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Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 10, pp 10126–10134 | Cite as

Fate of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in sewage sludge during microwave-assisted persulfate oxidation treatment

  • Hanna Hamid
  • Loretta Y. Li
Short Research and Discussion Article

Abstract

The fate of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) has been investigated for an emerging sludge treatment technique using microwave heating-assisted persulfate (PS) oxidation. The effect of heating temperature (20, 50, and 70 °C) and PS dose (PS1: 0.01; PS2: 0.1; PS3: 0.2 g/g wet sludge) was studied in sludge spiked with PFOA at an environmentally relevant concentration (200 ng/g wet weight). Control degradation experiments using spiked sludge without PS addition and background sludge (no PFOA spike) with PS addition were also conducted at each temperature. Sludge samples were analyzed for eight perfluorocarboxylic acids (PFCAs) (C4 – C11) using LC-MS/MS. At 20 °C (PS2 dose), minimal (~ 5%) removal of the spiked PFOA was observed after 72 h, suggesting the need for elevated treatment temperature. For the same PS dose (0.1 g /g sludge), treatment at 50 and 70 °C showed a decrease in PFOA concentration with increasing temperature, with ~ 28 and ~ 42% removal following 4 h of treatment. No significant increase in degradation was observed for the highest dose (PS3) after 2 h, possibly indicating self-scavenging of PS at high dosage. Due to the low initial spiking concentration of PFOA and low extraction recovery, all shorter-chain PFCAs (< C8), the degradation products of PFOA, were below quantification limits in all sludge samples.

Keywords

Perfluorooctanoic acid Sludge Oxidation Persulfate Microwave Perfluoroalkyl 

Abbreviations

MW

Microwave

PFBA

Perfluoorobutanoic acid

PFCA

Perfluorocarboxylic acid

PFDA

Perfluorodecanoic acid

PFHpA

Perfluoroheptanoic acid

PFHxA

Perfluorohexanoic acid

PFNA

Perfluorononanoic acid

PFOA

Perfluorooctanoic acid

PFPeA

Perfluoropentanoic acid

PFUnDA

Perfluoroundecanoic acid

PS

Persulfate

TS

Total solids

WWTP

Wastewater treatment plant

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors gratefully acknowledge scholarships to Hanna Hamid from the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC, CGSD3-475849-2015) and The Schlumberger Foundation, Faculty for the Future fellowship program, as well as research funding from NSERC (RGPIN 185040-13). The authors express their gratitude to Prof. John Grace for reviewing the manuscript. We also thank Mr. Matty Jeronimo (Laboratory Program Manager, School of Population and Public Health, UBC) for assistance with method development and sample analysis and Dr. Asha Srinivasan for her help with the microwave unit.

Supplementary material

11356_2018_1576_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (605 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 605 kb)

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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Civil EngineeringUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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