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Sustainable Technologies by Advanced Anaerobic Wastewater Treatment

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Water Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 September 2023) | Viewed by 12827

Special Issue Editors

Institute of Fluid Science, Tohoku University, Sendai 980-8577, Japan
Interests: wastewater treatment technology; bioenergy recovery and reuse; anaerobic membrane bioreactor; biomass utilization; deep learning; water environment microbiology; anaerobic biotechnology; molecular dynamics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, Tohoku University, Sendai 980-8579, Japan
Interests: anaerobic digestion; methane fermentation; hydrogen fermentation; food waste disposal; wastewater treatment; biomass utilization
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, Tohoku University, Sendai 980-8579, Japan
Interests: wastewater treatment technology; anaerobic biotechnology; resource recycling; biomass utilization; anaerobic membrane bioreactor; anammox

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Wastewater treatment in the anaerobic approach offers many advantages compared to the conventional activated sludge (CAS) process, such as a small footprint, less waste sludge production, low greenhouse gas emissions, low cost, and energy recovery potential. The reactor configurations used for anaerobic treatment generally include continuous stirred tank reactor (CSTR), up-flow anaerobic sludge blanket reactor (UASB), anaerobic membrane bioreactor (AnMBR, which combined the anaerobic digestion with membrane separation), and microbial fuel cell (MFC, combined with electrochemistry). In the anaerobic treatment process, the technologies included not only traditional anaerobic digestion, but also some approaches based on newly discovered anaerobic microorganisms (such as the use of anammox for nitrogen removal). This Special Issue on " Sustainable Technologies by Advanced Anaerobic Wastewater Treatment " of the Journal of Sustainability aims to highlight the recent advancements on anaerobic treatment technology in wastewater treatment and discuss the challenges and opportunities for the future development.

In this Special Issue, original research articles and reviews are welcome. Research areas may include (but not limited to) the following:

  • New technologies of anaerobic treatment;
  • Novel processes combined with advanced technology;
  • System design, control and optimization;
  • Microbial community analysis;
  • Kinetic analysis and flow analysis;
  • Practical application on various real wastewater
    (e.g., industrial wastewater, domestic wastewater, landfill leachate, etc.).

We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Dr. Jiayuan Ji
Dr. Yu Qin
Prof. Dr. Yu-You Li
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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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. Sustainability 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 2400 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

  • wastewater treatment
  • anaerobic digestion
  • resource recycling
  • biomass utilization
  • bioenergy recovery and reuse
  • anaerobic membrane bioreactor (AnMBR)
  • upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactor (UASB)
  • microbial fuel cell (MFC)
  • anammox
  • microbial community
  • microbial electrochemical systems

