Resource Use of Sewage Sludge for Soil Application

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Wastewater Treatment and Reuse".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 August 2024 | Viewed by 2660

Special Issue Editors

RDC for Watershed Environmental Eco-Engineering, Advanced Institute of Natural Sciences, Beijing Normal University at Zhuhai, No. 18 Jinfeng Road, Xiangzhou District, Zhuhai 519080, China
Interests: sewage sludge; pyrolysis; sewage sludge biochar; phosphorus recovery; renewable phosphate fertilizer

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Guest Editor
College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Peking University, Beijing, China
Interests: efficient utilization of phosphorus resources

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Fast urbanization leads to gigantic volumes of municipal wastewater arising from human dietary life being discharged to municipal wastewater treatment plants. After wastewater is purified via aerobic and anaerobic treatments, a commensurate volume of sewage sludge (SS) finally in the form of a solid cake with a moisture of ~78% is generated. With the surge in efforts towards carbon neutrality, transforming SS into valuable products in via efficient and sustainable manners is becoming a pressing challenge the wastewater industry is facing. Intensively reported studies demonstrate that a considerable amount of phosphorus (P), a life-essential and non-renewable element, in SS could be mined to alleviate the supply chain pressure of phosphate rocks that are becoming increasingly scarce.

Before exploiting this P resource from SS, however, inherent hazardous substances such as heavy metals (HMs) should be tackled, which indeed hamper SS valorization and P recovery and recycling. Therefore, it is crucial to develop a facile, efficient, and process-tunable approach to mining and reusing SS-included P while accommodating prospective ecological risks induced by those accompanying HMs prospects to maximize the SS resource value beyond the waste property. Relevant thermodynamic evidences unraveled the roles of biomass, alkali, and their binary in steering the balance of phosphorus bioavailability enhancement and heavy metal stabilization in the progress of SS pyrolysis, which advances the knowledge of a facile co-pyrolysis strategy to maximally leverage SS resource property.

Dr. Le Fang
Dr. Siqi Tang
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • sewage sludge
  • pyrolysis
  • phosphorus recovery
  • heavy metal stabilization
  • biochar

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

17 pages, 2857 KiB  
Article
The Assessment of Sewage Sludge Utilization in Closed-Loop Economy from an Environmental Perspective
by Agata Janaszek, Alessandra Furtado da Silva, Nebojša Jurišević, Maria Kanuchova, Ľubica Kozáková and Robert Kowalik
Water 2024, 16(3), 383; https://doi.org/10.3390/w16030383 - 24 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1115
Abstract
Sewage sludge, a by-product of wastewater treatment, is garnering increasing attention in the pursuit of closed-loop economy practices due to its highly beneficial fertilizing properties. However, like any technique, using sewage sludge as fertilizer has potential and limitations. Heavy metals within sewage sludge [...] Read more.
Sewage sludge, a by-product of wastewater treatment, is garnering increasing attention in the pursuit of closed-loop economy practices due to its highly beneficial fertilizing properties. However, like any technique, using sewage sludge as fertilizer has potential and limitations. Heavy metals within sewage sludge are a primary limitation curtailing its application as a fertilizer. This study collected sewage sludge samples from four wastewater treatment plants and soil from potential application sites. The mobility of heavy metals was then examined using a sequential BCR analysis. Furthermore, a comprehensive environmental risk assessment associated with the agricultural use of sewage sludge was conducted, using various risk indicators such as Igeo and Nemerov, to compare the cumulative metal concentrations in the sewage sludge and soil. Additionally, risk assessment codes, ecological risk indices of metal mobility, and environmental risk indices were calculated, specifically focusing on the mobility of metals in the soil environment. This research demonstrates that sewage sludge failing to meet conventional criteria for agricultural use based on total metal content does not necessarily pose a high-risk application. Understanding the mobility forms of metals in sewage sludge is crucial, influencing the analysis of their potential utilization. Importantly, sewage sludge from wastewater treatment plants utilizing biological bed technology tends to exhibit a higher tendency of heavy metals to exist in mobile forms, migrating within the soil environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resource Use of Sewage Sludge for Soil Application)
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14 pages, 4757 KiB  
Article
Analysis of Heavy Metal Contaminants and Mobility in Sewage sludge-soil Mixtures for Sustainable Agricultural Practices
by Agata Janaszek and Robert Kowalik
Water 2023, 15(22), 3992; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15223992 - 16 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1119
Abstract
This study presents a comprehensive analysis of the potential utilization of sewage sludge in agriculture, focusing on the assessment of heavy metal contaminants and their mobility in sewage sludge-soil mixtures. The innovative approach of investigating heavy metal fractions in these mixtures sheds light [...] Read more.
This study presents a comprehensive analysis of the potential utilization of sewage sludge in agriculture, focusing on the assessment of heavy metal contaminants and their mobility in sewage sludge-soil mixtures. The innovative approach of investigating heavy metal fractions in these mixtures sheds light on their environmental implications. In this study, sludge and soil samples from three different soil categories were collected, and the mobility of heavy metals was investigated using sequential BCR analysis. A thorough assessment of the risk of environmental contamination associated with the agricultural use of sludge was also carried out. This study included the calculation of various risk indicators, such as the Geoaccumulation Index of heavy metals in soil (Igeo), the risk assessment code (RAC), and the author’s element mobility ratio (EMR), which included a comparison of the overall metal concentrations in sludge, soil, and mixtures. This study demonstrates that the key to using sludge is to know the form of mobility of the metals present in the sludge and how they behave once they are introduced into the soil. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resource Use of Sewage Sludge for Soil Application)
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