Determination of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Sludge from Water and Wastewater Treatment Plants by GC-MS
Chen, C.-F.; Ju, Y.-R.; Lim, Y.C.; Hsieh, S.-L.; Tsai, M.-L.; Sun, P.-P.; Katiyar, R.; Chen, C.-W.; Dong, C.-D.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 16(14)
ISSN/ISBN: 1660-4601 PMID: 31336632 DOI: 10.3390/ijerph16142604
The qualitative and quantitative analysis of 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in sludge samples from drinking water treatment plants (DWTP) and wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) were established using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The method was suitable to quantify PAHs in the sludge of DWTP and WWTP and it was confirmed by the relevant quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) procedures. The recovery of individual PAHs in the spiked samples ranged from 74.3% to 108.7%. Detection limits of the analytical procedure were 0.0010-0.0046 mg/kg dw for individual PAHs. This method was used to determine the concentration of PAHs in the selected two DWTP and four WWTP sludge samples. The results showed that the total PAHs (∑PAHs) were in low levels which ranged from 0.0668 to 0.1357 mg/kg dw, and 0.5342-1.0666 mg/kg dw for DWTP and WWTP respectively. The 3- & 4-ring PAHs were predominant in DWTP sludge, ranging from 77.4% to 82.7%; the 4-ring PAHs were predominant in WWTP sludge, ranging from 40.7% to 47.6%. The PAHs of DWTP sludge are mainly composed of 3-ring phenanthrene and anthracene and 4-ring pyrene, and chrysene. The PAHs of WWTP sludge are dominated by 4-ring fluoranthene, pyrene, and chrysene. The detected PAHs concentration should be undoubtedly considered for agriculture in sludge applications based on the limits of the EU regulations. The results of this study can be used for regular monitoring to establish a reference for sludge management and application to agriculture.