Special Issue "New Materials and Technologies for Wastewater Treatment"

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944). This special issue belongs to the section "Materials Chemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Lionel Limousy
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Guest Editor
Université de Haute-Alsace, Université de Strasbourg, IS2M, CNRS, UMR7361, 3b rue Alfred Werner, F68100 Mulhouse, France
Interests: Biomass conversion and valorization; carbon materials; biological and physicochemical wastewater treatments; adsorption of pollutants; chemical engineering and process; batch and continuous reactors; design synthesis and characterization of carbon adsorbents (chars, activated carbons, composite materials)
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Prof. Thomas Thiebault
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
EPHE, PSL University, UMR7619 METIS (EPHE, SU, CNRS), 4 Place Jussieu, F-75005, Paris, France
Interests: fate of contaminants within anthropized environments; ion exchange; organo-clays; adsorption; characterization of clay minerals; sediments; historical use; remediation technologies
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Jocelyne Brendle
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Université de Haute-Alsace, Université de Strasbourg, IS2M, CNRS, UMR7361, 3b rue Alfred Werner, F68100 Mulhouse, France
Interests: clay minerals synthesis; preparation of organic–inorganic hybrids having a 2:1 layered structure by sol–gel process; functionalization of clay minerals by ion exchange; grafting; preparation and characterization of clay/polymer (elastomers, photopolymers, biopolymers) nanocomposites

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The development of new materials that are able to enhance the efficiency of industrial wastewater treatment processes, as well as the modulation of these materials’ properties to improve the recovery of pollutants, has experienced steady progress. Anthropogenic activities such as mining, industry, and electricity production generate secondary effluents containing various contaminants, such as heavy metals and radionuclides. In view of their potential impact on water quality, the design of novel technologies aiming at recovering those contaminants is of high concern. Among the various techniques used in water pollution control, adsorption is considered to be a relevant technique because of its simple design, universal nature, high effectiveness, and ease of operation and regeneration. In this Special Issue, we invite papers presenting research findings in the development of innovative materials for the removal of soluble forms of heavy metals and radionuclides. Beyond the scientific novelty of the suggested materials, the authors should emphasize the potential to implement their technology in full-scale facilities operating under realistic conditions of liquid effluent treatment. Both laboratory and pilot-scale experimental works will be considered. This Special Issue will welcome papers coming from different fields of research: material science, chemical engineering and processing, chemistry, and biochemistry in particular.

The theme of the SI is devoted to the development of new materials (bulk, composites, and hybrids) through the improvement/transformation of specific processes for wastewater treatment. Among the topics of interest, specific attention will be given to papers related to:

  • Development of innovative processes for the synthesis of lamellar clay-like compounds, zeolites, hydrotalcites, etc. by tuning synthesis conditions in order to obtain the best adsorption properties;
  • Formulation of innovative composite materials to be applied in liquid-phase adsorption processes;
  • Elaboration of bio-sourced materials from different biomasses or carbon materials (biochars, hydrochars, chars, activated carbons) for the specific removal of heavy metals or radionuclides;
  • Use of microorganisms as support for the removal of heavy metals;
  • Development of new polymers or surfactants with high selectivities.

The selected papers will describe the strategies adopted to develop new materials for process optimization, the way in which the materials are implemented and used in the process, and how they can contribute to the overall process. In this context, and according to the topics listed above, authors are encouraged to provide a complete description of the mass and heat transfers in materials, a detailed characterization of their physico-chemical properties, as well as the mechanisms at the origin of adsorption/complexation (kinetic or thermodynamic approach).

Prof. Lionel Limousy
Prof. Thomas Thiebault
Prof. Jocelyne Brendle
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. Materials 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 2000 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

  • radionuclides
  • heavy metals
  • pollutants
  • advanced materials
  • microorganisms
  • adsorption
  • complexation
  • wastewater treatment
  • decontamination
  • environmental impact

