Removal of endocrine disrupter compounds and trace organics in membrane bioreactors

Komesli, Okan Tarik
Endocrine disrupters and trace organic contaminants are recently recognized contaminants in wastewaters. Current concept is the multibarier approach where the contaminants are removed from the water cycle both by water and wastewater treatment facilities, as well as natural die-away. In this thesis work LC/MS/MS determination of selected EDC compounds, namely, diltiazem, progesterone, estrone, carbamazepine, benzyl butyl phthalate and acetaminophen, at ultra trace levels, have been carried out by optimizing analytical parameters. In addition, new methods were developed for their analysis in sludge samples at sub ppb levels. Following optimization and method development, occurrence of these contaminants in wastewaters and their removal in two full-scale and two pilot-scale membrane biological reactors (MBRs) was studied. Progesterone, estrone and acetaminophen were completely removed from wastewater by biodegradation. CBZ and diltiazem were not removed at all during the study. There was little effect of flux and sludge retention times on the removal of selected EDCs in these membrane plants. In SBR combined with membrane filtration, 13 different micropollutants, including Fluoxetine (FLX), Ibuprofen (IBP), Naproxen (NPX), Diclofenac (DCF), Carbamazepine (CBZ), Trimethoprim (TMP), Roxithromycin (ROX), Erythromycin (ERY), Sulfamethoxazole (SMX), Diazepam (DZP), Galaxolide (GLX), Tonalide (TON), Celestolide (CEL). CEL, GLX, TON and FLX were removed by adsorption onto the sludge while ROX, ERY, SMX, IBP and NPX were removed by biological degradation. The CBZ, DZP, TMP and DCF were not removed by biodegradation or adsorption. Whereas, following the addition of powdered activated carbon, all these compounds were removed entirely from the wastewater stream by accumulating in sludge