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Water Res. 2005 Nov;39(19):4797-807. Epub 2005 Oct 19.

Removal of selected pharmaceuticals, fragrances and endocrine disrupting compounds in a membrane bioreactor and conventional wastewater treatment plants.

Author information

1
Institute for Water Quality and Waste Management, Vienna University of Technology, Karlsplatz 13, 1040 Vienna, Austria. manfred.clara@umweltbundesamt.at

Abstract

Eight pharmaceuticals, two polycyclic musk fragrances and nine endocrine disrupting chemicals were analysed in several waste water treatment plants (WWTPs). A membrane bioreactor in pilot scale was operated at different solid retention times (SRTs) and the results obtained are compared to conventional activated sludge plants (CASP) operated at different SRTs. The SRT is an important design parameter and its impact on achievable treatment efficiencies was evaluated. Different behaviours were observed for the different investigated compounds. Some compounds as the antiepileptic drug carbamazepine were not removed in any of the sampled treatment facilities and effluent concentrations in the range of influent concentrations were measured. Other compounds as bisphenol-A, the analgesic ibuprofen or the lipid regulator bezafibrate were nearly completely removed (removal rates >90%). The operation of WWTPs with SRTs suitable for nitrogen removal (SRT>10 days at 10 degrees C) also increases the removal potential regarding selected micropollutants. No differences in treatment efficiencies were detected between the two treatment techniques. As in conventional WWTP also the removal potential of MBRs depends on the SRT. Ultrafiltration membranes do not allow any additional detention of the investigated substances due to size exclusion. However, MBRs achieve a high SRT within a compact reactor. Nonylphenolpolyehtoxylates were removed in higher extend in very low-loaded conventional WWTPs, due to variations of redox conditions, necessary for the degradation of those compounds.

PMID:
16242170
DOI:
10.1016/j.watres.2005.09.015
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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