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1.4 CHEMICAL SCIENCES, 2.7 ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING
Endocrine disruptors are a class of contaminants found in water and process effluents at low concentrations. They are of concern due to their high estrogenic potency. Their presence in the environment has led to the search for effective techniques for their removal in wastewater. For this purpose, an atmospheric air plasma reactor was employed for the study of the degradation of three endocrine disruptor chemicals (EDC) namely; bisphenol A (BPA), estrone (E1) and 17β-estradiol (E2) within a model dairy effluent. Identification of the plasma induced active species both in the gas and liquid phases were performed. Also studied was the influence of an inhibitor, namely tertiary butanol, on the degradation of the EDCs. The results demonstrate that air plasma could successfully degrade the tested EDCs, achieving efficacies of 93% (k=0.189min−1) for BPA, 83% (k=0.132min−1) for E1 and 86% (k=0.149min−1) for E2, with the process following first order kinetics. The removal efficacy was reduced in the presence of a radical scavenger confirming the key role of oxygen radicals such as OH in the degradation process. The intermediate and final products generated in the degradation process were identified using UHPLC-MS and LC-MS. Based on the intermediates identified a proposed degradation pathway is presented.
C. Sarangapani, M. Danaher, Brijesh Tiwari, Peng Lu, Paula Bourke, P.J. Cullen, Efficacy and mechanistic insights into endocrine disruptor degradation using atmospheric air plasma, Chemical Engineering Journal, Volume 326, 2017, Pages 700-714, ISSN 1385-8947, DOI: 10.1016/j.cej.2017.05.178.