A great deal of effort has been devoted to developing new in vitro and in vivo methods to identify and classify endocrine disrupting chemicals that have been identified in environmental samples. In this study an in vitro test based on recombinant yeast strains transfected with genes for the human estrogen receptor a was adapted to examine the presence of estrogenic and antiestrogenic substances in six Swedish landfill leachates. Antiestrogenic effects were measured as inhibition of the estradiol induced response with the human estrogen receptor a, and quantified by comparison with the corresponding inhibitory effects of a known antiestrogen, hydroxytamoxifen. The estrogenicity was within the range of that determined in domestic sewage effluents, from below the limit of detection to 29 ng estradiol units L(-1). Antiestrogenicity was detected in some of the investigated landfill leachates, ranging between
Wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) have been suggested to be one of the major pathways of perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) from the technosphere to the aquatic environment. The origin of PFAAs in WWTP influents is either from current primary emissions or a result of recirculation of PFAAs that have been residing and transported in the environment for several years or decades. Environmental recirculation can then occur when PFAAs from the environment enter the wastewater stream in, e.g., tap water. In this study 13 PFAAs and perfluorooctane sulfonamide were analyzed in tap water as well as WWTP influent, effluent and sludge from three Swedish cities: Bromma (in the metropolitan area of Stockholm), Bollebygd and Umeå. A mass balance of the WWTPs was assembled for each PFAA. Positive mass balances were observed for PFHxA and PFOA in all WWTPs, indicating the presence of precursor compounds in the technosphere. With regard to environmental recirculation, tap water was an important source of PFAAs to the Bromma WWTP influent, contributing >40% for each quantified sulfonic acid and up to 30% for the carboxylic acids. The PFAAs in tap water from Bollebygd and Umeå did not contribute significantly to the PFAA load in the WWTP influents. Our results show that in order to estimate current primary emissions from the technosphere, it may be necessary to correct the PFAA emission rates in WWTP effluents for PFAAs present in tap water, especially in the case of elevated levels in tap water.
Sludge treatment reed bed (STRB) systems combine dewatering, stabilisation and long-term storage of sludge. The main objective of this study was to investigate how substance concentrations change in the sludge residue during treatment and to conduct substance flow analyses covering the flow of substances in an STRB system over a 12-year treatment period, followed by three months' post-treatment in a stockpile area (SPA). Samples of sludge, reject water and sludge residue of different ages were collected at two Danish STRB system facilities and analysed for content of relevant substances. Concentrations of carbon and nitrogen in the sludge residue residing in an STRB system changed as a function of treatment time, mainly due to mineralisation; only a negligible part was lost to reject water. Considering metals and phosphorus, the main share was accumulated in the sludge residue; only minor fractions were lost to mineralisation or reject water. Post-treatment in an SPA resulted in an increase in dry matter content from 24% to 32%. After treatment, the concentrations of heavy metals (lead, cadmium, nickel, zinc, copper and chromium) in the sludge residue met the threshold values stated by the Danish Environmental Protection Agency and the EU.
Pharmaceuticals constitute a well-known group of emerging contaminants with an increasing significance in water pollution. This study focuses on three pharmaceuticals extensively used in Finland and which can be found in environmental waters: ibuprofen, diclofenac and carbamazepine. Biodegradation experiments were conducted in a full-scale Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) and in laboratory-scale Sequencing Batch Reactors (SBRs). The SBRs were operated at 12 °C, with a sludge retention time (SRT) 10-12 d and organic loading rates (OLRs) of 0.17, 0.27 and 0.33 kg BOD7 m(-3) d(-1). Ibuprofen was found to biodegrade up to 99%. The biodegradation rate constants (k(biol)) for ibuprofen were calculated for full-scale and laboratory processes as well as under different laboratory conditions and found to differ from 0.9 up to 5.0 l g(SS)(-1) d(-1). Diclofenac demonstrated an unexpected immediate drop of concentration in three SBRs and partial recovery of the initial concentration in one of the reactors. High fluctuating in diclofenac concentration was presumably caused by removal of this compound under different concentrations of nitrites during development of nitrifying activated sludge. Carbamazepine showed no biodegradation in all the experiments.
This study describes a novel wastewater treatment technology suitable for small remote northern communities. The technology is based on an enhanced biodegradation of organic carbon through a combination of anaerobic methanogenic and microbial electrochemical (bioelectrochemical) degradation processes leading to biomethane production. The microbial electrochemical degradation is achieved in a membraneless flow-through bioanode-biocathode setup operating at an applied voltage below the water electrolysis threshold. Laboratory wastewater treatment tests conducted through a broad range of mesophilic and psychrophilic temperatures (5-23 °C) using synthetic wastewater showed a biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5) removal efficiency of 90-97% and an effluent BOD5 concentration as low as 7 mg L-1. An electricity consumption of 0.6 kWh kg-1 of chemical oxygen demand (COD) removed was observed. Low energy consumption coupled with enhanced methane production led to a net positive energy balance in the bioelectrochemical treatment system.
