(454e) Concentrating 17α-Ethinyl Estradiol (EE2) Using PES Hollow-Fibre Membranes: Experimental Exploration and Molecular Modelling

Ng, C. K., Nanyang Technological University
Cao, B., Nanyang Technological University
The 17α-ethinyl estradiol (EE2) is a synthetic estrogen derived from 17β-estradiol (E2), the major endogenous estrogen in humans. EE2 is widely used as an active ingredient for birth control and other hormonal treatments. EE2 is excreted into the sewage and the environment mainly via urine. Wastewater treatment plants are usually ineffective in removing EE2 from water which results in the release of EE2 into the environment. The concentration of EE2 in surface water bodies are typically at sub-ppb levels. Even at such low concentration, several studies have reported negative environmental effects of EE2 including feminization of aquatic animals. At present, it is not known if EE2, at such low concentration, has any adverse effect on human or other mammals over short and long term exposure. Developing novel strategies for the efficient removal and treatment of EE2 from water has become an imperative in water reclamation and reuse. Here, we report a novel approach whereas a widely used polyethersulfone (PES) membrane was used to concentrate EE2 through adsorption and solvent elution. The concentrated EE2 can then be further treated with high efficiency using approaches such as biodegradation. Molecular mechanisms underlying the interaction between EE2 and PES membrane was elucidated using molecular dynamic simulation.