The fate of pharmaceuticals after discharged from hospital into wastewater was clarified experimentally by using a new lab-scale conventional activated sludge (CAS) treatment reactor. The 43 target compounds belong to nine therapeutic classes (antivirals, antibacterials, anticancer drugs, psychotropics, antihypertensives, analgesic–antipyretics, contrast media, herbal medicines, and phytoestrogens) were selected with inclusion of 16 newly estimated compounds. The efficiency of the present reactor was estimated by comparing the reaction rate constant of the solid-water partition coefficients (log K d) between liquid and solid samples and half-life during 48-h experiment obtained by using hospital effluents with those obtained by using STP wastewater. The results that no significant difference in removal efficiency was observed between both water samples (P > 0.05) indicate high reliability of the present lab-scale reactor. The actual rates of removal when hospital effluent was applied varied widely (mean, 59 ± 40%) independent of type of the pharmaceuticals. More than 90% of 17 compounds were removed after 8 h of treatment. However, the values for psychotropics (mean, 19 ± 26%) and contrast media (mean, 24 ± 17%) were generally low, indicating high stability. The log K d values ranged from 1.3 to 4.8. Notably, clarithromycin, acridine, and glycitein could be removed in both liquid and solid phases. The dominant removal mechanisms were found to be different for individual pharmaceutical. These results suggest the effectiveness of introduction of the lab-scale biological treatment system for development of a new solution for discharge of pharmaceuticals from hospital.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 12, 2018
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