In this study we evaluate and demonstrate the occurrence of nine natural and one synthetic steroid hormone, including estrogens, androgens and progestagens in biogas final digestate byproduct (digestion liquid) commonly used as an agricultural fertilizer. We investigated two biogas sites that utilize different anaerobic digestion technologies (mesophilic and thermophilic) from swine manure and other organic wastes. Individual hormone concentration levels were observed up to 1478 ng g−1 dry weight or 22.5 mg kg−1 N with estrone and progesterone reaching highest concentration levels. Evaluation of the potential environmental burden through the application in agriculture was also assessed on the basis of predicted environmental concentrations. This study indicates that the biogas digestion process does not completely remove steroid hormones from livestock manure and use of final digestate byproduct on croplands contributes to the environmental emission of hormones.
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