Advanced Technology in Environmental Remediation and Resource Utilization

A special issue of Coatings (ISSN 2079-6412). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Aspects in Colloid and Interface Science".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (25 January 2024) | Viewed by 24957

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School of Environmental and Chemical Engineering, Yanshan University, Qinhuangdao, China
Interests: advanced oxidation processes
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Dear Colleagues,

With the development of industrialization, environmental pollution problems are becoming increasingly severe. All forms of pollutants (organics, heavy metals, and microplastics) are discharged into the environment, polluting water bodies, atmosphere, and soil, which results in seriously damaging ecological environments and impacts human life. Various environmental remediation technologies, such as physical, chemical, and biological methods, have been researched and applied for removing contaminants and remediating ecological environment. In addition, recycling substances and energy from pollutants is becoming increasingly important from the point of view of resources.

We are pleased to invite you to submit manuscripts in the form of complete research papers, short communications, or reviews between the current date and January 2023. This Special Issue “Advance Technology in Environmental Remediation and Resource Utilization” aims to present prominent advances in relation to advanced oxidation processes, environmental catalysis technology, environmental-function materials, and resources reuse in environment.

In this Special Issue, original research articles and reviews are welcome. Research areas may include (but not limited to) the following:

  • Environmental remediation;
  • Resource utilization;
  • Advanced oxidation process;
  • Environmental catalysis;
  • Environmental function material.

We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Dr. Deling Yuan
Prof. Dr. Shoufeng Tang
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

