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  • 1.
    Blum, Kristin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Targeted and untargeted analysis of organic contaminants from on-site sewage treatment facilities: Removal, fate and environmental impact2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    On-site sewage treatment facilities (OSSFs) are widely used all over the world to treat wastewater when large-scale sewage treatment plants (STPs) are not economically feasible. Although there is great awareness that the release of untreated wastewater into the environment can lead to water-related diseases and eutrophication, little is known about organic contaminants and their removal by OSSFs, environmental load and fate. Thus, this PhD thesis aims to improve the knowledge about treatment efficiencies in current OSSFs, the environmental impact and fate of contaminants released from OSSFs, as well as how biochar fortification in sand filter (soil beds) OSSFs might increase removal of these contaminants. State-of-the-art analytical techniques for untargeted and targeted analyses were used and the results evaluated with univariate and multivariate statistics.

    Environmentally-relevant contaminants discharged from OSSFs were identified using untargeted analysis with two-dimensional gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC×GC-MS) and a MS (NIST) library search in combination with a prioritization strategy based on environmental relevance. A method was successfully developed for the prioritized contaminants using solid phase extraction and GC×GC-MS, and the method was also applicable to untargeted analysis. This method was applied to several studies. The first study compared treatment efficiencies between STP and soil beds and showed that treatment efficiencies are similar or better in soil beds, but the removal among the same type of treatment facilities and contaminants varied considerably. Hydrophilic contaminants were generally inadequately removed in both types of treatment facilities and resulted in effluent levels in the nanogram per liter range.

    Additionally, several prioritized and sometimes badly removed compounds were found to be persistent, mobile, and bioavailable and two additional, untargeted contaminants identified by the NIST library search were potentially mobile. These contaminants were also found far from the main source, a large-scale STP, at Lake Ekoln, which is part of the drinking water reservoir Lake Mälaren, Sweden. The study also showed that two persistent, mobile and bioavailable contaminants were additionally bioaccumulating in perch. Sampling for this study was carried out over several seasons in the catchment of the River Fyris. Parts of this catchment were affected by OSSFs, other parts by STPs. Potential ecotoxicological risks at these sites were similar or higher at those affected by STPs compared to those affected by OSSFs. Mass fluxes per capita were calculated from these levels, which were higher at STP-affected than at OSSF-affected sites in summer and autumn, but not in winter. Possibly, the diffuse OSSF emissions occur at greater average distances from the sampling sites than the STP point emissions, and OSSF-affected sites may consequently be more influenced by fate processes.

    The studies carried out suggested that there is a need to improve current treatment technologies for the removal of hydrophilic contaminants. Thus, the final study of this thesis investigated char-fortified sand filters (soil beds) as potential upgrades for OSSFs using a combination of advanced chemical analysis and quantitative structure-property relationship modeling. Removal efficiencies were calculated from a large variety of contaminants that were identified by untargeted analysis using GC×GC-MS and liquid chromatography ion mobility mass spectrometry as well as library searches (NIST and Agilent libraries). On average, char-fortified sand filters removed contaminants better than sand, partly due to an enhanced removal of several hydrophilic contaminants with heteroatoms. After a two-year runtime, sorption and particularly biodegradation must have contributed to the removal of these compounds.

    Generally, the combination of targeted and untargeted analysis has proven valuable in detecting a large variety of organic contaminants, as well as unexpected ones. The results imply that OSSFs have similar or better removal efficiencies, similar or lower environmental risks and similar or lower mass fluxes per capita, compared to STPs. Biochar fortification can improve the removal of organic contaminants in soil beds, but further research is needed to find technologies that reduce the discharge of all types of organic contaminants.

