Consultation Document Phenol, 4,4'-(1-Methylethylidene)bis-(Bisphenol A)
3: Industrial Use of Bisphenol A
- 3.1 Current Uses and Industrial Sectors
- 3.2 Characterization of Industrial Effluents
- 3.3 Reducing Bisphenol A in Industrial Effluents
3.1 Current Uses and Industrial Sectors
Bisphenol A is a high volume chemical, with global production at 4 billion kilograms (kg) in 2006. In the United States, production quantities increased from 736 million kg in 1995 to an estimated production of 1 billion kg in 2007. Quantities in the Canadian market in 2006 may be lower than those for the U.S, as no bisphenol A was manufactured in Canada at quantities equal to or greater than a reporting threshold of 100 kg. However, 25 companies reported importing an approximate total of 500 000 kg of bisphenol A into Canada and 5 companies reported using 100 000 to 1 000 000 kg of bisphenol A in Canada either alone, in a product, in a mixture or in a manufactured item .
The type of mixture, product or manufactured item reported for 2006 in response to a notice issued by the Minister of Environment to Canadian industry under section 71 of CEPA 1999 included resins, curing agents, epoxy curing agents, hardeners, plastic resin formulations, monomer, paperboard packaging, metal cans, phenolic resins, industrial coatings, plasticizers, adhesives, two part epoxy adhesives, chain oil, brake fluid, heat transfer fluid and lubricant formulations. Information voluntarily submitted in 2007 in response to the Challenge Questionnaire and other information submitted by industry include use in epoxy polymer flooring, as a laminating adhesive, in custom colour powder coating and as a curing agent for resurfacing concrete.
The literature indicates that polycarbonate is used in the manufacture of compact discs, food and beverage contact containers (e.g., baby bottles, repeat use water bottles, pitchers, water carboys, tableware and storage containers), water pipes, medical devices, and in glazing applications and film. Polycarbonate blends find application in the electric and electronics industry (e.g., alarm devices, mobile phone housings, computer parts, household electric equipment, lamp fittings, power plugs) and the automotive industry (e.g., car headlight and rear light reflectors and coverings, bumpers, radiator and ventilation grills, safety glazing, inside lights, motorcycle windshields and protective helmets) (NTP2007; EFSA2006).
3.2 Characterization of Industrial Effluents
The manufacture of products that contain biphenol A may result in a release of bisphenol A to the environment. In Canada, significant releases of bisphenol A have been measured from both industrial effluents and municipal wastewater treatment facilities. Industrial releases may occur both directly to water and via municipal wastewater collection systems .
The release of bisphenol A to surface water can result in a direct exposure to aquatic organisms. Bisphenol A that is released to municipal wastewater systems is combined with inputs from other industrial sources and domestic wastewater to form influent to municipal wastewater treatment systems. As indicated in the final Screening Risk Assessment report, quantities of bisphenol A exceeding harmful effect levels have been measured in effluents at Canadian wastewater treatment facilities.
3.3 Reducing Bisphenol A in Industrial Effluents
No information on potential substitutes for bisphenol A was brought forward in the Voluntary Challenge Questionnaire submissions.
3.3.2 Control and Capture Technology
No information on potential control and capture technology for bisphenol A was brought forward in the Voluntary Challenge Questionnaire submissions. However, literature searches have identified a few methods that may be used to reduce the release of bisphenol A from industrial effluent. All of the techniques identified below can remove over 90% of bisphenol A from wastewater. The start up costs as well as running costs depends on many factors including the amount of effluent, the cost of material as well as the space available for the setup.
Ultrafiltration and Reverse Osmosis
Ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis use filters to remove the bisphenol A from industrial effluent water by forcing it through a semi-permeable membrane . Suspended solids and solutes of high molecular weight are retained on the filter, while water and low molecular weight solutes pass through the membrane . Ultrafilters are currently used by chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing, food and beverage processing, and waste water treatment. Unfortunately, these types of methods require large start up costs and may not be economically feasible to small and medium size facilities.
Titanium dioxide catalysis
Titanium dioxide (TiO2) is the naturally occurring oxide of titanium. TiO2 can be used as a photocatalyst under ultraviolet light to degrade bisphenol A. This technology requires about 8g of TiO2 for a 250mL sample of bisphenol A at a concentration of 50mg/L . This would mean a cost of 1.78$/L . of water processed when using pure TiO2. However, since this is a catalytic reaction, it may be possible to reuse the TiO2, which would diminish the cost. There would also be a start up cost to set up to install the photodegradation UV lamp and the waiting bath for the reaction to take place.
Bacteria and Bioreactor
The use of bacteria for the degradation of bisphenol A is a potential control technology. This method could be coupled with existing activate charcoal filters to reduce the concentration of bisphenol A release to water . Experimentally, bioreactors have been found to remove up to 90% of bisphenol A from water at a flow rate of 6000L/h .
Bing-zhi, D., Lin, W., & Nai-yun, G. (2008). The removal of bisphenol A by ultrafiltration. Desalination, 221(1-3), 312-317
 Hsien, K. -., Tsai, W. -., & Su, T. -. (2009). Preparation of diatomite-TiO2 composite for photodegradation of bisphenol-A in water. Journal of Sol-Gel Science and Technology, 51(1), 63-69
 Yamanaka, H., Moriyoshi, K., Ohmoto, T., Ohe, T., & Sakai, K. (2008). Efficient microbial degradation of bisphenol A in the presence of activated carbon. Journal of Bioscience and Bioengineering, 105(2), 157-160. Retrieved from www.scopus.com DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1263/jbb.105.157
 Wintgens, T. Et all, Endocrine disrupter removal from wastewater using membrane bioreactor and nanofiltration technology, Desalination, I46 (2002) 387-391
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