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In order to investigate the occurrence and removal of semivolatile organic chemicals (SVOCs) in the compost of sewage sludge, three different composting treatments, including manual turned compost (MTC), intermittent aerated compost (IAC), and naturally aerated compost (NAC) were conducted. Thirty SVOCs in composts were Soxhlet-extracted and analyzed by GC/MS. After 56 days of composting, the total concentrations of 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (∑PAHs) ranged from 0.55 to 8.20 mg kg(-1) dry weight, decreasing in order of IAC>MTC>NAC. The total concentrations of six phthalic acid esters (∑PAEs), five chlorobenzenes or three nitroaromatic compounds were less than 5.0 mg kg(-1). Compared with the initial concentrations in sewage sludge, a significant reduction of ∑PAHs, ∑PAEs and chlorobenzenes was observed. The removal rates of ∑PAHs and ∑PAEs ranged from 54.6% to 75.9% and from 58.3% to 90.6%, respectively. Compared with different composting processes, MTC showed the highest potential for removal of SVOCs. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Quan-Ying Cai, Ce-Hui Mo, Huixiong Lü, Qiao-Yun Zeng, Qi-Tang Wu, Yan-Wen Li. Effect of composting on the removal of semivolatile organic chemicals (SVOCs) from sewage sludge. Bioresource technology. 2012 Dec;126:453-7

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PMID: 22142505

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