Special Issue "Ecotechnological Green Approaches to Environmental Remediation and Restoration"

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental and Sustainable Science and Technology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Dibyendu Sarkar
Website
Guest Editor
Stevens Institute of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental, and Ocean Engineering, Hoboken, United States
Interests: Trace Element Biogeochemistry; Green Technology; Environmental Quality; Environmental Remediation; Environmental Geochemistry
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Jayanta Kumar Biswas

Guest Editor
Enviromicrobiology, Ecotoxicology & Ecotechnology Research Laboratory, Department of Ecological Studies, and International Centre for Ecological Engineering, University of Kalyani, Kalyani, Nadia- 741235, West Bengal, India
Interests: Ecotoxicology and bioremediation of toxic metal(loid)s; Ecological engineering & ecotechnological remediation of water and soil contamination; Environmental microbiology; Nanobiotechnology; Wastewater treatment and bioregenerative reclamation; Carbon sequestration; Sustainability & Eco-ethics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Born out of the marriage of ecology and engineering, ecotechnology offers great promises and potentials for the development of a sustainable paradigm to solve current environmental problems. It applies ecological principles and the complexity of living communities and ecosystems with technology to remediate contaminants in different environmental matrices (soil, water and air), and restoring degraded ecosystems for the sustained supply of ecosystem goods and services. In contrast to conventional engineering, ecotechnologies rely on nature's wisdom, the natural library of biodiversity, and the inherent capabilities of natural systems or their components. Ecotechnology advocates for bioremediation in contaminant clean-up processes, mediated by miniscule microbes and other biological and natural systems. Ecotech processes can help reduce the ecological footprint of human waste, converting it into resources, and can help combat global warming and climate change. As low-cost, eco-friendly, carbon- and nitrogen positive approaches, they have immense potential to satisfy the triple bottom lines of sustainability, i.e. environmental protection, economic prosperity and social security. To harness the optimum benefits, ecological and environmental technology can evolve on parallel tracks with collaborative rather than competitive interactions, where ecology and engineering work together in a cooperative way rather than in an antagonistic manner.

For this Special Issue, we invite authors to contribute original research and review articles on recent advances in innovative and sustainable ecotechnological approaches towards the remediation of contaminants in water, soil/land, sediment, and air, as well as the restoration, reclamation and rehabilitation of degraded ecosystems. Potential areas include, but are not limited to:

  • Ecological land restoration
  • Ecological coastal restoration
  • Ecosystem restoration
  • Ecological restoration of water bodies (lakes, ponds, rivers, etc.)
  • Soil remediation
  • Sediment remediation
  • Bioremediation
  • Phytoremediation
  • Microbial remediation (bacterial/phyco/myco-remediation)
  • Water treatment
  • Wastewater treatment (living machines, recycling, bioregenerative reclamation)
  • Stormwater management
  • Air quality management
  • Agro-ecology and permaculture (organic/mixed farming/polyculture, integrated farming, hydroponics/aquaponics)
  • Natural treatment wetlands
  • Constructed wetlands
  • Ecosanitation and biosanitizer ecotechnology
  • Greenhouse gas control
  • Carbon sequestration

Prof. Dr. Dibyendu Sarkar
Prof. Dr. Jayanta Kumar Biswas
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Applied Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Restoration
  • Reclamation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Eutrophication control
  • Acidification control
  • Soil remediation
  • Sediment remediation
  • Phytoremediation
  • Bioremediation
  • Microbial remediation
  • Water treatment
  • Wastewater treatment
  • Living machines
  • Nutrient recycling
  • Resource recovery
  • Bioregenerative reclamation
  • Stormwater management
  • Air quality management
  • Agro-ecology
  • Permaculture
  • Integrated Farming
  • Hydroponics
  • Aquaponics
  • Treatment wetlands
  • Constructed wetlands
  • Ecosanitation
  • Biosanitizer ecotechnology
  • Vertical garden
  • Floating islands
  • Greenhouse gases control
  • Carbon sequestration

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Remediation of Aviation Kerosene-Contaminated Soil by Sophorolipids from Candida bombicola CB 2107
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(6), 1981; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10061981 - 13 Mar 2020
Abstract
Yeast-derived biosurfactants may substitute or complement chemical surfactants as green reagents to extract petroleum hydrocarbons from contaminated soil. The effectiveness of contaminant clean-up by sophorolipids was tested on kerosene-contaminated soil with reference to traditional synthetic surfactants. The sophorolipids produced by the yeast Candida [...] Read more.
