Occurrence, Risk Assessment and Removal of Emerging Contaminants in Aquatic Environment

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Water Quality and Contamination".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 September 2024 | Viewed by 4229

Special Issue Editors

1. PowerChina Huadong Engineering Corporation Limited, Hangzhou, China
2. College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Tongji University, Shanghai, China
3. Huadong Eco-Environmental Engineering Research Institute of Zhejiang Province, Hangzhou, China
Interests: emerging contaminants; wastewater treatment; water reuse; photodegradation; carbon emission; nanomaterials; risk assessment

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Guest Editor
College of Civil Engineering, Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou, China
Interests: water pollution control; drinking water treatment; advanced oxidation process; environmental chemistry; environmental engineering

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Tongji University, Shanghai, China
Interests: water pollution control; wastewater treatment and reuse; ecological restoration; environmental engineering; risk assessment; carbon emission

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

With the explosive growth of chemical species brought by industrial production and the rapid development of aquatic environment analysis and detection technologies, increasing amounts of pollutants are being detected in water systems, from typical persistent organic pollutants (POPs) such as organochlorine pesticides, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and polychlorinated biphenyls to emerging contaminants of concern in recent years, including emerging POPs such as fluorine-containing organic compounds, pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs), endocrine disruptors chemicals (EDCs), disinfection by-products (DBPs), engineered nanomaterials, microplastics, etc. In recent years, these contaminants of emerging concern have been detected in sewage systems, surface water, and even drinking water and are present in the aquatic environment at relatively low concentrations, often referred to as micro-pollutants or emerging contaminants. Due to the long-term existence of these emerging contaminants in aquatic environments, affecting the safety of aquatic ecology and human health, it is necessary to pay attention to and study their occurrence and potential risks, as well as their removal and management in the aquatic environment.

Therefore, we invite researchers in relevant areas to submit the results and contributions of their work on emerging contaminants to this Special Issue, helping to better ensure water safety. Potential contributions may include, but are not limited to:

  1. Detection, occurrence, fate, and transport of emerging contaminants in water environment, including wastewater, groundwater, surface water, and drinking water, as well as related media.
  2. Human health and ecological risk assessment of emerging contaminants in aquatic environment.
  3. The removal technologies and processes of emerging contaminants, including physical methods (adsorption), biological technologies (such as constructed wetlands), and chemical technologies (AOPs, such as Fenton-based, ozone-based, sulphate-based, photolysis, photocatalysis, electrocatalysis, etc.).

Dr. Xiaohu Lin
Dr. Binbin Shao
Prof. Dr. Jingcheng Xu
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • emerging contaminants
  • occurrence
  • risk assessment
  • advanced treatment
  • advanced oxidation
  • photocatalytic degradation
  • photocatalysis
  • electrocatalysis
  • advanced oxidation
  • aquatic environment

