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Sustainability in Water and Wastewater Treatment Technologies

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 July 2023) | Viewed by 22511

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Guest Editor
Department of Chemical Engineering, Process and Environmental Technology Lab, KU Leuven, Campus De Nayer-2860, Sint-Katelijne-Waver, Belgium
Interests: development of engineered materials for advanced catalytic wastewater treatment systems; optimization of biological treatment technologies using sustainable materials; valorisation of industrial and municipal solid wastes; sustainability assessment and life-cycle analysis of advanced technologies; development of the environmental quality standards
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues, 

There are currently a number of industries all over the world which consume a large amount of water and raw materials and produce highly polluted wastewaters. Such effluents may be considered as a main source of environmental pollution and can bring severe toxic effects to living organisms. Various techniques have so far been developed in this regard to deal with such a problem which can be simply divided into physicochemical and biological technologies. However, a limited number of lab-scale developed technologies have been transferred to real and full-scale applications. The lack of the information on the sustainability aspects (i.e., technical, environmental, economic, and social) of the so far developed methods can be considered as a main reason for such low transferring rates. This can cause difficulties for decision makers to choose the best options among the existing alternatives. This Special Issue calls for reviews and original research papers which bring novel contributions in the development and application of sustainable water and wastewater treatment technologies.

Dr. Mohammadreza Kamali
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 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. 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

  • Sustainability, water and wastewater
  • Treatment technologies
  • Environmental pollution
  • Environmental toxicity