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13 pages, 2012 KiB  
Article
Enhancing Magnesium Phosphate Cement Paste for Efficient Fluoride Adsorption
by Sana Gharsallah, Abdulrahman Alsawi, Abdulelah H. Alsulami, Clarence Charnay and Mahmoud Chemingui
Coatings 2024, 14(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings14010009 - 20 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 951
Abstract
In the present study, we explore the synthesis and characterization of novel composite materials derived from magnesium phosphate cement by incorporating varying quantities of aluminum, iron oxide, or alumina. These composites demonstrate promising properties related to water resistance and significant specific surface areas. [...] Read more.
In the present study, we explore the synthesis and characterization of novel composite materials derived from magnesium phosphate cement by incorporating varying quantities of aluminum, iron oxide, or alumina. These composites demonstrate promising properties related to water resistance and significant specific surface areas. Furthermore, our investigations reveal that aluminum, iron oxide, and phosphate constituents exhibit an affinity for fluoride retention. Consequently, we apply these synthesized materials for fluoride adsorption. Our results indicate a noteworthy adsorption capacity, ranging from 2.35 mg/g for cement synthesized with 0.25 g of aluminum to 4.84 mg/g for materials synthesized with 1.5 g of aluminum. The influence of incorporating alumina or iron oxide into these matrices is thoroughly examined. Additionally, we investigated the optimal conditions utilizing a range of analytical techniques, including scanning electron microscopy (SEM) equipped with an energy dispersive spectrometer (EDS), the Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) method, X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and thermogravimetric analyses (TGA). To further elucidate this process, we perform equilibrium modeling and present experimental data in accordance with the Langmuir, Freundlich, Temkin, and Dubinin–Radushkevich isotherms. Full article
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19 pages, 3551 KiB  
Article
Enhanced Adsorption of Methylene Blue Using Phosphoric Acid-Activated Hydrothermal Carbon Microspheres Synthesized from a Variety of Palm-Based Biowastes
by Saeed Alhawtali, Mohanad El-Harbawi, Abdulrhman S. Al-Awadi, Lahssen El Blidi, Maher M. Alrashed and Chun-Yang Yin
Coatings 2023, 13(7), 1287; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings13071287 - 22 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1602
Abstract
In the present study, the ability for novel carbon microspheres (CMs) derived from date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) biomass using a hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) process and activated using phosphoric acid to remove methylene blue dye was investigated. Three types of palm-based wastes [...] Read more.
In the present study, the ability for novel carbon microspheres (CMs) derived from date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) biomass using a hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) process and activated using phosphoric acid to remove methylene blue dye was investigated. Three types of palm-based wastes (seeds, leaflet, and inedible crystallized date palm molasses) were used and converted to CMs via the HTC process. The prepared samples were then activated using phosphoric acid via the incipient wetness impregnation method. The CMs samples before and after activation were analyzed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), elemental analysis and scanning (CHNS), and the Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) and Brunauer–Emmet–Teller (BET) methods. The samples exhibited high BET surface areas after activation (1584 m2/g). The methylene blue adsorption results showed good fitting to the Langmuir, Fruendlich, and Temkin isotherm models for all activated samples. The maximum adsorption capacity achieved was 409.84 mg/g for activated CM obtained from the palm date molasses, indicating its high potential for application as a dye-based adsorption material. Full article
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12 pages, 3861 KiB  
Article
Lignin and Starch Derivatives with Selenium Nanoparticles for the Efficient Reduction of Dyes and as Polymer Fillers
by Anna Modrzejewska-Sikorska, Mariola Robakowska, Emilia Konował, Hubert Gojzewski, Łukasz Gierz, Bartosz Wieczorek, Łukasz Warguła and Wiktor Łykowski
Coatings 2023, 13(7), 1185; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings13071185 - 30 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1011
Abstract
Selenium nanoparticles (SeNPs) were synthesized and stabilized by biopolymers, namely, sodium lignosulfonate (LS) and starch sodium octenyl succinate (OSA). The obtained selenium nanoparticles were studied for their catalytic activity in the reduction of a dye (C.I. Basic Blue 9, methylene blue) by sodium [...] Read more.
Selenium nanoparticles (SeNPs) were synthesized and stabilized by biopolymers, namely, sodium lignosulfonate (LS) and starch sodium octenyl succinate (OSA). The obtained selenium nanoparticles were studied for their catalytic activity in the reduction of a dye (C.I. Basic Blue 9, methylene blue) by sodium borohydride. The SeNPs-OSA and SeNPs-LS nanoparticles were also dispersed in a photosensitive matrix and studied as polymer composites. The research confirmed the catalytic abilities of the prepared SeNPs in the reduction of the organic dye. Mechanical tests on the polymers and their composites showed an improvement in the composites’ strength in all tested cases. An increase in hardness and Young’s modulus values of the filled materials compared to the pure matrix was found as well. Full article
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11 pages, 6415 KiB  
Article
Eco-Friendly Electrowinning for Metals Recovery from Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)
by Henrikas Cesiulis and Natalia Tsyntsaru
Coatings 2023, 13(3), 574; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings13030574 - 7 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3268
Abstract
The amount of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) has been intensely increasing over the recent decades. In this view, the efficient recovery of metals from WEEE will allow a secure supply of raw materials and will contribute to a circular economy. Among [...] Read more.
