Degradation of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals during UV Photolysis and AOP


  • Erik J. Rosenfeldt - Hazen and Sawyer
  • Karl G. Linden - Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Duke University

The degradation of three endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), bisphenol A, ethinyl estradiol, and estradiol, was investigated via ultraviolet (UV) radiation photolysis and the UV/hydrogen peroxide advanced oxidation process (AOP). These EDCs have been detected at low levels in wastewaters and surface waters in both the United States and European countries, can cause adverse effects on humans and wildlife via interactions with the endocrine system, and thus must be treated before entering the public drinking water supply. Because many EDCs can only be partially removed with conventional water treatment systems, there is a need to evaluate alternative treatment processes.

For each EDC tested, direct UV photolysis quantum yields were derived for use with both monochromatic low-pressure (LP) UV lamps and polychromatic medium-pressure (MP) UV lamps and second-order hydroxyl radical rate constants were developed. These parameters were utilized to successfully model UV treatment of the EDCs in laboratory and natural waters. The polychromatic MP UV radiation source was more effective for direct photolysis degradation as compared to conventional LP UV lamps emitting monochromatic UV 254 nm radiation. However, in all cases the EDCs were more effectively degraded utilizing UV/H2O2 advanced oxidation as compared to direct UV photolysis treatment.

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