Special Issue "Resource Recovery from Wastewater"

A special issue of Resources (ISSN 2079-9276).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2021) | Viewed by 8236

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Daniel Puyol
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Chemical and Environmental Technology, ESCET, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, 28933, Móstoles, Madrid, Spain
Interests: resource recovery; environmental biotechnology; anaerobic digestion; purple phototrophic bacteria; nutrients recovery; wastewater treatment; solid organic waste; circular economy; bioeconomy; modeling
Prof. Dr. Angel F. Mohedano
E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
Department of Chemical Engineering, Autonomous University of Madrid, Campus de Cantoblanco, 28049 Madrid, Spain
Interests: waste management; waste to energy; hydrothermal treatments; wastewater treatment; anaerobic digestion; advanced oxidation processes; environmental catalysis
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The circular economy implies concepts like re-source, re-make and re-think, which are all focused on creating new value to what we consider as waste today. This new value includes making new raw matter or even new marketable products, therefore aligning with the cradle-to-cradle re-design of the used matter. Wastewater is an enormous source of organic and inorganic components. The use of this source as a feedstock in full-scale plants is a current paradigm of the circular economy in wastewater management. These plants must be viewed as biorefineries instead of merely “decontamination” plants; thus, the concept may enter into the productive system. This in turn would reduce operative costs and may increase the price of the products that can be sourced from wastewater, increasing their competitiveness. The list of potential products is vast. Organics like biopolymers, single-cell proteins, cellulose, platform organic molecules and building blocks, cosmetic and pharmaceutical ingredients, biofuels or bio-construction materials, and inorganics like heavy, precious, and radioactive metals, nutrients such as N, P, K, Ca, and Mg, and chlorine-based disinfectants can be a source to feed the chemical, petrochemical, pharmaceutical, food, and agriculture industries, among others. This can be done using thermochemical, catalytical, biological and separation technologies. This Special Issue is focused on all the technologies that can be capable of resource recovery from any kind of wastewater source. Special emphasis is devoted to those technologies that are currently at a high technological readiness level, thereby including their real applicability through techno-economic analysis and life cycle analysis.

Dr. Daniel Puyol
Prof. Dr. Angel Fernández Mohedano
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. Resources 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 1600 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

  • circular economy
  • bioeconomy
  • resource recovery
  • biorefinery
  • cradle-to-cradle

