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Determination of sex hormones and nonylphenol ethoxylates in the aqueous matrixes of two pilot-scale municipal wastewater treatment plants



Determination of sex hormones and nonylphenol ethoxylates in the aqueous matrixes of two pilot-scale municipal wastewater treatment plants



Environmental Science & Technology 38(11): 3028-3035



Two analytical methods were developed and refined for the detection and quantitation of two groups of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in the liquid matrixes of two pilot-scale municipal wastewater treatment plants. The targeted compounds are seven sex hormones (estradiol, ethinylestradiol, estrone, estriol, testosterone, progesterone, and androstenedione), a group of nonionic surfactants (nonylphenol polyethoxylates), and their biodegradation byproducts nonylphenol and nonylphenol ethoxylates with one, two, and three ethoxylates. Solid phase extraction using C-18 for steroids and graphitized carbon black for the surfactants were used for extraction. HPLC-DAD and GC/MS were used for quantification. Each of the two 20 L/h pilot-scale plants consists of a primary settling tank followed by a three-stage aeration tank and final clarification. The primary and the waste-activated sludge are digested anaerobically in one plant and aerobically in the other. The pilot plants are fed with a complex synthetic wastewater spiked with the EDCs. Once steady state was reached, liquid samples were collected from four sampling points to obtain the profile for all EDCs along the treatment system. Complete removal from the aqueous phase was obtained for testosterone, androstenedione, and progesterone. Removals for nonylphenol polyethoxylates, estradiol, estrone, and ethinylestradiol from the aqueous phase exceeded 96%, 94%, 52%, and 50%, respectively. Levels of E3 in the liquid phase were low, and no clear conclusions could be drawn concerning its removal.

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Accession: 004100982

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 15224731

DOI: 10.1021/es0350886


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