They all showed an immediate EE2 degradation ability in batch tests, but kinetics varied with the growth substrate type. Growth substrates included protein/polypeptides, dextrin, glycerol, methanol, acetate, and a mixture of readily and slowly degradable organics.
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Keywords: 17α‐Ethinylestradiol; endocrine disrupting compounds; glycerol; kinetics; methanol; modeling; primary effluent; solids retention time; synthetic wastewater

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-01-01

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