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Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering

Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.    2016, Vol. 10 Issue (3) : 491-501
Fate and removal of typical pharmaceutical and personal care products in a wastewater treatment plant from Beijing: a mass balance study
Jie GAO1,2,Jun HUANG1,*(),Weiwei CHEN1,3,Bin WANG1,Yujue WANG1,Shubo DENG1,Gang YU1
1. State Key Joint Laboratory of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control (SKJLESPC), Beijing Key Laboratory of Emerging Organic Contaminants Control (BKLEOCC), School of Environment, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
2. Beijing Municipal Solid Waste and Chemical Management Center, Beijing 100084, China
3. Xiamen Urban Planning and Design Institute, Xiamen 361012, China
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The fate and removal of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) has received great attention during the last decade. Numerous data concerning concentrations in the water phase can be found in the literature, however corresponding data from sludge as well as associated mass balance calculations are very limited. In the present study, the adsorbed and dissolved concentrations of 9 PPCPs were investigated in each unit of a WWTP in Beijing, China. Based on the calculation of mass balance, the relative mass distribution and removal efficiency of each target compound was obtained at each process. The amount of PPCPs entering into the WWTP ranged from 12 g·d-1 to 3848 g·d-1. Five target compounds (caffeine, chloramphenicol, bezafibrate, clofibric acid, and N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) were effectively removed, with rates of 57%–100%. Negative removal efficiencies were obtained for sulpiride, metoprolol, nalidixic acid, and carbamazepine, ranging from -19% to -79%. PPCPs mainly existed in dissolved form (≥92%) in both the raw influent and the final effluent. The sludge cake carried a much lower amount of PPCPs (17 g·d-1) compared with the discharged effluent (402 g·d-1). In A2/O treatment tanks, the anaerobic and anoxic tanks showed good performance for PPCPs removal, and the amount of adsorbed PPCPs was increased. The results reveal that both the dissolved and the adsorbed phases should be considered when assessing the removal capacity of each A2/O tank.

Keywords PPCPs      A2/O      mass balance      removal efficiency      sludge     
Corresponding Authors: Jun HUANG   
Online First Date: 16 March 2016    Issue Date: 05 April 2016
 Cite this article:   
Jie GAO,Jun HUANG,Weiwei CHEN, et al. Fate and removal of typical pharmaceutical and personal care products in a wastewater treatment plant from Beijing: a mass balance study[J]. Front. Environ. Sci. Eng., 2016, 10(3): 491-501.
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Weiwei CHEN
Yujue WANG
Shubo DENG
Gang YU
Fig.1  Schematic diagram of the treatment process and sampling sites
Fig.2  Concentrations (a) and composition profiles (b) of target PPCPs in water samples dissolved phase
Fig.3  Dissolved (a) and adsorbed (b) concentrations of target PPCPs in different types of sludge
PPCPs raw influent primary effluent anaerobic anoxic oxic secondary effluent primary sludge return sludge excess sludge digested sludge (in) digested sludge (out) thickened sludge sludge cake
SP 90 80 190 396 445 104 4 127 2 0 0 1 3
CF 3848 3684 316 206 65 2 17 31 1 2 0 0 4
MTP 70 61 136 280 296 83 1 68 1 0 0 0 1
CP 55 22 4 2 5 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0
NA 12 14 31 57 37 21 0 9 0 0 0 0 0
CBZ 64 67 133 285 357 92 1 88 1 0 0 0 0
DEET 1040 989 644 1291 741 76 7 233 4 1 1 3 9
CA 31 21 29 67 59 13 0 11 0 0 0 0 0
BZ 26 35 41 84 37 11 0 9 0 0 0 0 0
Tab.1  Total mass of PPCPs in each process unit (g·d-1)
Fig.4  Variation of PPCPs dissolved mass in the receiving river with distance from the discharge point
Fig.5  Relative mass distribution of caffeine (a) and DEET (b) in each process unit
PPCPs primary treatment secondary treatment WWTP b)
anaerobic anoxic oxic total a)
SP 8 8 38 -125 -33 -19
CF 5 91 55 20 100 100
MTP 11 5 35 -112 -37 -19
CP 59 84 75 -350 98 99
NA -26 -36 16 -30 -44 -79
CBZ -6 14 42 -151 -39 -46
DEET 5 47 7 -15 93 92
CA 33 8 23 -74 36 57
BZ -38 7 -8 11 69 58
Tab.2  Removal efficiencies of PPCPs in each unit (%)
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