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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15 pages, 2365 KiB  
Article
Enrichment of Anammox Bacteria Using Anammox Sludge as a Primer Combined with Ordinary Activated Sludge
Sustainability 2023, 15(16), 12123; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151612123 - 08 Aug 2023
Viewed by 980
Abstract
Anaerobic ammonia oxidation bacteria (AnAOB) are difficult to cultivate due to their long start-up time and sensitivity to environmental conditions. In this study, anammox granular sludge was cultured with ordinary activated sludge under influent dissolved oxygen concentrations of 6–8 mg/L, successfully enriching AnAOB. [...] Read more.
Anaerobic ammonia oxidation bacteria (AnAOB) are difficult to cultivate due to their long start-up time and sensitivity to environmental conditions. In this study, anammox granular sludge was cultured with ordinary activated sludge under influent dissolved oxygen concentrations of 6–8 mg/L, successfully enriching AnAOB. The presence of multiple microorganisms in the activated sludge enabled the anammox system to resist the unfavorable influent environment and sustain system stability. The total nitrogen removal rate reached a maximum of 81%, and the TN effective load increased from 0.1 to 1.5 kg N/m3/d. The results showed that the dissolved oxygen present in the influent did not lead to a breakdown in the anammox system. The protein in the sludge extracellular polymeric substances played an important role in the enrichment of AnAOB, and the sludge settling performance at the bottom of the reactor was better than that at the top of the reactor, with protein/polysaccharide in the range of 5–6.3. Candidatus brocadia and Candidatus kuenenia were the main anammox functional bacteria in the system. On 153 d of reactor operation, their relative abundances were 8.51 and 5.68%, respectively. This study shows that microorganisms in activated sludge contribute to the stability of the anammox system when the influent conditions are appropriate. This provides a new idea for the rapid start-up of the anammox system and enrichment of AnAOB. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Technologies by Advanced Anaerobic Wastewater Treatment)
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15 pages, 3436 KiB  
Article
Computational Fluid Dynamics Simulation to Investigate Diffuser Outlet Factors in Anaerobic Membrane Bioreactors Treating Wastewater
Sustainability 2023, 15(15), 11959; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151511959 - 03 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 703
Abstract
Anaerobic membrane bioreactors (AnMBRs) require biogas recycling to stir the mixed liquid and flush particles away from the membrane surfaces for stable operation. With the fixed gas cycling rate, gas diffuser configuration is an important factor that affects stirring and flushing performance. This [...] Read more.
Anaerobic membrane bioreactors (AnMBRs) require biogas recycling to stir the mixed liquid and flush particles away from the membrane surfaces for stable operation. With the fixed gas cycling rate, gas diffuser configuration is an important factor that affects stirring and flushing performance. This study investigated the effect of different outlet diameters on biogas diffusers in AnMBR by using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to analyze gas–liquid flow in a numerical model constructed based on an experimental AnMBR. According to the CFD results, as the outlet diameter increased from 2.5 to 5.0 mm, the average velocity increased from 0.15 to 0.31 m/s and the average wall shear stress (WSS) increased from 0.21 to 1.10 Pa on the membrane surface. The increase in gas velocity enhances the stirring effect, and the increase in WSS improves the flushing performance. However, when it was further increased to 10.0 mm, the average velocity and average WSS was 0.27 m/s and 0.22 Pa, respectively, indicating that too large an outlet diameter leads to a concentrated gas distribution, which reduces the performance of stirring and flushing. Furthermore, these results provide a basis for optimizing diffuser configuration, which is significant for promoting the practical application of AnMBR in wastewater treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Technologies by Advanced Anaerobic Wastewater Treatment)
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16 pages, 2717 KiB  
Article
The Recovery of a Sequencing Biofilm Batch Reactor—Anammox System: Performance, Metabolic Characteristics, and Microbial Community Analysis
Sustainability 2023, 15(13), 10454; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151310454 - 03 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 772
Abstract
The mainstream application of the anammox process is often hindered by its long recovery phase and instability under disturbance. In this study, a lab-scale anammox sequencing biofilm batch reactor (SBBR) was rapidly recovered within 85 days by gradually increasing the influent nitrogen concentration, [...] Read more.
