Removal of contraceptive pill and HRT residues from water using ligno-cellulosic material

H. M. Coleman, Hannah O’Sullivan, Ciara Murphy, Joerg Arnscheidt, Oluwashina Akinsanmi, Svetlana Tretsiakova-McNally

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For many years, there has been concern of the environmental consequences of endocrine disrupting chemicals discharged to the aquatic environment. These include the natural oestrogens (17-oestradiol, oestrone, oestriol), synthetic oestrogen (17-ethynyloestradiol), testosterone and its metabolites which have been found to be the main oestrogenic and androgenic components of sewage effluent. These chemicals can enter the aquatic environment from contraceptive pill and hormone replacement therapy (HRT) residues.
Biologically significant levels of these compounds have been found in water bodies and have been linked to adverse effects on wildlife and possibly human health. Consequently, the development of alternative treatment technologies to remove these compounds of concern is an important component of the management and delivery of potable water supplies.
Adsorption processes are widely adopted for the removal of metals, dyes, and petrochemical products from water. However, production and regeneration costs of some adsorbents, e.g. activated carbon, remain high. Ligno-cellulosic waste materials such as sawdust, wheat straw and sugar cane bagasse are promising alternative bio-adsorbents. These materials are non-toxic, cheap, readily available and environmentally friendly.
Results from this research showed that the ligno-cellulosic material sawdust is effective for the removal of the natural oestrogen (17-oestradiol) and the synthetic oestrogen (17-ethynloestradiol) in water. Operational parameters were investigated such as the effect of different pre-treatment methods, contact time, pH and temperature.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 16 Jul 2019
EventEuropean Waste Water Management Conference - The Hilton Birmingham Metropole, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Duration: 16 Jul 201917 Jul 2019


ConferenceEuropean Waste Water Management Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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