Contaminants of Emerging Concern in the Urban Water Cycle: Fate, Occurrence, Detection, Monitoring, and Control-Volume 2.0

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 November 2023) | Viewed by 26039

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Sanitary Environmental Engineering Division (SEED), Department of Civil Engineering, University of Salerno, Via Giovanni Paolo II, Fisciano, SA, Italy
Interests: advances oxidation processes (AOPs); biotecnologies; control of emerging contaminants; enviromental odour; environmental technologies for the sustainable development of smart cities; water energy nexus
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Guest Editor
Department of Water Resources and Environmental Engineering, Tamkang University, 151 Yingzhuan Road Tamsui District, New Taipei City 25137, Taiwan
Interests: industrial wastewater treatment; crystallization; electrochemical processes; membrane processes; redox processes
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In a world where uncertainty is a key concept, monumental challenges such as (and especially) contamination by emerging compounds are at the forefront of everyday life and need urgent action. One effect of contamination is the alteration of the natural environment, especially water resources on which most living organisms rely. A promising approach is redefining the value of water in a sustainable aspect, a principle that must be introduced to future generations. Therefore, the sustainability concept is continuously introduced. In urban areas, the need for safe drinking water is a fundamental issue related to the role of water in cities and the impacts of urbanization on the hydrological cycle and on water resources. Urban agriculture as well as different circular economy strategies are applied to the urban water cycle without a robust risk analysis.

In a sustainable concept, wastewater must be seen as a resource rather than a liability because not all urban areas have access to natural sources of drinking water. Numerous conventional and emerging contaminants (ECs) are found in wastewater, such as pharmaceuticals, microplastics, nanoparticles, and radioactive materials, and more recently, the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which has been detected in wastewater compartments. Due to these phenomena, the integration of nano- and biotechnologies such as membrane separation and toxicogenomic as innovative methods must be carried out to establish autonomous decentralized water and wastewater treatment systems and also health risk assessment technologies for micropollutants.

To strengthen sustainable programs, smart tools partnered with information and communication technology (ICT) are of greater importance for economic and social development. In this way, cities can be more resilient to environmental and anthropic pressures. In a smart environment, there will be an efficient distribution of resources. All sectors are participating in a network of complex interplay to ease the burdens of people in the city. Communication is made easy and accessible, and the speed of implementation can be felt due to the minimal human factor involved, thanks to automation, analytics, and sensor systems, making it simple for most activities to be performed remotely.

The overarching goal of this Special Issue is to highlight the recent innovative water and wastewater solutions as well as existing and potential technologies for the valorization and protection of water from conventional and emerging contaminants. Relevant topics include:

  • Technologies for environmental monitoring of water resources and ecosystems;
  • Fate, occurrence, detection, monitoring, and control of emerging contaminants in the urban water cycle;
  • Occurrence and measurement techniques of emerging environmental pollutants;
  • Environmental risk assessments of pollutants in urban water;
  • Toxicology studies associated with emerging pollutants in urban water;
  • Remediation technologies involved in the treatment and removal of pollutants;
  • Strategies for monitoring and controlling of impacts of bacteria resistant to antibiotics;
  • Water harvesting and sustainable innovations;
  • Separation and purification technologies for resource recovery from waste streams;
  • Wastewater treatment plant innovations for increasing water value and/or for the implementation of sustainable development;
  • Use of natural processes for maintaining water quality and recirculation (bacteria, microalgae, duckweed)
  • Monitoring and control of water sources;
  • Design new infrastructure for water storage, use, reuse, or supply augmentation;
  • Innovative services, mainly drinking water, sanitation, and related human health aspects;
  • New technologies for sustainable production and socioeconomic activity, such as food and agriculture, energy and industry, and business and employment;
  • Solutions for sociocultural values of water, including recreational and cultural attributes and educational and training platforms for society.

Case studies and experiences from different global regions are welcome, as are opportunities to reconcile multiple values of water through more integrated and holistic approaches to governance; approaches to financing; and methods to address knowledge, research, and capacity needs.