The mainstream application of the anammox process is often hindered by its long recovery phase and instability under disturbance. In this study, a lab-scale anammox sequencing biofilm batch reactor (SBBR) was rapidly recovered within 85 days by gradually increasing the influent nitrogen concentration, and the total inorganic nitrogen (TIN) removal efficiency achieved 83.44 ± 0.03%. During the recovery process, the nitrogen removal rate (NRR) increased from 0.05 to 0.34 kg/(m3·d), with the nitrogen loading rate (NLR) changing from 0.08 to 0.40 kg/(m3·d) in the anammox system. The activities of hydrazine oxidase (HZO) in the biofilm also increased from 0.17 to 10.80 μmol Cyt-c/(g VSS·s). Also, the dominant anammox genera in the biofilm were Candidatus Kuenenia and Candidatus Brocadia. The results of this study suggested that an SBBR–anammox system filled with a microbial carrier could facilitate the enrichment of anammox bacteria and contribute to performance recovery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Technologies by Advanced Anaerobic Wastewater Treatment)
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16 pages, 3274 KiB  
Article
Feasibility of Efficient, Direct, Butanol Production from Food Waste without Nutrient Supplement by Clostridium saccharoperbutylacetonicum N1-4
Sustainability 2023, 15(7), 6061; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15076061 - 31 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 901
Abstract
This study investigated the feasibility of direct butanol production from starchy food waste (without saccharification and nutrient supplementation). First, Clostridium saccharoperbutylacetonicum N1-4 was selected as an efficient starch-utilizing clostridia, and amylose was used by the strain more readily than amylopectin for solvent production. [...] Read more.
This study investigated the feasibility of direct butanol production from starchy food waste (without saccharification and nutrient supplementation). First, Clostridium saccharoperbutylacetonicum N1-4 was selected as an efficient starch-utilizing clostridia, and amylose was used by the strain more readily than amylopectin for solvent production. Furthermore, direct fermentation avoided substrate inhibition due to saccharification and produced 12.1 g/L of butanol at a production rate of 0.705 g/L/h and a yield of 0.402 C-mol/C-mol with a solid–liquid ratio of 1:1 (w/v). At a solid–liquid ratio of 1:2 (w/v), the maximum butanol production rate in the direct mode was 2.05 times higher than that in the saccharified mode. Elemental analysis demonstrated that the food waste analyzed was rich in trace elements and, hence, exogenous nutrient supplementation was unnecessary. Collectively, direct butanol production from food waste could function as a low-cost, highly efficient, and simple fermentative process, which is a promising strategy for food waste disposal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Technologies by Advanced Anaerobic Wastewater Treatment)
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13 pages, 11271 KiB  
Article
Cu(II) and Cr(VI) Removal in Tandem with Electricity Generation via Dual-Chamber Microbial Fuel Cells
Sustainability 2023, 15(3), 2388; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15032388 - 28 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1019
Abstract
Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) have shown great advantages in electricity production, heavy metal removal, and energy recovery. However, the impact and mechanism of conflicting effects of numerous electron acceptors on heavy metal removal remain unknown. The effects of different initial heavy metal concentrations, [...] Read more.
Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) have shown great advantages in electricity production, heavy metal removal, and energy recovery. However, the impact and mechanism of conflicting effects of numerous electron acceptors on heavy metal removal remain unknown. The effects of different initial heavy metal concentrations, cathodic dissolved oxygen, and electrode materials on the electricity generation and heavy metal removal efficiencies of Cu(II) and Cr(VI) were investigated in this study. When the initial concentration of Cr(VI) increased from 10 mg/L to 150 mg/L, the maximum voltage, coulomb efficiency, and maximum power density declined from 99 to 44 mV, 28.63% to 18.97%, and 14.29 to 0.62 mW/m2, and the removal efficiencies of Cu(II) and Cr(VI) decreased dramatically from 98.34% and 99.92% to 67.09% and 37.06%, respectively. Under anaerobic cathodic conditions, the removal efficiency and removal rate of Cu(II) and Cr(VI) were lower than those under aerobic conditions. When the cathode electrode was titanium sheet and graphite plate, the coulomb efficiency and maximum power density increased to 38.18%, 50.71%, 33.95 mW/m2, and 62.23 mW/m2. The removal efficiency and removal rates of Cu(II) and Cr(VI) were significantly increased to 98.09%, 86.13%, and 0.47, 0.50 mg/(L h) with a graphite plate, respectively. The pH of the cathode varied considerably greater as the MFC current increased. Cu(II) and Cr(VI) were removed and reduced to elemental Cu, Cu2O, and its oxides as well as Cr(OH)3 and Cr2O3 precipitates on the cathode electrode by cathodic bioelectrochemical reduction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Technologies by Advanced Anaerobic Wastewater Treatment)