The amount of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) has been intensely increasing over the recent decades. In this view, the efficient recovery of metals from WEEE will allow a secure supply of raw materials and will contribute to a circular economy. Among many factors currently affecting the contribution of recycling, is the lack of suitable technologies for WEEE treatment in an environmentally friendly way. Current trends in eco-friendly technologies applied for gold, silver, copper, and tin recovery by electrowinning are reviewed in this paper. In addition, a case study on the perspectives of tin electrowinning has been evaluated. Tin can be present in rather high quantities in WEEE; moreover, its price is about three times higher than that for copper. The electrorecovery of tin has been carried out in cooperation with JSC “Elektronikos perdirbimo technologijos”. The eco-friendly process based on electrowinning from citric acid-containing leachates is elaborated. The citrate-based solutions have been chosen because citric acid is considered to be an environmentally friendly component. A high deposition rate and current efficiency have been achieved at a deposition potential −0.85 V at 60 °C. However, additional steps would be beneficial to diminish the interference of metals present in the scraps, such as Pb(II) and Cu(II), on tin electrorecovery. Full article
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16 pages, 2743 KiB  
Article
Chemical Agglomeration to Enhance Blast Furnace Dust Capture Efficiency in Wet Electrostatic Precipitators
by Yingying Han, Lichun Xiao and Hongrui Chen
Coatings 2022, 12(12), 1937; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings12121937 - 9 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1442
Abstract
Wet electrostatic precipitators (WESPs) are increasingly used in iron and steel plants and coal-fired power plants due to their higher efficiency at capturing fine particles than conventional dry-type precipitators. In order to achieve ultra-pure purification of dust in steel plant gas, we propose [...] Read more.
Wet electrostatic precipitators (WESPs) are increasingly used in iron and steel plants and coal-fired power plants due to their higher efficiency at capturing fine particles than conventional dry-type precipitators. In order to achieve ultra-pure purification of dust in steel plant gas, we propose an improved method that involves adding a chemical coagulant and a surfactant to a WESP. The effects of the type and concentration of chemical coagulant and surfactant on the agglomeration effect and dust removal efficiency of blast furnace dust were investigated. The results show that the addition of a chemical coagulant could promote the agglomeration of blast furnace dust particles, and the D50 of dust particles increased from 5.8 to 15.0 μm after the addition of xanthan gum (XTG). The best increase in the blast furnace’s dust particle removal occurred at a concentration of 10 mg/L of XTG, and the dust removal efficiency reached 97.59%. The surfactant dodecyl trimethyl ammonium chloride (DTAC) improved the dust removal efficiency of blast furnace dust when added alone. The dust removal efficiency reached 97.82% when 10 mg/L of XTG and 9 mg/L of DTAC were added synergistically. The addition of a chemical coagulant and surfactant promoted the agglomeration of blast furnace dust and enhanced the dust capture effect of a WESP. We thus demonstrated that we can improve the efficiency of WESP in the future via chemical coagulation. The authors will further study the effect of multi-factor synergistic coupling on the chemical coagulation method in WESPs. Full article
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12 pages, 3615 KiB  
Article
Domesticating a Halotolerant Bacterium of Vibrio sp. LY1024 with Heterotrophic Nitrification–Aerobic Denitrification Property for Efficient Nitrogen Removal in Mariculture Wastewater Treatment
by Lu Wang, Yutong Fu, Shuaijie Wang, Fei Ye, Enming Cui and Qina Sun
Coatings 2022, 12(11), 1786; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings12111786 - 21 Nov 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1350
Abstract
Dealing with mariculture wastewater that contains high nitrogenous compounds with efficient biological nitrogen removal technology is challenging but meaningful. The key lies in developing an active microorganism that can spontaneously complete the nitrification–denitrification processes in the marine environment. Herein, a halotolerant heterotrophic nitrification–aerobic [...] Read more.
Dealing with mariculture wastewater that contains high nitrogenous compounds with efficient biological nitrogen removal technology is challenging but meaningful. The key lies in developing an active microorganism that can spontaneously complete the nitrification–denitrification processes in the marine environment. Herein, a halotolerant heterotrophic nitrification–aerobic denitrification (HN-AD) bacterium of Vibrio sp. LY1024 with good nitrogen removal capacity is domesticated to achieve the aforementioned goal. As a result, ammonium (NH4+-N) and nitrate (NO3-N) removal rates of almost 100% and 98.5% are detected over Vibrio sp. LY1024 at the salinity of 3.5%, even further increasing the salinity of wastewater to 5.5%. Its removal capacity towards both NH4+-N and NO3-N can still maintain at almost 100% and 94.7%, respectively. Further combining these results with those of intermediate product determination, it can be speculated that the ammonium removal is according to the pathway of NH4+-N → NH2OH → NO3-N → N2O → N2. Moreover, the influence of wastewater temperature on the nitrogen removal efficiency of Vibrio sp. LY1024 is also considered. The NH4+-N and NO3-N removal efficiency over Vibrio sp. LY1024 at a relatively low temperature of 15 °C is still up to 97.3% and 76.4%, respectively. Our work provides a promising halotolerant and low-temperature resistance microorganism for the treatment of mariculture wastewater. Full article
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12 pages, 2073 KiB  
Article
Metakaolin-Reinforced Sulfoaluminate-Cement-Solidified Wasteforms of Spent Radioactive Resins—Optimization by a Mixture Design
by Jiaqian Xu, Mengzhou Wang, Cong Li, Mengxing Han, Qi Wang and Qina Sun
Coatings 2022, 12(10), 1466; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings12101466 - 4 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1220
Abstract
Cement solidification is a main technique for radioactive waste treatment to reduce its risk to the environment and human health. However, this method underperforms when dealing with spent radioactive ion-exchange resin, taking much space, and costing much money for final disposal. In this [...] Read more.