  • 2.
    Blum, Kristin M.
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Andersson, Patrik L.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Ahrens, Lutz
    Wiberg, Karin
    Haglund, Peter
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Persistence, mobility and bioavailability of emerging organic contaminants discharged from sewage treatment plants2018In: Science of the Total Environment, ISSN 0048-9697, E-ISSN 1879-1026, Vol. 612, p. 1532-1542Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Little is known about the impact of emissions of micropollutants from small and large-scale sewage treatment plants (STPs) on drinking water source areas. We investigated a populated catchment that drains into Lake Malaren, which is the drinking water source for around 2 million people including the inhabitants of Stockholm, Sweden. To assess the persistence, mobility, bioavailability and bioaccumulation of 32 structurally diverse emerging organic contaminants, sediment, integrated passive and grab water samples were collected along the catchment of the River Fyris, Sweden. The samples were complemented with STP effluent and fish samples from one sampling event. Contaminants identified as persistent, mobile, and bioavailable were 4,6,6,7,8,8-hexamethyl-1,3,4,7-tetrahydrocyclopenta[g] isochromene (galaxolide), 2,4,7,9-tetramethyl-5-decyn-4,7-diol, tris(2-chloroethyl) phosphate, tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate, and tris(1-chloro-2-propyl) phosphate. Galaxolide and 2,4,7,9-tetramethyl-5-decyn-4,7-diol were additionally found to be bioaccumulative, whereas n-butylbenzenesulfonamide was found to be only persistent and mobile. The total median mass flux of the persistent and mobile target analytes from Lake Ekoln into the drinking water source area of Lake Malaren was estimated to be 27 kg per year. Additionally, 10 contaminants were tentatively identified by non-target screening using NIST library searches and manual review. Two of those were confirmed by reference standards and further two contaminants, propylene glycol and rose acetate, were discharged from STPs and travelled far from the source. Attenuation of mass fluxes was highest in the summer and autumn seasons, suggesting the importance of biological degradation and photodegradation for the persistence of the studied compounds.

  • 3.
    Blum, Kristin M.
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Andersson, Patrik L.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Renman, Gunno
    Ahrens, Lutz
    Gros, Meritxell
    Wiberg, Karin
    Haglund, Peter
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Non-target screening and prioritization of potentially persistent, bioaccumulating and toxic domestic wastewater contaminants and their removal in on-site and large-scale sewage treatment plants2017In: Science of the Total Environment, ISSN 0048-9697, E-ISSN 1879-1026, Vol. 575, p. 265-275Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    On-site sewage treatment facilities (OSSFs), which are used to reduce nutrient emissions in rural areas, were screened for anthropogenic compounds with two-dimensional gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC × GC–MS). The detected compounds were prioritized based on their persistence, bioaccumulation, ecotoxicity, removal efficiency, and concentrations. This comprehensive prioritization strategy, which was used for the first time on OSSF samples, ranked galaxolide, α-tocopheryl acetate, octocrylene, 2,4,7,9-tetramethyl-5-decyn-4,7-diol, several chlorinated organophosphorus flame retardants and linear alkyl benzenes as the most relevant compounds being emitted from OSSFs. Twenty-six target analytes were then selected for further removal efficiency analysis, including compounds from the priority list along with substances from the same chemical classes, and a few reference compounds. We found significantly better removal of two polar contaminants 2,4,7,9-tetramethyl-5-decyn-4,7-diol (p = 0.0003) and tris(2-butoxyethyl) phosphate (p = 0.005) in soil beds, a common type of OSSF in Sweden, compared with conventional sewage treatment plants. We also report median removal efficiencies in OSSFs for compounds not studied in this context before, viz. α-tocopheryl acetate (96%), benzophenone (83%), 2-(methylthio)benzothiazole (64%), 2,4,7,9-tetramethyl-5-decyn-4,7-diol (33%), and a range of organophosphorus flame retardants (19% to 98%). The environmental load of the top prioritized compounds in soil bed effluents were in the thousands of nanogram per liter range, viz. 2,4,7,9-tetramethyl-5-decyn-4,7-diol (3000 ng L− 1), galaxolide (1400 ng L− 1), octocrylene (1200 ng L− 1), and α-tocopheryl acetate (660 ng L− 1).

