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Photodegradation-based detection of fluorescent whitening agents in a mountain river

Abstract : Fluorescent whitening agents (FWAs) are highly soluble and poorly biodegradable ingredients used in laundry detergents and in industries (paper, textile, plastic manufacturing). They are likely to pass through biological wastewater treatment systems. The presence of FWAs in a mountain river was detected by monitoring the decay of synchronous fluorescence intensity at gimel(ex) = 360 nm after exposing samples to ultraviolet (UV) light (365 nm), for mimicking sunlight, for 15 min. The method was first validated on four commercial FWAs (DAS-1, FB28, DMA-X and CBS-X) in different water matrices (deionized water and pristine river water in the presence of humic acid and dyes). A 40% decay was observed after 15 min for the least photosensitive FWA (CBS-X). A field application was then performed on samples collected along a mountain river in which impacts of FWAs from domestic sources (laundry greywater) and industrial sources (paper and textile mills) were suspected. Variations of fluorescence decay at gimel(ex) = 360 nm could be explained by these potential sources of pollution. It is suggested that the fluorescence decay at gimel(ex) = 280 nm also be considered as an indicator, as some FWAs can exhibit fluorescence at that excitation wavelength.
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Submitted on : Thursday, February 18, 2016 - 9:35:55 AM
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Aziz Assaad, Steve Pontvianne, Marie-Noëlle Pons. Photodegradation-based detection of fluorescent whitening agents in a mountain river. Chemosphere, 2014, 100, pp.27-33. ⟨10.1016/j.chemosphere.2013.12.095⟩. ⟨hal-01275728⟩



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