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A strategic screening approach to identify transformation products of organic micropollutants along rivers
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2379-0768
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.
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(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Many transformation products (TPs) from organic micropollutants are not included in routine monitoring programs due to limited knowledge of their occurrence and fate. An efficient method to identify and prioritize critical compounds in terms of environmental relevance is needed. In this study we applied a strategic screening approach based on a case-control concept to identify TPs with an increasing trend along a stretch in four wastewater-impacted rivers. Time-integrated samples were taken over one week at both ends of a river stretch downstream of a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) outfall. The screening procedure consisted of three major steps: i) screening for parent compounds (PCs) attenuating along the stretch; ii) prediction of TPs for these PCs; and iii) screening for TPs with an increasing trend along the stretch. In total, 48 organic micropollutants were tentatively identified, of which 32 were decreasing along the stretches. From these PCs, 1315 TPs were predicted and eight out of which were tentatively identified with increasing concentrations along the stretches. Generally, good correlations were observed between the suspect screening results from this study and previous target analysis results on the same samples, suggesting high confidence of our screening approach. The case-control concept was proven efficient and reliable for identifying environmental relevant TPs formed along rivers. 

National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Applied Environmental Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-123737OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-123737DiVA: diva2:876509
Available from: 2015-12-03 Created: 2015-12-03 Last updated: 2015-12-15Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Fate of Pharmaceuticals and Their Transformation Products in Rivers: An integration of target analysis and screening methods to study attenuation processes
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Fate of Pharmaceuticals and Their Transformation Products in Rivers: An integration of target analysis and screening methods to study attenuation processes
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Pharmaceuticals are environmental contaminants causing steadily increasing concern due to their high usage, ubiquitous distribution in the aquatic environment, and potential to exert adverse effects on the ecosystems. After being discharged from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), pharmaceuticals can undergo transformation processes in surface waters, of which microbial degradation in river sediments is considered highly significant. In spite of a substantial number of studies on the occurrence of pharmaceuticals in aquatic systems, a comprehensive understanding of their environmental fate is still limited. First of all, very few consistent datasets from lab-based experiments to field studies exist to allow for a straightforward comparison of observations. Secondly, data on the identity and occurrence of transformation products (TPs) is insufficient and the relation of the behavior of TPs to that of their parent compounds (PCs) is poorly understood. In this thesis, these knowledge gaps were addressed by integrating the TP identification using suspect/non-target screening approaches and PC/TP fate determination. The overarching objective was to improve the understanding of the fate of pharmaceuticals in rivers, with a specific focus on water-sediment interactions, and formation and behavior of TPs. In paper I, 11 pharmaceutical TPs were identified in water-sediment incubation experiments using non-target screening. Bench-scale flume experiments were conducted in paper II to simultaneously investigate the behavior of PCs and TPs in both water and sediment compartments under more complex and realistic hydraulic conditions. The results illustrate that water-sediment interactions play a significant role for efficient attenuation of PCs, and demonstrate that TPs are formed in sediment and released back to surface water. In paper III the environmental behavior of PCs along stretches of four wastewater-impacted rivers was related to that of their TPs. The attenuation of PCs is highly compound and site specific. The highest attenuation rates of the PCs were observed in the river with the most efficient river water-pore water exchange. This research also indicates that WWTPs can be a major source of TPs to the receiving waters. In paper IV, suspect screening with a case-control concept was applied on water samples collected at both ends of the river stretches, which led to the identification of several key TPs formed along the stretches. The process-oriented strategies applied in this thesis provide a basis for prioritizing and identifying the critical PCs and TPs with respect to environmental relevance in future fate studies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry, Stockholm University, 2015. 24 p.
Keyword
pharmaceuticals, transformation products, fate, river, suspect screening, non-target screening
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Applied Environmental Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-123752 (URN)978-91-7649-292-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-02-05, De Geersalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 3: Submitted. Paper 4: Manuscript.

Available from: 2016-01-13 Created: 2015-12-04 Last updated: 2016-01-14Bibliographically approved

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Li, ZhePlassmann, Merle M.Sobek, Anna
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