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Water Science & Technology Vol 63 No 10 pp 2131–2137 © IWA Publishing 2011 doi:10.2166/wst.2011.339

Comparison of Fenton's oxidation and ozonation for removal of estrogens

Jana Nakrst, Mirjana Bistan, Tatjana Tišler, Jana Zagorc-Konan, Jan Derco and Andreja gajnar Gotvajn

University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, Aškereva 5, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia E-mail: andreja.zgajnar@fkkt.uni-lj.si
National Institute of Chemistry, Hajdrihova 19, SI-1001 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Slovak University of Technology, Faculty of Chemical and Food Technology, Institute of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Radlinskeho 9, 812 37 Bratislava, Slovak Republic


This study compares efficiency of Fenton's oxidation and ozonation of 17b-estradiol (E2) and 17a-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 (17b-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 (pH6), 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 (17b-estradiol); EE2 (17a-ethinylestradiol); Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs); Fenton's Oxidation; ozonation; YES assay

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