  • 4.
    Blum, Kristin M.
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry. Umeå University.
    Gallampois, Christine
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Andersson, Patrik L.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Renman, G.
    Renman, A.
    Haglund, Peter
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Comprehensive assessment of organic contaminant removal from on-site sewage treatment facility effluent by char-fortified filter beds2019In: Journal of Hazardous Materials, ISSN 0304-3894, E-ISSN 1873-3336, Vol. 361, p. 111-122Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The removal of organic contaminants from wastewater using cost-efficient and easily accessible methods have been increasingly studied in recent years. Most studies have focused on municipal sewage treatment plants; however, our study investigated treatment with char-fortified filter beds for on-site sewage treatment facilities (OSSFs). OSSFs are commonly used in rural and semi-urban areas all over the world to treat wastewater to reduce eutrophication and water-related diseases. To screen for a wide range of organic contaminants in order to improve the understanding of wastewater treatment efficiency and molecular properties, samples were taken from an OSSF field study site that used three filter types: sand, char-fortified sand, and char-fortified gas concrete. First, we screened for organic contaminants with state-of-the-art gas chromatography and liquid chromatography mass spectrometry-based targeted and untargeted analysis and then we developed quantitative structure-property relationship models to find the key molecular features responsible for the removal of organic contaminants. We identified 74 compounds, of which 24 were confirmed with reference standards. Amongst these 74 compounds were plasticizers, UV stabilizers, fragrances, pesticides, surfactant and polymer impurities, pharmaceuticals and their metabolites, and many biogenic compounds. Sand filters that are sometimes used as a last treatment step in OSSFs can remove hydrophobic contaminants. The addition of biochar significantly increases the removal of these and a few hydrophilic compounds (Wilcoxon signed-rank test, α = 0.05). Gas concrete did not appear to be suitable for the removal of organic contaminants. This study showed that, besides hydrophobic effects, biodegradation is the most important removal pathway in long-term field applications. However, further improvements are necessary to remove very hydrophilic contaminants as they were not removed with sand and biochar-fortified sand.

  • 5.
    Blum, Kristin M.
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry. Umeå University.
    Haglund, Peter
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Gao, Qiuju
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Ahrens, L.
    Gros, M.
    Wiberg, K.
    Andersson, Patrik L.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Mass fluxes per capita of organic contaminants from on-site sewage treatment facilities2018In: Chemosphere, ISSN 0045-6535, E-ISSN 1879-1298, no 201, p. 864-873Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This study is the first attempt to quantify environmental fluxes per capita of organic contaminants discharged from on-site sewage treatment facilities (OSSFs) in affected recipients. Five sites were monitored around the River Fyris in Sweden: three mainly affected by OSSFs and two mainly affected by municipal sewage treatment plants (STPs). Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry was used to determine environmental concentrations of 30 anthropogenic contaminants, including organophosphorus compounds, rubber and plastic additives, UV stabilizers, fragrances, surfactant ingredients and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Uni- and multivariate statistical analysis of the most frequently detected contaminants showed that median fluxes per capita of tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate, tris(1-chloro-2-propyl) phosphate, tris(2-chloroethyl) phosphate, and n-butylbenzene sulfonamide were similar at OSSF and STP sites, but the mass fluxes per capita of tris-(2-butoxyethyl) phosphate, 2-(methylthio)benzothiazole, and galaxolide, were significantly lower (~2 to 3-fold) at OSSF sites than at STP sites (Mann-Whitney, α = 0.05). Differences between these sites were larger in samples collected in summer and autumn than in samples collected in winter. Deviations likely originated from differences in treatment technology and distances between source and sampling sites. Further studies are needed to characterize mass fluxes per capita of contaminants in waters that directly receive discharges from OSSFs.