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Preparation and Characterization of Nanoparticle-Doped Polymer Inclusion Membranes. Application to the Removal of Arsenate and Phosphate from Waters
Materials 2021, 14(4), 878; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14040878 - 12 Feb 2021
Viewed by 394
Abstract
Nanoparticle-doped polymer inclusion membranes (NP-PIMs) have been prepared and characterized as new materials for the removal of arsenate and phosphate from waters. PIMs are made of a polymer, cellulose triacetate (CTA), and an extractant, which interacts with the compound of interest. We have [...] Read more.
Nanoparticle-doped polymer inclusion membranes (NP-PIMs) have been prepared and characterized as new materials for the removal of arsenate and phosphate from waters. PIMs are made of a polymer, cellulose triacetate (CTA), and an extractant, which interacts with the compound of interest. We have used the ionic liquid (IL) trioctylmethylammonium chloride (Aliquat 336) as the extractant and have investigated how the addition of nanoparticles can modify membrane properties. To this end, inorganic nanoparticles, such as ferrite (Fe3O4), SiO2 and TiO2, and multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs), were blended with the polymer/extractant mixture. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), and contact angle measurements have been used to characterize the material. Moreover, PIM stability was checked by measuring the mass loss during the experiments. Since Aliquat 336 acts as an anion exchanger, the NP-PIMs have been explored in two different applications: (i) as sorbent materials for the extraction of arsenate and phosphate anions; (ii) as an organic phase for the separation of arsenate and phosphate in a three-phase system. The presence of oleate-coated ferrite NP in the PIM formulation represents an improvement in the efficiency of NP-PIMs used as sorbents; nevertheless, a decrease in the transport efficiency for arsenate but not for phosphate was obtained. The ease with which the NP-PIMs are prepared suggests good potential for future applications in the treatment of polluted water. Future work will address three main aspects: firstly, the implementation of the Fe3O4-PIMs for the removal of As(V) in real water containing complex matrices; secondly, the study of phosphate recovery with other cell designs that allow large volumes of contaminated water to be treated; and thirdly, the investigation of the role of MWCNTs in PIM stability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Materials and Technologies for Wastewater Treatment)
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Open AccessArticle
Preparation of a New Iron-Carbon-Loaded Constructed Wetland Substrate and Enhanced Phosphorus Removal Performance
Materials 2020, 13(21), 4739; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13214739 - 23 Oct 2020
Viewed by 413
Abstract
Iron-carbon substrates have attracted extensive attention in water treatment due to their excellent processing ability. The traditional iron-carbon substrate suffers from poor removal effects, separation of the cathode and anode, hardening, secondary pollution, etc. In this study, a new type of iron-carbon-loaded substrate [...] Read more.
Iron-carbon substrates have attracted extensive attention in water treatment due to their excellent processing ability. The traditional iron-carbon substrate suffers from poor removal effects, separation of the cathode and anode, hardening, secondary pollution, etc. In this study, a new type of iron-carbon-loaded substrate (NICLS) was developed to solve the problems of traditional micro-electrolytic substrates. Through experimental research, a preparation method for the NICLS with Fe and C as the core, zeolite as the skeleton, and water-based polyurethane as the binder was proposed. The performance of the NICLS in phosphorus-containing wastewater was analyzed. The results are as follows: The optimal synthesis conditions of the NICLS are 1 g hydroxycellulose, wood activated carbon as the cathode, an activated carbon particle size of 200-60 mesh, and an Fe/C ratio of 1:1. Acidic conditions can promote the degradation of phosphorus by the NICLS. Through the characterization of the NICLS (scanning electron microscope (SEM), X-ray diffractometer (XRD), and energy-dispersive spectrometer (EDS), etc.), it is concluded that the mechanism of the NICLS phosphorus removal is a chemical reaction produced by micro-electrolysis. Using the NICLS to treat phosphorus-containing wastewater has the advantages of high efficiency and durability. Therefore, it can be considered that the NICLS is a promising material to remove phosphorus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Materials and Technologies for Wastewater Treatment)
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Open AccessArticle
Mixed Oxide Layered Double Hydroxide Materials: Synthesis, Characterization and Efficient Application for Mn2+ Removal from Synthetic Wastewater
Materials 2020, 13(18), 4089; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13184089 - 15 Sep 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 414
Abstract
Magnesium–aluminum (Mg-Al) and magnesium–aluminum–nickel (Mg-Al-Ni) layered double hydroxides (LDHs) were synthesized by the co-precipitation method. The adsorption process of Mn2+ from synthetic wastewater was investigated. Formation of the layered double hydroxides and adsorption of Mn2+ on both Mg-Al and Mg-Ni-Al LDHs [...] Read more.
