Special Issue "Water Decontamination: Wastewater, Stormwater, Agricultural Drainage, and Hazardous Substances Treatment"

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: 30 September 2019.

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Charles Humphrey Website E-Mail
Environmental Health Sciences Program, Department of Health Education and Promotion, College of Health and Human Performance, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858, USA
Interests: On-site wastewater systems; pollutant transport through groundwater and surface water; stormwater management; land use impacts on water quality
Guest Editor
Dr. Guy Iverson E-Mail
Environmental Health Program, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858, USA
Interests: On-site wastewater systems; pollutant transport through groundwater and surface water; stormwater management; land use impacts on water quality

Special Issue Information

Greetings environmental science researchers. We encourage your contributions to the Special Issue of the scientific journal, Applied Sciences. The Special Issue will focus on the treatment of wastewater, stormwater, agricultural drainage, and/or hazardous substances through various treatment technologies and methods. Experimental and observational studies that document reductions in the concentration or mass load of contaminants in wastewater, stormwater, agricultural drainage, and other waste materials are being solicited. Short communications and full length, completed studies describing treatment processes and treatment technologies will be considered. We also encourage papers that document innovative techniques to detect and quantify pollutants in the environment, thus allowing the improved risk assessment and management of pollutants.

Dr. Charles Humphrey
Dr. Guy Iverson
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 1500 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

  • On-site wastewater
  • stormwater
  • agricultural runoff
  • hazardous waste
  • water treatment

