HPLC-fluorescence detection and adsorption of bisphenol A, 17β-estradiol, and 17α-ethynyl estradiol on powdered activated carbon

Yeomin Yoon, Paul Westerhoff, Shane A. Snyder, Mario Esparza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

235 Scopus citations


The adsorption of three estrogenic compounds (bisphenol A (BPA), 17β-estradiol (E2), and 17α-ethynyl estradiol (EE2)) on several powdered activated carbons (PAC) was investigated. Without preconcentration, method detection limits (MDL) using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with fluorescence detection at an excitation wavelength of 280 nm and an emission wavelength of 310 nm were 0.88, 1.15, and 0.96 nM for BPA, E2, and EE2, respectively. Compound recoveries were >90% in raw drinking water matrices. PAC screening studies (six PAC brands) indicated all three compounds were removed by PAC, but the percentage removal ranged from 31% to >99% based upon PAC type/dosage and presence/absence of natural organic matter. The order of removal (E2>EE2>BPA) corresponded with log Kow values for the compounds (3.1-4.0, 3.7-3.9, 3.3, respectively). Kinetic and PAC dose-response experiments were conducted with the two best performing PACs. Increasing contact time and PAC dose improved compound removal. Freundlich isotherm parameters were fit to the experimental data. This study confirms that PAC treatment is feasible for >99% removal of three estrogenic compounds from raw drinking waters that may be at risk for containing such compounds, at least at initial concentration of 500 ng/L and higher.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3530-3537
Number of pages8
JournalWater research
Issue number14
StatePublished - Aug 2003



  • 17α-ethynyl estradiol
  • 17β-estradiol
  • Adsorption
  • Bisphenol A
  • HPLC-fluorescence
  • Powdered activated carbon
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecological Modeling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

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