Special Issue "Planning, Designing and Managing Decentralized Drinking Water Supply Systems"

A special issue of Processes (ISSN 2227-9717). This special issue belongs to the section "Green Processes".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 February 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Chicgoua Noubactep
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Applied Geology, University of Göttingen, Goldschmidtstraße 3, D-37077 Göttingen, Germany
Interests: adsorption; decentralized systems; filtration; rainwater harvesting; water treatment; zerovalent iron
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Since the middle of the 20th century, a major distinguishing characteristic between the developed and developing worlds is the general availability of safe drinking water. In other words, inadequate access to safe drinking water is still one of the most pervasive problems afflicting people throughout the world. Moreover, problems with water quality are predicted to worsen in the near future. This sad situation seems incomprehensible given the many available water treatment technologies developed in various parts of the world. Available and affordable solutions include century-old chemical-free tools such as biochar filtration, bone char filtration, metallic iron based systems, and slow sand filters.

In shaping strategies to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals for drinking water (SDG 6) by 2030, it was recognized that it suffices to properly translate available knowledge into applicable technologies for low-income communities. In fact, one of the main reasons for the persistent sad situation is that available knowledge is scattered in the literature and is not really critically considered while presenting new findings. It appears that there is a need for a careful evaluation of individual technologies, including their underlying design and operation principles, advantages, and limitations. In addition, their management and operation requirements, and suitability to various socioeconomic environments should be considered.

This Special Issue aims at presenting the current state-of-the-art knowledge for decentralized water treatment systems (household and small communities). The Issue particularly calls for high-quality communications, concept papers, expert opinions, research articles, and review articles on the planning, designing, and management of decentralized drinking water systems, including water treatment and water quality control. The Issue is conceived to be a harmonized documentation of the wealth of experiences in designing decentralized water treatment systems. Such documentation facilitates knowledge sharing, system evaluation, identification of knowledge gaps, and helps to design better systems. 

Dr. Chicgoua Noubactep
Guest Editor

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. Processes 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 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

  • Activated carbon
  • Biochar
  • Bone char
  • Filtration process
  • Geomaterials
  • Low-income communities
  • Maximum contamination level
  • Pilot studies
  • Safe drinking water
  • System design
  • Water analysis
  • Water treatment
  • Water supply
  • Zero-valent iron

Published Papers (13 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
A Decision Support Tool for Water Supply System Decentralization via Distribution Network Sectorization
Processes 2021, 9(4), 642; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr9040642 - 07 Apr 2021
Viewed by 223
Abstract
Many water supply systems, conceived to operate in centralized manner, face difficulties to adapt to dynamic changes, such as population growth, city extension, and industrial development. Decentralization of these systems may be an effective solution. Known techniques for distribution network sectorization design can [...] Read more.
Many water supply systems, conceived to operate in centralized manner, face difficulties to adapt to dynamic changes, such as population growth, city extension, and industrial development. Decentralization of these systems may be an effective solution. Known techniques for distribution network sectorization design can help to achieve such a goal, but this has not been recognized in the literature. None of those known techniques considers the conversion of a centralized system to a decentralized one. In this paper, two new distinct yet complementary methodologies for water supply system decentralization by distribution network sectorization are proposed and implemented in a software decision support tool freely available on internet. The first methodology identifies the main flow paths from water sources to some strategic nodes and considers the nodes in these paths as new potential sources for dividing the rest of the network. The second methodology sectorizes the network according to the contribution of sources to the consumption at nodes, based on mass balance equations for the transport of a hypothetical conservative constituent in a steady state. Both methods were applied to two real network models. The results obtained were better, for decentralizing the supply, compared to those obtained by other methodologies proposed in the literature. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
The Suitability of Methylene Blue Discoloration (MB Method) to Investigate the Fe0/MnO2 System
Processes 2021, 9(3), 548; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr9030548 - 19 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 289
Abstract
The typical time-dependent decrease of the iron corrosion rate is often difficult to consider while designing Fe0-based remediation systems. One of the most promising approaches is the amendment with manganese dioxide (Fe0/MnO2 system). The resulting system is a [...] Read more.
