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Open AccessArticle

Behavior of UV Filters, UV Blockers and Pharmaceuticals in High Rate Algal Ponds Treating Urban Wastewater

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GEMMA—Group of Environmental Engineering and Microbiology, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya·BarcelonaTech, c/Jordi Girona 1-3, Building D1, 08034 Barcelona, Spain
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Department of Sanitary and Environmental Engineering, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), Av. Antônio Carlos, 6627, Belo Horizonte 31270-901, MG, Brazil
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ENFOCHEM-Water, Environmental and Food Chemistry Unit, Department of Environmental Chemistry, Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research (IDAEA-CSIC), c/Jordi Girona 18-26, 08034 Barcelona, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(10), 2658; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102658
Received: 1 September 2020 / Revised: 16 September 2020 / Accepted: 19 September 2020 / Published: 23 September 2020
The present study evaluated the efficiency of a high rate algal pond (HRAP) at pilot scale to remove pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) from urban wastewater, including UV-filters and parabens (10), benzotriazoles (4), antibiotics (15), anti-inflammatories (3) and other pharmaceuticals (3). A total of 35 compounds were targeted, of which 21 were detected in the influent wastewater to the HRAP. Removals (RE%) for pharmaceuticals were variable, with efficient eliminations for atenolol (84%) and sulfathiazole (100%), whereas the anti-inflammatories naproxen and ketoprofen were only partially removed <50%. Benzotriazoles showed elimination rates similar to those of conventional WWTPs, with RE% ranging from no elimination to 51% for the UV filter benzophenone-3 (BP3) and 100% for 4-methylbenzilidenecamphor (4MBC). Hazard quotients (HQs) were estimated for those compounds not fully eliminated in the HRAP, as well as the cumulative ecotoxicity in the resulting effluent. The majority of the compounds yielded HQs < 0.1, meaning that no environmental risk would be derived from their discharge. Overall, these results clearly indicate that HRAPs are a reliable, green and cost-effective alternative to intensive wastewater treatment, yielding promising results removing these contaminants. View Full-Text
Keywords: emerging contaminants; sunscreens; metabolites; microalgae; wastewater treatment; green treatments emerging contaminants; sunscreens; metabolites; microalgae; wastewater treatment; green treatments
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Vassalle, L.; Sunyer-Caldú, A.; Díaz-Cruz, M.S.; Arashiro, L.T.; Ferrer, I.; Garfí, M.; García-Galán, M.J. Behavior of UV Filters, UV Blockers and Pharmaceuticals in High Rate Algal Ponds Treating Urban Wastewater. Water 2020, 12, 2658.

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