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Water Supply Vol 3 No 5 pp 321–327 © IWA Publishing 2003

Nanofiltration of endocrine disrupting compounds

M. Gallenkemper*, T. Wintgens** and T. Melin***

*Aachen Graduate College on Endocrine Disrupter Removal from Wastewater, Institut für Verfahrenstechnik, RWTH Aachen, Turmstraße 46, 52056 Aachen, Germany (E-mail: gallenkemper@ivt.rwth-aachen.de)
**Aachen Graduate College on Endocrine Disrupter Removal from Wastewater, Institut für Verfahrenstechnik, RWTH Aachen, Turmstraße 46, 52056 Aachen, Germany
***Aachen Graduate College on Endocrine Disrupter Removal from Wastewater, Institut für Verfahrenstechnik, RWTH Aachen, Turmstraße 46, 52056 Aachen, Germany


ABSTRACT
Endocrine disrupting compounds can affect the hormone system in organisms. A wide range of endocrine disrupters were found in sewage and effluents of municipal wastewater treatment plants. Toxicological evaluations indicate that conventional wastewater treatment plants are not able to remove these substances sufficiently before disposing effluent into the environment. Membrane technology, which is proving to be an effective barrier to these substances, is the subject of this research. Nanofiltration provides high quality permeates in water and wastewater treatment. Eleven different nanofiltration membranes were tested in the laboratory set-up. The observed retention for nonylphenol (NP) and bisphenol A (BPA) ranged between 70% and 100%. The contact angle is an indicator for the hydrophobicity of a membrane, whose influence on the permeability and retention of NP was evident. The retention of BPA was found to be inversely proportional to the membrane permeability.

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