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Title: The partitioning of alkylphenolic surfactants and polybrominated diphenyl ether flame retardants in activated sludge batch tests
Authors: Langford, KH
Scrimshaw, MD
Birkett, JW
Lester, JN
Keywords: Organic compounds ; Hydrophobicity ; Ether ; Organic bromine compounds ; Flame retardant ; Ethylene oxide polymer ; Surfactant polymer ; Non ionic surfactant ; Phase partition ; Partition coefficient ; Adsorption capacity ; Adsorption isotherm ; Liquid solid adsorption ; Pollutant behavior ; Activated sludge ; Biological purification ; Waste water purification ; Endocrine disruptor ; Mimetic hormone ; Xenobiotic ;
Issue Date: 2005
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Chemosphere. 61 (9) 1221-1230
Abstract: Polybrominated diphenyl ethers and nonylphenol polyethoxylates have been reported to be estrogenic and may enter the aquatic environment through the discharge of treated sewage effluent. Therefore, their fate during wastewater treatment processes is an important factor in determining their environmental impact. Batch tests with activated sludge from a Husmann apparatus were used to determine the effects of physico-chemical properties and sludge characteristics on the partitioning of polybrominated diphenyl ether flame retardants and nonylphenol polyethoxylate surfactants during biological wastewater treatment. Hydrophobic compounds, those with high log Kow values, were sorbed more rapidly and to a greater extent to the solid phase than more soluble compounds. For these hydrophobic compounds sorption may become an increasingly important removal mechanism as sludge age and therefore solids content increase. The initial rate of partitioning was greatest for the most hydrophobic compounds but all rates diminished with time as a result of progressive saturation of sorbent binding sites, a reduction of sorbate availability and as a consequence of the system reaching equilibrium. The sorption of polybrominated diphenyl ethers fit Freundlich adsorption isotherms demonstrating generally increasing adsorption capacity and efficiency with increasing hydrophobic nature. A correlation between increasing log Kow and increasing organic matter content was also observed for both polybrominated diphenyl ethers and nonylphenol polyethoxylates indicating the organic content of mixed liquor will also be influential in removing compounds during wastewater treatment.
ISSN: 0045-6535
Appears in Collections:Environment
Institute for the Environment

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