Yeast-derived biosurfactants may substitute or complement chemical surfactants as green reagents to extract petroleum hydrocarbons from contaminated soil. The effectiveness of contaminant clean-up by sophorolipids was tested on kerosene-contaminated soil with reference to traditional synthetic surfactants. The sophorolipids produced by the yeast Candida bombicola CB 2107, cultivated with the carbon sources 10 g/L glucose and 10 g/L rapeseed oil, were most effective in contaminant removal. This biosurfactant revealed a critical micelle concentration of 108 mg/L which was close to that of Triton X-100 (103 mg/L), the synthetic surfactant considered as reference. It outperformed Triton X-100 in reducing kerosene concentrations (C10–C40) in contaminated soils. In a soil initially containing 1080 mg/kg of C10–C40, the concentration was reduced to 350 mg/kg using the biosurfactant, and to 670 mg/kg using Triton-X. In the soil with initial concentration of 472 mg/kg, concentrations were reduced to 285 and 300 mg/kg for biosurfactant and Triton X-100, respectively. Sophorolipids have the potential to replace synthetic surfactants. Properties and performance of the biosurfactants, however, strongly differ depending on the yeast and the growing conditions during production. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Spatial Distribution, Contamination Status and Contributing Factors of Heavy Metals in Cropland Soils of Twelve Cities in Shandong Province, China
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(6), 1963; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10061963 - 13 Mar 2020
Abstract
The aims of this study were to analyze the spatial distributions of, contamination statuses of, and factors contributing to, heavy metals in cropland areas of different cities; thus, 55 agricultural soils were collected from 12 cities of Shandong Province, China. Concentrations of copper [...] Read more.
The aims of this study were to analyze the spatial distributions of, contamination statuses of, and factors contributing to, heavy metals in cropland areas of different cities; thus, 55 agricultural soils were collected from 12 cities of Shandong Province, China. Concentrations of copper (Cu), lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), nickel (Ni) and zinc (Zn) were determined. Results showed that average contents of Cu, Pb, Cd, Cr, Ni and Zn were 24.13, 31.77, 0.16, 130.63, 22.13, and 71.19 mg·kg−1, respectively, and Pb and Cd had similar spatial distributions in those cities. Specifically, contents of Cr in cities of Weifang, Weihai, Yantai and Zibo were significantly higher than it in other cities; Weihai and Zibo also had significantly high contents of Zn. Moreover, concentrations of Cr in brown soils and cinnamon soils were significantly higher than that in fluvo-aquic soils, while other metals showed no significant differences among the soil types. Furthermore, Cu, Pb and Zn showed significant concentration decreases with respect to those measured in 2007. The correlation analysis and factor analysis indicated that the contamination of Pb and Cd was mainly caused by economic activities. In addition, the significantly correlated Cu/Ni/Zn and Pb/Cd indicated the inputs from different human activities, while Cr was prone to multiple sources. This study demonstrated that more attention should be given to the contamination by Cr, Pb and Cd, and that the management of human economic activities is vitally imperative for safety of surrounding cropland soils. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Remediation of Multiply Contaminated Ground via Permeable Reactive Barrier and Electrokinetic Using Recyclable Food Scrap Ash (FSA)
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(4), 1194; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10041194 - 11 Feb 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
A study of the application of electrokinetic (EK) remediation and Permeable Reactive Barriers (PRB) using recyclable Foods Scrap Ash (FSA) in multiple contaminated soils was carried out. An FSA was chosen as a PRB fill material due to its highly efficient capacity for [...] Read more.
