Occurrence and removal of selected polycyclic musks in two sewage treatment plants in Xi’an, China
1. Key Laboratory of Northwestern Water Resource and Environment Ecology (Ministry of Education), Xi’an University of Architecture and Technology, Xi’an 710055, China; 2. Kaidi Northwest Rubber Co. Ltd., Xianyang 712023, China
Polycyclic musks are widely used for cosmetics and other personal care and household cleaning products. The occurrence and removal of two representative polycyclic musks, galaxolide (HHCB) and tonalide (AHTN) were investigated in three different processes of two sewage treatment plants (STPs) in Xi’an, China. The samples were preconcentrated by solid phase extraction procedure and analyzed using a gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC/MS) by a modified procedure. The HHCB was in the range of 82.8 to 182.5 ng·L in the influents and 22.6 to 103.9 ng·L in the effluents. The AHTN ranged from 11.0 to 19.3 ng·L in the influents and 2.2 to 8.8 ng·L in the effluents. The removal efficiency of the two musks varied in the ranges of 43.1%–70.4% for HHCB and 54.2%–84.4% for AHTN. Concentrations of the two musks in aqueous phase of three processes slightly increased along the primary process, and significantly removed during the biologic treatment processes, revealing that the selected musks could be remarkably removed in varied activated sludge processes. Advanced processes of activated sludge did not show a significant superiority on selected musk removal compared to the conventional process. The selected musk removal mainly resulted from the adsorption function of activated sludge. There was no significant change of HHCB/AHTN ratios along the treatment flow, indicating that each sewage treatment structure had a similar removal efficiency for the two musks.