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Environmental science & technology

Influence of alkalinity and salinity on the sonochemical degradation of estrogen hormones in aqueous solution.


PMID 20092297

Abstract

Ultrasound assisted degradation of estrogen hormones was examined in a batch reactor using a 2 kW (20 kHz) sonication unit. The degradation of estrogens follow a pseudo first order rate kinetics, and the order of degradation is 17alpha-dihydroequilin > equilin >17alpha-ethinyl estradiol >17alpha-estradiol >17beta-estradiol > estrone > estriol. Effect of solution alkalinity and salinity on the sonochemical degradation of estrogen hormones is examined. At alkalinity concentration of 10 mM, no adverse effect on the degradation rate constants of estradiols (17alpha-estradiol, 17beta-estradiol, and 17alpha-ethinyl estradiol) was observed, whereas equilin compounds showed a decrease in their degradation rate constants. Significant inhibitory effects were observed for all the compounds at high alkalinity concentration of 120 mM and which could be due to the scavenging of OH(*) radicals in the bulk solution. The presence of salinity (0.17 M) enhanced the estrogen degradation except for the equilin compounds. Simultaneous presence of high alkalinity (120 mM) and salinity (0.17 M) also increased the degradation of estrogen hormones than the case when only alkalinity (120 mM) was present, indicating the diffusion of analytes to the cavity interface where most of the degradation occurs under these conditions. A mechanistic approach was used to model the degradation behavior of estrogen hormones under different solution alkalinity and salinity conditions.