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TitleEffect of composting and amendment with biochar and woodchips on the fate and leachability of pharmaceuticals in biosolids destined for land application
 
AuthorLiu, Y; Ptacek, C J; Beauchemin, SORCID logo; MacKinnon, T; Blowes, D W
SourceScience of the Total Environment vol. 810, 151193, 2022 p. 1-11, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.151193 Open Access logo Open Access
Image
Year2022
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20210575
PublisherElsevier B.V.
Documentserial
Lang.English
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf; html
SubjectsScience and Technology; Composting
Illustrationsdiagrams; graphs; tables
ProgramCanmetMINING - Green Mining Innovation-Processing Environmental Protection and Climate Change Adaptation
Released2021 10 23
AbstractLand application of biosolids can improve soil fertility and enhance crop production. However, the occurrence and persistence of pharmaceutical compounds in the biosolids may result in leaching of these contaminants to surface water and groundwater, causing environmental contamination. This study evaluated the effectiveness of two organic amendments [biochar (BC) and woodchips (WC)] for reducing the concentration and leachability (mobility) of four pharmaceuticals in biosolids derived from wastewater treatment plants in southern Ontario, Canada. The effect of 360-d composting on fate and leachabilities of target pharmaceuticals in biosolid mixtures was also investigated. Composting decreased total and leachable concentrations of pharmaceuticals in unamended and BC- and WC-amended biosolids to various degrees, from 10% up to 99% depending on the compound. Blending BC or WC into the biosolids greatly increased the removal rates of the target pharmaceuticals, while simultaneously decreasing their half-lives (t0.5), compared to unamended biosolids. The t0.5 of contaminants in this study followed the order: carbamazepine (304-3053 d) > gemfibrozil (42.3-92.4 d) > naproxen (15.3-104 d) > ibuprofen (12.5-19.0 d). Amendment with BC and(or) WC significantly reduced the leachability of carbamazepine, ibuprofen, and gemfibrozil to variable extents, but significantly enhanced the leachability of naproxen, compared to unamended biosolids (P < 0.05). Biochar and WC exhibited different (positive or negative) effects on the leachability of individual pharmaceuticals. Significantly lower concentrations of total and(or) leachable (mobile) pharmaceuticals were observed in amended biosolids than unamended biosolids (P < 0.05). Biochar and WC are effective amendments that can reduce the environmental impact of biosolid land applications with respect to pharmaceutical contamination.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
Land application of biosolids can improve soil fertility and enhance crop production. However, the occurrence and persistence of pharmaceutical compounds in the biosolids may result in leaching of these contaminants to surface water and groundwater, causing environmental contamination. This study evaluated the effectiveness of two organic amendments (biochar - a carbon-rich material produced during pyrolysis, or incomplete combustion - and woodchips) for reducing the concentration and mobility of four pharmaceuticals (carbamazepine, gemfilbrozil, naproxen, ibuprofen) in biosolids derived from wastewater treatment plants in southern Ontario, Canada. The effect of composting on fate and leachabilities of target pharmaceuticals in biosolid mixtures was also investigated. It was determined that composting decreased total and leachable concentrations of the pharmaceuticals in all biosolids, whether unamended or mixed with biochar or woodchips, with results depending on the pharmaceutical. Blending biochar or woodchips into the biosolids increased the removal rates of the pharmaceuticals, while decreasing their half-lives compared to unamended biosolids. Amendment with biochar or woodchips reduced the mobility of three pharmaceuticals to variable extents, but enhanced the mobility of naproxen, all compared to unamended biosolids. Biochar and woodchips exhibited different (positive or negative) effects on the leachability of individual pharmaceuticals. Significantly lower concentrations of total and mobile pharmaceuticals were observed in amended biosolids than unamended biosolids. Overall, the study determined that biochar and woodchips are effective amendments to reduce the environmental impact of biosolid land applications with respect to pharmaceutical contamination.
GEOSCAN ID329490

 
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