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Estrogen concentration affects its biodegradation rate in activated sludge

Xu, Nan; Johnson, Andrew C.; Juergens, Monika D.; Llewellyn, Neville R.; Hankins, Nick, P.; Darton, Richard C.. 2009 Estrogen concentration affects its biodegradation rate in activated sludge. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 28 (11). 2263-2270. 10.1897/08-577.1

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Abstract/Summary

The effect of concentration on the biodegradation rate of the steroid estrogens, estrone (E1) and 17-α-ethinylestradiol (EE2), was studied in batch and continuous-flow reactor systems using fresh activated sludge from two sewage treatment plants. Between the concentrations of 0.03 to 10 µg/L in the batch system no consistent difference was found in the biodegradation rates for either estrogen. The biodegradation half-life was 0.3 to 0.7 h for E1, and 1.5 to 4.4 h for EE2 at 15 to 20 °C. However, at 100 µg/L, biodegradation rates for both estrogens decreased, with the half-life prolonged to around 2.5 h for E1 and 12 to 18 h for EE2. In continuous-flow experiments, over a 2 h residence time, 95% of E1 and 48% of EE2 were removed on average at 0.1 µg/L, whilst 52% of E1 and 20% of EE2 were removed at 100 µg/L. In general, spiking concentration of estrogens did not appear to affect biodegradation rates between the ng/L to low µg/L levels in activated sludge; however, the rates greatly slowed down when the concentration increased up to 100 µg/L. The results suggest activated sludge biodegradation studies with estrogens in the high µg/L levels could give misleading results and should be avoided.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1897/08-577.1
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Biogeochemistry > SE01B Sustainable Monitoring, Risk Assessment and Management of Chemicals > SE01.4 Monitoring and predicting the distribution of chemicals in terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems
CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Water > WA Topic 2 - Ecohydrological Processes > WA - 2.1 - Identify and quantify sources, fluxes and pathways of water, chemicals ...
CEH Sections: Shore
Acreman
ISSN: 0730-7268
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Chemistry
Date made live: 29 Oct 2009 12:42
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/8411

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