A study of the application of electrokinetic (EK) remediation and Permeable Reactive Barriers (PRB) using recyclable Foods Scrap Ash (FSA) in multiple contaminated soils was carried out. An FSA was chosen as a PRB fill material due to its highly efficient capacity for contaminant removal. Acetic acid and Brij30 were used as enhancers on copper and phenanthrene, respectively, to improve EK remediation performance in removing the heavy metal and organic contaminants. Copper adsorption in PRB was so substantial that the confirmed removal efficiency was 83.86–90.17% and the remaining amount was 105–212 mg. While a high removal efficiency of acetic acid was observed on copper in multiple contamination soils; the removal of phenanthrene was hardly detected and the recovery rate of the contaminant was low during pretreatment. Therefore; an additional study of pretreatment on the phenanthrene-contaminated kaolinite needs to be performed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Exploration of an Extracellular Polymeric Substance from Earthworm Gut Bacterium (Bacillus licheniformis) for Bioflocculation and Heavy Metal Removal Potential
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(1), 349; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10010349 - 03 Jan 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
The present study shows the potential of an extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) produced by Bacillus licheniformis strain KX657843 isolated from earthworm (Metaphire posthuma) gut in the sorption of Cu(II) and Zn(II) and in flocculation. After harvesting bacterial cells from sucrose supplemented [...] Read more.
The present study shows the potential of an extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) produced by Bacillus licheniformis strain KX657843 isolated from earthworm (Metaphire posthuma) gut in the sorption of Cu(II) and Zn(II) and in flocculation. After harvesting bacterial cells from sucrose supplemented denitrifying culture medium, the EPS was extracted following ethanolic extraction method. The Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) and 1H and 13C Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) of EPS revealed its functional groups, electronegative constituents, unsaturated carbon, and carbonyl groups. The negatively charged functional groups of carbohydrates and protein moiety of the EPS endowed it with heavy metal binding capacity through electrostatic interactions. The highest flocculation activity (83%) of EPS was observed at 4 mg L−1 and pH 11. The metal sorption by EPS increased with increasing pH. At pH 8, the EPS was able to remove 86 and 81% Cu(II) and Zn(II), respectively, from a 25 mg L−1 metal solution. 94.8% of both the metals at 25 mg L−1 metal solutions were removed by EPS at EPS concentration of 100 mg L−1. From Langmuir isotherm model, the maximum sorption capacities of EPS were calculated to be 58.82 mg g−1 for Cu(II) and 52.45 mg g−1 for Zn(II). The bacterial EPS showed encouraging flocculating and metal sorption properties. The potential to remove Cu(II) and Zn(II) implies that the EPS obtained from the earthworm gut bacteria can be used as an effective agent for environmental remediation of heavy metals and in bioflocculation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Biodegradation of Sulfamethoxazole in Milkfish (Chanos chanos) Pond Sediments
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(19), 4000; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9194000 - 24 Sep 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
To cope with bacterial infections, broad-spectrum antibiotics such as sulfonamides have been largely used for intensive coastal aquaculture. Sulfonamides are stable and difficult to remove by conventional wastewater treatment. Environmental pollution will occur if sulfonamide-containing aquaculture wastewater is discharged into rivers and oceans. [...] Read more.
