Toxicity of nonylphenol diethoxylate in lab-scale anaerobic digesters

Hande Bozkurt, F. Dilek Sanin

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Nonylphenol compounds have high commercial, industrial and domestic uses owing to their surface active properties. In addition to their toxic, carcinogenic and persistent characteristics; they have drawn the attention of scientists lately due to their endocrine disrupting properties. Their widespread use and disposal cause them to enter wastewater treatment systems at high concentrations. Since they are highly persistent and hydrophobic, they accumulate mostly on sludge.In this study using Anaerobic Toxicity Assay (ATA) tests, the toxicity of a model nonylphenol compound, nonylphenol diethoxylate (NP2EO), for anaerobic digestion of sludge was determined. The test bottles were dosed with NP2EO in acetone, with concentrations ranging from 1mgL-1 to 30mgL-1. During the tests, gas productions and compositions in terms of methane and carbon dioxide were monitored. To be able to judge about the fate, the target compounds were extracted from water and sludge and analyzed using GC/MS. The sludge samples used for assembling the reactors were found to contain NP and NP1EO but no NP2EO. After the assay was completed, all the NP2EO spiked into the live reactors was found to disappear. The increase seen in NP1EO and NP and further accumulation of NP in the system, indicated the conversion of NP2EO to these metabolites. On the other hand, no conversion was observed in abiotic reactors. Inhibition of NP2EO for anaerobic microorganisms was not observed throughout the tests considering the biogas production of the test reactors in comparison to the control reactors. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-75
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemistry (all)
  • Anaerobic digestion
  • Anaerobic Toxicity Assay test
  • Nonylphenol compounds
  • NP2EO
  • Sludge
  • Acetone
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Chromatographic analysis
  • Methane
  • Phenols
  • Testing
  • Wastewater treatment
  • Anaerobic microorganisms
  • Anaerobic toxicity assay tests
  • Endocrine disrupting properties
  • Nonylphenols
  • Surface-active property
  • Wastewater treatment system
  • Toxicity
  • acetone
  • carbon dioxide
  • methane
  • nonylphenol
  • nonylphenol diethoxylate
  • unclassified drug
  • anoxic conditions
  • assay
  • biogas
  • bioreactor
  • concentration (composition)
  • endocrine disruptor
  • gas production
  • metabolite
  • microbial community
  • phenolic compound
  • sludge
  • toxicity test
  • waste treatment
  • wastewater
  • anaerobic bacterium
  • anaerobic digestion
  • anaerobic reactor
  • anaerobic toxicity assay test
  • article
  • chemical composition
  • concentration (parameters)
  • gas
  • mass fragmentography
  • sludge treatment
  • temperature
  • toxicity testing


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