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

Jump to: Review

14 pages, 3501 KiB  
Article
Cyclic Fatigue Durability of Woven Geotextiles for Use in Sustainable Waste-Dewatering Systems
by Mag Geisielly Alves Guimarães, Pedro Victor Garcia de Oliveira, Denise de Carvalho Urashima, Eleonardo Lucas Pereira and Beatriz Mydori Carvalho Urashima
Sustainability 2023, 15(18), 13807; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151813807 - 15 Sep 2023
Viewed by 704
Abstract
Geosynthetics are increasingly used in geotechnical engineering to replace conventional solutions due to their cost-effective and environmental benefits. For example, geotextiles can be used in sustainable waste-dewatering systems to confine solid waste for final disposal. This study is presented to analyze the durability [...] Read more.
Geosynthetics are increasingly used in geotechnical engineering to replace conventional solutions due to their cost-effective and environmental benefits. For example, geotextiles can be used in sustainable waste-dewatering systems to confine solid waste for final disposal. This study is presented to analyze the durability of a geotextile regarding cyclic fatigue induced during the pumping stages in these sustainable waste-dewatering systems. A polypropylene woven geotextile was used and subjected to cyclic tensile loading levels of 10%, 30% and 50% of the ultimate average tensile strength. We also used hysteresis loops with a frequency of 0.1 Hz at different numbers of cycles (10, 20, 30, and 90 cycles). With a 95% confidence level and response surface, the results show that increasing the tensile loading levels and the number of cycles made the geotextile lose its tensile strength. Laboratory experiments simulated scenarios where the geotextile was subjected to cyclic fatigue that might directly impact its strength–strain and hysteretic stiffness performance over its design lifetime. This study contributes to a better understanding of the durability of geotextiles to subsidize decision-making involving social, environmental, and technical impacts in waste-dewatering system applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Water and Wastewater Treatment Technologies)
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16 pages, 3290 KiB  
Article
Metal Cation and Surfactant-Assisted Flocculation for Enhanced Dewatering of Anaerobically Digested Sludge
by Sanjay Shinde, Anteneh Mesfin Yeneneh, Tahereh Jafary, Khadija Al Balushi, Eugene Hong, Tushar Kanti Sen and Parveen Fatemeh Rupani
Sustainability 2023, 15(4), 3448; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15043448 - 13 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1411
Abstract
Flocculation and dewatering of anaerobically digested sludge is known to be a major cost factor in the economy of wastewater treatment plants. Hence, several endeavors have been underway in search of affordable and effective alternatives. This study focuses on the effects of different [...] Read more.
Flocculation and dewatering of anaerobically digested sludge is known to be a major cost factor in the economy of wastewater treatment plants. Hence, several endeavors have been underway in search of affordable and effective alternatives. This study focuses on the effects of different metal cations, including FeCl3, CaCl2 and MgSO4, on the dewaterability of digested sludge. The effects of these metal flocculants were also investigated in the presence of co-polymers and surfactants, which can be considered the novelty of this study. The polymers and surfactants investigated in this study were emulsion polymer, CTAB and SDS. Sampling and characterization of digested sludge was conducted, and total solid (TS), volatile solid (VS), dewaterability in capillary suction time (CST), total dissolved solids (TDS), chemical oxygen demand (COD), pH and conductivity of the unconditioned digested sludge samples were determined. The dewaterability of FeCl3, CaCl2 and MgSO4 conditioned digested sludge samples were compared, and MgSO4 conditioned digested sludge showed better dewaterability compared to the other two metal conditioning agents at a pH of 6.8. The dewaterability was further improved by the addition of emulsion polymer (EMA 8854), cetyltrimethyl ammonium bromide (CTAB) and sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS). Fe Cl3 was found to perform better under an acidic pH of around 3. The dual conditioning using polymer and CTAB resulted in better dewaterability, with CaCl2 as metal conditioning agent. Moreover, the effects of pH, metal dose and polymer dose on the dewaterability of digested sludge were also investigated. The effects of metal and polymer conditioning on the particle size of the sludge flocs was also investigated. Optimum dewatering performance was achieved for metal doses of 0.16 v/v, 0.075 v/v and 0.16 v/v for FeCl3, CaCl2 and MgSO4, respectively, and a corresponding CTAB dose of 0.1 v/v and EMA dose of 15 kg/TDS were found to be the optimum. SDS as a polymer conditioning agent resulted in the deterioration of dewatering performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Water and Wastewater Treatment Technologies)
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13 pages, 1260 KiB  
Article
The Electro-Fenton Process for Caffeine Removal from Water and Granular Activated Carbon Regeneration
by Nadia Gadi, Nadine C. Boelee and Raf Dewil
Sustainability 2022, 14(21), 14313; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142114313 - 2 Nov 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1699
Abstract
The electro-Fenton process (EF) has faced major challenges, including mass transfer limitations. When the targeted pollutants are present in water at very low concentrations, the degradation kinetics are slower than desired, which leads to high energy consumption. To overcome this drawback, coupled adsorption [...] Read more.
