Sonochemical degradation of endocrine disrupting chemicals 17β-estradiol and 17α-ethinylestradiol in water and wastewater

Augustine O. Ifelebuegu, J. Onubogu, Eaodoin Joyce, Timothy J. Mason

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    The sonochemical degradation of 17β-estradiol (E2) and 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2) in water and wastewater was investigated at ultrasonic frequency of 850 kHz. The effects of pH, initial concentrations, temperature, power and dissolved organic carbon were examined. The results obtained indicated that the rate of ultrasonic degradation of E2 and EE2 in water and wastewater is influenced by the pH, power, air sparging and the dissolved organic content of the aqueous solutions. Mass degradation rates of E2 and EE2 per kW ranged from 1.7 to 4.0 mg kW−1 at varying process parameters. The degradation process followed the pseudo-second-order kinetic model with rate constant of 1.71 × 10−2 min−1 at 25 °C. The value for activation energy (E a = 15.21 kJ mol−1) obtained from Arrhenius-type plot, indicated that the ultrasonic degradation of steroid hormones is thermodynamically feasible, and does not progress only on radical reactions but other intermediate reaction processes. In wastewater, the higher dissolved organic carbon significantly reduced the effectiveness of degradation of the E2 and EE2 showing that ultrasound treatment will be more effective as a tertiary treatment option in wastewater applications.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-8
    JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Science and Technology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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    • ultrasound
    • degradation
    • estrogens
    • activation energy
    • kinetics

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