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Review
Peer-Review Record

Tracing the Scientific History of Fe0-Based Environmental Remediation Prior to the Advent of Permeable Reactive Barriers

Processes 2020, 8(8), 977; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8080977
by Viet Cao 1, Huichen Yang 2, Arnaud Igor Ndé-Tchoupé 3, Rui Hu 3, Willis Gwenzi 4 and Chicgoua Noubactep 2,5,6,*
Reviewer 1: Anonymous
Reviewer 2: Anonymous
Reviewer 3: Anonymous
Processes 2020, 8(8), 977; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8080977
Submission received: 14 July 2020 / Revised: 8 August 2020 / Accepted: 10 August 2020 / Published: 12 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental and Green Processes)

Round 1

Reviewer 1 Report

The paper is OK.

Author Response

Thanks for this evaluation. We will let the manuscript critically read for language.

Reviewer 2 Report

In my opinion the submitted manuscript is interesting and would be considered valuable by the reader. The Authors provided sufficient introduction ,methodology and the review on Fe applications in purification processes prior to PRB advent. The presented material is properly organized and much information can be found on differet past processes, either technologies regarding drinking water, and it can be treated as appropriate review work.  I have a remark concering the statisctal information - could Authors provide at least for 3-4 methods a table or a chart on the efficiency of the process- e.g. the amount of used Fe versus the unit volume of purified water or removal efficiency versus residence time or removals dependent on different initial concentration. In my view the Authors could possibly select 2-3 approaches and comment in one-two sentences more on the efficiency and basic threats of the process (e.g. environmental threats). It can be the sample graph of the used material ( mass or volume of reagents) and the obtained efficiency or outcome , such as removal for different pH values over the residence time for fixed conditions of the filter column. As far as I am concerned , such sort of statistical data would improve the presentation of the material in this work. The paper can be accepted after minor revisions.

Author Response

In my opinion the submitted manuscript is interesting and would be considered valuable by the reader. The Authors provided sufficient introduction, methodology and the review on Fe applications in purification processes prior to PRB advent. The presented material is properly organized and much information can be found on different past processes, either technologies regarding drinking water, and it can be treated as appropriate review work.

 

Many thanks for this evaluation!

 

I have a remark concerning the statistical information - could Authors provide at least for 3-4 methods a table or a chart on the efficiency of the process- e.g. the amount of used Fe versus the unit volume of purified water or removal efficiency versus residence time or removals dependent on different initial concentration.

 

We understand this point, but each material is different and the residence time was ill-defined by Bischof and was the major cause of the failure of the spongy iron filter. He has not considered preferential flow. Similarly all presented data are very different in their experimental design. We have insistently referred the reader to Antia (2020). This excellent paper contains any details and is presented in a very comprehensive view.

The other point is that Bischof filters could be compared to SONO filters and ITTB filters, but the two last were developed after 200 and are not in the considered time frame. However, (i) Dr. Antia has presented all these three processes and (ii) the new section (8) has addressed this point.

 

In my view the Authors could possibly select 2-3 approaches and comment in one-two sentences more on the efficiency and basic threats of the process (e.g. environmental threats). It can be the sample graph of the used material (mass or volume of reagents) and the obtained efficiency or outcome, such as removal for different pH values over the residence time for fixed conditions of the filter column. As far as I am concerned, such sort of statistical data would improve the presentation of the material in this work.

 

Again, obtaining such information from the fragmented old literature is very difficult. For example, only after reading Antia (2020) we realized the Bischoff process operated in Antwerp only between 1881 and 1883 (and not 1881 and 1885). For many papers, the pH value is even not specified such that the reader has to assumed that it was neutral (e.g. from the Fe level). Old proceedings are progressively made available and our research group is very interested in details on all aspect.

 

The paper can be accepted after minor revisions.

 

Thanks for this recommendation!

Reviewer 3 Report

Review “Tracing the scientific history of Fe0-based environmental remediation prior to the advent of permeable reactive barriers”

Submitted for publication in “Processes”.

 

An enthusiastic paper in well written English; each editor would be happy. However, the enthusiasm is also the pitfall of this paper. The paper would become much more clear by a much more systematic approach.

The paper describes the chemistry of elemental iron: has it been pretreated (heated?)? What is the grain size distribution?

What are the experimental conditions: reducing or oxidizing?

What kind of water has been used: surface water or groundwater

Which kind of experiments have been done:

  1. Flow through a column will be under oxidizing conditions,
  2. Flow through soil will be either under oxidizing or reducing conditions.

(Be careful: surface water treated in your way needs for it’s use as drinking water a disinfection step!)

This paper has probably not written for the specialists in this field, but probably much more for interested people (like me): why not present a table with a representative reaction for each relevant situation?

 

Conclusion: the paper is acceptable for publication, but will reach a much greater audience by a much more systematic, and helpful, approach

Author Response

An enthusiastic paper in well written English; each editor would be happy. However, the enthusiasm is also the pitfall of this paper. The paper would become much more clear by a much more systematic approach.

Many thanks for this evaluation!

 

The paper describes the chemistry of elemental iron: has it been pre-treated (heated?)? What is the grain size distribution?



The samples were not heated but pre-treatment procedures are not described in the ancient literature. Fortunately, we could demonstrate that pre-treatment has no impact on the real mechanisms of decontaminantion, apart delaying or acceleration the availability of free corrosion products (contaminant scavengers).



What are the experimental conditions: reducing or oxidizing?

We added a new section 8. (Shaping the design of better Fe0-based systems) to explain that even under anoxic conditions, iron is corroded by water. This aspect was extensively discussed during the 1970 and 1980s in the corrosion literature and summarized by Stratmann and Mueller (1994), properly referenced in the revised version.

What kind of water has been used: surface water or groundwater

This information is excellently summarized by Dr. Antia. We have referred the reader to his paper. Both surface and groundwater were used. Also wasterwater was treated. Please consider that the submission id for a special issue already containing a “Tutorial Review”.

Which kind of experiments have been done:

    1.  

Flow through a column will be under oxidizing conditions, (Mostly columns)

    1.  

Flow through soil will be either under oxidizing or reducing conditions. (Mostly oxidizing)

(Be careful: surface water treated in your way needs for it’s use as drinking water a disinfection step!)

We have clarified this in the new section!

This paper has probably not written for the specialists in this field, but probably much more for interested people (like me): why not present a table with a representative reaction for each relevant situation?

We have added more half-reaction to insist on the key fact that iron is corroded by water!

Conclusion: the paper is acceptable for publication, but will reach a much greater audience by a much more systematic, and helpful, approach

Thanks for this recommendation! We hope that the reviewer is satisfied with the addition (Section 8).

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