Cement solidification is a main technique for radioactive waste treatment to reduce its risk to the environment and human health. However, this method underperforms when dealing with spent radioactive ion-exchange resin, taking much space, and costing much money for final disposal. In this work, simulated spent radioactive resin was solidified using a metakaolin-reinforced sulfoaluminate cement system, which was optimized by a mixture design based on the effects of components and parameters, and the durability of solidified wasteforms was assessed in terms of strength and Cs(I) leaching. Solidified by an optimized formula of 40 wt.% spent resin, 55.8 wt.% sulfoaluminate cement, 2.2 wt.% metakaolin, and 2 wt.% water reducer, the resin loading in wasteforms reached 64% and the compressive strength 13.7 MPa. The dominant mineral phases of hydration products were ettringite crystalline of acicular and columnar morphology, with small amounts of scattered amorphous clusters of aluminum gels and C–S–H gels. Metakaolin, a source of aluminum, promoted the growth of ettringite, which facilitated (1) the encapsulation of resin beads with high strengths, even in acidic environments or during frequent freezing-thawing, and (2) the retention of Cs(I), with a 42 day leaching rate of 2.3 × 10−4 cm/day. This work offers a technical justification for spent resin solidification in the metakaolin-reinforced sulfoaluminate cement system, which is an applicational solution for the efficient treatment of radioactive waste. Full article
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12 pages, 1042 KiB  
Article
Influence of Electrostatic Field on Mixed Aqueous Solution of Calcium and Ferrous Ions: Insights from Molecular Dynamics Simulations
by Yong Han, Bingjia Wei, Xiaoqiang Guo and Tifeng Jiao
Coatings 2022, 12(8), 1165; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings12081165 - 12 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1491
Abstract
In order to investigate the anti-scaling and anti-corrosion characteristics of an electrostatic anti-fouling system in the application process, the influence of an electrostatic field (EF) on the structure and dynamics of hydrated Ca2+ and hydrated Fe2+ in a mixed aqueous system [...] Read more.
In order to investigate the anti-scaling and anti-corrosion characteristics of an electrostatic anti-fouling system in the application process, the influence of an electrostatic field (EF) on the structure and dynamics of hydrated Ca2+ and hydrated Fe2+ in a mixed aqueous system was studied through the calculation and analysis of the radial distribution function (RDF), self-diffusion coefficients, viscosity, and hydrogen bond structure by using molecular dynamics simulation. The study results show that the EF can decrease the radius of the first water shell of hydrated Ca2+ but increase that of Fe2+, which will reduce the possibility of forming calcite. The EF can make water molecules and Fe2+ more active, which can hinder iron release and thus decrease iron corrosion products. In addition, the EF can enhance the hydrogen structure of water molecules in the aqueous solution. Full article
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11 pages, 3720 KiB  
Article
Humic Acid Removal in Water via UV Activated Sodium Perborate Process
by Deling Yuan, Zhihui Zhai, Eryu Zhu, Huilin Liu, Tifeng Jiao and Shoufeng Tang
Coatings 2022, 12(7), 885; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings12070885 - 22 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1999
Abstract
Humic acid (HA) has complex molecular structure and is capable of adsorption, ion exchange, and chelation with organic and inorganic pollutants in water bodies, worsening water quality and jeopardizing human health and ecological environment. How to effectively remove HA from water is one [...] Read more.
Humic acid (HA) has complex molecular structure and is capable of adsorption, ion exchange, and chelation with organic and inorganic pollutants in water bodies, worsening water quality and jeopardizing human health and ecological environment. How to effectively remove HA from water is one of the research focuses of this paper. In this study, the UV-activated sodium perborate (SPB) synergistic system (UV/SPB) was established to eliminate HA in water. The effects of initial HA concentration, SPB dose, and initial pH value on the HA elimination were determined, and the main mechanisms of the synergy and HA degradation were explored. The outcomes show that the HA elimination ratio by the sole UV and only SPB system were only 0.5% and 1.5%, respectively. The HA removal of UV/SPB reached 88.8%, which can remove HA more effectively than other systems. Free radical masking experiment proved that hydroxyl radical produced by SPB activation is the main active substance for HA removal. The results of UV-vis absorption spectrum, absorbance ratio, specific UV absorbance, and excitation–emission matrix spectroscopy verified that the UV/SPB system can effectively decompose and mineralize HA. Full article
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15 pages, 3812 KiB  
Article
Peracetic Acid Activated with Electro-Fe2+ Process for Dye Removal in Water
by Deling Yuan, Kai Yang, Eryu Zhu, Xiongbo Li, Mengting Sun, Lichun Xiao, Qiga Hari and Shoufeng Tang
Coatings 2022, 12(4), 466; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings12040466 - 29 Mar 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2366
Abstract
An electro-Fe2+-activated peracetic acid (EC/Fe2+/PAA) process was established for organic dye removal in water. The operation factors such as the PAA dosage, Fe2+ amount, current density, and pH were investigated on methylene blue (MB) removal for the synergistic [...] Read more.
An electro-Fe2+-activated peracetic acid (EC/Fe2+/PAA) process was established for organic dye removal in water. The operation factors such as the PAA dosage, Fe2+ amount, current density, and pH were investigated on methylene blue (MB) removal for the synergistic EC/Fe2+/PAA system. Efficient MB decolorization (98.97% and 0.06992 min−1) was achieved within 30 min under 5.4 mmol L−1 PAA, 30 μmol L−1 Fe2+, 15 mA cm−2 current intensity, and pH 2.9. Masking tests affirmed that the dominating radicals were hydroxyl radicals (OH), organic radicals (CH3CO2·, CH3CO3·), and singlet oxygen (1O2), which were generated from the activated PAA by the synergetic effect of EC and Fe2+. The influence of inorganic ions and natural organic matter on the MB removal was determined. Moreover, the efficacy of the EC/Fe2+/PAA was confirmed by decontaminating other organic pollutants, such as antibiotic tetracycline and metronidazole. The studied synergy process offers a novel, advanced oxidation method for PAA activation and organic wastewater treatment. Full article
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Review