  • 6.
    Blum, Kristin M.
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Norström, Sara H.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Golovko, Oksana
    Grabic, Roman
    Järhult, Josef D.
    Koba, Olga
    Söderström Lindström, Hanna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Removal of 30 active pharmaceutical ingredients in surface water under long-term artificial UV irradiation2017In: Chemosphere, ISSN 0045-6535, E-ISSN 1879-1298, Vol. 176, p. 175-182Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study investigated the i) kinetics, and ii) proportion of photolysis of 30 relatively stable active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) during artificial UV irradiation for 28 d in ammonium acetate buffer, filtered and unfiltered river water. Buffer was included to control removal kinetics under stable pH conditions and without particulate matter. Dark controls were used to determine removal due to other processes than photolysis and calculate the proportion of photolysis of the total removal. The removal of each API in each matrix was determined using online solid phase extraction/liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (online SPE/LC-MS/MS). Most APIs transformed during the 28 d of UV irradiation and the dark controls showed that photolysis was the major removal process for the majority of the APIs studied. The half-lives ranged from 6 h (amitriptyline) in unfiltered river water to 884 h (37 d, carbamazepine) in buffer. In unfiltered river water, the proportion of APIs with short half-lives (<48 h) was much higher (29%) than in the other matrices (4%), probably due to additional organic carbon, which could have promoted indirect photolysis. Furthermore, two APIs, memantine and fluconazole, were stable in all three matrices, while alprazolam was stable in buffer and unfiltered river water and four additional APIs were stable in buffer. Considering the relatively long-term UV-exposure, this study enabled the investigation of environmentally relevant half-lives in natural waters. Many APIs showed high persistence, which is environmentally concerning and emphasizes the importance of further studies on their environmental fate and effects.

  • 7.
    Gao, Qiuju
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Blum, Kristin M.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Gago-Ferrero, Pablo
    Wiberg, Karin
    Ahrens, Lutz
    Andersson, Patrik L.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Impact of on-site wastewater infiltration systems on organic contaminants in groundwater and recipient waters2019In: Science of the Total Environment, ISSN 0048-9697, E-ISSN 1879-1026, Vol. 651, p. 1670-1679Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    On-site sewage treatment facilities, particularly septic systems combined with soil infiltration, can be an important source of emerging organic contaminants in groundwater and surface water and thus represent a significant source of environmental and human exposure. Two infiltration systems in Åre municipality, Sweden, were examined to assess the occurrence of contaminants in groundwater and their fate and transport during infiltration. Groundwater samples, recipient surface water samples, and wastewater samples from septic tanks were collected from 2016 to 2017 covering all climatological seasons. These samples were analysed for a total of 103 contaminants, including pharmaceuticals, personal care products, organic phosphorus flame-retardants, plasticisers, perfluoroalkyl substances, and food additives. Fourteen of 103 contaminants showed 100% detection frequency in groundwater at concentrations in the low ng L−1 to low μg L−1 range. Of the compounds analysed, tris(2‑butoxyethyl) phosphate, sucralose, caffeine, and benzophenone showed high abundancy with maximum concentrations in the μg L−1 range. The data were normalised for dilution using chloride and sucralose as commonly applied tracers; however, the level of sucralose decreased significantly during infiltration and it is thus suboptimal as a sewage water tracer. Large differences between the two infiltration sites were observed in detection frequencies and concentrations in groundwater, which could be attributed to the system design and the contaminant's migration time from release to sampling point. Seasonal variation was observed for selected chemicals, and the more hydrophobic chemicals showed a higher tendency for attenuation, indicating sorption as a major retention mechanism. A moderate environmental risk to aquatic organisms was estimated in adjacent surface water for galaxolide, tris(1‑chloro‑2‑propyl) phosphate, and tris(2‑butoxyethyl) phosphate. Due to this site-dependency and potential environmental risks, further studies are needed on infiltration systems in different settings and on alternative treatment techniques to reduce the contaminant discharge from on-site sewage treatment facilities.