Magnesium–aluminum (Mg-Al) and magnesium–aluminum–nickel (Mg-Al-Ni) layered double hydroxides (LDHs) were synthesized by the co-precipitation method. The adsorption process of Mn2+ from synthetic wastewater was investigated. Formation of the layered double hydroxides and adsorption of Mn2+ on both Mg-Al and Mg-Ni-Al LDHs were observed by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Energy Dispersive Spectrometry (EDX) analysis. XRD patterns for prepared LDHs presented sharp and symmetrical peaks. SEM studies revealed that Mg-Al LDH and Mg-Al-Ni LDH exhibit a non-porous structure. EDX analysis showed that the prepared LDHs present uniformly spread elements. The adsorption equilibrium on these LDHs was investigated at different experimental conditions such as: Shaking time, initial Mn2+ concentration, and temperatures (10 and 20 °C). The parameters were controlled and optimized to remove the Mn2+ from synthetic wastewater. Adsorption isotherms of Mn2+ were fitted by Langmuir and Freundlich models. The obtained results indicated that the isotherm data fitted better into the Freundlich model than the Langmuir model. Adsorption capacity of Mn2+ gradually increased with temperature. The Langmuir constant (KL) value of Mg-Al LDH (0.9529 ± 0.007 L/mg) was higher than Mg-Al-Ni LDH (0.1819 ± 0.004 L/mg), at 20 °C. The final adsorption capacity was higher for Mg-Al LDH (91.85 ± 0.087%) in comparison with Mg-Al-Ni LDH (35.97 ± 0.093%), at 20 °C. It was found that the adsorption kinetics is best described by the pseudo-second-order model. The results indicated that LDHs can be considered as a potential material for adsorption of other metallic ions from wastewater. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Materials and Technologies for Wastewater Treatment)
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Open AccessArticle
Powdered Ceramsite and Powdered Limestone Use in Aerobic Granular Sludge Technology
Materials 2020, 13(17), 3894; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13173894 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 524
Abstract
The effects of two powdered mineral materials (powdered ceramsite and powdered limestone) on aerobic granulation of sludge were evaluated. The experiment was conducted on a laboratory scale bioreactors treating wastewater for 89 days. Three granular sequencing batch reactors (GSBRs) were operated at the [...] Read more.
The effects of two powdered mineral materials (powdered ceramsite and powdered limestone) on aerobic granulation of sludge were evaluated. The experiment was conducted on a laboratory scale bioreactors treating wastewater for 89 days. Three granular sequencing batch reactors (GSBRs) were operated at the lowest optimal organic loading rate (OLR) of 2.55 g COD/(L∙d). In the control reactor (R1), the mean diameter (d) of the biomass ranged from 124.0 to 210.0 µm, and complete granulation was not achieved. However, complete granulation did occur in reactors to which either ceramsite (251.9 µm < d < 783.1 µm) or limestone (246.0 µm < d < 518.9 µm) was added. Both powdered materials served as a ballast for the sludge flocs making up the seed sludge. Ceramsite particles also acted as microcarriers of granule-forming biomass. The granules in the reactors with added powdered materials had nonfibrous and smoother surfaces. The reactor with ceramsite exhibited the highest average efficiencies for COD, total nitrogen, and total phosphorus removal (85.4 ± 5.4%, 56.6 ± 10.2%, and 56.8 ± 9.9%, respectively). By contrast, the average nitrification efficiency was 95.1 ± 12.8%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Materials and Technologies for Wastewater Treatment)
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Open AccessArticle
Hybrid System Coupling Moving Bed Bioreactor with UV/O3 Oxidation and Membrane Separation Units for Treatment of Industrial Laundry Wastewater
Materials 2020, 13(11), 2648; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13112648 - 10 Jun 2020
Viewed by 578
Abstract
This paper describes the investigations on the possibilities of treatment of wastewater generated in an industrial laundry with application of a combined biological-photooxidation- membrane system aimed at water recycle and reuse. The two treatment schemes were compared: 1) scheme A consisting of a [...] Read more.
This paper describes the investigations on the possibilities of treatment of wastewater generated in an industrial laundry with application of a combined biological-photooxidation- membrane system aimed at water recycle and reuse. The two treatment schemes were compared: 1) scheme A consisting of a treatment in a moving bed biological reactor (MBBR) followed by microfiltration (MF) and nanofiltration (NF), and 2) scheme B comprising MBBR followed by oxidation by photolysis enhanced with in situ generated O3 (UV/O3) after which MF and NF were applied. The removal efficiency in MBBR reached 95–97% for the biochemical oxygen demand; 90–93% for the chemical oxygen demand and 89–99% for an anionic and a nonionic surfactants. The application of UV/O3 system allowed to decrease the content of the total organic carbon by 68% after 36 h of operation with a mineralization rate of 0.36 mg/L·h. Due to UV/O3 pretreatment, a significant mitigation of membrane fouling in the case of both MF and NF processes was achieved. The MF permeate flux in the system B was over two times higher compared to that in the system A. Based on the obtained results it was concluded that the laundry wastewater pretreated in the MBBR-UV/O3-MF-NF system could be recycled to any stage of the laundry process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Materials and Technologies for Wastewater Treatment)
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Open AccessArticle
Modified Biopolymer Adsorbents for Column Treatment of Sulfate Species in Saline Aquifers
