Recent Advances in Agricultural Wastes and Wastewater Treatment Technology

A special issue of Agronomy (ISSN 2073-4395). This special issue belongs to the section "Agricultural Biosystem and Biological Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2021) | Viewed by 17225

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Environmental Protection, Estación Experimental del Zaidín -Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (EEZ-CSIC), C/Profesor Albareda 1, 18008 Granada, Spain
Interests: environment; sustainability; water quality; agriculture; soil analysis; soil; soil chemistry; waste management; pesticides; ermicomposting; earthworms; emerging contaminants; contaminants

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Guest Editor
Department of Environmental Protection, Estación Experimental del Zaidín of the Spanish National Research Council (EEZ-CSIC), Profesor Albareda 1, 18160 Granada, Spain
Interests: waste management; contaminants

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The prevalence of intensive agriculture aiming to maximize crop yields is increasing worldwide, creating concerns about its sustainability. Agriculture uses huge amounts of water, energy, agrochemicals, plastics, etc., which cause adverse effects in the environment and on human health. Furthermore, agriculture and agroindustry generate unwanted organic wastes and wastewaters. Such waste products have the potential to be reused, e.g., for irrigation purposes. The optimal management of these wastes and the treatment of wastewaters can reduce their pollution potential and promote a safe and healthy environment. These wastes are often recycled by land application as organic amendments, utilized as energy sources or used for extracting by-products, among other uses. Agricultural wastes and wastewaters, when properly treated, can be transformed into new resources and open new business opportunities. In this Special Issue, the recent efforts and advances made in the development and applicability of classical and emergent technologies for the treatment of agricultural wastes and wastewaters will be discussed.

This Special Issue will focus on novel research topics including (but not limited to) (1) advances in composting, vermicomposting and larvae composting technologies using agricultural wastes; (2) extraction of highly valuable natural products from agricultural wastes; (3) transformation of agriculture biomass wastes into value-added products; (4) advancement of clean technologies for wastewater treatment and reuse; (5) emergent bioremediation technologies for wastewater purification; and (6) recycling of plastic residues from agricultural activities.

Dr. Esperanza Romero Taboada
Dr. Rogelio Nogales Vargas-Machuca
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Agricultural waste recycling
  • Agricultural plastic recycling
  • Aerobic waste treatments
  • High-value products
  • Wastewaster treatments
  • Pollutant degradation
  • Biopurification systems
  • Bioremediation
  • Sustainability

