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Searching for Sustainable Solutions in Wastewater Treatment and Water Reuse

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Water Science and Technology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2022) | Viewed by 19598

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
REQUIMTE/LAQV, Instituto Superior de Engenharia Do Porto, Politécnico Do Porto, Rua Dr. António Bernardino de Almeida 431, 4200-072 Porto, Portugal
Interests: wastewater treatment; sustainable treatment processes; tertiary treatments biosorption; advanced oxidation processes; biowastes valorization (sorbent and biofilm prodution); response surface methodology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
REQUIMTE/LAQV, Instituto Superior de Engenharia Do Porto, Politécnico Do Porto, Rua Dr. António Bernardino de Almeida 431, 4200-072 Porto, Portugal
Interests: environmental engineering; characterization of samples (water, wastewater, surface water, soil, sludge, solid wastes); water and wastewater treatment, valorization of biowastes; adsorption; electrochemical processes; ecotoxicity
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Applied Chemistry and Physics, University of León, León, Spain
Interests: water pollution and contamination; water and wastewater treatment: global treatment systems; sustainable treatment processes; clean and alternative technologies; waste management and valorization; alternative adsorbent materials; alternative photocatalysts
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Water is an essential natural resource that, due to the constant population growth and consequent demand, has been driven to scarcity and loss of quality. Both a conscientious water usage and reuse have been adopted as international policies to mitigate water stress. The sectors of agriculture and industry are those with the highest water demand, followed by human consumption, creating the need for water reuse, which follows the principles of the circular economy and contributes to the sustainability of water management. Wastewater treatment plants may be considered sources for reuse of treated water. For this purpose, the development of economic and sustainable technologies and the search for integrated treatment solutions are needed in order to promote safe water use and reuse. Apart from the compliance of treatment levels and regulations, ecotoxicity testing is a meaningful risk assessment tool for wastewater treatment and reuse. Moreover, methodologies such as life cycle analysis and life cycle cost analysis are very useful to assess and quantify the environmental and economic–financial viability of water management strategies.

In this Special Issue (SI), we would like to share novel treatment strategies and technologies that may contribute to the sustainability and safety of water and wastewater treatment, and water reuse. The listed keywords illustrate just a few of the many possibilities.

Dr. Olga Matos de Freitas
Dr. Sónia Figueiredo
Dr. Marta Otero
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. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 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 2500 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

  • water treatment
  • safe water
  • water reuse
  • circular economy
  • sustainable strategies
  • smart water treatment technologies
  • domestic wastewaters
  • industrial wastewaters
  • adsorption
  • advanced oxidation processes
  • biological processes
  • ecotoxicity
  • life cycle assessment