The electro-Fenton process (EF) has faced major challenges, including mass transfer limitations. When the targeted pollutants are present in water at very low concentrations, the degradation kinetics are slower than desired, which leads to high energy consumption. To overcome this drawback, coupled adsorption on activated carbon (AC) and the EF process can be performed. Therefore, the compounds can be preconcentrated on AC before elimination by the EF process. As such, in this study, batch experiments were conducted using low-cost granular activated carbon (GAC) packed in a stainless-steel mesh for the adsorption of caffeine. Once saturated, GAC is used as a cathode during the EF process, where the adsorption capacity is regenerated. This approach allows the regeneration of the AC for multiple cycles and the degradation of the desorbed compounds. The EF process was studied to this end, for the purposes of the removal of caffeine as a model compound. The main goals of this work are (i) to study the removal of caffeine from water in three different matrices and (ii) to regenerate GAC by using the EF process. The results reported in this study show that it is possible to achieve caffeine degradation up to 95%, 100%, and 100%, and a mineralization up to 70%, 72%, and 76% in pure water, simulated wastewater, and wastewater effluent, respectively. In the regeneration process, total elimination of the desorbed caffeine was achieved, and a regeneration efficiency of 50% was obtained for the first cycle. The results confirm the ability of the EF process to achieve regeneration of AC loaded with caffeine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Water and Wastewater Treatment Technologies)
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16 pages, 1912 KiB  
Article
Adsorption of Copper and Lead Ions in a Binary System onto Orange Peels: Optimization, Equilibrium, and Kinetic Study
by Felicia Omolara Afolabi, Paul Musonge and Babatunde Femi Bakare
Sustainability 2022, 14(17), 10860; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141710860 - 31 Aug 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1615
Abstract
Agricultural waste materials have been proven to be efficient for heavy metal sequestration from wastewater. In this paper, the interactive effects of initial concentration, adsorbent dosage, and particle size on the removal of copper and lead ions in a binary system onto orange [...] Read more.
Agricultural waste materials have been proven to be efficient for heavy metal sequestration from wastewater. In this paper, the interactive effects of initial concentration, adsorbent dosage, and particle size on the removal of copper and lead ions in a binary system onto orange peels were investigated using a central composite design. The pHpzc of orange peels was determined to be 3.85. The Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) and energy dispersive x-ray (EDX) revealed the functional groups and elemental composition present on the surface of the bio-sorbent, respectively, before and after adsorption. The ANOVA showed a good fit with a coefficient of determination (R2) of 0.973 and 0.993 for Cu and Pb, respectively. The bio-sorption of Cu and Pb increased with increasing adsorbent dosage while the percentage removal of Pb was consistently higher than Cu. The highest percentage removal of Cu and Pb gave 86.27% and 98.85%, respectively. The kinetic and isotherm studies showed that pseudo-second-order and Langmuir isotherm models fitted the experimental data suggesting chemisorption and monolayer adsorption, respectively. The treatment of wastewater is very essential to avoid water scarcity and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This study demonstrates the potential of utilizing orange peels as bio-sorbent for the treatment of wastewater containing Cu and Pb ions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Water and Wastewater Treatment Technologies)
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14 pages, 1968 KiB  
Article
Application of a 2k–p Fractional Experimental Design in Coagulation-Flocculation Processes in the Treatment of Wastewater from a Slaughterhouse
by Javier Carpintero, Jennifer Villa-Dominguez, María José Tavera-Quiroz, Humberto Carlos Tavera-Quiroz, Bartosz Kaźmierczak, Jonathan Fábregas-Villegas and Fausto A. Canales
Sustainability 2022, 14(16), 10402; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141610402 - 21 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1705
Abstract
Determining the optimal dose of coagulant required to perform flocculation is critical in most water treatment plants’ planning and operation. This study implemented a 2k–p fractional factorial design of experiments to identify the factors influencing the color decrease of wastewater from a [...] Read more.
Determining the optimal dose of coagulant required to perform flocculation is critical in most water treatment plants’ planning and operation. This study implemented a 2k–p fractional factorial design of experiments to identify the factors influencing the color decrease of wastewater from a slaughterhouse. The variables assessed were the velocity gradient, residence time, primary coagulant dosage, chlorine dosage, and coagulation adjuvant dosage. The results indicate that the primary coagulant dose and the velocity gradient significantly affect the samples’ color and that the other factors can be run at a low technical-economic level to start up the water treatment plant. The fractional factorial design allowed reducing the number of experimental points without affecting the minimum information required to identify which factors are significant in reducing the color of a wastewater sample. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Water and Wastewater Treatment Technologies)
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10 pages, 3263 KiB  
Article
Cactus Cladode Juice as Bioflocculant in the Flocculation-Thickening Process for Phosphate Washing Plant: A Comparative Study with Anionic Polyacrylamide
by Amine Ennawaoui, Khadija Lalam, Yasser Harmen, Abdelaziz El Morabit, Younes Chhiti, Ahmed Chebak and Mohammed Benssitel
Sustainability 2022, 14(13), 8054; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14138054 - 1 Jul 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1952
Abstract
In the phosphate industry, the thickening process is vital to increasing the solid slurry concentration and to recovering water that is as clear as possible. The performance of the thickening process depends mainly on the coagulation–flocculation effect. The thickening process is based on [...] Read more.
