Composite Materials in Water Treatment for Sustainable Green Environment

A special issue of Journal of Composites Science (ISSN 2504-477X). This special issue belongs to the section "Composites Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2022) | Viewed by 10326

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Environmental Engineering, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea
Interests: advanced oxidation process; graphene; MXene; adsorption; electrochemical regeneration

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Environmental sustainability is an important matter in terms of pollution abatement and resource recycling to maintain a green environment for the future. In order to have healthy communities, we must ensure there is clean water supply everywhere in the world. The extent of pollution is rising each year, and there is no break even during a pandemic such as COVID-19. Every minute of every hour, the world is facing several new challenges, among which water pollution is one of the essential sectors struggling to find a solution. The green approach to treating water from a range of organic and inorganic contaminants is the need of the hour that requires imminent attention. Green composites can reduce the extent of pollution, but being able to use them in a recyclable manner would be even more advantageous. The scientific community therefore urgently needs a sustainable green approach to maintain future water demand.

This Special Issue is mostly focused on the synthesis and characterization of novel composite materials for the removal of emerging water pollutants. Other potential areas include but are not limited to the synthesis and characterization of composites, naturally derived biomaterials, their functionalization, and so on.

Dr. Mokrema Moztahida
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • biocomposites
  • synthetic composites
  • metal oxide catalyst
  • graphene
  • adsorption
  • photocatalysis
  • nanocomposites
  • green environment