The typical time-dependent decrease of the iron corrosion rate is often difficult to consider while designing Fe0-based remediation systems. One of the most promising approaches is the amendment with manganese dioxide (Fe0/MnO2 system). The resulting system is a very complex one where characterization is challenging. The present communication uses methylene blue discoloration (MB method) to characterize the Fe0/MnO2 system. Shaken batch experiments (75 rpm) for 7 days were used. The initial MB concentration was 10 mg L−1 with the following mass loading: [MnO2] = 2.3 g L−1, [sand] = 45 g L−1, and 0 < [Fe0] (g L−1) ≤ 45. The following systems where investigated: Fe0, MnO2, sand, Fe0/MnO2, Fe0/sand, and Fe0/MnO2/sand. Results demonstrated that MB discoloration is influenced by the diffusive transport of MB from the solution to the aggregates at the bottom of the test-tubes. Results confirm the complexity of the Fe0/MnO2/sand system, while establishing that both MnO2 and sand improve the efficiency of Fe0/H2O systems in the long-term. The mechanisms of water decontamination by amending Fe0-based systems with MnO2 is demonstrated by the MB method. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
Kanchan Arsenic Filters and the Future of Fe0-Based Filtration Systems for Single Household Drinking Water Supply
Processes 2021, 9(1), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr9010058 - 29 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 418
Abstract
Biological and chemical contamination of natural water bodies is a global health risk for more than one billion people, mostly living in low-income countries. Innovative, affordable, and efficient decentralized solutions for safe drinking water supply are urgently needed. Metallic iron (Fe0)-based [...] Read more.
Biological and chemical contamination of natural water bodies is a global health risk for more than one billion people, mostly living in low-income countries. Innovative, affordable, and efficient decentralized solutions for safe drinking water supply are urgently needed. Metallic iron (Fe0)-based filtration systems have been described as such an appropriate solution. This communication focuses on the Kanchan arsenic filter (KAF), presented in the early 2000s and widely assessed during the past decade. The KAF contains iron nails as the Fe0 source and is primarily designed to remove As from polluted tube well waters. Recent independent works assessing their performance have all reported on a high degree of variability in efficiency depending mostly on the following factors: (1) the current operating conditions, (2) the design, and (3) the groundwater chemistry. This communication shows that the major problems of the KAF are two-fold: (1) a design mistake as the Fe0 units disturb the operation and functionality of the biosand filter, and (2) the use of poorly characterized iron nails of unknown reactivity. This assertion is supported by the evidence that the very successful community filter designed by the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay works with iron nails and has been efficient for many years. Replacing iron nails by more reactive Fe0 materials (e.g., iron fillings and steel wool) should be tested in a new generation KAF. It is concluded that a methodological or systematic approach in introducing and monitoring the efficiency of KAF should be used to test and disseminate the next generation KAF worldwide. Moreover, better characterization of the Fe0 materials including their intrinsic reactivity is required. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Study on Production, Domestic and Ecological Benefits of Reservoir Water Supply Based on Emergy Analysis
Processes 2020, 8(11), 1435; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8111435 - 10 Nov 2020
Viewed by 391
Abstract
As an important water conservancy project, it is necessary to evaluate its water supply benefit. Based on the emergy analysis theory, a reservoir water supply benefits evaluation model (RWSBEM) was established. Firstly, the emergy transformity of natural and engineering water body was calculated. [...] Read more.
