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International Journal of Photoenergy
Volume 2012, Article ID 270320, 9 pages
Research Article

Energy Effectiveness of Direct UV and UV/H2O2 Treatment of Estrogenic Chemicals in Biologically Treated Sewage

Department of Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Building 133, Miljoevej, 2800 Lyngby, Denmark

Received 1 June 2012; Accepted 23 July 2012

Academic Editor: Mika Sillanpää

Copyright © 2012 Kamilla M. S. Hansen and Henrik R. Andersen. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Continuous exposure of aquatic life to estrogenic chemicals via wastewater treatment plant effluents has in recent years received considerable attention due to the high sensitivity of oviparous animals to disturbances of estrogen-controlled physiology. The removal efficiency by direct UV and the UV/H2O2 treatment was investigated in biologically treated sewage for most of the estrogenic compounds reported in wastewater. The investigated compounds included parabens, industrial phenols, sunscreen chemicals, and steroid estrogens. Treatment experiments were performed in a flow through setup. The effect of different concentrations of H2O2 and different UV doses was investigated for all compounds in an effluent from a biological wastewater treatment plant. Removal effectiveness increased with H2O2 concentration until 60 mg/L. The treatment effectiveness was reported as the electrical energy consumed per unit volume of water treated required for 90% removal of the investigated compound. It was found that the removal of all the compounds was dependent on the UV dose for both treatment methods. The required energy for 90% removal of the compounds was between 28 kWh/m3 (butylparaben) and 1.2 kWh/m3 (estrone) for the UV treatment. In comparison, the UV/H2O2 treatment required between 8.7 kWh/m3 for bisphenol A and benzophenone-7 and 1.8 kWh/m3 for ethinylestradiol.