This Special Issue of Water (MDPI) invites different types of contributions, such as short mini-review papers, applications, and case studies. This Special Issue will provide a platform and an opportunity to promote cooperation, information dissemination, and exchange among researchers and industry on the basis of the water circular economy.

Prof. Dr. Vincenzo Naddeo
Prof. Dr. Chi-Wang 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. Water 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 2600 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

  • emerging contaminants
  • ecosystems
  • risk assessments
  • remediation technologies
  • natural processes
  • water reuse

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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14 pages, 1437 KiB  
Article
Occurrence Assessment of Pharmaceuticals in Various Sewage Treatment Plants and Effluent-Receiving Streams in Korea
by Dong-Jin Son, Chang-Soo Kim, Jae-Ho Lee, Jeong-Ki Yoon, Soo-Hyung Lee and Dong-Hwan Jeong
Water 2023, 15(22), 3897; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15223897 - 08 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1075
Abstract
The occurrence of micropollutants, including pharmaceuticals, personal care products, pesticides, and hormones in various aquatic ecosystems is a matter of grave concern due to their possible repercussions on human and wildlife endocrine systems. The wastewater containing pharmaceuticals from various sites is usually introduced [...] Read more.
The occurrence of micropollutants, including pharmaceuticals, personal care products, pesticides, and hormones in various aquatic ecosystems is a matter of grave concern due to their possible repercussions on human and wildlife endocrine systems. The wastewater containing pharmaceuticals from various sites is usually introduced to sewage treatment plants (STPs); therefore, monitoring of pharmaceuticals in STPs is crucial. In this study, we determined the occurrence of 58 pharmaceuticals in the influent and effluent of 13 STPs based on regional and linked wastewater differences and investigated their removal rates. Furthermore, we assessed the contribution rates of some STP effluents on pharmaceutical concentration in the upstream and downstream areas of the discharge source. Different kinds of pharmaceuticals were measured in the STPs. The top five pharmaceuticals with high concentrations in the influent of each STP were similar due to the dominance of domestic sewage in the influent. The average concentration of acetaminophen, caffeine, acetylsalicylic acid, naproxen, and ibuprofen in the influent of the STPs was higher than that of other pharmaceuticals, and their removal was 94–100%. In contrast, iopamidol, cimetidine, diphenhydramine, and carbamazepine showed a high average concentration in the effluent. The monitoring results of nine streams near STPs indicated that the effluent could contribute to the increase in the types of pharmaceuticals in the receiving streams. The detected pharmaceuticals’ types were 9–29 and 17–33 in the upstream and downstream areas, respectively, of STP discharge channels. Based on flowrate data, the contribution rate of the STP effluent on the stream was −69–326%. Full article
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12 pages, 3747 KiB  
Article
Photodegradation of Sulfamethoxazole and Enrofloxacin under UV and Simulated Solar Light Irradiation
by Xiaohu Lin, Wenming Zhou, Shiyi Li, Haifeng Fang, Shengjie Fu, Jingcheng Xu and Juwen Huang
Water 2023, 15(3), 517; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15030517 - 28 Jan 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2341