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

12 pages, 2202 KiB  
Article
Delving into the Impacts of Different Easily Degradable Carbon Sources on the Degradation Characteristics of 2,4,6-Trichlorophenol and Microbial Community Properties
by Jianguang Wang, Haifeng Fang, Shiyi Li and Hailan Yu
Water 2024, 16(7), 974; https://doi.org/10.3390/w16070974 - 28 Mar 2024
Viewed by 602
Abstract
In chlorophenol wastewater treatment, adding easily degradable carbon sources, such as methanol, ethanol, sodium acetate, and sodium propionate, significantly improves the chlorophenol removal efficiency. This study systematically compares these conventional carbon sources in different sequencing batch reactors to understand their specific effects on [...] Read more.
In chlorophenol wastewater treatment, adding easily degradable carbon sources, such as methanol, ethanol, sodium acetate, and sodium propionate, significantly improves the chlorophenol removal efficiency. This study systematically compares these conventional carbon sources in different sequencing batch reactors to understand their specific effects on both 2,4,6-trichlorophenol (2,4,6-TCP) degradation efficiency and microbial abundance. In a 35-day experiment, as a carbon source, ethanol exhibited a lower 2,4,6-TCP degradation concentration (77.56 mg/L) than those of methanol, sodium acetate, and sodium propionate, which achieved higher degradation concentrations: 123.89 mg/L, 170.96 mg/L, and 151.79 mg/L, respectively. As a carbon source, sodium acetate enhanced extracellular polymeric substance production (200.80 mg/g·VSS) by microorganisms, providing protection against the toxicity of chlorophenol and resulting in a higher 2,4,6-TCP removal concentration. Metagenomics identified crucial metabolic genes, including PcpA, chqB, Mal-r, pcaI, pcaF, and fadA. The abundance of genera containing the chqB gene correlated positively with the metabolic capacity for 2,4,6-TCP. Moreover, small molecular carbon sources such as methanol, sodium acetate, and sodium propionate promoted the enrichment of genera with functional genes. Full article
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14 pages, 1846 KiB  
Article
Reprocessing and Resource Utilization of Landfill Sludge—A Case Study in a Chinese Megacity
by Yifeng Yang, Jingshuai Luan, Jing Nie, Xin Zhang, Jiong Du, Gang Zhao, Lei Dong, Yong Fan, He Cui and Yubo Li
Water 2024, 16(3), 468; https://doi.org/10.3390/w16030468 - 31 Jan 2024
Viewed by 764
Abstract
In the past, due to improper sludge treatment technology and the absence of treatment standards, some municipal sludge was simply dewatered and then sent to landfills, occupying a significant amount of land and posing a serious threat of secondary pollution. To free up [...] Read more.
In the past, due to improper sludge treatment technology and the absence of treatment standards, some municipal sludge was simply dewatered and then sent to landfills, occupying a significant amount of land and posing a serious threat of secondary pollution. To free up land in the landfill area for the expansion of a large-scale wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) in Shanghai, in this study, we conducted comprehensive pilot research on the entire chain of landfill sludge reprocessing and resource utilization. Both the combination of polyferric silicate sulfate (PFSS) and polyetheramine (PEA) and the combination of polyaluminum silicate (PAS) and polyetheramine (PEA) were used for sludge conditioning before dewatering, resulting in dewatered sludge with approximately 60% moisture content. The combined process involved coagulation and sedimentation, flocculation, and oxidation to treat the leachate generated during dewatering. The treatment process successfully met the specified water pollutant discharge concentration limits for the leachate, with the concentration of ammonia nitrogen in the effluent as low as 15.6 mg/L. Co-incineration in a power plant and modification were applied to stabilize and harmlessly dispose of the dewatered sludge. The coal-generating system ran stably, and no obvious problems were observed in the blending process. In the modification experiment, adding 5% to 7% of the solidifying agent increased the sludge bearing ratio by 53% and 57%, respectively. This process effectively reduced levels of fecal coliforms and heavy metals in the sludge but had a less noticeable effect on organic matter content. The modified sludge proved suitable for use as backfill material in construction areas without requirements for organic matter. The results of this study provide valuable insights for a completed full-scale landfill sludge reclamation and land resource release project. Full article
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13 pages, 4138 KiB  
Article
Photocatalytic Degradation of Sulfamethoxazole and Enrofloxacin in Water Using Electrospun Composite Photocatalytic Membrane
by Xiaohu Lin, Haifeng Fang, Libing Wang, Danyan Sun, Gang Zhao and Jingcheng Xu
Water 2024, 16(2), 218; https://doi.org/10.3390/w16020218 - 08 Jan 2024
Viewed by 785
Abstract
Photocatalysis has emerged as a promising technology for the removal of emerging contaminants such as antibiotics from water. Fixing photocatalytic materials on polymers to prepare applicable membranes is a feasible method for applying photocatalysis. This study explored the preparation of composite PAN-TiO2 [...] Read more.
