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Removal of Steroid Estrogens from Wastewater Using Granular Activated Carbon: Comparison between Virgin and Reactivated Carbon

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This research was set up in response to new European legislation to identify cost-effective treatment for removal of steroid estrogens from effluent. This study aimed to compare estrogen removal of two types of granular activated carbon: virgin (F400) and reactivated (C401) carbon. Rapid, small-scale column tests were conducted with a total bed volume of 24.9 cm 3 over three columns, and analysis was carried out using high-performance liquid chromatography. Results demonstrated that C401 performed more efficiently with greater than or equal to 81% estrogen removal in wastewater compared to F400 which produced greater than or equal to 65% estrogen removal. Estrogen removal can be affected by competitive adsorption from natural organic matter present in wastewater. In addition, the physical properties of each carbon had the potential to influence adsorption differently, thus resulting in the observed varied adsorption capability of the two carbons.

Keywords: Granular activated carbon; adsorption; high-performance liquid chromatography; steroid estrogens; wastewater

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: April 1, 2009

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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