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Removal and environmental risk assessment of contaminants of emerging concern from irrigation waters in a semi-closed microalgae photobioreactor

Abstract: The present study evaluated the efficiency of a semi-closed, tubular, horizontal photobioreactor (PBR) to treat a mixture of irrigation and rural drainage water, focusing in the removal of different contaminants of emerging concern (CECs), and evaluating the environmental impact of the resulting effluent. Target CECs included pharmaceuticals, personal care products and flame retardants. Of the 13 compounds evaluated, 11 were detected in the feed water entering the PBR, and diclofenac (DCF) (1107 ng L?1) and N,N-diethyl-toluamide (DEET) (699 ng L?1) were those present at the greatest concentrations. The best removal efficiencies were achieved for the pharmaceuticals diazepam (94%), lorazepam (LZP) (83%) and oxazepam (OXA) (71%), and also for ibuprofen (IBU) (70%). For the rest of the CECs evaluated, attenuation was similar to that obtained after conventional wastewater treatment, ranging from basically no elimination (carbamazepine (CBZ) and tris-(2-chloroethyl) phosphate (TCEP)) to medium efficiencies (DCF and tributyl phosphate (TBP) (50%)). Environmental risk assessment based on hazard quotients (HQs) resulted in HQ values < 0.1 (no risk associated) for most of the compounds and most of the trophic levels considered. Values between 1 and 10 (moderate risk) were obtained for tonalide (AHTN) (fish) and CBZ (invertebrates). The most sensitive trophic level was green algae, whereas fish and aquatic plants were the most resilient. Our results suggest that microalgae-based treatments could become a green, cost-effective alternative to conventional wastewater treatment regarding the efficient elimination of these contaminants.

 Fuente: Environmental Research, 2021, 194, 110278

 Editorial: Elsevier

 Fecha de publicación: 01/03/2021

 Nº de páginas: 11

 Tipo de publicación: Artículo de Revista

 DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2020.110278

 ISSN: 0013-9351,1096-0953

 Proyecto español: RTI2018-099495-B-C21

 Url de la publicación: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2020.110278