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

18 pages, 1222 KiB  
Article
Biodegradation of Aqueous Superabsorbents: Kinetic Assessment Using Biological Oxygen Demand Analysis
by Andrey V. Smagin, Nadezhda B. Sadovnikova and Viktor I. Budnikov
J. Compos. Sci. 2023, 7(4), 164; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs7040164 - 14 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1285
Abstract
Biodegradation is an important environmental factor controlling the effectiveness of aqueous superabsorbents for soil conditioning. The purpose of the study is to quantify this process using biological oxygen demand (BOD) analysis of composite superabsorbents with an acrylic polymer matrix, amphiphilic fillers (humates, peat) [...] Read more.
Biodegradation is an important environmental factor controlling the effectiveness of aqueous superabsorbents for soil conditioning. The purpose of the study is to quantify this process using biological oxygen demand (BOD) analysis of composite superabsorbents with an acrylic polymer matrix, amphiphilic fillers (humates, peat) and silver ions as an inhibitor of biological activity. A simple kinetic model of BOD is proposed for standardization of the analysis and calculation of polymer half-life after their long-term (60–120 days) incubation in the VELP BOD analyzer (Italy) with automatic control. The half-life of pure hydrogels pre-swollen in distilled water (1:100) at 30 °C varied from 0.8 ± 0.2 to 2.4 ± 1.6 years. The addition of water extract from compost sharply enhances the biodegradation, lowering the half-life up to 40–60 days. Doses of 0.1–1% silver in a polymer matrix or 10–100 ppm in swollen hydrogels increase their half-life by 5–20 times. The discussion part questions the traditional division of aqua superabsorbents into “biodegradable” and “non-biodegradable”, and also analyzes the main advantages and disadvantages of the new methodology for their BOD analysis. The results may be of interest to a wide range of specialists from chemical technologists and biochemists to environmental engineers. Full article
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13 pages, 2690 KiB  
Article
Sparsely Cross-Linked Hydrogel with Starch Fragments as a Multifunctional Soil Conditioner
by Leonid O. Ilyasov, Irina G. Panova, Petr O. Kushchev, Andrey A. Belov, Irina A. Maksimova, Andrey V. Smagin and Alexander A. Yaroslavov
J. Compos. Sci. 2022, 6(11), 347; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs6110347 - 08 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1642
Abstract
A sparsely cross-linked copolymer was synthesized, and was composed of acrylic acid, acrylamide, and starch. Swelling of the copolymer in an aqueous solution resulted in the formation of hydrogel particles; this formulation was used as a partially biodegradable soil conditioner. The hydrogel was [...] Read more.
A sparsely cross-linked copolymer was synthesized, and was composed of acrylic acid, acrylamide, and starch. Swelling of the copolymer in an aqueous solution resulted in the formation of hydrogel particles; this formulation was used as a partially biodegradable soil conditioner. The hydrogel was characterized with the following main conclusions: (a) the degree of copolymer swelling increases from 300 to 550 when altering the pH of the solution from 3 to 9. (b) After mixing with sand and soil, the degree of swelling decreases because of restricted volumes of sand/soil-filled containers and a mechanical resistance from the sand/soil particles. (c) Initial sand and soil additions demonstrate unsatisfactory water-retaining properties; the addition of the hydrogel significantly increases the maximum water capacity, while a substantial part of the water in the hydrogel remains available to plants. (d) Upon deposition of the hydrogel formulation over sand/soil and drying out, a protective coating forms on the surface, composed of hydrogel and sand/soil particles, resistant to wind and water erosion. (e) The starch-containing hydrogel is non-toxic towards bacterial and fungal microorganisms; the latter can utilize the microgel in order to support their own development. The results of the work indicate that cross-linked anionic copolymers are promising for use as combined soil conditioners. Full article
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9 pages, 2069 KiB  
Article
High Surface Area Activated Charcoal for Water Purification
by Ahmed. S. Ahmed, Mohammed Alsultan, Rowaa Tareq Hameed, Yamama F. Assim and Gerhard F. Swiegers
J. Compos. Sci. 2022, 6(10), 311; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs6100311 - 13 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3563
Abstract
An activated charcoal with a high surface area of 4320–3800 m2/g with significant adsorption properties was prepared by the chemical and thermal processing of walnut residues. Iraqi walnut shells were sonicated with different ratios of potassium hydroxide (KOH). The mixture was [...] Read more.
An activated charcoal with a high surface area of 4320–3800 m2/g with significant adsorption properties was prepared by the chemical and thermal processing of walnut residues. Iraqi walnut shells were sonicated with different ratios of potassium hydroxide (KOH). The mixture was then calcined at different temperatures using an electric oven until the best thermal conditions for a very high activated surface area and performance were identified. The resulting activated charcoal was further purified to remove residual KOH and metal impurities. Investigations revealed that the quality of the prepared activated charcoal was comparable to or surpassed that of commercially available counterparts in both the physical and adsorption properties. It was characterised for methylene blue degradation and the removal of heavy elements during water purification. Full article
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21 pages, 6671 KiB  
Article
Fabrication of Novel Nanohybrid Material for the Removal of Azo Dyes from Wastewater
by Mohammad Rahat Hossain, Taslim Ur Rashid, Nadira Parvin Lata, Shaikat Chandra Dey, Mithun Sarker and Sayed Md. Shamsuddin
J. Compos. Sci. 2022, 6(10), 304; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs6100304 - 11 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1574
Abstract
This study attempted to harness the dual benefit of adsorption and photocatalytic degradation for efficiently removing a model anionic azo dye, Orange G, from an aqueous solution. For this purpose, a series of bifunctional nanohybrids containing different proportions of naturally occurring biopolymer chitosan [...] Read more.
This study attempted to harness the dual benefit of adsorption and photocatalytic degradation for efficiently removing a model anionic azo dye, Orange G, from an aqueous solution. For this purpose, a series of bifunctional nanohybrids containing different proportions of naturally occurring biopolymer chitosan and ternary photocatalyst made of kaolinite, TiO2, and ZnO were prepared through the dissolution of chitosan in acid and subsequent deposition on ternary photocatalyst. The characterization through Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM), and energy dispersive X-ray spectrum (EDS) have confirmed the successful fabrication of nanohybrids from TiO2 and chitosan. The adsorptive separation of Orange G from the aqueous solution and subsequent degradation under solar irradiation was thoroughly studied by recording the λmax value of dye in the ultraviolet–visible (UV-Vis) spectrophotometer at various operating conditions of pH, dye concentration, contact time, and compositional variation. The nanohybrid (TP0.75CS0.25) fabricated from 75% ternary photocatalyst (w/w) and 25% chitosan (w/w) removed 97.4% Orange G within 110 min at pH 2.5 and 10 mg/L dye concentration. The relative contribution of chitosan and ternary composite on dye removal was understood by comparing the experimental results in the dark and sunlight. Recyclability experiments showed the suitability of the nanohybrid for long-term repeated applications. Equilibrium experimental data showed a better correlation with the Langmuir isotherm and pseudo-second-order kinetic model. The rapid and nearly complete removal capacity, long-term reusability, and simple fabrication technique make this novel nanohybrid a promising advanced material for removing hazardous azo dyes from industrial effluents. Full article
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13 pages, 1300 KiB  
Article
Hygroscopicity of Gel-Forming Composite Materials: Thermodynamic Assessment and Technological Significance
by Andrey V. Smagin, Nadezhda B. Sadovnikova and Elena A. Belyaeva
J. Compos. Sci. 2022, 6(9), 269; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs6090269 - 14 Sep 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1756
Abstract
Hygroscopicity is an important technological property of composite materials for the conservation and treatment of water in modern technologies for sustainable green environment and agriculture. Using a thermodynamic approach, this study analyzes the hygroscopicity of composite gel-forming soil conditioners as a function of [...] Read more.
Hygroscopicity is an important technological property of composite materials for the conservation and treatment of water in modern technologies for sustainable green environment and agriculture. Using a thermodynamic approach, this study analyzes the hygroscopicity of composite gel-forming soil conditioners as a function of water activity and temperature. A simple and generally available method of water thermo-desorption is proposed for the quantitative assessment of hygroscopicity, dispersity and potential resistance of composite materials to osmotic collapse. It is based on the fundamental thermodynamic dependence of water potential and temperature of the dried material in a thermodynamic reservoir (laboratory) with constant relative humidity. The hygroscopicity of the studied composite materials in humid air (relative humidity over 90%) reaches a water content of 80–130% (wt); however, this water has too high retention energy and cannot be consumed by green plants, which calls into question the technology of obtaining water from the air using hygroscopic materials. The high hygroscopicity of hydrogels and its dynamics, depending on the controlling factors of temperature and air humidity, must necessarily be taken into account in the materials trade and in the technological calculation of doses for the use of these materials in sustainable agriculture and landscaping. Full article
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