As an important water conservancy project, it is necessary to evaluate its water supply benefit. Based on the emergy analysis theory, a reservoir water supply benefits evaluation model (RWSBEM) was established. Firstly, the emergy transformity of natural and engineering water body was calculated. Secondly, the water resource values (WRV) of different water users (industrial, agricultural, domestic, ecological) were calculated. Finally, combined with the water supply situation of the reservoir, the various water supply benefits of the reservoir were calculated. Taking Hekoucun reservoir as an example, its ecological water supply benefit is the largest and agriculture is the smallest, followed by industry and life. The results showed that the trend of WRV was domestic > industry > ecology > agriculture, which reflected the contribution and utility of water resources in different industries. Under the condition of current water resources, the planned water supply benefits of the reservoir can be guaranteed in the wet and normal years, but in the dry years, the ecological benefit will be reduced. Therefore, the industry water-saving needs to be further strengthened, and the interannual regulation function of the reservoir should be applied more effectively to maximize the comprehensive benefits of reservoir water supply. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Validating the Efficiency of the FeS2 Method for Elucidating the Mechanisms of Contaminant Removal Using Fe0/H2O Systems
Processes 2020, 8(9), 1162; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8091162 - 16 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 700
Abstract
There is growing interest in using pyrite minerals (FeS2) to enhance the efficiency of metallic iron (Fe0) for water treatment (Fe0/H2O systems). This approach contradicts the thermodynamic predicting suppression of FeS2 oxidation by Fe [...] Read more.
There is growing interest in using pyrite minerals (FeS2) to enhance the efficiency of metallic iron (Fe0) for water treatment (Fe0/H2O systems). This approach contradicts the thermodynamic predicting suppression of FeS2 oxidation by Fe0 addition. Available results are rooted in time series correlations between aqueous and solid phases based on data collected under various operational conditions. Herein, the methylene blue method (MB method) is used to clarify the controversy. The MB method exploits the differential adsorptive affinity of MB onto sand and sand coated with iron corrosion products to assess the extent of Fe0 corrosion in Fe0/H2O systems. The effects of the addition of various amounts of FeS2 to a Fe0/sand mixture (FeS2 method) on MB discoloration were characterized in parallel quiescent batch experiments for up to 71 d (pH0 = 6.8). Pristine and aged FeS2 specimens were used. Parallel experiments with methyl orange (MO) and reactive red 120 (RR120) enabled a better discussion of the achieved results. The results clearly showed that FeS2 induces a pH shift and delays Fe precipitation and sand coating. Pristine FeS2 induced a pH shift to values lower than 4.5, but no quantitative MB discoloration occurred after 45 d. Aged FeS2 could not significantly shift the pH value (final pH ≥ 6.4) but improved the MB discoloration. The used systematic sequence of experiments demonstrated that adsorption and coprecipitation are the fundamental mechanisms of contaminant removal in Fe0/H2O systems. This research has clarified the reason why a FeS2 addition enhances the efficiency of Fe0 environmental remediation. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperCommunication
Understanding the Operating Mode of Fe0/Fe-Sulfide/H2O Systems for Water Treatment
Processes 2020, 8(4), 409; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8040409 - 31 Mar 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 906
Abstract
The general suitability of water treatment systems involving metallic iron (Fe0) is well-established. Various attempts have been made to improve the efficiency of conventional Fe0 systems. One promising approach combines granular Fe0 and an iron sulfide mineral to form [...] Read more.
The general suitability of water treatment systems involving metallic iron (Fe0) is well-established. Various attempts have been made to improve the efficiency of conventional Fe0 systems. One promising approach combines granular Fe0 and an iron sulfide mineral to form Fe0/Fe-sulfide/H2O systems. An improved understanding of the fundamental principles by which such systems operate is still needed. Through a systematic analysis of possible reactions and the probability of their occurrence, this study establishes that sulfide minerals primarily sustain iron corrosion by lowering the pH of the system. Thus, chemical reduction mediated by FeII species (indirect reduction) is a plausible explanation for the documented reductive transformations. Such a mechanism is consistent with the nature and distribution of reported reaction products. While considering the mass balance of iron, it appears that lowering the pH value increases Fe0 dissolution, and thus subsequent precipitation of hydroxides. This precipitation reaction is coupled with the occlusion of contaminants (co-precipitation or irreversible adsorption). The extent to which individual sulfides impact the efficiency of the tested systems depends on their intrinsic reactivities and the operational conditions (e.g., sulfide dosage, particle size, experimental duration). Future research directions, including the extension of Fe0/Fe-sulfide/H2O systems to drinking water filters and (domestic) wastewater treatment using the multi-soil-layering method are highlighted. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Steel Wool for Water Treatment: Intrinsic Reactivity and Defluoridation Efficiency
Processes 2020, 8(3), 265; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8030265 - 26 Feb 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 976
Abstract
Studies were undertaken to characterize the intrinsic reactivity of Fe0-bearing steel wool (Fe0 SW) materials using the ethylenediaminetetraacetate method (EDTA test). A 2 mM Na2-EDTA solution was used in batch and column leaching experiments. A total of 15 [...] Read more.