In the phosphate industry, the thickening process is vital to increasing the solid slurry concentration and to recovering water that is as clear as possible. The performance of the thickening process depends mainly on the coagulation–flocculation effect. The thickening process is based on flocculant agents to concentrate particles: flotation and washing plant rejects as large flocs, which accelerate their sedimentation velocity. The phosphate industry worldwide uses synthetical flocculants such as polyacrylamides. These flocculants are non-biodegradable, limiting the process efficiency regarding cost and harmful effects on the environment. This study proposes cactus cladodes juice as an eco-friendly alternative to industrial flocculants. The particle size of the phosphate samples ranges from 0 μm to 160 μm, with a solid concentration of 8%. This bioflocculant allowed for an increase in sedimentation velocity of 95% compared with the case without flocculant. The optimal amount of cactus bioflocculant for decanting 1 tonne of phosphate pulp at pH 7–8 is 1.12 kg. Special attention is paid to understanding the flocculation mechanism. The results of the physicochemical characterization show that the flocculant biopolymers have similar characteristics to anionic polyacrylamide. This work indicates the promising application of the cactus juice bioflocculant in phosphate washing plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Water and Wastewater Treatment Technologies)
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14 pages, 55301 KiB  
Article
Catalytic Ozonation of the Secondary Effluents from the Largest Chinese Petrochemical Wastewater Treatment Plant—A Stability Assessment
by Siyu Zhang, Hao Wang, Yuexi Zhou, Mohammadreza Kamali, Xuwen He, Mohammadreza Khalaj and Yu Xia
Sustainability 2022, 14(4), 2200; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14042200 - 15 Feb 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1918
Abstract
Effluents discharged from petrochemical facilities are complex and composed of various types of highly toxic contaminants, which necessitates the development of sustainable treatment technologies. Stability is among the most important sustainability criteria of the wastewater treatment processes. In the present manuscript, the standard-reaching [...] Read more.
Effluents discharged from petrochemical facilities are complex and composed of various types of highly toxic contaminants, which necessitates the development of sustainable treatment technologies. Stability is among the most important sustainability criteria of the wastewater treatment processes. In the present manuscript, the standard-reaching rate (η) index was used to evaluate the stability of the catalytic ozonation process for treating the secondary effluent from the petrochemical industry. A pilot-scale device was designed and implemented for catalytic ozonation. The effluents were taken from the secondary sedimentation tank of a petrochemical wastewater treatment plant in China. A commercially available γ-Al2O3 was used as the catalyst after a pre-treatment heating step. The catalyst was characterized using scanning electron microscopy. Three mathematical statistics indexes, discrete coefficient (Vσ), skewness coefficient (Cso), and range coefficient (VR), were used to analyze the results achieved from the catalytic ozonation process. Continuous operation of the pilot-scale device was monitored for 9 months under an ozone concentration of 36 mg/L and the contact oxidation time of 1 h. The results demonstrated that the stability evaluation grades of chemical oxygen demand (COD) and suspended solids (SS) in the effluent of the catalytic ozonation system were both 3 and A, indicating that the process was relatively stable over a long period of application. The effluent COD compliance grade was also calculated as B, indicating that the effluent COD does not meet the standard and the process parameters need to be further optimized. When the reflux ratio is 150%, the removal rate of COD is the highest (38.2%) and the COD of effluent is 49.34 mg/L. Meanwhile, to enhance the efficiency and stability of the system, the ozone concentration and the two-stage aeration ratio are 40 mg/L and 4:1, respectively. Moreover, the presence of SS in the water of the catalytic ozonation system will result in the waste of ozone and reduce the utilization rate of ozone. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Water and Wastewater Treatment Technologies)
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23 pages, 7145 KiB  
Article
Removing of Anionic Dye from Aqueous Solutions by Adsorption Using of Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes and Poly (Acrylonitrile-styrene) Impregnated with Activated Carbon
by Khamael M. Abualnaja, Ahmed E. Alprol, M. A. Abu-Saied, Mohamed Ashour and Abdallah Tageldein Mansour
Sustainability 2021, 13(13), 7077; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13137077 - 23 Jun 2021
Cited by 34 | Viewed by 2782
Abstract
This paper presents an estimation of the adsorptive potential of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) and modified poly (acrylonitrile-co-styrene) with activated carbon for the uptake of reactive red 35 (RR35) dye from aqueous solution by a batch system. MWCNT adsorbent was synthesized by encapsulation [...] Read more.
This paper presents an estimation of the adsorptive potential of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) and modified poly (acrylonitrile-co-styrene) with activated carbon for the uptake of reactive red 35 (RR35) dye from aqueous solution by a batch system. MWCNT adsorbent was synthesized by encapsulation via in situ polymerization. The copolymer material of poly (acrylonitrile-styrene) P (AN-co-ST) was prepared in a ratio of 2:1 V/V by the precipitation polymerization process. The prepared composites’ properties were characterized by FTIR, SEM, Raman, mean particle size (PSA), and XRD analysis. The PSA of the copolymeric material was determined to be 450.5 and 994 nm for MWCNTs and P(AN-co-St)/AC, respectively. Moreover, the influences of different factors, for example pH (2–10), adsorbents dosage (0.005–0.04 g), contact time (5–120 min), initial dye concentration (10–50 mg L−1), and temperature (25–55 °C). The optimum values were determined to be 2 and 4 pH, 10 mg L−1 of RR35 dye, and 0.04 g of adsorbents at early contact time. Furthermore, the adsorption isotherm was studied using Langmuir, Freundlich, Tempkin, and Halsey models. Maximum capacity qmax for MWCNTS and P (AN-co-St)/AC was 256.41 and 30.30 mg g−1, respectively. The investigational kinetic study was appropriated well via a pseudo second-order model with a correlation coefficient around 0.99. Thermodynamic study displayed that the removal of RR35 is exothermic, a spontaneous and physisorption system. The adsorption efficiency reduced to around 54–55% of the RR35 after four cycles of reuse of the adsorbents at 120 min. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Water and Wastewater Treatment Technologies)
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Review