Photocatalysis has emerged as a promising technology for the removal of emerging contaminants such as antibiotics from water. Fixing photocatalytic materials on polymers to prepare applicable membranes is a feasible method for applying photocatalysis. This study explored the preparation of composite PAN-TiO2 and PAN-TiO2-rGO (PAN-rGTi) photocatalytic membranes by combining TiO2, TiO2-reduced graphene oxide (rGO) and polyacrylonitrile (PAN) using electrospinning. Characterization through SEM and EDS analysis confirms the composite membrane’s microstructure and elemental composition. The electrospun PAN-TiO2 and PAN-rGTi composite membranes exhibit a stable and efficient photocatalytic performance in degrading sulfamethoxazole (SMX) and enrofloxacin (ENR), two typical antibiotics commonly found in water bodies. Photocatalytic degradation experiments under simulated solar light reveal the superior performance of the composite photocatalytic membranes compared to PAN alone, with a notable increase in the reaction rate constants of PAN-TiO2 (1.8 to 2.2 times for SMX and 3.2 to 4.0 times for ENR) and even higher enhancements for PAN-rGTi (2.8 to 3.0 times for SMX and 5.4 to 6.5 times for ENR) compared to PAN alone. Despite minor decreases (from 97.6% to 90.4%) in activity over five cycles, the photocatalytic composite membranes remain effective, showcasing their stability and recyclability. This study highlights the potential application of PAN-TiO2 and PAN-rGTi composite membranes as sustainable and effective materials for removing emerging contaminants from water. Further exploration should focus on optimizing materials for specific emerging contaminants and improving their application feasibility for wastewater and water treatment and water purification in water bodies. Full article
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14 pages, 2474 KiB  
Article
Exploring 2,4,6-Trichlorophenol Degradation Characteristics and Functional Metabolic Gene Abundance Using Sludge Fermentation Broth as the Carbon Source
by Jianguang Wang and Shiyi Li
Water 2023, 15(24), 4279; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15244279 - 14 Dec 2023
Viewed by 734
Abstract
The use of sludge fermentation broth (FB) as a co-metabolic carbon source for treating 2,4,6-trichlorophenol (2,4,6-TCP) wastewater is a novel strategy. The key to the feasibility of this strategy is whether the FB can promote the growth of functional microorganisms that are capable [...] Read more.
The use of sludge fermentation broth (FB) as a co-metabolic carbon source for treating 2,4,6-trichlorophenol (2,4,6-TCP) wastewater is a novel strategy. The key to the feasibility of this strategy is whether the FB can promote the growth of functional microorganisms that are capable of degrading 2,4,6-TCP. This study focused on long-term acclimatized sludge and investigated the impact of key operating parameters such as the sludge FB concentration and the influent concentration of 2,4,6-TCP on the removal efficiency of chlorophenol. The research findings revealed that when the influent concentration of sludge FB exceeded 300 mg COD/L, it significantly inhibited the degradation of 2,4,6-TCP. Simulation experiments using individual VFA components as influent carbon sources showed that excessive propionic acid addition can inhibit the degradation of 2,4,6-TCP, indicating the need to control the concentration of propionic acid in the fermentation conditions. Metagenomic analysis further showed that sludge FB can promote the enrichment of microbial chlorophenol degradation genes, including PcpA, pcaF, pcaI, Mal-r, chqB, and fadA. The abundances of these six chlorophenol degradation genes were as follows: 1152 hits (PcpA), 112 hits (pcaF), 10,144 hits (pcaI), 12,552 hits (Mal-r), 8022 hits (chqB), and 20,122 hits (fadA). Compared with other types of carbon sources, sludge FB demonstrates distinct advantages in terms of leading to the highest chlorophenol degradation concentration and the abundance of functional microbial communities. This study has successfully demonstrated the feasibility of using sludge FB as a co-metabolic carbon source for the degradation of 2,4,6-TCP. Full article
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12 pages, 2092 KiB  
Article
Feasibility Study of Using Excess Sludge Fermentation Broth as a Co-Metabolic Carbon Source for 2,4,6-Trichlorophenol Degradation
by Jianguang Wang, Zhirong Sun and Jun Li
Water 2023, 15(22), 4008; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15224008 - 18 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1059
Abstract
Excess sludge fermentation is a commonly employed method for carbon sources in wastewater treatment plants, but its use as a carbon source for chlorophenol removal has been relatively underexplored. In this study, a laboratory-scale sludge fermentation SBR (FSBR) was integrated with a 2,4,6-trichlorophenol [...] Read more.
Excess sludge fermentation is a commonly employed method for carbon sources in wastewater treatment plants, but its use as a carbon source for chlorophenol removal has been relatively underexplored. In this study, a laboratory-scale sludge fermentation SBR (FSBR) was integrated with a 2,4,6-trichlorophenol (2,4,6-TCP) degradation SBR (DSBR), resulting in a stable removal of 2,4,6-TCP without the need for external carbon sources. In this coupled system, the concentrations of volatile fatty acids in FSBR remained constant, with acetic acid, propionic acid, butyric acid, and valeric acid concentrations reaching 322.04 mg COD/L, 225.98 mg COD/L, 274.76 mg COD/L, and 149.58 mg COD/L, respectively, and the acid production efficiency increased to 88.40%. Throughout the 110-day operational period, the activated sludge concentration in the DSBR was consistently maintained at 3021 ± 110 mg/L, and the sludge SVI remained stable at 70 mL/g. The maximum amount of 2,4,6-TCP removed reached 240.13 mg/L within a 12 h operating cycle. The use of excess sludge fermentation can completely replace commercial carbon sources for 2,4,6-TCP removal, leading to cost savings in chlorophenol treatment and broadening the applicability of this technology. Full article
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