Studies were undertaken to characterize the intrinsic reactivity of Fe0-bearing steel wool (Fe0 SW) materials using the ethylenediaminetetraacetate method (EDTA test). A 2 mM Na2-EDTA solution was used in batch and column leaching experiments. A total of 15 Fe0 SW specimens and one granular iron (GI) were tested in batch experiments. Column experiments were performed with four Fe0 SW of the same grade but from various suppliers and the GI. The conventional EDTA test (0.100 g Fe0, 50 mL EDTA, 96 h) protocol was modified in two manners: (i) Decreasing the experimental duration (down to 24 h) and (ii) decreasing the Fe0 mass (down to 0.01 g). Column leaching studies involved glass columns filled to 1/4 with sand, on top of which 0.50 g of Fe0 was placed. Columns were daily gravity fed with EDTA and effluent analyzed for Fe concentration. Selected reactive Fe0 SW specimens were additionally investigated for discoloration efficiency of methylene blue (MB) in shaken batch experiments (75 rpm) for two and eight weeks. The last series of experiments tested six selected Fe0 SW for water defluoridation in Fe0/sand columns. Results showed that (i) the modifications of the conventional EDTA test enabled a better characterization of Fe0 SW; (ii) after 53 leaching events the Fe0 SW showing the best kEDTA value released the lowest amount of iron; (iii) all Fe0 specimens were efficient at discoloring cationic MB after eight weeks; (iv) limited water defluoridation by all six Fe0 SW was documented. Fluoride removal in the column systems appears to be a viable tool to characterize the Fe0 long-term corrosion kinetics. Further research should include correlation of the intrinsic reactivity of SW specimens with their efficiency at removing different contaminants in water. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Characterizing a Newly Designed Steel-Wool-Based Household Filter for Safe Drinking Water Provision: Hydraulic Conductivity and Efficiency for Pathogen Removal
Processes 2019, 7(12), 966; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr7120966 - 17 Dec 2019
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 880
Abstract
This study characterizes the decrease of the hydraulic conductivity (permeability loss) of a metallic iron-based household water filter (Fe0 filter) for a duration of 12 months. A commercial steel wool (SW) is used as Fe0 source. The Fe0 unit containing [...] Read more.
This study characterizes the decrease of the hydraulic conductivity (permeability loss) of a metallic iron-based household water filter (Fe0 filter) for a duration of 12 months. A commercial steel wool (SW) is used as Fe0 source. The Fe0 unit containing 300 g of SW was sandwiched between two conventional biological sand filters (BSFs). The working solution was slightly turbid natural well water polluted with pathogens (total coliform = 1950 UFC mL−1) and contaminated with nitrate ([NO3] = 24.0 mg L−1). The system was monitored twice per month for pH value, removal of nitrate, coliforms, and turbidity, the iron concentration, as well as the permeability loss. Results revealed a quantitative removal of coliform (>99%), nitrate (>99%) and turbidity (>96%). The whole column effluent depicted drinking water quality. The permeability loss after one year of operation was about 40%, and the filter was still producing 200 L of drinking water per day at a flow velocity of 12.5 L h1. A progressive increase of the effluent pH value was also recorded from about 5.0 (influent) to 8.4 at the end of the experiment. The effluent iron concentration was constantly lower than 0.2 mg L−1, which is within the drinking-water quality standards. This study presents an affordable design that can be one-to-one translated into the real world to accelerate the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals for safe drinking water. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Characterizing the Suitability of Granular Fe0 for the Water Treatment Industry
Processes 2019, 7(10), 652; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr7100652 - 24 Sep 2019
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 683
Abstract
There is a burgeoning interest in reliably characterizing the intrinsic reactivity of metallic iron materials (Fe0) or zero-valent iron materials (ZVI) used in the water treatment industry. The present work is a contribution to a science-based selection of Fe0 for [...] Read more.
