Microbiotechnology Tools for Wastewater Treatment and Waste Valorization

A special issue of Fermentation (ISSN 2311-5637). This special issue belongs to the section "Industrial Fermentation".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2022) | Viewed by 20149

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Section of Natural and Applied Sciences, Canterbury Christ Church University, Kent CT1 1QU, UK
Interests: wastewater treatment; membrane bioreactors; quorum sensing; quorum quenching; biofilms; anaerobic digestion; nutrients removal
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Co-Guest Editor
Premier Tech Water and Environment, Peterlee, County Durham SR8 2RA, UK
Interests: wastewater treatment; biological wastewater treatment; water and wastewater treatment; water treatment; wastewater engineering; environment; water quality; water purification technologies; water analysis; environmental engineering

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Clean water is a prerequisite for the preservation of life and of environmental quality on the planet. A major fraction (~97%) of our water resources is saline and cannot be directly used, while only a minor fraction (3%) can serve for drinking, irrigation, and industrial purposes directly. Continuous rapid urbanization and industrial growth increased over the years and will very likely keep increasing the demand for fresh water. In addition, ‘used water’ (also known as wastewater) originating from residential/commercial and industrial areas, frequently lacking appropriate treatment, is often discharged in freshwater bodies, leading to available water resources scarcity. Effective and adequate wastewater treatment prior to discharge can reduce the stress on freshwater bodies and promote overall supply. For more than a century, biological wastewater treatment technologies have been key to delivering wastewater treatment with numerous optimizations developed over the years. Such processes involve microorganisms, an approach with certain benefits as opposed to other available treatment strategies (physical and chemical). Lately, wastewater has been considered a resource, and a lot of research is ongoing focusing on energy and byproduct recovery from it. Moreover, emphasis is placed on combining treatment with the reclamation and recycling of wastewater as a means to address water scarcity at a global level. Resource recovery combined with wastewater treatment on a biological basis, followed by reclamation and reuse, is essential for sustainable water resources management and promotion of the circular economy in the wastewater industry.

This Special Issue aims to cover the recent microbiotechnological developments and advances in the area of biological wastewater treatment. It also focuses on the microbial ecology present in wastewater and/or in engineered wastewater treatment systems so their role can be defined. The issue will also cover the latest biotechnology tools and their applications for sustainable wastewater treatment, reclamation, and reuse; special interest will be on the harvest of commercially useful byproduct from wastewater such as energy, biofuels, and other chemicals.

Dr. Shamas Tabraiz
Dr. Evangelos Petropoulos
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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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. Fermentation is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly 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 2600 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

  • sustainable wastewater treatment
  • biological wastewater treatment
  • microbiotechnology
  • microbial ecology
  • resource recovery from wastewater
  • wastewater reuse and reclamation
  • emerging pollutants
  • nutrients’ removal
  • carbon-neutral wastewater treatment

