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Fate of sex hormones in two pilot-scale municipal wastewater treatment plants: conventional treatment

Fate of sex hormones in two pilot-scale municipal wastewater treatment plants: conventional treatment

Chemosphere 66(8): 1535-1544

The fate of seven sex hormones (estrone (E1), estradiol (E2), estriol (E3), ethinylestradiol (EE2), testosterone, androstenedione, and progesterone) was determined in two pilot-scale wastewater treatment plants operated under conventional loading conditions. The levels of hormones in both the liquid and the solid matrixes of the plants were determined. Each of the two 20-l/h pilot-scale plants consisted of a primary clarifier followed by a three-stage aeration tank and a final clarifier. The primary sludge and the waste activated sludge (WAS) were digested anaerobically in one pilot plant and aerobically in the other. The pilot plants were fed a complex synthetic wastewater spiked with the hormones. Levels of testosterone, androstenedione and progesterone were close to method detection limit (MDL) concentrations in the final and digester effluents (both liquid and solid phases) and were considered as completely removed. Average mass flux removals from the liquid streams (plant influent minus secondary clarifier effluent) for the natural estrogens were 82% for E1, 99% for E2, and 89% for (E1+E2). An average overall removal of only 42% was achieved for EE2. These values reflect removals averaged for the two pilot plants.

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Accession: 012973235

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PMID: 17083962

DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2006.08.020

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