There is a burgeoning interest in reliably characterizing the intrinsic reactivity of metallic iron materials (Fe0) or zero-valent iron materials (ZVI) used in the water treatment industry. The present work is a contribution to a science-based selection of Fe0 for water treatment. A total of eight (8) granular ZVI materials (ZVI1 to ZVI8) were tested. Fe0 dissolution in ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA test) and 1,10-Phenanthroline (Phen test) is characterized in parallel experiments for up to 250 h (10 days). 50 mL of each solution and 0.1 g of each Fe0 material are equilibrated in quiescent batch experiments using 2 mM EDTA or Phen. Results indicated a far higher extent of iron dissolution in EDTA than in Phen under the experimental conditions. The tested materials could be grouped into three reactivity classes: (i) low (ZVI4, ZVI6, ZVI7, and ZVI8), (ii) moderate (ZVI1 and ZVI5) and (iii) high (ZVI2 and ZVI3). The order of reactivity was the same for both tests: ZVI2 ≅ ZVI3 > ZVI1 ≅ ZVI5 > ZVI4 ≅ ZVI6 ≅ ZVI7 ≅ ZVI8. Phen results revealed for the first time the time-dependent variation of the kinetics of iron corrosion (corrosion rate) in short-term batch experiments. Overall, the results demonstrated the superiority of the Phen test for evaluating the initial stage of Fe0 dissolution. Long-term column experiments are recommended to deepen the acquired knowledge. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Rainwater Harvesting Potential and Utilization for Artificial Recharge of Groundwater Using Recharge Wells
Processes 2019, 7(9), 623; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr7090623 - 16 Sep 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1382
Abstract
This study devised a practical solution to mitigate urban inundation and artificial recharge of groundwater using recharge wells which is the most viable surface runoff rainwater harvesting (RWH) technique in urban areas. The Rainwater Harvesting Pilot Project at Gaddafi Stadium Lahore was established [...] Read more.
This study devised a practical solution to mitigate urban inundation and artificial recharge of groundwater using recharge wells which is the most viable surface runoff rainwater harvesting (RWH) technique in urban areas. The Rainwater Harvesting Pilot Project at Gaddafi Stadium Lahore was established to deal with urban flooding, artificial recharge of groundwater, and to avoid the mixing of rainwater in municipal sewerage. The study showed that Lahore city has great RWH potential from critical ponding roads that can be utilized to recharge the Lahore aquifer. With that ratio of recharge, the groundwater level can rise to 3.54 ft after every monsoon period if the same recharge wells structure are used, which is a key to groundwater sustainability in Lahore city. Moreover, the maximum recharging capacity of wells was 29.32 m3/h with satisfactory performance. Both recharge wells cleared the ponding volume within 3 to 3.5 h after the rainfall stopped. The filter media performance was also favorable with 25%–30% removal of contamination. All the water quality parameters were within the permissible limit against prescribed standards except coliform count that indicated the presence of sewage. In such a case the mixing of charcoal is recommended to shut up the coliform signals. This study identified that RWH using recharge wells is an alternative freshwater supply source for sustainable development of Lahore city and this technique should be the part of Master Planning and Policy Decision of Lahore as a suggestion. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Tracing the Scientific History of Fe0-Based Environmental Remediation Prior to the Advent of Permeable Reactive Barriers
Processes 2020, 8(8), 977; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8080977 - 12 Aug 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 767
Abstract
The technology of using metallic iron (Fe0) for in situ generation of iron oxides for water treatment is a very old one. The Fe0 remediation technology has been re-discovered in the framework of groundwater remediation using permeable reactive barriers (PRBs). [...] Read more.
