Since the natural estrogens 17 β-estradiol (E2) and estron (E1), and the synthetic estrogen 17 α-ethynyl estradiol (EE2) have strong endocrine disrupting effects and the tendency to persist in effluent from wastewater treatment plants, effective measures are needed to remove them from wastewater. In this research, to gain an understanding of the characteristics of estrogen decomposition by ozonation, experiments were conducted using effluent from an actual wastewater treatment plant. In this experiment, estrogen was added to effluent at a concentration of 200 ng/l and 20 ng/l before the ozonation experiments. The results showed 90% or more of estrogen concentration and estrogenic activity of E2, E1 and EE2 to be removed at an ozone dose of 1 mg/l. At an ozone dose of 3 mg/l, the estrogen concentration and estrogenic activity of E2, E1 and EE2 in the treated water fell below the detection limit. The removal rate was not influenced by the kind of estrogen. No generation of byproducts with estrogenic activity was observed. The authors conclude that estrogen in secondary treated wastewater can be almost entirely removed at the practical ozone dose rate applied for the purpose of disinfection, which is up to about 5 mg/l.

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