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Sci Total Environ. 2013 Apr 1;449:20-8. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.01.038. Epub 2013 Feb 10.

Occurrence and assessment of treatment efficiency of nonylphenol, octylphenol and bisphenol-A in drinking water in Taiwan.

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Institute of Environmental Health, National Taiwan University, Taiwan.


Occurrence and methods for the removal of nonylphenolic compounds in drinking water have been gaining increased attention due to their widespread presence in natural water and the potential health risks from the consumptions of drinking water. The purpose of this study was to assess the occurrence of nonylphenol (NP), octylphenol (OP), and bisphenol-A (BPA) in water sources and treated water in Taiwan, to evaluate the treatment efficiencies of these compounds in both the conventional (coagulation, sedimentation, filtration and chlorination) and advanced treatment processes. The treatment efficiencies of these chemicals were assessed based on their concentrations in water sources, and the results were verified with laboratory simulated treatment processes. A survey of NP, OP, and BPA in 11 Taiwanese water sources showed that all of them could be identified in most of the sampled sources, and that higher concentrations of NP were found when the raw water was contaminated by domestic wastewater. However, higher treatment efficiency could be observed when the NP concentration in water source is high. Laboratory simulation studies of conventional treatment processes showed that chlorination played an important role in the degradation of NP in raw water. Treatment efficiencies of 60%-90% were achieved for NP removal when sufficient chlorine dosages were applied to satisfy chlorine demands. However, results also showed that conventional coagulation and rapid filtration processes were less effective in the reduction of phenolic compounds in water.

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