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Evaluation of the Potential Toxicity of Effluents from the Textile Industry before and after Treatment
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(18), 3804; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9183804 - 11 Sep 2019
Abstract
The textile industry has an important role in the economic development of several countries; however, it consumes large amounts of water and generates huge quantities of wastewater. These effluents are of great environmental concern due to their complex chemical content, known by their [...] Read more.
The textile industry has an important role in the economic development of several countries; however, it consumes large amounts of water and generates huge quantities of wastewater. These effluents are of great environmental concern due to their complex chemical content, known by their toxicity and low biodegradability, which can cause harmful effects to the aquatic environment. In the present study, bioassays with aquatic species were employed to evaluate the toxicity of effluent samples collected before and after the treatments performed by the textile company. The toxic effects were investigated using four organisms, namely Aliivibrio fischeri, Raphidocelis subcapitata, Daphnia magna and Lemna minor, to represent different trophic levels. The ecotoxicological data confirmed that the raw textile effluent was very toxic, with A. fischeri being the most sensitive organism. While the toxicity of the effluent collected after the treatment performed by the textile company was clearly reduced, we still recorded sublethal toxicity to D. magna. These results highlight the importance of the bioassays for continuous monitoring of the toxicity of the treated effluents to prevent adverse effects on the environment. Further, results suggest that ecotoxicological data should be required in parallel with chemical data to better evaluate the safety of environmental discharges of wastewaters. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Preparation and Removal Properties of Cimetidine from Aqueous Solution by Waste Bricks Incorporated with Different Iron Oxides
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(16), 3346; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9163346 - 14 Aug 2019
Abstract
In this study, to investigate the elimination of micropollutant from aqueous solutions by construction waste, waste red brick (WRB) with and without incorporated of iron species (goethite and hematite) were prepared by a simple method. The prepared materials were systematically characterized and batch [...] Read more.
In this study, to investigate the elimination of micropollutant from aqueous solutions by construction waste, waste red brick (WRB) with and without incorporated of iron species (goethite and hematite) were prepared by a simple method. The prepared materials were systematically characterized and batch experiments were conducted to study the elimination of typical micropollutant cimetidine from the water environment. Results showed that both two iron species could be successfully incorporated onto WRB and the main structure of WRB were maintained. The adsorption process of cimetidine onto bricks was fast due to the microstructure and useful adsorption sites on the surface of bricks. The Langmuir model fitted the experimental data better and the qmax of cimetidine increased about 24.4% and 39.6% for the incorporation of hematite and goethite, respectively. The pH values influenced the adsorption behavior greatly and the favorable pH value was around 6.0. The charge screening effect and competition adsorption may influence the adsorption behavior together. Due to the interaction between cimetidine and bricks, the outer-sphere complexation may be formed in the adsorption process. This study shows new methods for the elimination of the micropollutant from the water environment and offers useful guidelines for the reuse of construction waste. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Can Decomposition Approaches Always Enhance Soft Computing Models? Predicting the Dissolved Oxygen Concentration in the St. Johns River, Florida
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(12), 2534; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9122534 - 21 Jun 2019
Abstract
This study evaluates standalone and hybrid soft computing models for predicting dissolved oxygen (DO) concentration by utilizing different water quality parameters. In the first stage, two standalone soft computing models, including multilayer perceptron (MLP) neural network and cascade correlation neural network (CCNN), were [...] Read more.
This study evaluates standalone and hybrid soft computing models for predicting dissolved oxygen (DO) concentration by utilizing different water quality parameters. In the first stage, two standalone soft computing models, including multilayer perceptron (MLP) neural network and cascade correlation neural network (CCNN), were proposed for estimating the DO concentration in the St. Johns River, Florida, USA. The DO concentration and water quality parameters (e.g., chloride (Cl), nitrogen oxides (NOx), total dissolved solid (TDS), potential of hydrogen (pH), and water temperature (WT)) were used for developing the standalone models by defining six combinations of input parameters. Results were evaluated using five performance criteria metrics. Overall results revealed that the CCNN model with input combination III (CCNN-III) provided the most accurate predictions of DO concentration values (root mean square error (RMSE) = 1.261 mg/L, Nash-Sutcliffe coefficient (NSE) = 0.736, Willmott’s index of agreement (WI) = 0.919, R2 = 0.801, and mean absolute error (MAE) = 0.989 mg/L) for the standalone model category. In the second stage, two decomposition approaches, including discrete wavelet transform (DWT) and variational mode decomposition (VMD), were employed to improve the accuracy of DO concentration using the MLP and CCNN models with input combination III (e.g., DWT-MLP-III, DWT-CCNN-III, VMD-MLP-III, and VMD-CCNN-III). From the results, the DWT-MLP-III and VMD-MLP-III models provided better accuracy than the standalone models (e.g., MLP-III and CCNN-III). Comparison of the best hybrid soft computing models showed that the VMD-MLP-III model with 4 intrinsic mode functions (IMFs) and 10 quadratic penalty factor (VMD-MLP-III (K = 4 and α = 10)) model yielded slightly better performance than the DWT-MLP-III with Daubechies-6 (D6) and Symmlet-6 (S6) (DWT-MLP-III (D6 and S6)) models. Unfortunately, the DWT-CCNN-III and VMD-CCNN-III models did not improve the performance of the CCNN-III model. It was found that the CCNN-III model cannot be used to apply the hybrid soft computing modeling for prediction of the DO concentration. Graphical comparisons (e.g., Taylor diagram and violin plot) were also utilized to examine the similarity between the observed and predicted DO concentration values. The DWT-MLP-III and VMD-MLP-III models can be an alternative tool for accurate prediction of the DO concentration values. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Influence of Temperature on Metabolisms of Phosphorus Accumulating Organisms in Biological Wastewater Treatment Plants in the Presence of Cu(II) Toxicity
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(6), 1126; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9061126 - 17 Mar 2019