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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13 pages, 5517 KiB  
Article
Effects of External Resistance, New Electrode Material, and Catholyte Type on the Energy Generation and Performance of Dual-Chamber Microbial Fuel Cells
by Miguel Ángel López Zavala and Iris Cassandra Cámara Gutiérrez
Fermentation 2023, 9(4), 344; https://doi.org/10.3390/fermentation9040344 - 29 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1893
Abstract
In this study, the effects of an external resistance, new electrode material, and non-conventional catholyte on the energy generation and performance of a dual-chamber MFC were evaluated. Ten different resistances (15 Ω–220 kΩ), hydrophilically-treated graphene and graphite electrodes, and a 0.1 M HCl [...] Read more.
In this study, the effects of an external resistance, new electrode material, and non-conventional catholyte on the energy generation and performance of a dual-chamber MFC were evaluated. Ten different resistances (15 Ω–220 kΩ), hydrophilically-treated graphene and graphite electrodes, and a 0.1 M HCl solution as a catholyte were assessed. The results showed that greater energy generation and power density were achieved at an external resistance of 2 kΩ and internal resistance between 2 and 5 kΩ on average; meanwhile, the greatest coulombic efficiency was obtained at the lowest external resistance evaluated (15 Ω). Therefore, it is recommended to operate the MFCs at the external resistance between 2 and 5 kΩ to ensure the maximum power generation of the dual chamber MFCs. Regarding the two electrode materials evaluated as an anode and cathode, hydrophilically-treated graphene was found to be a much better material to enhance the energy production and performance of the MFC system; therefore, its use is suggested in experimental and practical applications. On the other hand, the use of HCl as a catholyte enhanced the performance of MFC (constant and steady potential and greater coulombic efficiency) in most cases. Full article
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13 pages, 3436 KiB  
Article
Performance and Bacterial Characteristics of Aerobic Granular Sludge in Treatment of Ultra-Hypersaline Mustard Tuber Wastewater
by Jingxue Yue, Xushen Han, Yan Jin and Jianguo Yu
Fermentation 2023, 9(3), 224; https://doi.org/10.3390/fermentation9030224 - 26 Feb 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1778
Abstract
Mustard tuber wastewater (MTW) is an ultra-hypersaline high-strength acid organic wastewater. Aerobic granular sludge (AGS) has been demonstrated to have high tolerance to high organic loading rate (OLR), high salinity, and broad pH ranges. However, most studies were conducted under single stress, and [...] Read more.
Mustard tuber wastewater (MTW) is an ultra-hypersaline high-strength acid organic wastewater. Aerobic granular sludge (AGS) has been demonstrated to have high tolerance to high organic loading rate (OLR), high salinity, and broad pH ranges. However, most studies were conducted under single stress, and the performance of AGS under multiple stresses (high salinity, high OLR, and low pH) was still unclear. Herein, mature AGS was used to try to treat the real MTW at 9% salinity, pH of 4.1–6.7, and OLR of 1.8–7.2 kg COD/m3·d. The OLR was increased, and the results showed that the upper OLR boundary of AGS was 5.4 kg COD/m3·d (pH of 4.2) with relatively compact structure and high removal of TOC (~93.1%), NH4+-N (~88.2%), and TP (~50.6%). Under 7.2 kg COD/m3·d (pH of 4.1), most of the AGS was fragmented, primarily due to the multiple stresses. 16S rRNA sequencing indicated that Halomonas dominated the reactor during the whole process with the presence of unclassified-f-Flavobacteriaceae, Aequorivita, Paracoccus, Bradymonas, and Cryomorpha, which played key roles in the removal of TOC, nitrogen, and phosphorus. This study investigated the performance of AGS under multiple stresses, and also brought a new route for highly-efficient simultaneous nitrification–denitrifying phosphorus removal of real MTW. Full article
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12 pages, 2404 KiB  
Article
Enhancing Biodegradation of Pyridine with Trehalose Lipid in Rhodococcus pyridinivorans sp. Strain HR-1-Inoculated Microbial Fuel Cell
by Peng Cheng, Muhammad Usman, Muhammad Arslan, Huanqing Sun, Li Zhou and Mohamed Gamal El-Din
Fermentation 2023, 9(2), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/fermentation9020133 - 30 Jan 2023
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Abstract
A Gram-positive exoelectrogen Rhodococcus pyridinivorans sp. strain HR-1 was cultivated from leachate-fed microbial fuel cell (MFC) to study the biodegradation effect of pyridine. In the comparison with mixed cultured MFC, HR-1 presented a remarkable electrical capacity with a maximum output of 4.33 W/m [...] Read more.
