The occurrence of emerging organic micropollutants (OMPs) in sewage sludge has been widely reported; nevertheless, their fate during sludge treatment remains unclear. The objective of this work was to study the fate of OMPs during mesophilic and thermophilic anaerobic digestion (AD), the most common processes used for sludge stabilization, by using raw sewage sludge without spiking OMPs. Moreover, the results of analytical chemistry were complemented with biological assays in order to verify the possible adverse effects (estrogenic and genotoxic) on the environment and human health in view of an agricultural (re)use of digested sludge. Musk fragrances (AHTN, HHCB), ibuprofen (IBP) and triclosan (TCS) were the most abundant compounds detected in sewage sludge. In general, the efficiency of the AD process was not dependent on operational parameters but compound-specific: some OMPs were highly biotransformed (e.g. sulfamethoxazole and naproxen), while others were only slightly affected (e.g. IBP and TCS) or even unaltered (e.g. AHTN and HHCB). The MCF-7 assay evidenced that estrogenicity removal was driven by temperature. The Ames test did not show point mutation in Salmonella typhimurium while the Comet test exhibited a genotoxic effect on human leukocytes attenuated by AD. This study highlights the importance of combining chemical analysis and biological activities in order to establish appropriate operational strategies for a safer disposal of sewage sludge. Actually, it was demonstrated that temperature has an insignificant effect on the disappearance of the parent compounds while it is crucial to decrease estrogenicity.

Is anaerobic digestion effective for the removal of organic micropollutants and biological activities from sewage sludge?

Papa, Matteo Enrico;
2016-01-01

Abstract

The occurrence of emerging organic micropollutants (OMPs) in sewage sludge has been widely reported; nevertheless, their fate during sludge treatment remains unclear. The objective of this work was to study the fate of OMPs during mesophilic and thermophilic anaerobic digestion (AD), the most common processes used for sludge stabilization, by using raw sewage sludge without spiking OMPs. Moreover, the results of analytical chemistry were complemented with biological assays in order to verify the possible adverse effects (estrogenic and genotoxic) on the environment and human health in view of an agricultural (re)use of digested sludge. Musk fragrances (AHTN, HHCB), ibuprofen (IBP) and triclosan (TCS) were the most abundant compounds detected in sewage sludge. In general, the efficiency of the AD process was not dependent on operational parameters but compound-specific: some OMPs were highly biotransformed (e.g. sulfamethoxazole and naproxen), while others were only slightly affected (e.g. IBP and TCS) or even unaltered (e.g. AHTN and HHCB). The MCF-7 assay evidenced that estrogenicity removal was driven by temperature. The Ames test did not show point mutation in Salmonella typhimurium while the Comet test exhibited a genotoxic effect on human leukocytes attenuated by AD. This study highlights the importance of combining chemical analysis and biological activities in order to establish appropriate operational strategies for a safer disposal of sewage sludge. Actually, it was demonstrated that temperature has an insignificant effect on the disappearance of the parent compounds while it is crucial to decrease estrogenicity.
2016
Estrogenicity; Genotoxicity; Mesophilic digestion; Organic micropollutants; Sewage sludge; Thermophilic digestion; Anaerobiosis; Humans; Perfume; Sewage; Sulfamethoxazole; Temperature; Waste Disposal, Fluid
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/962974
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