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Assessment of the removal of estrogenicity in biological nutrient removal wastewater treatment processes



Assessment of the removal of estrogenicity in biological nutrient removal wastewater treatment processes



Science of the Total Environment 514: 202-210



The removal of estrogenicity in a University of Cape Town-biological nutrient removal (UCT-BNR) wastewater treatment process was investigated using pilot and bench scale systems, batch experiments and mathematical modeling. In the pilot BNR process, 96 ± 5% of the estrogenicity exerted by the influent wastewater was removed by the treatment process. The degradation efficiencies in the anaerobic, anoxic and aerobic zones of the pilot BNR bioreactor were 11 ± 9%, 18 ± 2% and 93 ± 10%, respectively. In order to further understand the performance of the BNR process in the removal of estrogenicity from wastewater, a bench scale BNR process was operated with synthetic wastewater dosed with E1 and E2. The removal of estrogenicity in the bench scale system (95 ± 5%) was comparable to the pilot BNR process and the degradation efficiencies were estimated to be 8 ± 0.8%, 38 ± 4% and 85 ± 22% in the anaerobic, anoxic and aerobic zones, respectively. A biotransformation model developed to predict the fate of E1 and E2 in batch tests using the sludge from the BNR process was calibrated using the data from the experiments. The biotransformation rate constants for the transformation of E2 to E1 were estimated as 71 ± 1.5, 31 ± 3.3 and 1 ± 0.9 Lg COD(-1)d(-1) for the aerobic, anoxic and anaerobic batch tests, respectively, while the corresponding biotransformation rate constants for the transformation of E1 were estimated to be 7.3 ± 1.0, 3 ± 2.0, and 0.85 ± 0.6 L·g COD(-1)d(-1). A steady state mass balance model formulated to describe the interactions between E2 and E1 in BNR activated sludge reasonably described the fate of E1 and E2 in the BNR process.

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Accession: 057245796

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PMID: 25666280

DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.01.100



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