Fate of nonylphenol polyethoxylates and nonylphenoxy acetic acids in an anaerobic digestion process for sewage sludge treatment

Minamiyama, M.; Ochi, S.; Suzuki, Y.
May 2006
Water Science & Technology;2006, Vol. 53 Issue 11, p221
Many environmental problems caused by endocrine disruptors (EDs) have been reported. It is reported that EDs flow into sewage treatment plants, and it has been pointed out that these may be shifted from the wastewater treatment process to the sludge treatment process. Little is known about the fate of EDs accumulated in sewage sludge, so we carried out a study to clarify the fate of EDs in sewage sludge treatment processes, especially in an anaerobic digestion process. In this study, nonylphenol (NP) was selected as a target ED. Nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPnEO) or nonylphenoxy acetic acids (NPnEC), which were the precursor of NP, were added to an anaerobic digestion process, and mass balance was investigated. The following results were obtained from the anaerobic digestion experiments. (1) NP1EO was injected to an anaerobic digestion testing apparatus that was operated at a retention time of approximately 28 d and a temperature of 35 °C with thickened sludge sampled from an actual wastewater treatment plant. Approximately 40% of the injected NP1EO was converted to NP. (2) NP1EC was injected to an anaerobic digestion testing apparatus with thickened sludge. As a result, almost all injected NP1EC was converted to NP. When NP2EC was injected, NP2EC was not converted to NP until the 20th day.


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