In Poland, according to the statistical data, about 40% of sewage sludges originating from wastewater treatment plants are applied in the agriculture. The mentioned way of application of sewage sludges causes the hazard of contamination of environment with carcinogenic compounds due to the presence of some organic micropollutants, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The proposal of changing UE Directive obligates control of organic pollutants (PAHs and others) in sewage sludges applied in the agriculture. The aim of the investigations was to estimate the persistence of PAHs under stored conditions by determining half-life of their decomposition. Eight carcinogenic PAHs, among 16 compounds, listed by EPA were determined. In this study, the quantity changes in the concentration of PAHs in stored sewage sludges were investigated. Sewage sludges were stored under aerobic conditions for 16 weeks. At the same time the sewage sludges with sodium azide added, in order to deactivate the microorganisms (abiotic samples), were also stored. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry was used to qualify and quantify PAHs in 2- and 4-week intervals. Sewage sludges were taken two fold from a municipal wastewater treatment plant. In practice, the sewage sludges are directed to the disposal site. The initial concentration of 16 PAHs in sewage sludge was equal to 582 μg/kg.d.m. The changes in the concentration of PAHs corresponded to exponential function. Values of correlation coefficients indicate a significant dependence of PAHs persistence and concentration on time exposition. Under experimental conditions the half-lives of individual compounds were diversed. In biotic samples half-life of hydrocarbons was in the range of 17 to 126 days. Half-life of PAHs in abiotic sewage sludges was in the range of 32 to 2048 days. The most persistent were benzo(a)pyrene and benzo(b) fluoranthene, respectively. A significant dependence of PAHs' decrease on the presence of microorganisms in sewage sludges after 10 weeks of storage was found.
The Passhatten Member (Anisian–Ladinian) is the most westward exposure of the Middle Triassic sedimentary sequence of Spitsbergen. The member has an average organic carbon of 2.21 wt %. The sediments were deposited in a shallow shelf environment under conditions of high biological productivity stimulated by a well−developed upwelling system and an enhanced nutrient supply from land areas. The high biological productivity caused a high supply of organic particles to the shelf bottom. Decomposition of organic matter initiated oxygen deficiency in the bottom waters; however, bottom water dynamics on the shallow shelf temporarily replenished the oxygen. Consequently, the Passhatten Mb section is bioturbated, even in thick black shale horizons and consists of alternately spaced lithological layers with variable organic carbon content. The organic matter is dominated by type II kerogen with a mixture of strongly altered marine and/or land derived organic matter. Calculated initial hydrogen index values suggest oil−prone organic matter similar to kerogen I and II types. The organic matter is in the upper intermediate stage of thermo−catalytic alteration, close to the cata− and metagenetic boundary. Maturity indicators including Rock−Eval, Maximum Temperature, Organic Matter Transformation Ratio, Residual Carbon content, as well as the volume of methane generated suggest mature to overmature organic matter. Methane potential retained in the black shales sequence is significant. Unexpelled gas is estimated at 395 mcf/ac−ft for the examined section.