  • 8. Gros, Meritxell
    et al.
    Blum, Kristin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Jernstedt, Henrik
    Renman, Gunno
    Rodríguez-Mozaz, Sara
    Haglund, Peter
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Andersson, Patrik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Wiberg, Karin
    Ahrens, Lutz
    Screening and prioritization of micropollutants in wastewaters from on-site sewage treatment facilities2017In: Journal of Hazardous Materials, ISSN 0304-3894, E-ISSN 1873-3336, Vol. 328, p. 37-45Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A comprehensive screening of micropollutants was performed in wastewaters from on-site sewage treatment facilities (OSSFs) and urban wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in Sweden. A suspect screening approach, using high resolution mass spectrometry, was developed and used in combination with target analysis. With this strategy, a total number of 79 micropollutants were successfully identified, which belong to the groups of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), pesticides, phosphorus-containing flame retardants (PFRs) and pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs). Results from this screening indicate that concentrations of micropollutants are similar in influents and effluents of OSSFs and WWTPs, respectively. Removal efficiencies of micropollutants were assessed in the OSSFs and compared with those observed in WWTPs. In general, removal of PFASs and PFRs was higher in package treatment OSSFs, which are based on biological treatments, while removal of PPCPs was more efficient in soil bed OSSFs. A novel comprehensive prioritization strategy was then developed to identify OSSF specific chemicals of environmental relevance. The strategy was based on the compound concentrations in the wastewater, removal efficiency, frequency of detection in OSSFs and on in silico based data for toxicity, persistency and bioaccumulation potential.

  • 9.
    Lindberg, Richard H.
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Fedorova, Ganna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry. University of South Bohemia in Ceske Budejovice, Faculty of Fisheries and Protection of Waters, South Bohemian Research Center of Aquaculture and Biodiversity of Hydrocenoses, Zatisi 728/II, 389 25 Vodnany, Czech Republic.
    Blum, Kristin M.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Pulit-Prociak, Jolanta
    Gillman, Anna
    Järhult, Josef
    Appelblad, Patrik
    Söderström, Hanna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Online solid phase extraction liquid chromatography using bonded zwitterionic stationary phases and tandem mass spectrometry for rapid environmental trace analysis of highly polar hydrophilic compounds – Application for the antiviral drug Zanamivir2015In: Talanta: The International Journal of Pure and Applied Analytical Chemistry, ISSN 0039-9140, E-ISSN 1873-3573, Vol. 141, p. 164-169Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Abstract Zanamivir (Za) is a highly polar and hydrophilic antiviral drug used for the treatment of influenza A viruses. Za has been detected in rivers of Japan and it's environmental occurrence has the risk of inducing antiviral resistant avian influenza viruses. In this study, a rapid automated online solid phase extraction liquid chromatography method using bonded zwitterionic stationary phases and tandem mass spectrometry (SPE/LC–MS/MS) for trace analysis of Za was developed. Furthermore, an internal standard (IS) calibration method capable of quantifying Za in Milli-Q, surface water, sewage effluent and sewage influent was evaluated. Optimum pre-extraction sample composition was found to be 95/5 v/v acetonitrile/water sample and 1% formic acid. The developed method showed acceptable linearities (r2≥0.994), filtration recovery (≥91%), and intra-day precisions (RSD≤16%), and acceptable and environmentally relevant LOQs (≤20 ng L−1). Storage tests showed no significant losses of Za during 20 days and +4/−20 °C (≤12%) with the exception of influent samples, which should be kept at −20 °C to avoid significant Za losses. The applicability of the method was demonstrated in a study on phototransformation of Za in unfiltered and filtered surface water during 28 days of artificial UV irradiation exposure. No significant (≤12%) phototransformation was found in surface water after 28 days suggesting a relatively high photostability of Za and that Za should be of environmental concern.