To cope with bacterial infections, broad-spectrum antibiotics such as sulfonamides have been largely used for intensive coastal aquaculture. Sulfonamides are stable and difficult to remove by conventional wastewater treatment. Environmental pollution will occur if sulfonamide-containing aquaculture wastewater is discharged into rivers and oceans. In this study, high salinity-tolerant bacterial strains A12 and L with sulfamethoxazole (SMX)-degrading ability from milkfish (Chanos chanos) culture pond sediments with SMX were isolated, identified, and characterized. The degradation of SMX and the changes in the bacterial community in milkfish culture pond sediments were assessed. Phylogenetic analysis using 16S rRNA gene sequences suggested that bacterial strain A12 was very close (99% sequence identity) to Vibrio sp., and bacterial strain L was very close (99% sequence identity) to Pseudomonas sp. Aerobic and anaerobic batch and continuous SMX addition experiments indicated that bacterial strains A12 and L could enhance SMX degradation in milkfish culture pond sediments. Different microbial community compositions under aerobic and anaerobic conditions exhibited different SMX-degrading abilities. The results of this study suggest that bacterial strains A12 and L provide a solution for treatment of wastewater and sediment from SMX-contaminated high salinity milkfish culture ponds. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Temporal Variations in Soil Enzyme Activities and Responses to Land-Use Change in the Loess Plateau, China
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(15), 3129; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9153129 - 01 Aug 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Variability in soil enzyme activity may have important implications for the knowledge of underground ecosystem functions driven by soil extracellular enzymes. To illustrate the temporal variation in soil enzyme activity after afforestation, we collected soil samples during different vegetative growth periods in three [...] Read more.
Variability in soil enzyme activity may have important implications for the knowledge of underground ecosystem functions driven by soil extracellular enzymes. To illustrate the temporal variation in soil enzyme activity after afforestation, we collected soil samples during different vegetative growth periods in three Caragana korshinskii Kom. stands of different ages (20, 30, and 40 years) and in a slope cropland in the Loess Plateau. These samples were used to analyze the catalase, sucrase, urease and alkaline phosphatase activities, the soil water content and the available soil nutrients (i.e., dissolved organic carbon, dissolved organic nitrogen, and available phosphorus). The results illustrated that the soil enzyme activities significantly increased following afforestation and varied with temporal variation. Overall, soil enzyme activities were higher in June and August, particularly, and both alkaline phosphatase and sucrase were more sensitive to temporal variation than the other two enzymes. In addition, redundancy analysis showed that soil enzyme activities were greatly correlated with soil nutrients, especially for dissolved organic carbon and dissolved organic nitrogen. Therefore, the results highlighted the importance of soil enzyme activities to soil nutrients under temporal variation following afforestation in the Loess Plateau, which may have practical significance for forest managers’ fertilization management of plantation in different seasons and different stand ages. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of Copper-Contaminated Marginal Land for the Cultivation of Vetiver Grass (Chrysopogon zizanioides) as a Lignocellulosic Feedstock and its Impact on Downstream Bioethanol Production
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(13), 2685; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9132685 - 01 Jul 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Metal-contaminated soil could be sustainably used for biofuel feedstock production if the harvested biomass is amenable to bioethanol production. A 60-day greenhouse experiment was performed to evaluate (1) the potential of vetiver grass to phytostabilize soil contaminated with copper (Cu), and (2) the [...] Read more.
Metal-contaminated soil could be sustainably used for biofuel feedstock production if the harvested biomass is amenable to bioethanol production. A 60-day greenhouse experiment was performed to evaluate (1) the potential of vetiver grass to phytostabilize soil contaminated with copper (Cu), and (2) the impact of Cu exposure on its lignocellulosic composition and downstream bioethanol production. Dilute acid pretreatment, enzymatic hydrolysis, and fermentation parameters were optimized sequentially for vetiver grass using response surface methodology (RSM). Results indicate that the lignocellulosic composition of vetiver grown on Cu-rich soil was favorably altered with a significant decrease in lignin and increase in hemicellulose and cellulose content. Hydrolysates produced from Cu exposed biomass achieved a significantly greater ethanol yield and volumetric productivity compared to those of the control biomass. Upon pretreatment, the hemicellulosic hydrolysate showed an increase in total sugars per liter by 204.7% of the predicted yield. After fermentation, 110% of the predicted ethanol yield was obtained for the vetiver grown on Cu-contaminated soil. By contrast, for vetiver grown on uncontaminated soil a 62.3% of theoretical ethanol yield was achieved, indicating that vetiver has the potential to serve the dual purpose of phytoremediation and biofuel feedstock generation on contaminated sites. Full article
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