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

21 pages, 1286 KiB  
Article
Straw-Based Biopurification Systems to Remove Ibuprofen, Diclofenac and Triclosan from Wastewaters: Dominant Microbial Communities
by Laura Delgado-Moreno, Pieter van Dillewijn, Rogelio Nogales and Esperanza Romero
Agronomy 2021, 11(8), 1507; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11081507 - 29 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1821
Abstract
The continued discharge of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) into the environment due to their widespread use and the lack of effective systems for their removal from water is a global problem. In this study, the dissipation of ibuprofen, diclofenac and triclosan [...] Read more.
The continued discharge of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) into the environment due to their widespread use and the lack of effective systems for their removal from water is a global problem. In this study, the dissipation of ibuprofen, diclofenac and triclosan added simultaneously in biopurification systems (BPSs) with different compositions and their effect on the microbial community structure was analysed. Three BPSs, constituted by mixtures of soil (S), peat (P), or raw wet olive mill cake (A) or its vermicompost (V) and straw (S) were prepared (SPS, SAS and SVS). Sorption and degradation experiments were carried out. After 84 days of incubation, more than 85% of each PPCP applied had dissipated. Methyl-triclosan was determined to be highest in the SVS biomixture. Biomixtures with lower C/N ratio and higher alpha diversity were the most effective in the removal of PPCPs. Initially, the BPS biomixtures showed a different microbial structure dominated by Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria and Bacteroidetes but after addition of PPCPs, a similar pattern was observed in the relative abundance of the phylum Chloroflexi, the class Sphingobacteriia and the genus Brevundimonas. These biopurification systems can be useful to prevent point source contamination due to the disposal of PPCP-contaminated waters. Full article
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18 pages, 5487 KiB  
Article
Treatment of Pesticide-Contaminated Water Using a Selected Fungal Consortium: Study in a Batch and Packed-Bed Bioreactor
by Marcela Levio-Raiman, Gabriela Briceño, Bárbara Leiva, Sebastián López, Heidi Schalchli, Claudio Lamilla, Cristian Bornhardt and M. Cristina Diez
Agronomy 2021, 11(4), 743; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11040743 - 12 Apr 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3050
Abstract
This study provides the basis for implementing a continuous treatment system for wastewater containing a pesticide mixture formed by atrazine, iprodione, and chlorpyrifos. Two fungal strains (Verticilium sp. H5 and Metacordyceps sp. H12) isolated from a biomixture of a biopurification system were [...] Read more.
This study provides the basis for implementing a continuous treatment system for wastewater containing a pesticide mixture formed by atrazine, iprodione, and chlorpyrifos. Two fungal strains (Verticilium sp. H5 and Metacordyceps sp. H12) isolated from a biomixture of a biopurification system were able to remove different pesticide concentrations (10 to 50 mg L−1) efficiently from the liquid medium; however, the half-life of the pesticides was reduced and characterized by a T1/2 of 5.4 to 9.2 d for atrazine, 3.7 to 5.8 d for iprodione, and 2.6 to 2.9 d for chlorpyrifos using the fungal consortium. The immobilization of the fungal consortium in alginate bead was effective, with the highest pesticide removal observed using an inoculum concentration of 30% wv−1. The packed-bed reactor with the immobilized fungal consortium, which was operated in the continuous mode at different flow rates (30, 60, and 90 mL h−1), required approximately 10 d to achieve removal efficiency (atrazine: 59%; iprodione: 96%; chlorpyrifos: ~85%). The bioreactor was sensitive to flow rate fluctuations but was able to recover performance quickly. The pesticide metabolites hydroxyatrazine, 3,5-dichloroaniline, and 3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinol were produced, and a slight accumulation of 3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinol was observed. Nevertheless, reactor removal efficiency was maintained until the study ended (60 d). Full article
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16 pages, 2449 KiB  
Article
A Pesticide Biopurification System: A Source of Biosurfactant-Producing Bacteria with Environmental Biotechnology Applications
by Claudio Lamilla, Heidi Schalchli, Gabriela Briceño, Bárbara Leiva, Pamela Donoso-Piñol, Leticia Barrientos, Vanessa A. L. Rocha, Denise M. G. Freire and M. Cristina Diez
Agronomy 2021, 11(4), 624; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11040624 - 25 Mar 2021
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 4015
Abstract
Biosurfactants, a wide group of compounds produced by different microorganisms, generally have less toxicity and are more biodegradable than synthetic surfactants. Biosurfactant-producing bacteria can be found in contaminated environments, such as soils receiving pesticide applications constantly, or in pesticides treatment systems where microorganisms [...] Read more.
