Water, Air, & Soil Pollution

, Volume 218, Issue 1, pp 413–422

Assessment of Pharmaceuticals Fate in a Model Environment


DOI: 10.1007/s11270-010-0655-y

Cite this article as:
Domènech, X., Ribera, M. & Peral, J. Water Air Soil Pollut (2011) 218: 413. doi:10.1007/s11270-010-0655-y


A multiphase model based on the Mackay-type level II fugacity model has been used to predict the behaviour and final environmental concentrations of some of the more consumed pharmaceuticals in Spain. The model takes into account the mean rate of consumption of pharmaceuticals, the percentage of pharmaceutical metabolised, the formation of the corresponding glucuronide, which is assumed to be hydrolysed back to the parent molecule, the partial degradation of each pharmaceutical in a conventional sewage treatment plant, and the fate of these substances in a regional model environmental system. Predicted environmental concentrations in air, water, soil, sediments and suspended matter, and the corresponding residence time for each pharmaceutical have been obtained by application of the model. The predicted concentrations of pharmaceuticals in the water phase are of the same order than the measured experimentally, showing that the simple model used to predict the environmental concentrations is suitable for modelling the environmental fate of high water soluble and low volatile organic compounds such as pharmaceuticals products.


Predicted environmental concentration Multiphase model Pharmaceuticals 

Supplementary material

11270_2010_655_MOESM1_ESM.doc (69 kb)
ESM Online Resource 1(DOC 69 kb)
11270_2010_655_MOESM2_ESM.doc (72 kb)
ESM Online Resource 2(DOC 71.5 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departament de QuímicaUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaCerdanyola del VallèsSpain

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