Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 17, pp 16875–16884 | Cite as

Sorption of 17β-estradiol to the dissolved organic matter from animal wastes: effects of composting and the role of fulvic acid-like aggregates

  • Fengsong Zhang
  • Linsheng Yang
  • Xia Liu
  • Yanxia Li
  • Huajun Fang
  • Xingrun Wang
  • Njud S. Alharbi
  • Jiaxing Li
Research Article


Steroid estrogens, such as 17β-estradiol (E2), in animal manure pose a potential threat to the aquatic environment. The transport and estrogenicity of estrogens influence the sorption of estrogens to dissolved organic matter (DOM) in animal manure, and composting treatment alters the structure and composition of the manure. The objectives of the present study were to identify the contribution of the molecular composition of DOM of composted manure to the sorption of E2 and then elucidate the dominant mechanisms involved in the interaction of E2 with manure-derived DOM. The excitation–emission matrix (EEM) spectra and atomic force microscopy (AFM) showed that composting significantly altered the chemical composition and structure of DOM. A decrease in the atomic ratios of oxygen (O)/carbon (C) occurred in conjunction with the formation of DOM aggregates in the composted manure, indicating that the hydrophilicity and polarity of the DOM decreased after composting. Composting increased the sorption coefficients (KDOC-E2) for E2 to DOM, and KDOC-E2 was positively correlated with the proportion of the fulvic acid (FA)-like fraction and molecular weight (MW) fractions of the DOM (range of 1.0 × 103–7.0 × 103 Da and 7.0 × 103–1.4 × 104 Da). Specifically, E2 showed a tendency for sorption to medium-sized FA-like molecules of DOM aggregates in composted manure. Hydrophobic forces and π-π binding appeared to be the main mechanisms underlying the aforementioned interaction.


DOM Estrogen Manure Fulvic acid Binding 



The research was funded through the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41201513, 21277013, 21577007, 21677146), National Key Research and Development Program of China (216YFD0800204), Environmental Protection Public Welfare Program (201509074), and the central level, Scientific Research Institutes for Basic R&D special fund business (No. 2013-YSGQ-10).

Supplementary material

11356_2018_1402_MOESM1_ESM.docx (276 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 276 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fengsong Zhang
    • 1
  • Linsheng Yang
    • 1
  • Xia Liu
    • 2
  • Yanxia Li
    • 3
  • Huajun Fang
    • 1
  • Xingrun Wang
    • 4
  • Njud S. Alharbi
    • 5
  • Jiaxing Li
    • 2
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Land Surface Pattern and SimulationInstitute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Institute of Plasma Physics, Chinese Academy of SciencesHefeiChina
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Water Environment Simulation, School of EnvironmentBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina
  4. 4.State Key Laboratory of Environmental Criteria and Risk AssessmentChinese Research Academy of Environmental SciencesBeijingChina
  5. 5.Biotechnology Research Group, Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of ScienceKing Abdulaziz UniversityJeddahSaudi Arabia

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