This study compares efficiency of Fenton's oxidation and ozonation of 17β-estradiol (E2) and 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2) as two possible processes for removal of estrogens from aqueous solutions. The effectiveness of Fenton's oxidative removal was studied at different ratios of reagents Fe2+:H2O2 (1:0.5; 1:10; 1:20; 1:33), where with some molar ratios up to 100% removal of E2 and EE2 was achieved in the first few minutes of reaction. The best molar ratio for E2 (17β-estradiol) removal was 1:33, while in the case of EE2 the most efficient one was 1:20 ratio. Ozonation was much faster, because complete removal of estrogens was achieved in 30 seconds (pH≈6), but the time of ozonation was extended up to 60 minutes trying to decompose formed by-products, expressing estrogenic activity, detected by YES (Yeast Estrogen Screening) assay. The obtained results showed that the removal efficiency of estrogens from waters should be assessed by a combination of chemical analyses and bioassay.
Keywords: E2 (17β-estradiol), EE2 (17α-ethinylestradiol), Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs), Fenton's Oxidation, ozonation, YES assay