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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

Pharmaceuticals in source separated sanitation systems: Fecal sludge and blackwater treatment

Gros, Meritxell; Ahrens, Lutz; Leven, Lotta; Koch, Alina; Dalahmeh, Sahar; Ljung, Emelie; Lundin, Goran; Jonsson, Hakan; Eveborn, David; Wiberg, Karin

Abstract

This study investigated, for the first time, the occurrence and fate of 29 multiple-class pharmaceuticals (PhACs) in two source separated sanitation systems based on: (i) batch experiments for the anaerobic digestion (AD) of fecal sludge under mesophilic (37 `C) and thermophilic (52 "C) conditions, and (ii) a full-scale blackwater treatment plant using wet composting and sanitation with urea addition. Results revealed high concentrations of PhACs in raw fecal sludge and blackwater samples, with concentrations up to hundreds of pg L-1 and fig kg-1 dry weight (dw) in liquid and solid fractions, respectively. For mesophilic and thermophilic treatments in the batch experiments, average PhACs removal rates of 31% and 45%, respectively, were observed. The average removal efficiency was slightly better for the full-scale blackwater treatment, with 49% average removal, and few compounds, such as atenolol, valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide, showed almost complete degradation. In the AD treatments, no significant differences were observed between mesophilic and thermophilic conditions. For the full-scale blackwater treatment, the aerobic wet composting step proved to be the most efficient in PhACs reduction, while urea addition had an almost negligible effect for most PhACs, except for citalopram, venlafaxine, oxazepam, valsartan and atorvastatin, for which minor reductions (on average 25%) were observed. Even though both treatment systems reduced initial PhACs loads considerably, significant PhAC concentrations remained in the treated effluents, indicating that fecal sludge and blackwater fertilizations could be a relevant vector for dissemination of PhACs into agricultural fields and thus the environment. (C) 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Keywords

Source separation; Sanitation systems; Fecal sludge; Blacicvvater Pharmaceuticals

Published in

Science of the Total Environment
2020, volume: 703, article number: 135530

Authors' information

Gros Calvo, Meritxell
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment
Gros Calvo, Meritxell
Catalan Institute for Water Research (ICRA)
Gros Calvo, Meritxell
University of Girona
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment
Leven, Lotta
Res Inst Sweden RISE
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment
Dalahmeh, Sahar
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Energy and Technology
Ljung, Emelie
Res Inst Sweden RISE
Lundin, Göran
SP Process Development
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Energy and Technology
Eveborn, David
Res Inst Sweden RISE
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG6 Clean water
SDG3 Good health and wellbeing

UKÄ Subject classification

Water Treatment

Publication Identifiers

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.135530

URI (permanent link to this page)

https://res.slu.se/id/publ/102990