Use of non-targeted environmetrics and comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography to assess sewage treatment plant removal efficiencies of structurally diverse organic contaminants
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
This study provides a new tool for the systematic and comprehensive screening of chemicals present in sewage and simultaneous assessment of sewage treatment plant (STP) removal efficiencies. Flow proportional samples were collected from a Swedish municipal STP, subjected to non-discriminating extraction and clean-up, and analyzed by comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GCxGC-MS). Comparative environmetrics were used for outlier screening and removal efficiency assessment. The overall removal efficiency was good, but about 200 compounds were poorly extracted (<65%), of which 68 were tentatively identified based on their mass spectra and GC retention behavior. Most of the poorly extracted compounds were found in the aqueous phase of the effluent, with concentrations ranging from 0.2 to 12 000 ng L-1. Two amides (carbamazepine and diethyltoluamide (DEET)) were completely dissolved and not removed at all during treatment. Most of the compounds were aromatic (68%) or S,N,O-heterocyclic (31%) and chemically rather stable. All the compounds contained polar functional groups or moieties, which increase their water solubility and make them more prone to pass the STP unaffected. The new approach was used to identify new and emerging compounds, and generate information that could be used to improve current or design new STP treatment technologies.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-51311OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-51311DiVA: diva2:478977