Perfluoroalkyl sulfonates and perfluorocarboxylates in two wastewater treatment facilities in Kentucky and GeorgiaWater Research (2007)
Discharge of effluents from municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) is a route for the introduction of certain organic contaminants into aquatic environments. Earlier studies have reported the occurrence of perfluorochemicals in effluents from WWTPs. In this study, contamination profiles of perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), including perfluoroalkyl sulfonates (PFASs; PFOS, PFOSA, PFHxS) and perfluoroalkyl carboxylates (PFACs; PFOA, PFNA, PFDA, PFDoDA, PFUnDA), were determined in samples collected at various stages of wastewater treatment during different seasons. The two WWTPs selected for this study represent rural (Plant A, Kentucky) and urban (Plant B, Georgia) areas. PFOS was a major contaminant in samples from Plant A (8.2–990 ng/g dry wt in solid samples and 7.0–149 ng/L in aqueous samples), followed by PFOA (8.3–219 ng/g dry wt in solid samples and 22–334 ng/L in aqueous samples). PFOA was the predominant contaminant in samples from Plant B (7.0–130 ng/g dry wt in solid samples and 1–227 ng/L in aqueous samples), followed by PFOS (o2.5–77 ng/g dry wt in solid samples and 1.8–22 ng/L in aqueous samples). PFHxS, PFNA, PFDA, and PFOSA were detected in most of the samples, whereas PFUnDA and PFDoDA were detected in very few samples. Concentrations of some PFCs, particularly PFOA, were slightly higher in effluent than in influent, suggesting that biodegradation of some precursors contributes to the increase in PFOA concentrations in wastewater treatment processes. No large-magnitude seasonal variations in concentrations were found, although mass flow of PFCs was higher in winter than in summer. In general, samples from the rural plant in Kentucky contained greater concentrations of PFCs than did those from the urban plant in Georgia. Incineration of sludge reduced the PFC levels significantly. The mass flows of PFCs in these two plants were several hundreds of mg/day, comparable to flow values reported earlier.
- Perfluorinated compounds,
- Wastewater Treatment,
Publication DateSummer June 22, 2007
Citation InformationLoganathan, B.G., Sajwan, K.S., Sinclair, E., Kumar, K.S. and Kannan, K. 2007. Perfluoroalkyl sulfonates and perfluorocarboxylates in two wastewater treatment facilities in Kentucky and Georgia. Water Research. 41, 4611-4620.
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