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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17 pages, 3303 KiB  
Article
Peroxymonosulphate Activation by Basolite® F-300 for Escherichia coli Disinfection and Antipyrine Degradation
by Antía Fdez-Sanromán, Marta Pazos and Angeles Sanroman
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(11), 6852; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19116852 - 3 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1783
Abstract
In this study, the removal of persistent emerging and dangerous pollutants (pharmaceuticals and pathogens) in synthetic wastewater was evaluated by the application of heterogeneous Advanced Oxidation Processes. To do that, a Metal-Organic Framework (MOF), Basolite® F-300 was selected as a catalyst and [...] Read more.
In this study, the removal of persistent emerging and dangerous pollutants (pharmaceuticals and pathogens) in synthetic wastewater was evaluated by the application of heterogeneous Advanced Oxidation Processes. To do that, a Metal-Organic Framework (MOF), Basolite® F-300 was selected as a catalyst and combined with peroxymonosulfate (PMS) as oxidants in order to generate sulphate radicals. Several key parameters such as the PMS and Basolite® F-300 concentration were evaluated and optimized using a Central Composite Experimental Design for response surface methodology for the inactivation of Escherichia coli. The assessment of the degradation of an analgesic and antipyretic pharmaceutical, antipyrine, revealed that is necessary to increase the concentration of PMS and amount of Basolite® F-300, in order to diminish the treatment time. Finally, the PMS-Basolite® F-300 system can be used for at least four cycles without a reduction in its ability to disinfect and degrade persistent emerging and dangerous pollutants such as pharmaceuticals and pathogens. Full article
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14 pages, 5300 KiB  
Article
Visible Light-Based Ag3PO4/g-C3N4@MoS2 for Highly Efficient Degradation of 2-Amino-4-acetylaminoanisole (AMA) from Printing and Dyeing Wastewater
by Hong Liu, Houwang Chen and Ning Ding
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(5), 2934; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19052934 - 2 Mar 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2182
Abstract
In this research, the preparation of a Ag3PO4/g-C3N4@MoS2 photocatalyst and the performance and mechanism of degradation of 2-amino-4-acetaminoanisole (AMA) were studied. The phase composition and morphology of the synthesized samples were comprehensively characterized by [...] Read more.
In this research, the preparation of a Ag3PO4/g-C3N4@MoS2 photocatalyst and the performance and mechanism of degradation of 2-amino-4-acetaminoanisole (AMA) were studied. The phase composition and morphology of the synthesized samples were comprehensively characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscope (SEM), ultraviolet–visible diffuse reflectance (UV–Vis), and photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The catalytic performance of the photocatalyst was evaluated by the visible-light catalytic degradation of the AMA. The experimental results show that the Ag3PO4/g-C3N4@MoS2 composite photocatalyst has stronger photocatalytic oxidation and reduction capabilities than Ag3PO4 and Ag3PO4/g-C3N4. The material only decreases by 31.3% after five cycles of use, indicating that the material has good light stability. Free radical capture experiments prove that photo-generated holes (h+) and superoxide radicals (·O2) are the main active substances in the photocatalytic process. The fundamental studies in the present research provide a new perspective for constructing an innovative type of visible-light photocatalyst and a new way to promote the photocatalytic degradation of organic pollutants. Full article
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27 pages, 3208 KiB  
Article
Microalgal Cultures for the Bioremediation of Urban Wastewaters in the Presence of Siloxanes
by Eva M. Salgado, Ana L. Gonçalves, Francisco Sánchez-Soberón, Nuno Ratola and José C. M. Pires
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(5), 2634; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19052634 - 24 Feb 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2107
Abstract
Microalgae are widely used in the bioremediation of wastewaters due to their efficient removal of pollutants such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and contaminants of emerging concern (CECs). Siloxanes are CECs that reach wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), leading to the production of biogas enriched with [...] Read more.
Microalgae are widely used in the bioremediation of wastewaters due to their efficient removal of pollutants such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and contaminants of emerging concern (CECs). Siloxanes are CECs that reach wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), leading to the production of biogas enriched with these compounds, associated with the breakdown of cogeneration equipment. The biological removal of siloxanes from wastewaters could be a sustainable alternative to the costly existing technologies, but no investigation has been performed using microalgal cultures for this purpose. This study evaluated the ability of Chlorella vulgaris to bioremediate primary (PE) and secondary (SE) urban effluents and remove volatile methylsiloxanes (VMSs). C. vulgaris grew successfully in both effluents, and approximately 86% of nitrogen and 80% of phosphorus were efficiently removed from the PE, while 52% of nitrogen and 87% of phosphorus were removed from the SE, and the presence of VMSs does not seem to have a negative influence on nutrient removal. Three out of the seven of the analysed VMSs were detected in the microalgal biomass at the end of the PE assay. However, dodecamethylcyclohexasiloxane (D6) was the one that accumulated to a greater extent, since 48% of the initial mass of D6 was detected in the biomass samples. D6 is one of the most lipophilic VMSs, which might contribute to the higher adsorption onto the surface of microalgae. Overall, the results indicate C. vulgaris’ potential to remove specific VMSs from effluents. Full article
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24 pages, 1207 KiB  
Article
Continuous Performance Improvement Framework for Sustainable Wastewater Treatment Facilities in Arid Regions: Case of Wadi Rumah in Qassim, Saudi Arabia
by Husnain Haider, Mohammed AlHetari, Abdul Razzaq Ghumman, Ibrahim Saleh Al-Salamah, Hussein Thabit and Md. Shafiquzzaman
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(13), 6857; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18136857 - 26 Jun 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2696
Abstract
In arid regions such as Saudi Arabia, wastewater treatment (WWT) facilities (meeting promulgated standards) need to adapt their continuous performance improvement (CPI) for long-term sustainability. To achieve this, the facilities need to improve their performance to comply with more strict objectives for broader [...] Read more.
In arid regions such as Saudi Arabia, wastewater treatment (WWT) facilities (meeting promulgated standards) need to adapt their continuous performance improvement (CPI) for long-term sustainability. To achieve this, the facilities need to improve their performance to comply with more strict objectives for broader reuse applications of treated effluent. The present research proposes a CPI framework based on performance benchmarking process for the stepwise improvement of WWT facilities. A grey rational analysis water quality index (GWQI) based on exceedance probability was developed. For weights’ estimation of 11 physical, chemical, and biological water quality parameters, the entropy method effectively accommodated the changes in relative importance of the parameters with including additional future reuse applications. For existing effluent reuse scenarios of restricted and unrestricted irrigation, the GWQI values were found consistent with the modified version of the Canadian WQI (CWQI). The indices’ values (ranged between 0 and 100) greater than 80 showed the efficient operation of four WWT plants in the Qassim Region of Saudi Arabia. Two hypothetical CPI scenarios with future reuse applications (fish, livestock drinking, and recreation) showed an overall decline in the average (of four plants) values of the GWQI (97 to 78) and CWQI (85 to 60). CWQI predicted stricter results for the facilities with parameters’ concentrations exceeding the targets with larger margins and was found applicable for the CPI of WWT facilities in arid regions. For existing scenarios, the assessment results suggest the facilities to control and monitor the chlorination practice. For future targets, tertiary treatment needs to be enhanced for desired nutrients and total dissolved solids removal. The proposed CPI framework provides a platform to initiate the performance benchmarking process for WWT facilities at local or regional levels in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere. Full article
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Review

