Endocrine disrupting compounds and their chlorination by-products are two classes of emerging contaminants. Surface water and wastewater treatment technologies have limitations in removing these contaminants. This study evaluated the ability of non-imprinted polymer particles (NIP) to remove the endocrine disruptor 17β-estradiol (E2) and its chlorination by-products from water and wastewater. NIP effectively removed 98% of 10 mg/L E2 from wastewater. NIP were also effective in removing chlorination by-products of E2 by 84.9% after 10 mg/L E2 in water was chlorinated at 5 mg/L. In the presence of 5 mg/L humic acid, NIP were able to achieve removal of 10 mg/L E2 by greater than 99.9%. Furthermore, after chlorination of 10 mg/L E2 and 5 mg/L humic acid at 10 mg/L chlorine, NIP were also able to remove the chlorination by-products formed as well as the remaining E2 by greater than 99.9%. The presence of 5 mg/L humic acid did not adversely affect the adsorption efficiency. The results of this research indicate that NIPs have good potential as a final treatment step for surface water and wastewater treatment.
Keywords: 17β-estradiol (E2), chlorination by-products, MIP, NIP, wastewater, water treatment