Assessing the fate of benzotriazoles in recycled water treated for groundwater replenishment and their phytoremediation using an optimised LC-MS methodology

Majed Alotaibi

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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[Truncated] The fate of benzotriazole (BTri) and its derivative 5-methylbenzotriazole (5-MeBT) within the environment including water, soil and plants was investigated. Anthropogenic sources such as water treatment plants were also studied. BTri and 5-MeBT may escape the purification procedures used to treat wastewater for managed aquifer recharge (MAR) in Western Australia. Therefore, it is crucially important to understand the behaviour of these compounds in this context. An extensive review of the literature was conducted, examining the use of BT compounds; the prevalence of BTs in the environment around the world; their chemical properties and behaviour; and ultimately, their toxicity to various biotic organisms. In addition, the review indicated that a methodology to detect ultra-low limits (in the ng L-1 range) of these compounds could be improved, and that many aspects of their behaviour and how to exploit this for remediation purposes had not been identified. The first step in developing analytical techniques for the detection and quantification of ultra-low concentrations of the target compounds was to consider the compounds chemical properties and behaviours. As a result, liquid chromatography was trialed, and a modified liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS) method was developed and validated for the determining the compounds presence in aqueous solutions with a method detection limit (MDL) of 2 ng L-1, without sample pre-concentration. Following testing and validating, the modified method was used to quantify BTri and 5-MeBT concentrations in wastewater, surface water and dishwashing detergent samples. BT concentrations were determined in wastewater samples that were collected monthly from Beenyup Secondary Wastewater Treatment Plant in Perth, Western Australia. Meanwhile, BT compounds were also detected in surface water samples were taken from the stream and main water body of a small urban Lake, Perth. Interestingly, observations of BTs in commercial soaps and detergents available in local markets around Perth suggested these detergents could be a possible source for BT contamination in Australian environment.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Publication statusUnpublished - 2015


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