DBPapers
DOI:10.5593/SGEM2013/BE5.V1/S20.010

ANALYSIS, OCCURRENCE AND REMOVAL OF NINE PHARMACEUTICALS IN WASTEWATERS FROM A MUNICIPAL WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT

J. Petre, V. I. Iancu, G. G. Vasile, F. Albu, M. Niculescu, A. C. Niculae, L. Cruceru, M. Nicolau
Tuesday 6 August 2013 by Libadmin2013

References: 13th SGEM GeoConference on Ecology, Economics, Education And Legislation, www.sgem.org, SGEM2013 Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7105-04-9 / ISSN 1314-2704, June 16-22, 2013, Vol. 1, 71 - 78 pp

ABSTRACT

The effluents from the municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are a major source of release of pharmaceuticals into the aquatic environment. The occurrence and removal efficiency of 9 pharmaceutical compounds of several classes in the WWTP of Bucharest were investigated using 24 h flow proportional composite influent and effluent samples. The compounds monitored during 9 days period were 6 antibiotics (trimethoprim, norfloxacin, ciprofloxacin, azithromycin, sulphametoxazole, erythromycin), an anti-inflammatory drug (acetaminophen), an anticonvulsant (carbamazepine) and a nervous stimulant (caffeine). The analytes were identified and quantified using solid-phase extraction and triple quadrupole LC-MS/MS. All of the monitored compounds, except norfloxacin and erythromycin, were detected in influent and effluent wastewater. Acetaminophen (up to 30.16 μgL-1) and caffeine (up to 74.54 μgL-1) were the most abundant pharmaceutical compounds in untreated wastewater. Different compounds were removed to different extent in the WWTP, ranging from 0% for trimethoprim and carbamazepine to 95% for acetaminophen. Of all the antibiotics, ciprofloxacin although detected in the highest concentrations in the influent, in the range 0.90 – 4.97 μgL-1 was removed comparatively more efficiently. Ciprofloxacin could have adverse effects on microorganism involved in biological treatment process and the others antibiotics escape WWTP processing, contaminating the receiving water bodies.

Keywords: pharmaceuticals, wastewater, LC-MS/MS, removal efficiency