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Enhanced estrogen removal in activated sludge processes through the optimization of the hydraulic flow pattern

Lookup NU author(s): Tamara Coello Garcia, Professor Thomas CurtisORCiD, Dr Wojciech MrozikORCiD, Professor Russell DavenportORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.The removal of β-estradiol (E2) and α-ethinylestradiol (EE2) in biological wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) would need to be improved in order to comply with prospective Environmental Quality Standards (EQS) of 0.4 and 0.035 ng.L-1 respectively. The effluent concentration of a micropollutant in an activated sludge process is a function of the removal rate, the hydraulic retention time (HRT) and the flow pattern, which is usually overlooked. In order to better understand this aspect, we carried out tracer studies in eight WWTPs in the UK and found that relatively modest changes in aeration tanks would translate into tangible improvements in their flow pattern. We further evaluated the degradation rates for E1 (estrone), E2, E3 (estriol) and EE2 in each WWTP and we estimated that the modification of the flow pattern would be sufficient to place effluent concentrations of E2 (23.2 L∙gVSS-1∙d-1

Publication metadata

Author(s): Coello-Garcia T, Curtis TP, Mrozik W, Davenport RJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Water research

Year: 2019

Volume: 164

Online publication date: 23/07/2019

Acceptance date: 22/07/2019

Date deposited: 15/10/2019

ISSN (print): 0043-1354

ISSN (electronic): 1879-2448

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2019.114905

PubMed id: 31394465


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