Removal of perfluoalkyl acids (PFAAs) through fluorochemical industrial and domestic wastewater treatment plants and bioaccumulation in aquatic plants in river and artificial wetland

By Pei Wang, Meng Zhang, Yonglong Lu, Jing Meng, Qifeng Li, and Xiaotian Lu
Environ Int
May 20, 2019
DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2019.04.072

The fluorochemical industry has shifted to the production of short chain homologues of perfluoalkyl acids (PFAAs) in recent years. Yet the effective removal of short-chain PFAAs from wastewater is still a major challenge. In this study, the removal efficiencies (RM) of short- and long-chain PFAAs emitted from two fluorochemical industrial parks were evaluated in one industrial and two domestic waste water treatment plants (WWTPs), and bioaccumulation factors (BAF) of PFAAs in various emerged and submerged aquatic plants in adjacent river and an artificial wetland were also calculated. Perfluorobutanoic acid (PFBA), perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (PFBS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) were dominant in the whole area. The source water of the fluorochemical industrial WWTP (F-WWTP) gathered from the facilities in Park 2 contained total PFAAs (∑PFAAs) of 5,784 ng/L. Among the four main technologies, the biological aerated filter, combined with upflow sludge bed processes presented the greatest RM of ∑PFAAs in the F-WWTP, respectively. The source water of the wetland from the river brought ∑PFAAs to 21,579 ng/L, emerged plants showed higher BAF of PFBA and PFBS, while lower BAF of PFOA and PFOS than submerged plants. J. serotinus showed both the highest ∑PFAAs and the highest BAF for short chain PFAAs. With the increasing production capacity, this study provided valuable information for risk assessment and management of PFAA emission from point sources.

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