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24 pages, 465 KiB  
Review
Microplastic Pollution Focused on Sources, Distribution, Contaminant Interactions, Analytical Methods, and Wastewater Removal Strategies: A Review
by Sílvia D. Martinho, Virgínia Cruz Fernandes, Sónia A. Figueiredo and Cristina Delerue-Matos
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(9), 5610; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19095610 - 5 May 2022
Cited by 30 | Viewed by 5087
Abstract
Plastics have been one of the most useful materials in the world, due to their distinguishing characteristics: light weight, strength, flexibility, and good durability. In recent years, the growing consumption of plastics in industries and domestic applications has revealed a serious problem in [...] Read more.
Plastics have been one of the most useful materials in the world, due to their distinguishing characteristics: light weight, strength, flexibility, and good durability. In recent years, the growing consumption of plastics in industries and domestic applications has revealed a serious problem in plastic waste treatments. Pollution by microplastics has been recognized as a serious threat since it may contaminate all ecosystems, including oceans, terrestrial compartments, and the atmosphere. This micropollutant is spread in all types of environments and is serving as a “minor but efficient” vector for carrier contaminants such as pesticides, pharmaceuticals, metals, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The need to deeply study and update the evolution of microplastic sources, toxicology, extraction and analysis, and behavior is imperative. This review presents an actual state of microplastics, addressing their presence in the environment, the toxicological effects and the need to understand their extent, their interactions with toxic pollutants, the problems that arise in the definition of analytical methods, and the possible alternatives of treatments. Full article
31 pages, 2252 KiB  
Review
Review of Nitrification Monitoring and Control Strategies in Drinking Water System
by Sharif Hossain, Christopher W. K. Chow, David Cook, Emma Sawade and Guna A. Hewa
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(7), 4003; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19074003 - 28 Mar 2022
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3673
Abstract
Nitrification is a major challenge in chloraminated drinking water systems, resulting in undesirable loss of disinfectant residual. Consequently, heterotrophic bacteria growth is increased, which adversely affects the water quality, causing taste, odour, and health issues. Regular monitoring of various water quality parameters at [...] Read more.
Nitrification is a major challenge in chloraminated drinking water systems, resulting in undesirable loss of disinfectant residual. Consequently, heterotrophic bacteria growth is increased, which adversely affects the water quality, causing taste, odour, and health issues. Regular monitoring of various water quality parameters at susceptible areas of the water distribution system (WDS) helps to detect nitrification at an earlier stage and allows sufficient time to take corrective actions to control it. Strategies to monitor nitrification in a WDS require conducting various microbiological tests or assessing surrogate parameters that are affected by microbiological activities. Additionally, microbial decay factor (Fm) is used by water utilities to monitor the status of nitrification. In contrast, approaches to manage nitrification in a WDS include controlling various factors that affect monochloramine decay rate and ammonium substrate availability, and that can inhibit nitrification. However, some of these control strategies may increase the regulated disinfection-by-products level, which may be a potential health concern. In this paper, various strategies to monitor and control nitrification in a WDS are critically examined. The key findings are: (i) the applicability of some methods require further validation using real WDS, as the original studies were conducted on laboratory or pilot systems; (ii) there is no linkage/formula found to relate the surrogate parameters to the concentration of nitrifying bacteria, which possibly improve nitrification monitoring performance; (iii) improved methods/monitoring tools are required to detect nitrification at an earlier stage; (iv) further studies are required to understand the effect of soluble microbial products on the change of surrogate parameters. Based on the current review, we recommend that the successful outcome using many of these methods is often site-specific, hence, water utilities should decide based on their regular experiences when considering economic and sustainability aspects. Full article
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