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15 pages, 4662 KiB  
Article
Performance Enhancement of an Upflow Anaerobic Dynamic Membrane Bioreactor via Granular Activated Carbon Addition for Domestic Wastewater Treatment
Sustainability 2023, 15(2), 1055; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15021055 - 06 Jan 2023
Viewed by 1208
Abstract
Developing low-carbon advanced processes for sustainable wastewater treatment is of great importance to increase bioenergy recovery and to reduce the greenhouse gas effect. In this study, the influence of adding 25 g/L of granular activated carbon (GAC) on the process performance was studied [...] Read more.
Developing low-carbon advanced processes for sustainable wastewater treatment is of great importance to increase bioenergy recovery and to reduce the greenhouse gas effect. In this study, the influence of adding 25 g/L of granular activated carbon (GAC) on the process performance was studied with a lab-scale GAC amended anaerobic dynamic membrane (G-AnDMBR) used to treat real domestic wastewater, which was compared to a control bioreactor without the GAC addition (C-AnDMBR). Due to the initial adsorption effect of GAC and the high microbial activity of the attached biomass of GAC, the G-AnDMBR achieved a better removal of the total chemical oxygen demand (TCOD) and turbidity compared to the C-AnDMBR, with the average removal rate increasing from 82.1% to 86.7% and from 88.7% to 93.2%. The gaseous methane production increased from 0.08 ± 0.05 to 0.14 ± 0.04 L/d, and the total methane production rate was enhanced from 0.21 ± 0.11 to 0.23 ± 0.09 LCH4/gCOD. Thus, the treatment performance of the G-AnDMBR was superior to that of the C-AnDMBR, and the addition of GAC could improve the effluent quality during the initial dynamic membrane formation process. In addition, the buffering effect of GAC made the G-AnDMBR maintain a relatively stable solution environment. The G-AnDMBR showed a transmembrane pressure (TMP) increasing rate of 0.045 kPa/d, which was obviously lower than that of the C-AnDMBR (0.057 kPa/d) because the nonfluidized GAC could trap fine sludge particles and adsorb soluble extracellular polymer substances (SEPSs), thus inhibiting the over formation of the dynamic membrane layer. A microbial property analysis indicated that GAC induced a change in the microbial community and enhanced the gene abundance of type IV pili and that it also potentially accelerated the direct interspecific electron transfer (DIET) among syntrophic bacteria and methanogens by enriching specific functional microorganisms. The results indicated that the integration of GAC and the AnDMBR process can be a cost-effective and promising alternative for domestic wastewater treatment and bioenergy recovery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Technologies by Advanced Anaerobic Wastewater Treatment)
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14 pages, 3456 KiB  
Article
The Material Flow and Stability Performance of the Anaerobic Digestion of Pig Manure after (Hyper)-Thermophilic Hydrolysis Is Introduced: A Comparison with a Single-Stage Process
Sustainability 2022, 14(23), 15795; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142315795 - 28 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1110
Abstract
Slow hydrolysis persistently affects the anaerobic digestion of animal manure. Thermophilic and hyper-thermophilic treatments introduced into a two-stage anaerobic process treating pig manure were investigated, with a single-stage mesophilic process as a control. The results from the 100-day experiment showed the thermophilic-mesophilic system [...] Read more.
Slow hydrolysis persistently affects the anaerobic digestion of animal manure. Thermophilic and hyper-thermophilic treatments introduced into a two-stage anaerobic process treating pig manure were investigated, with a single-stage mesophilic process as a control. The results from the 100-day experiment showed the thermophilic-mesophilic system had the highest removal efficiency of volatile solids at 60.8%, 18% higher than the single-stage process. The thermophilic and hyper-thermophilic hydrolysis reactors contributed 23.5% and 21.7% solubilization of chemical oxygen demand (COD), respectively. The hydrolysis efficiency achieved in the single process was 49.7%, which was lower than the hydrolysis in the two-stage processes. Approximately 60% of COD was distributed in the solid fraction in the first stage, and more than half of the particle COD continued to hydrolyze in the subsequent second stage. The mass balance of COD and volatile solids removal performance illustrated the advantages of the temperature-phased process. Comparatively, the three mesophilic reactors all had strong stability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Technologies by Advanced Anaerobic Wastewater Treatment)
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Review