  • 10. Zhang, W.
    et al.
    Blum, Kristin M.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Gros, M.
    Ahrens, L.
    Jernstedt, H.
    Wiberg, K.
    Andersson, P. L.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Björlenius, B.
    Renman, G.
    Removal of micropollutants and nutrients in household wastewater using organic and inorganic sorbents2018In: Desalination and Water Treatment, ISSN 1944-3994, E-ISSN 1944-3986, Vol. 120, p. 88-108Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The efficiency of five organic and five inorganic sorbents in removing 19 organic micropollutants (MPs), phosphorus, nitrogen, and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) was tested in a two-week column experiment using household wastewater spiked with pharmaceuticals (n = 6), biocides/pesticides (n = 4), organophosphates (n = 3), a fragrance, a UV-stablizer, a food additive, a rubber additive, a plasticizer and a surfactant. Two types of granular activated carbon (GAC), two types of lignite, a pine bark product, and five mineral-based sorbents were tested. All the organic sorbents except pine bark achieved better removal efficiencies of DOC (on average, 70 +/- 27%) and MPs (93 +/- 11%) than the inorganic materials (DOC: 44 +/- 7% and MPs: 66 +/- 38%). However, the organic sorbents (i.e. GAC and xyloid lignite) removed less phosphorus (46 +/- 18%), while sorbents with a high calcium or iron content (i.e. Polonite (R) and lignite) generally removed phosphorus more efficiently (93 +/- 3%). Ammonium- nitrogen was well removed by sorbents with a pH between 7 and 9, with an average removal of 87%, whereas lignite (pH 4) showed the lowest removal efficiency (50%). Some MPs were well removed by all sorbents (>= 97%) including biocides (hexachlorobenzene, triclosan and terbutryn), organophosphates (tributylphosphate, tris-(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate and triphenylphosphate) and one fragrance (galaxolide). The pesticide 2,6-dichlorobenzamide and the pharmaceutical diclofenac were poorly removed by the pine bark and inorganic sorbents (on average, 4%), while organic sorbents achieved high removal of these chemicals (87%).

  • 11. Zhang, Wen
    et al.
    Gago-Ferrero, Pablo
    Gao, Qiuju
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Ahrens, Lutz
    Blum, Kristin M.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Rostvall, Ande
    Björlenius, Berndt
    Andersson, Patrik L.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Wiberg, Karin
    Haglund, Peter
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Renman, Gunno
    Evaluation of five filter media in column experiment on the removal of selected organic micropollutants and phosphorus from household wastewater2019In: Journal of Environmental Management, ISSN 0301-4797, E-ISSN 1095-8630, Vol. 246, p. 920-928Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A bench-scale column experiment was performed to study the removal of 31 selected organic micropollutants (MPs) and phosphorus by lignite, xyloid lignite (Xylit), granular activated carbon (GAC), Polonite (R) and sand over a period of 12 weeks. In total 29 out of the 31 MPs showed removal efficiency > 90% by GAC with an average removal of 97 +/- 6%. Xylit and lignite were less efficient with an average removal of 80 +/- 28% and 68 +/- 29%, respectively. The removal efficiency was found to be impacted by the characterization of the sorbents and physicochemical properties of the compounds, as well as the interaction between the sorbents and compounds. For instance, Xylit and lignite performed well for relatively hydrophobic (log octanol/water partition coefficient (K-ow) >= 3) MPs, while the removal efficiency of moderately hydrophilic, highly hydrophilic and negatively charged MPs were lower. The organic sorbents were found to have more functional groups at their surfaces, which might explain the higher adsorption of MPs to these sorbents. The removal of several MPs improved after four weeks in sand, Xylit, GAC and lignite which may be related to increased biological activity and biofilm development. GAC and sand had limited ability to remove phosphorus (12 +/- 27% and 14 +/- 2%, respectively), while the calcium-silicate material Polonite (R) precipitated phosphorus efficiently and increased the total phosphorus removal from 12% to 96% after the GAC filter.

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