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|Web of Science®
|Attenuation of two estrogen compounds in aquifer materials supplemented with sewage effluent
|Ground Water Monitoring and Remediation, 2004; 24(2):102-107
|Ground Water Publishing Co
|Guang-Guo Ying, Rai S. Kookana and Peter Dillon
|Aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) is an emerging and effective management technique in reclaiming and reusing waste water. During ASR, attenuation processes such as sorption and degradation may play an important role in removing trace organic contaminants in injected waste water. This study mainly investigated the role of treated sewage effluent injectant (the waste water injected into the aquifer) on degradation of two endocrine disrupting compounds, 17β-estradiol (E2) and 17α-ethynylestradiol (EE2), in the laboratory by comparing their behavior in incubation media—aquifer sediment/ground water slurry from the Bolivar experimental ASR site in South Australia and sediment/effluent slurry. Biodegradation of the two compounds in the sediment/ground water media (1:1, w/w) and in the sediment/effluent media (1:1, w/w) were conducted under aerobic and anaerobic conditions at 20°C. In both incubation media, E2 showed a rapid biodegradation with a DT50 value (time for 50% loss) of ∼2 days under aerobic conditions. E2 degraded slowly in both aquifer media under anaerobic conditions; however, the anaerobic degradation was noted to be somewhat faster in the sediment/effluent media. In contrast, EE2 was found to be resistant to biodegradation and remained almost unchanged within 70 days under anaerobic conditions in both incubation media. The mobility of the two compounds in the aquifer would depend on their sorption. The sorption coefficients measured on the aquifer sediment were 7.7 ± 3.4 L/kg for E2 and 10.6 ± 5.1 L/kg for EE2 using batch equilibration methods. The corresponding retardation factors were calculated to be 25 for E2 and 34 for EE2 based on the physical properties of the aquifer material in the Bolivar ASR site. This study showed that while E2 has modest sorption affinity for aquifer material, it is rapidly biodegraded with or without the supplement of effluent under aerobic conditions. Under anaerobic conditions, the relative rate of E2 degradation was slightly enhanced due to the presence of effluent in the incubation media. EE2 on the other hand was found to be persistent in this study under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions, as well as in the presence of effluent.
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