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Environ Pollut. 2013 Oct;181:98-106. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2013.06.016. Epub 2013 Jul 9.

Fate of pharmaceutical compounds in hydroponic mesocosms planted with Scirpus validus.

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DHI-NTU Centre, Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute, Nanyang Technological University, 1 CleanTech 1, #06-08, Singapore 637141, Singapore.


A systematic approach to assess the fate of selected pharmaceuticals (carbamazepine, naproxen, diclofenac, clofibric acid and caffeine) in hydroponic mesocosms is described. The overall objective was to determine the kinetics of depletion (from solution) and plant uptake for these compounds in mesocosms planted with S. validus growing hydroponically. The potential for translocation of these pharmaceuticals from the roots to the shoots was also assessed. After 21 days of incubation, nearly all of the caffeine, naproxen and diclofenac were eliminated from solution, whereas carbamazepine and clofibric acid were recalcitrant to both photodegradation and biodegradation. The fact that the BAFs for roots for carbamazepine and clofibric acid were greater than 5, while the BAFs for naproxen, diclofenac and caffeine were less than 5, implied that the latter two compounds although recalcitrant to biodegradation, still had relatively high potential for plant uptake. Naproxen was sensitive to both photodegradation (30-42%) and biodegradation (>50%), while diclofenac was particularly sensitive (>70%) to photodegradation alone. No significant correlations (p > 0.05) were found between the rate constants of depletion or plant tissue levels of the pharmaceuticals and either log Kow or log Dow.


Log K(ow); Pharmaceuticals; Phytoremediation; S. validus; Uptake; Wetland

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