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Title: Modelling the sources, fate and environmental behaviour of persistent organic pollutants
Author: Paul, Alexander George
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis attempts to logically follow the full lifecycle of a 'new' persistent organic pollutant (POP), perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS). A new estimate of the global historical production for perfluorooctane sulfonyl fluoride (POSF) was produced, before focusing on deriving the first estimate of the global historical environmental releases of PFOS. The total historical worldwide production of POSF was estimated to be 96,000 tonnes between 1970- 2002, with an estimated global release of 45,250 t to air and water between 1970-2012. Estimates indicated POSF-derived products are the major direct source of PFOS emissions, resulting in an estimated release of 450-2700 t into wastew31er streams over the same period. Due to the physiochemical properties of PFOS (soluble in water, negligible vapour pressure, and limited sorption to particles), emissions from consumer products including stain repellent treated fabrics, waterproof apparel, and aqueous fire fighting foams were expected to be largely to waste water. The following papers saw two existing multi-media environmental fate models reparameterised to explore the role of emissions from diffuse consumer use. PFOS emissions were linked to waste water treatment plants, partitioning and emissions uncertainty were explored, and annual fluxes of PFOS were estimated from European rivers at a local and continental scale. A good agreement, generally within a factor of three between modelled emissions derived from population density and measured freshwater PFOS concentrations, was observed. The final paper is a slight departure from the others submitted in this thesis. This paper returns to 'classical' POPs, but looks forward in time to try and understand the potential impact of climate change on POP chemicals. Overall. predicted changes were small even under the most conservative scenarios, resulting in slightly increased volatilisation and degradation in air from a drier and warmer south-western Europe, corresponding to a transfer and redeposition of POPs to the cooler and wetter north-eastern Europe.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available