Determination of sorption of seventy five pharmaceuticals in sewage sludge

Maritha Hörsing, Anna Ledin, Roman Grabic, Jerker Fick, Mats Tysklind, Jes la Cour Jansen, Henrik Rasmus Andersen

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    Sorption of 75 active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) to three different types of sludge (primary sludge, secondary sludge with short and long sludge age respectively) were investigated. To obtain the sorption isotherms batch studies with the APIs mixture were performed in four nominal concentrations to water containing 1 g of sludge. The range of APIs concentrations was between ng L1 to mg L1 which are found in the wastewater effluents. Isotherms were obtained for approximately 45 of the APIs, providing distribution coefficients for linear (Kd), Freundlich (Kf) and Langmuir (KL) isotherms. Kd, Kf and KL ranging between 7.1 104 and 3.8 107, 1.1 102 and 6.1 104 and 9.2 103 and 1.1 L kg1, respectively. The obtained coefficients were applied to estimate the fraction of APIs in the water phase (see Abstract Graphic). For 37 of the 75 APIs, the predicted presence in the liquid phase was estimated to >80%. 24 APIs were estimated to be present in the liquid phase between 20 and 80%, and 14 APIs were found to have
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalWater Research
    Issue number15
    Pages (from-to)4470-4482
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


    • Wastewater treatment plant
    • Sorption isotherms
    • Pharmaceuticals
    • Sludge
    • Distribution coefficients


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