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16 pages, 1689 KiB  
Review
Research Progress on Anaerobic Digestion of Cellulose Waste Based on Bibliometric Analysis
Sustainability 2023, 15(22), 16060; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152216060 - 17 Nov 2023
Viewed by 611
Abstract
The bibliometric method was used in this study to analyze current advances in the anaerobic digestion (AD) of cellulose waste. The result shows that the number of articles increased rapidly after 2010, suggesting a growing interest in this field. The USA and China [...] Read more.
The bibliometric method was used in this study to analyze current advances in the anaerobic digestion (AD) of cellulose waste. The result shows that the number of articles increased rapidly after 2010, suggesting a growing interest in this field. The USA and China were the top two countries with the highest number of published articles. AD of cellulose waste is being actively explored in many countries, and partnerships between countries are being actively formed. The top three subject categories were Environmental Sciences & Ecology, Engineering, Energy & Fuels. The most widely published and influential journals were Bioresource Technology, Water Science and Technology, and Waste Management. The co-occurrence and trend analysis of author keywords indicates that current research is primarily focused on pretreatment and co-digestion. Microbial community analysis plays a crucial role in elucidating the mechanisms, and life cycle analysis (LCA) could evaluate the impact on the environment at different stages. Microbial community analysis and LCA will be the hotspots in the future. To some extent, this study helps to understand the current global status and trends of the related research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Technologies by Advanced Anaerobic Wastewater Treatment)
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20 pages, 2319 KiB  
Review
The Summary of Nitritation Process in Mainstream Wastewater Treatment
Sustainability 2022, 14(24), 16453; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142416453 - 08 Dec 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1334
Abstract
The application of the mainstream partial nitritation/anammox (PN/A) process is promising due to the huge cost reduction compared to traditional biological nitrogen removal. However, the nitrite production rate (NPR) of a biological nitritation pre-treatment process is relatively lower than the nitrite consumption rate [...] Read more.
The application of the mainstream partial nitritation/anammox (PN/A) process is promising due to the huge cost reduction compared to traditional biological nitrogen removal. However, the nitrite production rate (NPR) of a biological nitritation pre-treatment process is relatively lower than the nitrite consumption rate in a pure anammox reactor with a high nitrogen loading rate (NLR). Thus, the NPR is the rate-limiting step for operating the PN/A process with a higher NLR. Various studies have attempted to improve mainstream NPR. A comprehensive review of these processes is needed for the actual application of the PN/A process. This study focuses on: (1) various nitrite production processes that have emerged in recent years; (2) the main microbial species and characteristics involved in biological nitritation; (3) the existing problems and the N2O emission problem of these processes; and (4) a proposed novel and promising PN/A process facilitated with photocatalyst oxidation. This review is expected to provide references and a basis for the research on the nitritation step of the application of the mainstream PN/A process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Technologies by Advanced Anaerobic Wastewater Treatment)
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16 pages, 1835 KiB  
Review
Lactic Acid Production by Fermentation of Biomass: Recent Achievements and Perspectives
Sustainability 2022, 14(21), 14434; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142114434 - 03 Nov 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2854
Abstract
Lactic acid is an important biochemical product. With the global pollution caused by plastics, especially marine plastics, the demand for lactic acid to produce polylactic acid has rapidly increased. However, the high costs of raw materials and fermentation–separation processes have severely limited lactic [...] Read more.
Lactic acid is an important biochemical product. With the global pollution caused by plastics, especially marine plastics, the demand for lactic acid to produce polylactic acid has rapidly increased. However, the high costs of raw materials and fermentation–separation processes have severely limited lactic acid production. In this study, the research trend on lactic acid fermentation in recent years was analyzed by a bibliometric survey, and the latest progress in lactic acid fermentation using different biomass stocks and microorganisms is summarized. The effects of different fermentation modes and fermentation–separation coupling methods on lactic acid fermentation were analyzed. Finally, microbial strains for cooperative fermentation and polysaccharide utilization are discussed. It is meaningful to develop environmentally friendly, cost-effective in situ product removal technologies, use lactic acid as an intermediate to higher value-added products, and co-produce lactic acid and other products based on a biorefinery model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Technologies by Advanced Anaerobic Wastewater Treatment)
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