Biosurfactants, a wide group of compounds produced by different microorganisms, generally have less toxicity and are more biodegradable than synthetic surfactants. Biosurfactant-producing bacteria can be found in contaminated environments, such as soils receiving pesticide applications constantly, or in pesticides treatment systems where microorganisms are adapted to biodegrading pesticides. Five pesticide-tolerant bacteria previously isolated from a pesticide biopurification system were evaluated as biosurfactant-producers. Pseudomonas rhodesiae C4, Rhodococcus jialingiae C8 and Pseudomonas marginalis C9 strains were positive in qualitative tests. Biosurfactant production by these strains using Bushnell-Haas medium with olive oil at 2% (w/v) was evaluated as emulsification index, oil displacement, droplet collapse test and surface tension. After 144 h, these strains showed a similar emulsification index of >55%. The two Pseudomonas (C4 and C9) strains showed lower superficial tension compared with Rhodococcus strain (C8)—34.47, 37.44 and 47.55 mN/m for strains C4, C9 and C8, respectively. The chemical characterization of the biosurfactants revealed the presence of glycolipids in P. rhodesiae (C4) and glycopeptides in P. marginalis (C9). The degradation of chlorpyrifos increased from 39.2% to 51.6% when biosurfactants produced by P.rhodesiae (C4) were added (10%) with respect to the control. Therefore, biopurification systems are a relevant source of biosurfactant-producing bacteria with environmental biotechnology applications. Full article
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11 pages, 875 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Using Spent Mushroom Sawdust Wastes for Cultivation of Auricularia polytricha
by Chiu-Yeh Wu, Chih-Hung Liang and Zeng-Chin Liang
Agronomy 2020, 10(12), 1892; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10121892 - 29 Nov 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3256
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to investigate the suitability of different spent mushroom sawdust wastes (SMSWs) and different proportions of SMSWs as potential substrates for the cultivation of Auricularia polytricha by evaluating yield and biological efficiency of the fruiting body. Nine SMSWs [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the suitability of different spent mushroom sawdust wastes (SMSWs) and different proportions of SMSWs as potential substrates for the cultivation of Auricularia polytricha by evaluating yield and biological efficiency of the fruiting body. Nine SMSWs were respectively utilized as the main ingredient in the cultivation of A. polytricha. Then, spent Pleurotus eryngii, Pleurotus cystidiosus, and Pleurotus ostreatus sawdust wastes were screened among these nine SMSWs to be utilized as substrate and to determine the suitable proportion of SMSW in the cultivation of A. polytricha based on their yields and biological efficiencies. The highest yield and biological efficiency (total of two flushes) of A. polytricha cultivation on a single SMSW substrate was obtained with spent P. eryngii sawdust waste, followed by spent P. cystidiosus and P. ostreatus sawdust wastes. These three SMSWs were then applied in nine combination substrates, which were screened based on yield and biological efficiency for cultivation of A. polytricha. The combination substrate with the highest yield and biological efficiency of A. polytricha cultivation was P. eryngii (PES) + P. cystidiosus spent sawdust (PCYS) (235.4 g/bag yield and 58.85% biological efficiency); its yield was 1.62 folds higher than that of the control. From the results, we found that it was feasible to use spent sawdust wastes of P. eryngii and P. cystidiosus to replace sawdust for cultivation of A. polytricha. Full article
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17 pages, 2068 KiB  
Article
Parameter Selection for the Evaluation of Compost Quality
by Haydee Peña, Heysa Mendoza, Fernando Diánez and Mila Santos
Agronomy 2020, 10(10), 1567; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10101567 - 14 Oct 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3902
Abstract
This work studies variables measured from the first phase of composting through the acquisition of the final product, with the goal of identifying those that are more strongly related to quality and are most useful for developing an index. The necessity to establish [...] Read more.
This work studies variables measured from the first phase of composting through the acquisition of the final product, with the goal of identifying those that are more strongly related to quality and are most useful for developing an index. The necessity to establish quality control procedures thus exists for the classification of raw materials in the same way as for the finished products. To accomplish this, three mixtures were prepared, with the goal of achieving a C/N ratio of 30 and a moisture content of 60%. The primary component of each mixture was: fruit processing waste (C1), sewage sludge from the food industry (C2), and the manufacturing waste of fried foods (C3). Temperatures were measured over 107 days, with the corresponding data fit to a logistical model where T °C ~ α / ((1 + exp (− (Time − β) / − γ))) + δ, with interaction compost * time being statistically significant (p < 0.001). This allowed for the temperatures, in keeping with health concerns, to be confirmed. Likewise, a linear regression analysis demonstrated the decomposition of organic matter at 0.82%/week. Statistically, the parameters, measured during the process, with the least variability were selected, which differed in the average contrasts: germination index (cucumber), electrical conductivity, and average moisture. A principal component analysis (PCA) and Spearman’s correlation analysis revealed the best Germination Index (GI) values for C1, due to lower electrical conductivity (EC) and bulk density (Bd) along with higher organic matter content (TOM). For its part, C2 induced a higher Relative emergence (RE) of the cucumber thanks to its higher content of total nitrogen (TN) and lower contribution of Cu, Zn and K. C3 showed a higher presence of salts, less favorable physical characteristics (>Bd and <TPS, total pore space) and higher content of Zn and Cu. Composting carried out with appropriate mixtures can offer high-quality products for use as fertiliser, in soil restoration, and as an alternative substrate to peat and virgin mountain soil. Full article
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