A Gram-positive exoelectrogen Rhodococcus pyridinivorans sp. strain HR-1 was cultivated from leachate-fed microbial fuel cell (MFC) to study the biodegradation effect of pyridine. In the comparison with mixed cultured MFC, HR-1 presented a remarkable electrical capacity with a maximum output of 4.33 W/m3 under 30 °C in neutral anolyte with 1 g/L acetate as a substrate. Further, HR-1 demonstrated the environmental resistance as a Gram-positive strain. Microbial metabolism was evident at pH between 5–9 and temperature in the range of 20–40 °C, whereas optimal condition for pyridine degradation was observed at 30 °C. This is the first study reporting the degradation of pyridine in the bio-electrochemical system that achieved a 42% ± 5% degradation rate in a full operation cycle at 2 g/L of the concentration. Considering the nonnegligible internal resistance of HR-1-inoculated MFC, trehalose lipid was also introduced as a bio-surfactant to reduce the charge transfer obstacle between the microbes and the electrodes. The surface morphology illustrated that the strain had a plump shape with a high specific area. Accordingly, bio-surfactant addition promoted the anode biomass (1.2 ± 0.1 mg/cm2 to 1.7 ± 0.2 mg/cm2) and achieved a higher degradation rate (68% ± 4%). The feasibility of electrochemical disposal on pyridine and eminent adaptability of strain sp. HR-1 as a Gram-positive exoelectrogen makes MFC a practical approach for real application. Full article
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21 pages, 3650 KiB  
Article
Combination of Alkaline and Heat Pretreatments with Zero-Valent Iron Application in Cassava Pulp and Wastewater for Methane Generation: Development from Batch to Continuous Systems
by Nittaya Boontian, Thunchanok Phorndon, Chatlada Piasai and Mohamad Padri
Fermentation 2023, 9(2), 108; https://doi.org/10.3390/fermentation9020108 - 23 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1957
Abstract
Pretreatment with the addition of metals to anaerobic digestion in biogas production is crucial to address improper degradation of organic compounds with low methane production. Biogas production from a combination of cassava pulp and cassava wastewater in the batch system under the variation [...] Read more.
Pretreatment with the addition of metals to anaerobic digestion in biogas production is crucial to address improper degradation of organic compounds with low methane production. Biogas production from a combination of cassava pulp and cassava wastewater in the batch system under the variation of alkaline and heat conditions as a pretreatment was investigated with the zero-valent iron (ZVI) addition after the pretreatment. It was found that alkaline pretreatment at pH 10 with the heat at 100 °C for 30 min combined with 50 g of ZVI kg of TVS−1 showed the highest methane production up to 4.18 m3 CH4 kg TVS−1. Nevertheless, chemical oxygen demand (COD) and volatile fatty acid (VFA) removals were slightly reduced when ZVI was added to the system. Furthermore, application in the continuous system showed increased COD and VFA removals after applying alkaline and heat pretreatments. On the other hand, additional ZVI in the substrate after the pretreatments in the continuous system increased the methane production from 0.58 to 0.90 and 0.19 to 0.24 of CH4 m3 kg TVS−1 in 20 and 60 days of hydraulic retention times (HRTs), respectively. Thus, a suitable combination of alkaline and heat pretreatments with ZVI is essential for increasing methane production in batch and continuous systems. Full article
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14 pages, 2273 KiB  
Article
Efficacy of Continuous Flow Reactors for Biological Treatment of 1,4-Dioxane Contaminated Textile Wastewater Using a Mixed Culture
by Kang Hoon Lee, Imtiaz Afzal Khan, Muhammad Ali Inam, Rizwan Khan, Young Min Wie and Ick Tae Yeom
Fermentation 2022, 8(4), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/fermentation8040143 - 25 Mar 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3521
Abstract
The goal of this study was to evaluate the biodegradation of 1,4–dioxane using a mixed biological culture grown in textile wastewater sludge with 1,4–dioxane as the sole carbon source. The conditions for the long-term evaluation of 1,4–dioxane degradation were determined and optimized by [...] Read more.
The goal of this study was to evaluate the biodegradation of 1,4–dioxane using a mixed biological culture grown in textile wastewater sludge with 1,4–dioxane as the sole carbon source. The conditions for the long-term evaluation of 1,4–dioxane degradation were determined and optimized by batch scale analysis. Moreover, Monod’s model was used to determine the biomass decay rate and unknown parameters. The soluble chemical oxygen demand (sCOD) was used to determine the concentration of 1,4–dioxane in the batch test, and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) was used to measure the concentrations via long-term wastewater analysis. Two types of reactors (continuous stirred reactor (CSTR) and plug flow reactor (PFR)) for the treatment of 1,4–dioxane from textile wastewater were operated for more than 120 days under optimized conditions. These used the mixed microbial culture grown in textile wastewater sludge and 1,4–dioxane as the sole carbon source. The results indicated efficient degradation of 1,4–dioxane by the mixed culture in the presence of a competitive inhibitor, with an increase in degradation time from 13.37 h to 55 h. A specific substrate utilization rate of 0.0096 mg 1,4–dioxane/mg MLVSS/h was observed at a hydraulic retention time of 20 h for 20 days of operation in a biomass concentration of 3000 mg/L produced by the mixed microbial culturing process. In the long-term analysis, effluent concentrations of 3 mg/L and <1 mg/L of 1,4–dioxane were observed for CSTR and PFR, respectively. The higher removal efficacy of PFR was due to the production of more MLVSS at 4000 mg/L compared to the outcome of 3000 mg/L in CSTR in a competitive environment. Full article
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Review