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19 pages, 3163 KiB  
Review
Preparation and Application of Graphene and Derived Carbon Materials in Supercapacitors: A Review
by Haiqiu Fang, Dongfang Yang, Zizhen Su, Xinwei Sun, Jiahui Ren, Liwei Li and Kai Wang
Coatings 2022, 12(9), 1312; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings12091312 - 8 Sep 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2060
Abstract
Graphene has recently attracted a wide range of research interests due to its rigorous two-dimensional structure and extraordinary electrical, thermal and mechanical properties. As a conductive agent, an activated carbon supercapacitor can obtain better performance. This paper summarizes the latest research progress, mainly [...] Read more.
Graphene has recently attracted a wide range of research interests due to its rigorous two-dimensional structure and extraordinary electrical, thermal and mechanical properties. As a conductive agent, an activated carbon supercapacitor can obtain better performance. This paper summarizes the latest research progress, mainly from two aspects: (1) the preparation of an activated carbon base for a supercapacitor based on waste sugar solution and the relationship between pore structure and activation parameters, and (2) the application of the two-dimensional materials graphene and its composite materials in electric double-layer capacitors, graphene–polymer composite tantalum capacitors, graphene–transition metal oxide composite tantalum capacitors, and asymmetric super capacitors. The studies found that graphene and its composite materials have obvious advantages in improving the cycle efficiency, conversion rate, and energy density of supercapacitors, the overall energy efficiency of mechanical systems, and the chemical properties of nanoelectronics. Therefore, it is urgent to summarize these works in order to promote the next development. Graphene is expected to be effectively and environmentally quantified in the near future, and its application in supercapacitors will be further expanded and matured. Full article
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18 pages, 6424 KiB  
Review
Recent Advances on Hydrogen Evolution and Oxygen Evolution Catalysts for Direct Seawater Splitting
by Linzhou Zhuang, Shiyi Li, Jiankun Li, Keyu Wang, Zeyu Guan, Chen Liang and Zhi Xu
Coatings 2022, 12(5), 659; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings12050659 - 12 May 2022
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3663
Abstract
Producing hydrogen via water electrolysis could be a favorable technique for energy conversion, but the freshwater shortage would inevitably limit the industrial application of the electrolyzers. Being an inexhaustible resource of water on our planet, seawater can be a promising alternative electrolyte for [...] Read more.
Producing hydrogen via water electrolysis could be a favorable technique for energy conversion, but the freshwater shortage would inevitably limit the industrial application of the electrolyzers. Being an inexhaustible resource of water on our planet, seawater can be a promising alternative electrolyte for industrial hydrogen production. However, many challenges are hindering the actual application of seawater splitting, especially the competing reactions relating to chlorine at the anode that could severely corrode the catalysts. The execution of direct seawater electrolysis needs efficient and robust electrocatalysts that can prevent the interference of competing reactions and resist different impurities. In recent years, researchers have made great advances in developing high-efficiency electrocatalysts with improved activity and stability. This review will provide the macroscopic understanding of direct seawater splitting, the strategies for rational electrocatalyst design, and the development prospects of hydrogen production via seawater splitting. The nonprecious metal-based electrocatalysts for stable seawater splitting and their catalytic mechanisms are emphasized to offer guidance for designing the efficient and robust electrocatalyst, so as to promote the production of green hydrogen via seawater splitting. Full article
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