Author(s): Anna A Bletsou, Alexandros G Asimakopoulos, Athanasios S Stasinakis, Nikolaos S Thomaidis, Kurunthachalam Kannan
The occurrence and fate of 5 cyclic (D3 to D7) and 12 linear (L3 to L14) siloxanes were investigated in raw and treated wastewater (both particulate and dissolved phases) as well as in sludge from a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) in Athens, Greece. Cyclic and linear siloxanes (except for L3) were detected in all influent wastewater and sludge samples at mean concentrations of (sum of 17 siloxanes) 20 μg L–1 and 75 mg kg–1, respectively. The predominant compounds in wastewater were L11 (24% of the total siloxane concentration), L10 (16%), and D5 (13%), and in sludge were D5 (20%) and L10 (15%). The distribution of siloxanes between particulate and dissolved phases in influents differed significantly for linear and cyclic siloxanes. Linear siloxanes showed higher solid–liquid distribution coefficients (log Kd) than did cyclic compounds. For 10 of the 16 compounds detected in influents, the removal efficiency was higher than 80%. Sorption to sludge and biodegradation and/or volatilization losses are important factors that affect the fate of siloxanes in WWTPs. The mean total mass of siloxanes that enter into the WWTP via influent was 15.1 kg per day–1, and the mean total mass released into the environment via effluent was 2.67 kg per day–1.