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25 pages, 1133 KiB  
Review
Recent Progress in Microalgae-Based Technologies for Industrial Wastewater Treatment
by Zubair Hashmi, Muhammad Roil Bilad, Fahrurrozi, Juliana Zaini, Jun Wei Lim and Yusuf Wibisono
Fermentation 2023, 9(3), 311; https://doi.org/10.3390/fermentation9030311 - 22 Mar 2023
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 4440
Abstract
The water resource crisis and concerns with environmental pollution prompt the necessity to upgrade conventional wastewater treatment processes. The microalgae-based wastewater treatment process has shown many advantages that can fulfill the stricter demands for improved wastewater treatment. Microalgae cultivation can be carried out [...] Read more.
The water resource crisis and concerns with environmental pollution prompt the necessity to upgrade conventional wastewater treatment processes. The microalgae-based wastewater treatment process has shown many advantages that can fulfill the stricter demands for improved wastewater treatment. Microalgae cultivation can be carried out in different photobioreactors and under different operational conditions. The cultivation of the microalgae biomass provides the bioremediation of some targeted pollutants through uptake/digestion or biosorption, resulting in treated effluent and the production of biomass. This paper reviews the progress in microalgae-biotechnology for industrial wastewater treatment. A brief overview of microalga types/classification, the cultivation photobioreactors type, and conditions was first provided. Next, a comprehensive review of the bioremediation of industrial wastewater, including distillery, heavy metals, textiles, and emerging contaminants, was provided. Finally, perspectives on the potential scale-up of the technology and some critical considerations were also discussed. Full article
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25 pages, 1317 KiB  
Review
Succinic Acid Production from Oil Palm Biomass: A Prospective Plastic Pollution Solution
by Hikmah Bajunaid Hariz, Siti Aisyah Syazwani Zaidi, Abdullah Amru Indera Luthfi, Nurul Adela Bukhari, Mohd Shaiful Sajab, Masturah Markom, Shuhaida Harun, Jian-Ping Tan, Gong-Tao Ding and Peer Mohamed Abdul
Fermentation 2023, 9(1), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/fermentation9010046 - 5 Jan 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3621
Abstract
Plastic pollution has placed a significant emphasis on the need for synthesising bioplastics, such as polybutylene succinate (PBS), which is derived from succinic acid. Furthermore, environmental concerns and the depletion of non-renewable fossil fuels have initiated an interest in exploring the biotechnological route [...] Read more.
Plastic pollution has placed a significant emphasis on the need for synthesising bioplastics, such as polybutylene succinate (PBS), which is derived from succinic acid. Furthermore, environmental concerns and the depletion of non-renewable fossil fuels have initiated an interest in exploring the biotechnological route of succinic acid production via fermentation. Consequently, oil palm biomass might be a prospective substitute for the costlier pure carbon source, which is more sustainable and cost-effective due to its abundance and high lignocellulosic content. The current review focuses on the potential of oil palm biomass utilisation to synthesise succinic acid and its associated bioplastics. The pretreatment and hydrolysis of various oil palm biomass and studies on bioplastics generation from oil palm biomass are also discussed. This review also identified the challenges of manufacturing succinic acid from oil palm biomass and included several recommendations. Full article
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