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Open AccessArticle

Fate of Emerging Contaminants in High-Rate Activated Sludge Systems

Sanitary Engineering Laboratory, Department of Water Resources and Environmental Engineering, School of Civil Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, 5 Iroon Polytechniou, Zografou, 15780 Athens, Greece
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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(2), 400; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18020400
Received: 8 December 2020 / Revised: 2 January 2021 / Accepted: 4 January 2021 / Published: 6 January 2021
High-rate activated sludge (HRAS) systems are designed to shift the energy-intensive processes to energy-saving and sustainable technologies for wastewater treatment. The high food-to-microorganism (F/M) ratios and low solid retention times (SRTs) and hydraulic retention times (HRTs) applied in HRAS systems result in the maximization of organic matter diversion to the sludge which can produce large amounts of biogas during anaerobic digestion, thus moving toward energy-neutral (or positive) treatment processes. However, in addition to the energy optimization, the removal of emerging contaminants (ECs) is the new challenge in wastewater treatment. In the context of this study, the removal efficiencies and the fates of selected ECs (three endocrine disruptors (endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs))—nonylphenol, bisphenol A and triclosan, and four pharmaceuticals (PhACs)—ibuprofen, naproxen, diclofenac and ketoprofen) in HRAS systems have been studied. According to the results, EDCs occurred in raw wastewater and secondary sludge at higher concentrations compared to PhACs. In HRAS operating schemes, all compounds were poorly (<40%) to moderately (<60%) removed. Regarding removal mechanisms, biotransformation was found to be the dominant process for PhACs, while for EDCs sorption onto sludge is the most significant removal mechanism affecting their fates and their presence in excess sludge. View Full-Text
Keywords: micropollutants; endocrine disruptors; pharmaceuticals; high-rate activated sludge; sorption; biodegradation; occurrence; removal micropollutants; endocrine disruptors; pharmaceuticals; high-rate activated sludge; sorption; biodegradation; occurrence; removal
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MDPI and ACS Style

Koumaki, E.; Noutsopoulos, C.; Mamais, D.; Fragkiskatos, G.; Andreadakis, A. Fate of Emerging Contaminants in High-Rate Activated Sludge Systems. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 400.

AMA Style

Koumaki E, Noutsopoulos C, Mamais D, Fragkiskatos G, Andreadakis A. Fate of Emerging Contaminants in High-Rate Activated Sludge Systems. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(2):400.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Koumaki, Elena; Noutsopoulos, Constantinos; Mamais, Daniel; Fragkiskatos, Gerasimos; Andreadakis, Andreas. 2021. "Fate of Emerging Contaminants in High-Rate Activated Sludge Systems" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 18, no. 2: 400.

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