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Article
Neighborhood-Scale Urban Water Reclamation with Integrated Resource Recovery for Establishing Nexus City in Munich, Germany: Pipe Dream or Reality?
Resources 2022, 11(7), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources11070064 - 13 Jul 2022
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Abstract
With the rapid expansion of cities due to population growth and urbanization, conventional centralized wastewater collection and treatment systems are slowly becoming a burden; expensive maintenance is required for aging plants and piping infrastructure, the cost of expanding the capacity to cover demand [...] Read more.
With the rapid expansion of cities due to population growth and urbanization, conventional centralized wastewater collection and treatment systems are slowly becoming a burden; expensive maintenance is required for aging plants and piping infrastructure, the cost of expanding the capacity to cover demand from population growth, and new regulations for tighter control over certain pollutants such as micropollutants. As an alternative to this system, this study discusses the feasibility of decentralized treatment systems at the neighborhood scale. Taking a Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus approach, such systems can support water and energy conservation, recovery of water, energy, and nutrients as well as generation of energy from wastewater, be customized to individual water and energy requirements, and eliminate the need for lengthy pipe networks. The method employed in this study is comparing the economic feasibility of the status quo to a proposed decentralized solution. The study finds that the costs of implementing a hypothetical decentralized water reclamation with an integrated resource recovery system using an anaerobic membrane bioreactor (AnMBR) in a downtown high-density neighborhood of the city of Munich, Germany, can theoretically be recuperated within two years. This alternative system may cost 60% of what it costs to run the centralized system. By linking the AnMBR to a biogas digestor and using systematically harvested organic waste as a co-substrate, the decentralized system can generate enough energy to run itself and even feed some energy to the grid. This study is highly hypothetical, yet generating evidence such as this can support a systemic socio-technical transition towards a more circular economy with optimal resource recovery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resource Recovery from Wastewater)
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Article
Pretreatment of Lignocellulosic Biomass with 1-Ethyl-3-methylimidazolium Acetate for Its Eventual Valorization by Anaerobic Digestion
Resources 2021, 10(12), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources10120118 - 23 Nov 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1380
Abstract
This study assessed the breakdown of lignocellulosic biomass (LB) with the ionic liquid (IL) 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate ([Emim][Ac]) as a pretreatment to increase the methane yield. The pretreatment was conducted for wheat straw (WS), barley straw (BS), and grape stem (GS) at 120 °C [...] Read more.
This study assessed the breakdown of lignocellulosic biomass (LB) with the ionic liquid (IL) 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate ([Emim][Ac]) as a pretreatment to increase the methane yield. The pretreatment was conducted for wheat straw (WS), barley straw (BS), and grape stem (GS) at 120 °C for 120 min, using several LB to [Emim][Ac] ratios (1:1, 1:3, and 1:5 w/w). Pretreatment significantly disrupted the lignocellulose matrix of each biomass into soluble sugars. GS showed the highest sugar yield, which was followed by WS, while BS was slightly hydrolyzed (175.3 ± 2.3, 158.2 ± 5.2, and 51.1 ± 3.1 mg glucose g–1 biomass, respectively). Likewise, the pretreatment significantly reduced the cellulose crystallinity index (CrI) of the resulting solid fractions of GS and WS by 15% and 9%, respectively, but slightly affected the CrI of BS (5%). Thus, BMP tests were only carried out for raw and hydrothermally and [Emim][Ac] (1:5) pretreated GS and WS. The untreated GS and WS showed similar methane yields to those achieved for the solid fraction obtained after pretreatment with an LB to [Emim][Ac] ratio of 1:5 (219 ± 10 and 368 ± 1 mL CH4 g–1 VS, respectively). The methane production of the solid plus liquid fraction obtained after IL pretreatment increased by 1.61- and 1.34-fold compared to the raw GS and WS, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resource Recovery from Wastewater)
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Article
Alkalinity, and Not the Oxidation State of the Organic Substrate, Is the Key Factor in Domestic Wastewater Treatment by Mixed Cultures of Purple Phototrophic Bacteria
Resources 2020, 9(7), 88; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9070088 - 20 Jul 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2886
Abstract
Domestic wastewater treatment by purple phototrophic bacteria (PPB) is based on the assimilative uptake of organics and nutrients into the bacterial biomass. Thereby, it strongly depends on the carbon/nutrients ratio of the wastewater. The physiological COD/N/P ratio for PPB growth in domestic wastewater [...] Read more.
Domestic wastewater treatment by purple phototrophic bacteria (PPB) is based on the assimilative uptake of organics and nutrients into the bacterial biomass. Thereby, it strongly depends on the carbon/nutrients ratio of the wastewater. The physiological COD/N/P ratio for PPB growth in domestic wastewater makes the addition of an external organic carbon source necessary in order to allow for an efficient process. However, PPB need a source of alkalinity (as CO2) to grow on reduced organics that serves as an electron acceptor since biohydrogen production (an alternative electron sink) is inhibited by ammonium. A preliminary experiment showed that high nutrients-loading wastewater was limited by CO2 imbalance, leading to poor removal efficiencies. Subsequently, the effect of the oxidation state of the organics added as external organic carbon sources to PPB reactors treating low nutrients-loading domestic wastewater has been analyzed. Three organics were used as additives to PPB development in four consecutive batches: acetate (more oxidized), ethanol and butyrate (more reduced). The PPB population was settled and the general performance under the three situations, in terms of organics, N and P assimilation, and growth kinetics was not significantly different irrespective of the external organic carbon source. The reactors were dominated by PPB, though reduced organics allowed for dominance of Rhodopseudomonas palustris, whereas oxidized organics caused co-dominance of R. palustris and Rhodobacter capsulatus. Thereby, alkalinity (as bicarbonate), and not the oxidation state of the organics, is the key parameter for the efficient treatment of domestic wastewater by PPB. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resource Recovery from Wastewater)
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Review

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Review
Selection of Industrial Trade Waste Resource Recovery Technologies—A Systematic Review
Resources 2021, 10(4), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources10040029 - 29 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2146
Abstract
Industrial wastewater and other trade wastes are often sources of pollution which can cause environmental damage. However, resource recovery approaches have the potential to lead to positive environmental outcomes, profits, and new sources of finite commodities. Information on these waste sources, and the [...] Read more.
Industrial wastewater and other trade wastes are often sources of pollution which can cause environmental damage. However, resource recovery approaches have the potential to lead to positive environmental outcomes, profits, and new sources of finite commodities. Information on these waste sources, and the valuable components which may be contained in such waste is increasingly being made available by public, academic and commercial stakeholders (including companies active in meat processing, dairy, brewing, textile and other sectors). Utilising academic and industry literature, this review evaluates several methods of resource recovery (e.g., bioreactors, membrane technologies, and traditional chemical processes) and their advantages and disadvantages in a trade waste setting. This review lays the groundwork for classification of waste and resource recovery technologies, in order to inform process choices, which may lead to wider commercial application of these technologies. Although each waste source and recovery process is unique, membrane bioreactors show promise for a wide range of resource recovery applications. Despite interest, uptake of resource recovery technologies remains low, or not widely championed. For this to change, knowledge needs to increase in several key areas including: availabilities and classification of trade wastes, technology choice processes, and industrial viability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resource Recovery from Wastewater)
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