Fate of 17β-estradiol and 17α-ethinylestradiol in batch and column studies simulating managed aquifer recharge

Sungkyu Maeng, Saroj K. Sharma, Jaewoo Lee, Gary L. Amy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Laboratory-scale batch and soil columns experiments were conducted to investigate the attenuation of estrogens (17β-estradiol and 17α-ethinylestradiol) during managed aquifer recharge. The role of microbial activity in the removal of selected estrogens was evaluated by comparing the results from biotic and abiotic batch experiments. Moreover, batch experiments were carried out using the sand media prepared over different acclimation periods to investigate the impact of acclimation periods on the removal of selected estrogens. Batch studies showed that adsorption was the dominant removal mechanism in the removal of 17β-estradiol and 17α-ethinylestradiol. 17β-estradiol and 17α-ethinylestradiol were attenuated by 99% and 96%, respectively, in batch experiments under oxic conditions. Redox conditions did not show any significant effect on the attenuation of 17β-estradiol. However, the net estrogenicity of 17β-estradiol remaining was lower under oxic conditions (130 ng estradiol-equivalents/L) than anoxic conditions (970 ng estradiol-equivalents/L) . Column studies operated at 17 h of empty bed contact time also demonstrated that removal mechanism of 17α-ethinylestradiol was more dependent on adsorption than biodegradation. © IWA Publishing 2013.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409-416
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Water Supply: Research and Technology—AQUA
Issue number7
StatePublished - Nov 2013

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: We would like to acknowledge the help of Dr Magic-Knezev and Ineke van der Veer-Agterberg (HetWaterlaboratorium) for their support on ATP measurements. We would like to express our gratitude to Sander van der Linden from BioDetection Systems for estrogenicity measurements. This work was financially supported by EU SWITCH Project No. 018530-2 under the Sixth Framework Programme.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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