The technology of using metallic iron (Fe0) for in situ generation of iron oxides for water treatment is a very old one. The Fe0 remediation technology has been re-discovered in the framework of groundwater remediation using permeable reactive barriers (PRBs). Despite its simplicity, the improvement of Fe0 PRBs is fraught with difficulties regarding their operating modes. The literature dealing with Fe0 remediation contains ambiguities regarding its invention and its development. The present paper examines the sequence of contributions prior to the advent of Fe0 PRBs in order to clarify the seemingly complex picture. To achieve this, the current paper addresses the following questions: (i) What were the motivations of various authors in developing their respective innovations over the years?, (ii) what are the ancient achievements which can accelerate progress in knowledge for the development of Fe0 PRBs?, and (iii) was Fe0 really used for the removal of organic species for the first time in the 1970s? A careful examination of ancient works reveals that: (i) The wrong questions were asked during the past three decades, as Fe0 was premised as a reducing agent, (ii) credit for using Fe0 for water treatment belongs to no individual scientist, and (iii) credit for the use of Fe0 in filtration systems for safe drinking water provision belongs to scientists from the 1850s, while credit for the use of Fe0 for the removal of aqueous organic species does not belong to the pioneers of the Fe0 PRB technology. However, it was these pioneers who exploited Fe0 for groundwater remediation, thereby extending its potential. Complementing recent achievements with the chemistry of the Fe0/H2O system would facilitate the design of more sustainable Fe0-remediation systems. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Water Treatment Using Metallic Iron: A Tutorial Review
Processes 2019, 7(9), 622; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr7090622 - 14 Sep 2019
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 1037
Abstract
Researchers and engineers using metallic iron (Fe0) for water treatment need a tutorial review on the operating mode of the Fe0/H2O system. There are few review articles attempting to present systematic information to guide proper material selection [...] Read more.
Researchers and engineers using metallic iron (Fe0) for water treatment need a tutorial review on the operating mode of the Fe0/H2O system. There are few review articles attempting to present systematic information to guide proper material selection and application conditions. However, they are full of conflicting reports. This review seeks to: (i) Summarize the state-of-the-art knowledge on the remediation Fe0/H2O system, (ii) discuss relevant contaminant removal mechanisms, and (iii) provide solutions for practical engineering application of Fe0-based systems for water treatment. Specifically, the following aspects are summarized and discussed in detail: (i) Fe0 intrinsic reactivity and material selection, (ii) main abiotic contaminant removal mechanisms, and (iii) relevance of biological and bio-chemical processes in the Fe0/H2O system. In addition, challenges for the design of the next generation Fe0/H2O systems are discussed. This paper serves as a handout to enable better practical engineering applications for environmental remediation using Fe0. Full article
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Other

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Open AccessConcept Paper
Designing the Next Generation of Fe0-Based Filters for Decentralized Safe Drinking Water Treatment: A Conceptual Framework
Processes 2020, 8(6), 745; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8060745 - 26 Jun 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 903
Abstract
The ambitious United Nations Sustainable Development Goal for 2030 to “leave no one behind” concerning safe drinking water calls for the development of universally applicable and affordable decentralized treatment systems to provide safe drinking water. Published results suggest that well-designed biological sand filters [...] Read more.
The ambitious United Nations Sustainable Development Goal for 2030 to “leave no one behind” concerning safe drinking water calls for the development of universally applicable and affordable decentralized treatment systems to provide safe drinking water. Published results suggest that well-designed biological sand filters (BSFs) amended with metallic iron (Fe0-BSFs) have the potential to achieve this goal. Fe0-BSFs quantitatively remove pathogens and a myriad of chemical pollutants. The available data were achieved under various operating conditions. A comparison of independent research results is almost impossible, especially because the used Fe0 materials are not characterized for their intrinsic reactivity. This communication summarizes the state-of-the-art knowledge on designing Fe0-BSFs for households and small communities. The results show that significant research progress has been made on Fe0-BSFs. However, well-designed laboratory and field experiments are required to improve the available knowledge in order to develop the next generation of adaptable and scalable designs of Fe0-BSFs in only two years. Tools to alleviate the permeability loss, the preferential flow, and the use of exhausted filters are presented. Full article
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