Abstract
Antibiotics, as typical emerging contaminants, are frequently detected in the aquatic environment due to their widespread and massive use, posing potential risks to aquatic ecology and human health. To characterize the photodegradation behavior of typical antibiotics in water environment, sulfamethoxazole (SMX) and enrofloxacin [...] Read more.
Antibiotics, as typical emerging contaminants, are frequently detected in the aquatic environment due to their widespread and massive use, posing potential risks to aquatic ecology and human health. To characterize the photodegradation behavior of typical antibiotics in water environment, sulfamethoxazole (SMX) and enrofloxacin (ENR) were selected in this study, and the photodegradation behaviors of these two antibiotics under UV and simulated solar light irradiation were investigated. The degradation rates of SMX under the two light sources were 0.235 min−1 and 0.024 min−1, respectively, and ENR were 0.124 min−1 and 0.043 min−1, respectively. Furthermore, the effects of typical influencing factors including different light intensities, initial concentrations, inorganic anions, and natural organic matter on the photodegradation behaviors of these two antibiotics were studied. The effect of several active substances was explored by adding several quenching agents, and the photodegradation pathway was proposed. The study of the photodegradation characteristics and mechanisms of these two antibiotics may help to provide a reference for the subsequent development of innovative and efficient photocatalytic materials and techniques to remove antibiotics from water. Full article
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20 pages, 4084 KiB  
Article
Effective Removal of Reactive and Direct Dyes from Colored Wastewater Using Low-Cost Novel Bentonite Nanocomposites
by Yusra Chauhdary, Muhammad Asif Hanif, Umer Rashid, Ijaz Ahmad Bhatti, Hafeez Anwar, Yasir Jamil, Fahad A. Alharthi and Elham Ahmed Kazerooni
Water 2022, 14(22), 3604; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14223604 - 08 Nov 2022
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 2712
Abstract
The present study was aimed to remove direct violet-51, reactive green-5, reactive red, and acid red dyes by novel bentonite clay nanocomposites prepared using sodium metasilicate and potassium ferricyanide. The effect of temperature, pH, adsorbent amount, contact time, and initial concentration were studied [...] Read more.
The present study was aimed to remove direct violet-51, reactive green-5, reactive red, and acid red dyes by novel bentonite clay nanocomposites prepared using sodium metasilicate and potassium ferricyanide. The effect of temperature, pH, adsorbent amount, contact time, and initial concentration were studied to optimize the removal process. Various adsorption isotherms (Temkin, Freundlich isotherm, Langmuir isotherm, Harkin Jura, and Dubinin Radushkevich models) and kinetic models (pseudo-first order and pseudo-second order) were applied to adsorption data to find out the best fit model, i.e., Freundlich isotherm and pseudo-second order model. The prepared samples of bentonite nanocomposites were characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). Bentonite treated with sodium metasilicate and potassium ferricyanide removed 96.6% of direct violet-51 dye, bentonite treated with sodium metasilicate removed 95%, bentonite treated with potassium ferricyanide removed 94%, and pure bentonite removed 80% of the dye from the solution. Full article
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Review

