One of the main concerns associated with the recycling of biosolids to arable land is their contamination by organic pollutants, like endocrine disruptors. Conditioning and dewatering are usually the last steps of the sewage sludge treatment, before its further utilization. The choice of the specific conditioning/dewatering method may have an effect, not only on the amount of residues in the biosolids, but also on the fate of these compounds in amended soils. Anaerobically digested wastewater sludge was conditioned at lab-scale by means of physical and chemical methods and subsequently dewatered by centrifugation. The produced biosolids plus non-conditioned and non-dewatered sludges were amended separately to soil and spiked with 14C radiolabelled single isomer of nonylphenol. The persistence and leaching potential of nonylphenol after an incubation period of three months were correlated to the sludge treatment method. In comparison to non-conditioned sludge, 54% and 72% higher amount of pollutant residues were extractable when freeze-thawed and limed sludge, respectively, were used. Conditioning of sludge with cationic polymer decreased the leaching potential of nonylphenol in sludge-amended soils, while liming increased it. Fractions of the model compound recovered as extractable and bound residues were analyzed in order to interpret nonylphenol fate.

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