Removal of endocrine disrupting compounds from wastewater using polymer particles

Nanomaterials and UV light can “trap” chemicals for easy removal from soil and water

Nanoparticles that lose their stability upon irradiation with light have been designed to extract endocrine disruptors, pesticides, and other contaminants from water and soils. The system exploits the large surface-to-volume ratio of nanoparticles, while the photoinduced precipitation ensures nanomaterials are not released in the environment. MIT News.


Removal of endocrine disrupting compounds from wastewater using polymer particles, Water science and technology : a journal of the International Association on Water Pollution Research, NCBI PubMed PMID: 26744949, 2016.

This study evaluated the use of particles of molecularly imprinted and non-imprinted polymers (MIP and NIP) as a wastewater treatment method for endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs).

MIP and NIP remove EDCs through adsorption and therefore do not result in the formation of partially degraded products. The results show that both MIP and NIP particles are effective for removal of EDCs, and NIP have the advantage of not being as compound-specific as the MIP and hence can remove a diverse range of compounds including 17-β-estradiol (E2), atrazine, bisphenol A, and diethylstilbestrol.

Removal of E2 from wastewater was also tested to determine the effectiveness of NIP in the presence of interfering substances and natural organic matter. Removal of E2 from wastewater samples was high and increased with increasing NIP. NIP represent an effective way of removing a wide variety of EDCs from wastewater.

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