Removal of phenolic endocrine disrupting compounds from waste activated sludge using UV, H2O2, and UV/H2O2 oxidation processes: effects of reaction conditions and sludge matrix.Sci Total Environ. 2014 Sep 15; 493:307-23.ST
Removal of six phenolic endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) (estrone, 17β-estradiol, 17α-ethinylestradiol, estriol, bisphenol A, and 4-nonylphenols) from waste activated sludge (WAS) was investigated using ultraviolet light (UV), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), and the combined UV/H2O2 processes. Effects of initial EDC concentration, H2O2 dosage, and pH value were investigated. Particularly, the effects of 11 metal ions and humic acid (HA) contained in a sludge matrix on EDC degradation were evaluated. A pseudo-first-order kinetic model was used to describe the EDC degradation during UV, H2O2, and UV/H2O2 treatments of WAS. The results showed that the degradation of the 6 EDCs during all the three oxidation processes fitted well with pseudo-first-order kinetics. Compared with the sole UV irradiation or H2O2 oxidation process, UV/H2O2 treatment was much more effective for both EDC degradation and WAS solubilization. Under their optimal conditions, the EDC degradation rate constants during UV/H2O2 oxidation were 45-197 times greater than those during UV irradiation and 11-53 times greater than those during H2O2 oxidation. High dosage of H2O2 and low pH were favorable for the degradation of EDCs. Under the conditions of pH = 3, UV wavelength = 253.7 nm, UV fluence rate = 0.069 mW cm(-2), and H2O2 dosage = 0.5 mol L(-1), the removal efficiencies of E1, E2, EE2, E3, BPA, and NP in 2 min were 97%, 92%, 95%, 94%, 89%, and 67%, respectively. The hydroxyl radical (OH) was proved to take the most important role for the removal of EDCs. Metal ions in sludge could facilitate the removal of EDCs during UV/H2O2 oxidation. Fe, Ag, and Cu ions had more obvious effects compared with other metal ions. The overall role of HA was dependent on the balance between its competition as organics and its catalysis/photosensitization effects. These indicate that the sludge matrix plays an important role in the degradation of EDCs.