Quantitative assessment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in sewage sludge from wastewater treatment plants in Qingdao, China
Zhai, J.; Tian, W.; Liu, K.
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 180(1-4): 303-311
ISSN/ISBN: 1573-2959 PMID: 21210216 DOI: 10.1007/s10661-010-1789-5
In this study, 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were detected in sewage sludge samples from four wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in Qingdao, China. These WWTPs differ in the type of treatment used and in the origin of the wastewater. The total amounts of PAHs in digested sludges ranged from 1.9645 to 6.5752 mg/kg, which did not exceed the projected European Union cut-off limits (6 mg/kg) for sludge found in farmland, except for the Haibohe WWTP. Significant differences were observed in overall PAH values between WWTPs receiving domestic effluents and those receiving industrial effluents. The total amounts of PAHs in digested sludge from the Licunhe and Haibohe WWTPs, which mainly received industrial effluents, were markedly higher than those of the Tuandao and Huangdao WWTPs, which received only domestic effluents. The distribution of PAH compounds in digested sludges were analysed. At the Tuandao, Huangdao and Licunhe WWTPs, 2-, 3-, 4-benzene rings were predominant, accounting for 100%, 99.8% and 99.0% of the sum concentration of 16 PAHs (∑PAHs), respectively. At the Haibohe WWTP, a large number of high molecular weight PAHs (5-, 6-benzene rings) were observed, accounting for 30% of the ∑PAHs. The sum of seven carcinogenic PAHs (∑PAHs-c) ranged from 0.8694 to 3.0389 mg/kg in four WWTPs. The highest value was found in the Haibohe WWTP. Moreover, the PAH concentrations in sludges from the different treatment processes in the Licunhe and Tuandao WWTPs are discussed.