A lot of particles from iron-making are removed with blast furnace off-gas and routed to the gas cleaning system. As water is used for cleaning the gas, the produced wash water contains a large amount of particles such as valuable Fe and C. However, the presence of zinc prevents recycling. In addition, the high amount of calcium results in uncontrolled scaling. Therefore, the properties of the wash water from scrubber and sludge, from the Finnish metal industry (SSAB Raahe), were evaluated in this study. Size fractionation of wash water revealed that Fe, Zn, Al, Mn, V, Cr and Cd appeared mainly in the larger fractions (>1.2 µm) and Na, Mg, Si, Ni, K, Cu and As appeared mainly in the smaller fractions (
The Montreal Urban Community (MUC) treatment plant produces approximately 270 tons of dry sludge daily (tds/day) during physicochemical wastewater treatment. The sludges are burned and contribute to the greenhouse effect by producing atmospheric CO2. Moreover, the sludge emanates a nauseating odour during its thermal stabilisation and retains unpleasant odours for the part (25%) that is dried and granulated. To solve this particular problem, the treatment plant authorities are currently evaluating an acidic chemical leaching (sulfuric or hydrochloric acid) process at a pH between 2 and 3, using an oxidizing agent such as ferric chloride or hydrogen peroxide (METIX-AC technology, patent pending; ). They could integrate it to a 70 tds/day granulated sludge production process. Verification of the application of METIX-AC technology was carried out in a pilot plant set up near the sludge production plant of the MUC. The tests showed that METIX-AC technology can be advantageously integrated to the process used at the MUC. The residual copper (274 +/- 58 mg/kg) and cadmium (5.6 +/- 2.9 mg/kg) concentrations in the treated sludge meet legislation standards. The results have also shown that odours have been significantly eliminated for the dewatered, decontaminated, and stabilized biosolids (> 97%) compared to the non-decontaminated biosolids. A high rate of odour elimination also was obtained for the liquid leached biosolids (> 93%), compared to the untreated liquid biosolids. The fertilising value (N and P) is well preserved by the METIX-AC process. Dissolved organic carbon measurements have showed that little organic matter is brought in solution during the treatment. In fact, the average concentration of dissolved organic carbon measured in the treated liquid phase is 966 +/- 352 mg/l, whereas it is 1190 +/- 325 mg/l in untreated sludge. The treated sludge was first conditioned with an organic polymer and a coagulant aid. It was successfully dewatered with various dehydration equipments (filter press, rotary press, centrifuge).
Describing sorption of pharmaceuticals to lake and river sediments, and sewage sludge from UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Kristianstads Vattenrike by chromatographic asymmetry factors and recovery measurements.
Over the past 30 years a vast number of studies have demonstrated the presence of pharmaceutical residues in the environment. But still knowledge is scarce regarding the interaction of these emerging pollutants with various matrices in nature. A chromatographic system with on-line detection was developed to perform a sorption study of six selected pharmaceuticals to four natural sediments and dewatered digested sewage treatment plant sludge with differing physicochemical characteristics. Sorption effects, measured as asymmetry factors and recoveries, differed pronouncedly among the pharmaceuticals and between the matrices, which could be explained by basic physicochemical properties of the investigated compounds in relation to matrix characteristics. Protonated and deprotonated molecular properties had the greatest importance for sorbate-sorbent interactions. Atenolol, with cationic properties, showed the highest degree of sorption regardless of the matrix studied. Diclofenac and furosemide, both acids, showed the least tendency towards interactions to natural matrices. Among the neutral compounds bendroflumethiazide, carbamazepine and oxazepam, weaker forces, such as van der Waals, aromatic electron donor-acceptor interactions, and hydrogen forces, seemed more important to determine sorption differences. Results revealed that sorption of pharmaceuticals on natural sediments decreased in the order: atenolol (+)>bendroflumethiazide>oxazepam>carbamazepine>diclofenac (-)>furosemide (-). The matrix content of organic matter measured as total organic carbon (TOC) clearly dictated drug sorption. Beside from studying matrix interaction, these results and the developed technique and methodology might find use in the development of new removal processes of pharmaceuticals from wastewater based on improved knowledge concerning chemical interactions to filter materials.
In this study, the relevance of Fenton's reaction for the treatment of urban anaerobically digested sludge was investigated. In a first part, the impact of the oxidation process on the improvement of the sludge dewaterability was studied. In a second part, the removal of heavy metals from the sludge was examined. Fenton's reaction was carried out with increasing concentrations of Fe(2+) and H2O2 in 1:10 and 1:1 ratios. Dewaterability of the raw sludge was highly improved: the addition of 36 mM Fe(2+) and 360 mM H2O2 led to specific cake resistance (SCR) and capillary suction time (CST) reductions of 99.8% and 98.8%, respectively. Indeed, under these conditions, SCR and CST of respectively 1.04?×?10(11) m kg(-1) and 18.5?±?0.2 s were measured, and the treated sludge could be considered as having 'good dewaterability'. A significant impact was also observed on the removal of heavy metals from the sludge. After 1-h oxidation, Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb and Zn could be removed by 81.1?±?0.1%, 25.1?±?0.1%, 87.2?±?1.1%, 77.3?±?4.8% and 99.6?±?0.3%, respectively. These results were consistent with the heavy metals' fractions in the sludge. It could be concluded that the addition of Fe(2+) and H2O2 in a 1:10 ratio was more effective than in a 1:1 ratio. The results were consistent with the extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) contents in raw and treated sludge, since loosely bound EPS decreased significantly after the treatment.
The objective of this paper is to model the dynamics and validate the results of nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from three Swedish nitrifying/denitrifying, nitritation and anammox systems treating real anaerobic digester sludge liquor. The Activated Sludge Model No. 1 is extended to describe N2O production by both heterotrophic and autotrophic denitrification. In addition, mass transfer equations are implemented to characterize the dynamics of N2O in the water and the gas phases. The biochemical model is simulated and validated for two hydraulic patterns: (1) a sequencing batch reactor; and (2) a moving-bed biofilm reactor. Results show that the calibrated model is partly capable of reproducing the behaviour of N2O as well as the nitritation/nitrification/denitrification dynamics. However, the results emphasize that additional work is required before N2O emissions from sludge liquor treatment plants can be generally predicted with high certainty by simulations. Continued efforts should focus on determining the switching conditions for different N2O formation pathways and, if full-scale data are used, more detailed modelling of the measurement devices might improve the conclusions that can be drawn.