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Emission of poly and perfluoroalkyl substances, UV-filters and siloxanes to air from wastewater treatment plants
- Shoeib, Mahiba, Schuster, Jasmin, Rauert, Cassandra, Su, Ky, Smyth, Shirley-Anne, Harner, Tom
- Environmental pollution 2016 v.218 pp. 595-604
- UV filters, activated sludge, aeration, air, alcohols, carboxylic acids, emissions, foams, models, perfluorocarbons, polyurethanes, rural areas, samplers, siloxanes, sulfonamides, sulfonic acid, summer, temperature, towns, urban areas, volatilization, wastewater, wastewater treatment, watersheds
- The potential of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) to act as sources of poly and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), volatile methyl siloxanes (VMSs) and organic UV-filters to the atmosphere was investigated. Target compounds included: PFASs (fluorotelomer alcohols (FTOHs), perfluorooctane sulfonamides/sulfonamidoethanols (FOSAs/FOSEs), perfluroalkyl sulfonic acids (PFSAs) and perfluroalkyl carboxylic acids (PFCAs)), cyclic VMSs (D3 to D6), linear VMSs (L3 to L5) and eight UV-filters. Emissions to air were assessed at eight WWTPs using paired sorbent-impregnated polyurethane foam passive air samplers, deployed during summer 2013 and winter 2014. Samplers were deployed on-site above the active tank and off-site as a reference. Several types of WWTPs were investigated: secondary activated sludge in urban areas (UR-AS), secondary extended aeration in towns (TW-EA) and facultative lagoons in rural areas (RU-LG). The concentrations of target compounds in air were ∼1.7–35 times higher on-site compared to the corresponding off-site location. Highest concentrations in air were observed at UR-AS sites while the lowest were at RU-LG. Higher air concentrations (∼2–9 times) were observed on-site during summer compared to winter, possibly reflecting enhanced volatilization due to higher wastewater temperatures or differences in influent wastewater concentrations. A significant positive correlation was obtained between concentrations in air and WWTP characteristics (influent flow rate and population in the catchment of the WWTP); whereas a weak negative correlation was obtained with hydraulic retention time. Emissions to air were estimated using a simplified dispersion model. Highest emissions to air were seen at the UR-AS locations. Emissions to air (g/year/tank) were highest for VMSs (5000–112,000) followed by UV-filters (16–2000) then ΣPFASs (10–110).