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27 pages, 3387 KiB  
Review
Review of Adsorption Studies for Contaminant Removal from Wastewater Using Molecular Simulation
by Noor e Hira, Serene Sow Mun Lock, Noor Fazliani Shoparwe, Irene Sow Mei Lock, Lam Ghai Lim, Chung Loong Yiin, Yi Herng Chan and Muhammad Hassam
Sustainability 2023, 15(2), 1510; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15021510 - 12 Jan 2023
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3083
Abstract
In recent years, simulation studies have emerged as valuable tools for understanding processes. In particular, molecular dynamic simulations hold great significance when it comes to the adsorption process. However, comprehensive studies on molecular simulations of adsorption processes using different adsorbents are scarcely available [...] Read more.
In recent years, simulation studies have emerged as valuable tools for understanding processes. In particular, molecular dynamic simulations hold great significance when it comes to the adsorption process. However, comprehensive studies on molecular simulations of adsorption processes using different adsorbents are scarcely available for wastewater treatment covering different contaminants and pollutants. Hence, in this review, we organized the available information on various aspects of the adsorption phenomenon that were realized using molecular simulations for a broad range of potentially effective adsorbents applied in the removal of contaminants from wastewater. This review was compiled for adsorbents under five major categories: (1) carbon-based, (2) oxides and hydroxides, (3) zeolites, (4) metal–organic frameworks and (5) clay. From the review, it was found that simulation studies help us understand various parameters such as binding energy, Gibbs free energy, electrostatic field, ultrasound waves and binding ability for adsorption. Moreover, from the review of recent simulation studies, the effect of ultrasound waves and the electrostatic field was elucidated, which promoted the adsorption capacity. This review can assist in the screening of classified adsorbents for wastewater treatment using a fast and cheap approach while helping us understand the adsorption process from an atomistic perspective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Water and Wastewater Treatment Technologies)
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15 pages, 2419 KiB  
Review
Minimization of Environmental Impact of Kraft Pulp Mill Effluents: Current Practices and Future Perspectives towards Sustainability
by Gladys Vidal, Yenifer González, Benjamín Piña, Mayra Jarpa and Gloria Gómez
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 9288; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13169288 - 18 Aug 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 4060
Abstract
Kraft mill effluents are characterized by their content of suspended solids, organic matter and color due to the presence of lignin, lignin derivatives and tannins. Additionally, Kraft mill effluents contain adsorbable organic halogens and wood extractive compounds (resin acids, fatty acids, phytosterol) and [...] Read more.
Kraft mill effluents are characterized by their content of suspended solids, organic matter and color due to the presence of lignin, lignin derivatives and tannins. Additionally, Kraft mill effluents contain adsorbable organic halogens and wood extractive compounds (resin acids, fatty acids, phytosterol) and show high conductivity due to the chemical compounds used in the digestion process of pulp. Currently, Kraft mills are operating under the concept of a linear economy and, therefore, their effluents are generating serious toxicity effects, detected in daphnia, fish and biosensors. These effluents are treated by activated sludge and moving bed biofilm systems that are unable to remove recalcitrant organic matter, color and biological activity (toxicity) from effluents. Moreover, under climate change, these environmental effects are being exacerbated and some mills have had to stop their operation when the flows of aquatic ecosystems are lower. The aim of this review is to discuss the treatment of Kraft pulp mill effluents and their impact regarding the current practices and future perspectives towards sustainability under climate change. Kraft pulp mill sustainability involves the closure of water circuits in order to recirculate water and reduce the environmental impact, as well as the implementation of advanced technology for these purposes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Water and Wastewater Treatment Technologies)
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