Materials 2020, 13(10), 2408; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13102408 - 23 May 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 735
Abstract
In the present study, variable forms of pelletized chitosan adsorbents were prepared and their sulfate uptake properties in aqueous solution was studied in a fixed-bed column system. Unmodified chitosan pellets (CP), cross-linked chitosan pellets with glutaraldehyde (CL–CP), and calcium-doped forms of these pellets [...] Read more.
In the present study, variable forms of pelletized chitosan adsorbents were prepared and their sulfate uptake properties in aqueous solution was studied in a fixed-bed column system. Unmodified chitosan pellets (CP), cross-linked chitosan pellets with glutaraldehyde (CL–CP), and calcium-doped forms of these pellets (Ca–CP, Ca–CL–CP) were prepared, where the removal efficiencies and breakthrough curves were studied. Dynamic adsorption experiments were conducted at pH 4.5 and 6.5 with a specific flow rate of 3 mL/min, fixed-bed height of 200 mm, and an initial sulfate concentration of 1000 mg/L. Breakthrough parameters demonstrated that Ca–CP had the best sulfate removal among the adsorbents, where the following adsorption parameters were obtained: breakthrough time (75 min), exhaust time (300 min), maximum sulfate adsorption capacity (qmax; 46.6 mg/g), and sulfate removal (57%) at pH 4.5. Two well-known kinetic adsorption models, Thomas and Yoon-Nelson, were fitted to the experimental kinetic data to characterize the breakthrough curves. The fixed-bed column experimental results were well-fitted by both models and the maximum adsorption capacity (46.9 mg/g) obtained was for the Ca–CP adsorbent. A regeneration study over four adsorption-desorption cycles suggested that Ca–CP is a promising adsorbent for sulfate removal in a fixed-bed column system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Materials and Technologies for Wastewater Treatment)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Ion-Imprinted Polymers: Synthesis, Characterization, and Adsorption of Radionuclides
Materials 2021, 14(5), 1083; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14051083 - 26 Feb 2021
Viewed by 341
Abstract
Growing concern over the hazardous effect of radionuclides on the environment is driving research on mitigation and deposition strategies for radioactive waste management. Currently, there are many techniques used for radionuclides separation from the environment such as ion exchange, solvent extraction, chemical precipitation [...] Read more.
Growing concern over the hazardous effect of radionuclides on the environment is driving research on mitigation and deposition strategies for radioactive waste management. Currently, there are many techniques used for radionuclides separation from the environment such as ion exchange, solvent extraction, chemical precipitation and adsorption. Adsorbents are the leading area of research and many useful materials are being discovered in this category of radionuclide ion separation. The adsorption technologies lack the ability of selective removal of metal ions from solution. This drawback is eliminated by the use of ion-imprinted polymers, these materials having targeted binding sites for specific ions in the media. In this review article, we present recently published literature about the use of ion-imprinted polymers for the adsorption of 10 important hazardous radionuclides—U, Th, Cs, Sr, Ce, Tc, La, Cr, Ni, Co—found in the nuclear fuel cycle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Materials and Technologies for Wastewater Treatment)
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Open AccessReview
Reactive Materials in the Removal of Phosphorus Compounds from Wastewater—A Review
Materials 2020, 13(15), 3377; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13153377 - 30 Jul 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 654
Abstract
Modern technologies designed to treat wastewater containing phosphorus compounds are based on the processes of adsorption and precipitation. In addition, more environmentally friendly and cheaper materials are being sought to ensure greater conformity with overarching assumptions of green chemistry and sustainable development. Against [...] Read more.
Modern technologies designed to treat wastewater containing phosphorus compounds are based on the processes of adsorption and precipitation. In addition, more environmentally friendly and cheaper materials are being sought to ensure greater conformity with overarching assumptions of green chemistry and sustainable development. Against that background, this paper offers a review and analysis of available information on the considered reactive materials that have the capacity to remove phosphorus from wastewater. These materials are categorised as natural (with a sub-division in line with the dominant sorption groups of Al/Fe or Ca/Mg), waste, or man-made. Notably, most studies on sorbents have been carried out in laboratory systems via experimentation under static conditions. Among the natural materials, opoka has the highest sorption capacity of 181.20 g P/kg, while red mud (in the waste material category) is most efficient at binding phosphorus with a level of 345.02 g P/kg. Finally, among the group of commercial materials, Rockfos® has the highest sorption capacity of 256.40 g P/kg. In addition, this paper recognises the effect of composition, pH, and physical properties on a reactive material’s capacity to absorb phosphorus, as well as the possibility for further potential use in the production of fertilisers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Materials and Technologies for Wastewater Treatment)
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