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to study how temperature variation affects the tolerance of phosphorus accumulating organisms (PAOs) in a toxic environment. To exclude the interference of glycogen accumulating organisms (GAOs), shock loading experiments were conducted to study the effect of Cu(II) [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to study how temperature variation affects the tolerance of phosphorus accumulating organisms (PAOs) in a toxic environment. To exclude the interference of glycogen accumulating organisms (GAOs), shock loading experiments were conducted to study the effect of Cu(II) toxicity on the metabolisms of PAOs in 10, 20, and 30 °C conditions. The experimental data showed that the temperature effects on aerobic phosphorus uptake, PHA degradation, and glycogen synthesis were remarkable in the presence of Cu(II). Nevertheless, insignificant effects on anaerobic phosphorus release and PHA synthesis were found. The largest inhibition of PAO metabolism occurred in the low temperature case (10 °C). This study also experimentally demonstrated the loss of PAO metabolic ability in the subsequent aerobic stage, after the anaerobic stage. The presence of Cu(II) toxicity mainly resulted from the inhibition of biochemical reactions in the aerobic stage, and it was irrelevant to the inhibition of previous anaerobic metabolisms. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Study on the Removal of Copper (II) from Aqueous Solution Using Lime Sand Bricks
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(4), 670; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9040670 - 15 Feb 2019
Abstract
Heavy metals such as Cu(II), if ubiquitous in the runoff, can have adverse effects on the environment and human health. Lime sand bricks, as low-cost adsorbents to be potentially applied in stormwater infiltration facilities, were systematically investigated for Cu(II) removal from water using [...] Read more.
Heavy metals such as Cu(II), if ubiquitous in the runoff, can have adverse effects on the environment and human health. Lime sand bricks, as low-cost adsorbents to be potentially applied in stormwater infiltration facilities, were systematically investigated for Cu(II) removal from water using batch and column experiments. In the batch experiment, the adsorption of Cu(II) to bricks reach an equilibrium within 7 h and the kinetic data fits well with the pseudo-second-order model. The sorption isotherm can be described by both the Freundlich and Langmuir model and the maximum adsorption capacity of the bricks is 7 ± 1 mg/g. In the column experiment, the best removal efficiency for Cu(II) was observed at a filler thickness of 20 cm, service time of 12 min with a Cu(II) concentration of 0.5 mg/L. The Cu(II) removal rate increases with the increasing bed depth and residence time. The inlet concentration and residence time had significant effects on the Cu(II) removal analyzed by the Box–Behnken design (BBD). The Adams-Bohart model was in good agreement with the experimental data in representing the breakthrough curve. Copper fractions in the bricks descend in the order of organic matter fraction > Fe-Mn oxides fraction > carbonates fraction > residual fraction > exchangeable fraction, indicating that the lime sand bricks after copper adsorption reduce the long-term ecotoxicity and bioavailability to the environment. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Influence of Soil Pore System Properties on the Degradation Rates of Organic Substances during Soil Aquifer Treatment (SAT)
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(3), 496; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9030496 - 01 Feb 2019
Abstract
Soil aquifer treatment (SAT) is a nature-inspired solution for improving the water quality through soil percolation. The biodegradation of organic matter typically occurs in the shallowest soil layer and it depends on the contaminant’s characteristics (water solubility, molecular structure) and specific soil properties [...] Read more.
Soil aquifer treatment (SAT) is a nature-inspired solution for improving the water quality through soil percolation. The biodegradation of organic matter typically occurs in the shallowest soil layer and it depends on the contaminant’s characteristics (water solubility, molecular structure) and specific soil properties (pore size distribution). The present study aims at identifying which grain size fraction of typically used sandy soils in the shallowest layer of SAT systems can provide the optimal conditions for microbiological growth that can be reached by a trade-off between soil moisture as well as nutrients and oxygen supply. For this, soil columns were used at a laboratory scale to determine the relationship between the pore size distribution of four different grain size fractions and biodegradation rates of organic matter from synthetic wastewater. The results obtained from this experimental setup indicate that bacterial colonies reached optimum growth when about 60% of the available pore space was filled with water. For the selected soil, this was achieved by the fraction with grain sizes in the range of 630 µm to 1000 µm, having pore diameters between 87 µm and 320 µm and a mean pore diameter of 230 µm. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Oxidative Degradation of Tannic Acid in Aqueous Solution by UV/S2O82− and UV/H2O2/Fe2+ Processes: A Comparative Study
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(1), 156; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9010156 - 04 Jan 2019
Abstract
Tannic acid (TA) is a major pollutant present in the wastewater generated from vegetable tanneries process and food processing. This work studied TA degradation by two advanced oxidation processes (APOs): UV irradiation at the wavelength of 254 nm in the presence of hydrogen [...] Read more.
Tannic acid (TA) is a major pollutant present in the wastewater generated from vegetable tanneries process and food processing. This work studied TA degradation by two advanced oxidation processes (APOs): UV irradiation at the wavelength of 254 nm in the presence of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and ferrous iron (photo-Fenton) and in the presence of potassium persulfate. The influence of certain experimental parameters such as K2S2O8, H2O2, Fe2+, and TA concentrations, initial pH and temperature was evaluated in order to obtain the highest efficiency in terms of aromatics (decay in UV absorbance at 276 nm) and TOC removals. Chemical oxidation of TA (0.1 mM) by UV/persulfate achieved 96.32% of aromatics removal and 54.41% of TOC removal under optimized conditions of pH = 9 and 53.10 mM of K2S2O8 after 60 min. The treatment of TA by photo-Fenton process successfully led to almost complete aromatics removal (99.32%) and high TOC removal (94.27%) from aqueous solutions containing 0.1 mM of TA at natural pH = 3 using 29.4 mM of H2O2 and 0.18 mM of Fe2+ at 25 °C after 120 min. More efficient degradation of TA by photo-Fenton process than UV/persulfate was obtained, which confirms that hydroxyl radicals are more powerful oxidants than sulfate radicals. The complete removal of organic pollution from natural waters can be accomplished by direct chemical oxidation via hydroxyl radicals generated from photocatalytic decomposition of H2O2. Full article
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