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24 pages, 2035 KiB  
Review
Sustainable Membrane Technologies for By-Product Separation of Non-Pharmaceutical Common Compounds
by Md Eman Talukder, Fariya Alam, Mst. Monira Rahman Mishu, Md. Nahid Pervez, Hongchen Song, Francesca Russo, Francesco Galiano, George K. Stylios, Alberto Figoli and Vincenzo Naddeo
Water 2022, 14(24), 4072; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14244072 - 13 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2435
Abstract
The Chinese pharmaceutical industry and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) are both vital components of Chinese culture. Some traditional methods used to prepare TCMs have lost their conformity, and as a result, are producing lower-quality medicines. In this regard, the TCM sector has been [...] Read more.
The Chinese pharmaceutical industry and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) are both vital components of Chinese culture. Some traditional methods used to prepare TCMs have lost their conformity, and as a result, are producing lower-quality medicines. In this regard, the TCM sector has been looking for new ways to boost productivity and product quality. Membrane technology is environmentally-friendly, energy-saving technology, and more efficient than traditional technologies. Membrane separation is the most effective method for separating and cleaning the ingredients of the non-pharmaceutical common compounds from traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Membrane technology is currently being employed for the concentration, purification, and separation of TCMs. This review paper discusses how membranes are fabricated and their role in non-pharmaceutical common compound separation and TCM purification. Accordingly, the membrane applicability and the technological advantage were also analyzed in non-pharmaceutical common compound separation. Researchers pay attention to the choice of membrane pore size when selecting membranes but often ignore the influence of membrane materials and membrane structure on separation, resulting in certain blindness in the membrane selection process. Full article
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30 pages, 2407 KiB  
Review
Aquatic Microplastic Pollution Control Strategies: Sustainable Degradation Techniques, Resource Recovery, and Recommendations for Bangladesh
by Abir Mahmud, Mustafa Md Wasif, Hridoy Roy, Fareen Mehnaz, Tasnim Ahmed, Md. Nahid Pervez, Vincenzo Naddeo and Md. Shahinoor Islam
Water 2022, 14(23), 3968; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14233968 - 06 Dec 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 9214
Abstract
Microplastics’ dangers and the absence of effective regulation technologies have risen to prominence as a worldwide issue in recent years. South Asian countries, such as Bangladesh, are among the most threatened nations to face the drastic consequence of releasing microplastics into the aquatic [...] Read more.
Microplastics’ dangers and the absence of effective regulation technologies have risen to prominence as a worldwide issue in recent years. South Asian countries, such as Bangladesh, are among the most threatened nations to face the drastic consequence of releasing microplastics into the aquatic environment. The research on managing and degrading microplastics is ongoing, however, sustainable techniques have not yet been found. To create a green and efficient microplastic management plan, we have compiled all the information on the existing removal and degradation techniques for microplastics and provided an overview of all the noteworthy methods that can be implemented in Bangladesh. In the portrayed biotic and abiotic techniques, coagulation and photocatalysis were found to be most efficient in removing microplastics (as high as 99%) in different studies. The concept of microplastic is new to the researchers of Bangladesh, therefore, the characteristics, occurrence, fate, and threats are briefly discussed in this paper. Sampling, extraction, and identification methods of microplastic in freshwater and sediment samples are also thoroughly specified. The sources of microplastic pollution in Bangladesh and possible strategies that can be implemented to minimize additional microplastic discharge into aquatic environments are discussed. Although Bangladesh was the very first country to ban polythene, the failure of the implementation of rules and regulations and a lack of management strategy made Bangladesh the 10th worst country in managing plastic waste. This work is a wake-up call for other researchers to conduct an in-depth investigation to improve microplastic degrading technologies and develop a sustainable strategy to end microplastic pollution in Bangladesh. Full article
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13 pages, 699 KiB  
Review
Plastic Pollution: Are Bioplastics the Right Solution?
by Cristina Mastrolia, Domenico Giaquinto, Christoph Gatz, Md. Nahid Pervez, Shadi Wajih Hasan, Tiziano Zarra, Chi-Wang Li, Vincenzo Belgiorno and Vincenzo Naddeo
Water 2022, 14(22), 3596; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14223596 - 08 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 7734
Abstract
The adverse effects of the accumulation of plastic on our planet are no longer sustainable; plastic is a major threat to all forms of life in all environments in addition to contributing to global warming. The academic world has been focusing on registering [...] Read more.
The adverse effects of the accumulation of plastic on our planet are no longer sustainable; plastic is a major threat to all forms of life in all environments in addition to contributing to global warming. The academic world has been focusing on registering the damages caused by plastic pollution and finding solutions to refrain from and substitute plastic and its usages, which our consumer society is so heavily dependent on. A pathway towards limiting the use of plastic comes from the European Union 2019/904 Directive for limiting the production of single-use and oxo-degradable plastics. Currently, bioplastics are one of the major alternatives in substituting fossil-based plastics, but question remain about its use. as too what extent could bioplastics be a long-term solution to plastic pollution? Is it a misconception to consider bioplastics completely harmless to the environment? This short review article aims to draw attention to the counter effects connected to the limitations and mismanagement of bioplastics through their life cycle by collecting data not published until now. A review of several cradle-to-Grave Life Cycle Assessments has been made to analyse bioplastics from production to end-of-life options. The result produced from this review article shows that bioplastics do not represent a long-term solution to plastic pollution and, on the contrary, may seem to contribute to overall environmental endangerment. The novelty of this work lies in pointing out the misconception of bioplastics’ healthy effects on the environment by thoroughly analysing all environmental impacts of current production and disposal of bioplastics and by providing a more sustainable production of bioplastic through wastewater treatment plants. Full article
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