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Concentrations and Composition Profiles of Benzotriazole UV Stabilizers in Municipal Sewage Sludge in China

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journal contribution
posted on 22.02.2016, 05:22 by Ting Ruan, Runzeng Liu, Qiang Fu, Thanh Wang, Yawei Wang, Shanjun Song, Pu Wang, Man Teng, Guibin Jiang
The environmental contamination and fate of benzotriazole UV stabilizers (BZTs) have received increasing attention due to their large production volume and wide usage in various consumer and industrial products. In the present work, 60 municipal sewage sludge samples from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in 33 cities in China were collected to investigate the occurrence and distribution of 9 frequently used BZTs. The most dominant analogue was 2-[3,5-bis­(1-methyl-1-phenylethyl)-2-hydroxyphenyl]­benzotriazole (UV-234) at a median concentration of 116 ng/g (dry weight) and accounted on average for 27.2% of total BZTs. The abundance was successively followed by 2-(2-hydroxy-5-tert-octylphenyl)­benzotriazole (UV-329, average 24.3%), 2-(2-hydroxy-3-tert-butyl-5-methylphenyl)-5-chlorobenzotriazole (UV-326, average 22.2%), 2-(3,5-di-tert-amyl-2-hydroxyphenyl)­benzotriazole (UV-328, average 17.7%), and 2-(2-hydroxy-5-methylphenyl)­benzotriazole (UV-P, average 6.6%), with median concentrations of 66.8, 67.8, 57.3, and 20.6 ng/g, respectively. 5-Chloro-2-(3,5-di-tert-butyl-2-hydroxyphenyl)­benzotriazole (UV-327) and 2-(3-sec-butyl-5-tert-butyl-2-hydroxyphenyl)­benzotriazole (UV-350) had low detection frequency, while 2-(3,5-di-tert-butyl-2-hydroxyphenyl)­benzotriazole (UV-320) and 2-(5-tert-butyl-2-hydroxyphenyl)­benzotriazole (UV-PS) were not detectable in any sample. To our knowledge, this is the first study reporting the occurrence of UV-234, UV-329, and UV-350 in sewage sludge in China. Significant correlations were found among the BZT concentrations and also with a WWTP characteristic (daily treatment volume). Furthermore, results from degradation prediction and multimedia fate simulation based on a quantitative structure–property relationship (QSPR) model at screening level also implied that the commercial BZT chemicals and their plausible transformation products might be persistent in the environment.