Special Issue "Application of Biological and Chemical Processes to Wastewater Treatment"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 January 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Efthalia Chatzisymeon
Website
Guest Editor
School of Engineering, Institute for Infrastructure and Environment, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
Interests: wastewater treatment; water purification; advanced oxidation processes (AOPs); life cycle assessment (LCA); process sustainability

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Chemical and biological technologies for wastewater treatment applications are well established. However, major challenges such as reducing the overall energy consumption and removing priority and hazardous pollutants from wastewater have yet to be tackled. This Special Issue focuses on the development of environmentally friendly and sustainable technologies that can efficiently treat wastewater.

Biological processes may include aerobic treatment (e.g., oxidation ponds, aeration lagoons, aerobic bioreactors, activated sludge, biological filters), anaerobic treatment (anaerobic bioreactors, anaerobic lagoons), and phytoremediation of wastewater. Chemical processes may include chemical precipitation (coagulation, flocculation), ion exchange, neutralization, adsorption, membrane technology, and advanced oxidation processes (ozone, photocatalysis, electrolysis, UV light). Contributions dealing with the application of hybrid chemical and biological processes as well as their combination are strongly encouraged.

Types of wastewaters may include municipal, industrial, hospital, and agro-industrial effluents. The removal of priority and emerging pollutants from wastewater is currently a major challenge for water engineering, since existing conventional wastewater treatment plants were not initially designed to destroy such persistent substances. As such, contributions focusing on the elimination of priority and emerging pollutants (e.g., microplastics, pharmaceuticals and personal care products, pesticides, synthetic hormones, heavy metals) are strongly encouraged.

Dr. Efthalia Chatzisymeon
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 papers will be 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. 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 2000 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 management
  • emerging contaminants
  • wastewater engineering
  • water decontamination
  • disinfection techniques

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
BTX Removal from Open Aqueous Systems by Modified Cellulose Fibers and Evaluation of Competitive Evaporation Kinetics
Water 2020, 12(11), 3154; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113154 - 11 Nov 2020
Abstract
BTX stands for Benzene, Toluene, and Xylenes, which are volatile organic compounds contained in petroleum products such as gasoline. They have negative health effects and are sadly known for soil, air, and water contamination. This paper provides an investigation on BTX removal from [...] Read more.
BTX stands for Benzene, Toluene, and Xylenes, which are volatile organic compounds contained in petroleum products such as gasoline. They have negative health effects and are sadly known for soil, air, and water contamination. This paper provides an investigation on BTX removal from open water systems like those represented by natural water bodies. In such systems, the evaporation process takes place, stealing the pollutants from the aqueous matrix by transferring them into the air, resulting in a secondary pollution. To prevent this situation, adsorption of these organic compounds on cellulose fibers, extracted from Spanish Broom vegetable, was studied. Raw and surface modified cellulose fibers were used for this purpose. The second ones were hydrophobized by two different green and low-cost functionalization systems (no solvent urethane functionalization and low pressure plasma treatments). Batch experiments were performed in an open system where BTX underwent two competing removing mechanisms: volatilization, and adsorption/desorption on/from the fibers dispersed in the water system. A mathematical model was implemented for the interpretation of the observed time-varying pollutant concentrations and the estimation of the kinetic constants for adsorption, desorption, and evaporation. The developed model, provided with the aforementioned parameters calibrated for each type of fibers, was then used for the prediction of their adsorption capacities both into open and closed systems. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Organic Degradation Potential of Real Greywater Using TiO2-Based Advanced Oxidation Processes
Water 2020, 12(10), 2811; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102811 - 10 Oct 2020
Abstract
In keeping with the circular economy approach, reclaiming greywater (GW) is considered a sustainable approach to local reuse of wastewater and a viable option to reduce household demand for freshwater. This study investigated the mineralization of total organic carbon (TOC) in GW using [...] Read more.
In keeping with the circular economy approach, reclaiming greywater (GW) is considered a sustainable approach to local reuse of wastewater and a viable option to reduce household demand for freshwater. This study investigated the mineralization of total organic carbon (TOC) in GW using TiO2-based advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) in a custom-built stirred tank reactor. The combinations of H2O2, O3, and immobilized TiO2 under either dark or UVA irradiation conditions were systematically evaluated—namely TiO2/dark, O3/dark (ozonation), H2O2/dark (peroxidation), TiO2/UVA (photocatalysis), O3/UVA (Ozone photolysis), H2O2/UVA (photo-peroxidation), O3/TiO2/dark (catalytic ozonation), O3/TiO2/UVA (photocatalytic ozonation), H2O2/TiO2/dark, H2O2/TiO2/UVA, H2O2/O3/dark (peroxonation), H2O2/O3/UVA (photo-peroxonation), H2O2/O3/TiO2/dark (catalytic peroxonation), and H2O2/O3/TiO2/UVA (photocatalytic peroxonation). It was found that combining different treatment methods with UVA irradiation dramatically enhanced the organic mineralization efficiency. The optimum TiO2 loading in this study was observed to be 0.96 mg/cm2 with the highest TOC removal (54%) achieved using photocatalytic peroxonation under optimal conditions (0.96 mg TiO2/cm2, 25 mg O3/min, and 0.7 H2O2/O3 molar ratio). In peroxonation and photo-peroxonation, the optimal H2O2/O3 molar ratio was identified to be a critical efficiency parameter maximizing the production of reactive radical species. Increasing ozone flow rate or H2O2 dosage was observed to cause an efficiency inhibition effect. This lab-based study demonstrates the potential for combined TiO2-AOP treatments to significantly reduce the organic fraction of real GW, offering potential for the development of low-cost systems permitting safe GW reuse. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Enhanced Treatment of Pharmaceutical Wastewater by an Improved A2/O Process with Ozone Mixed Municipal Wastewater
Water 2020, 12(10), 2771; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102771 - 05 Oct 2020
Abstract
A pilot-scale experiment is carried out for treating mixed wastewater containing pharmaceutical wastewater (PW) and domestic wastewater (DW), by a process that is a combination of hydrolysis acidification-ozone-modified anaerobic–anoxic–aerobic-ozone (A2/O) (pre-ozone) or hydrolysis acidification-modified A2/O-ozone (post-ozone). The effects of [...] Read more.
A pilot-scale experiment is carried out for treating mixed wastewater containing pharmaceutical wastewater (PW) and domestic wastewater (DW), by a process that is a combination of hydrolysis acidification-ozone-modified anaerobic–anoxic–aerobic-ozone (A2/O) (pre-ozone) or hydrolysis acidification-modified A2/O-ozone (post-ozone). The effects of different mixing ratios of PW and DW and pre-ozone treatment or post-ozone treatment on the removal of nitrogen and phosphorus and chemical oxygen demand (COD) are compared and studied. The optimal ratio of PW in mixing wastewater is 30%, which has the optimal COD removal efficiency and minimum biotoxicity to biological treatment. The pre-ozone treatment shows more advantages in removing nitrogen and phosphate but the post-ozone treatment shows more advantages in COD removal. Analysis of dissolved organic matter (DOM) demonstrates that post-ozone treatment has a more significant effect on the removal of fulvic acid and humic acid than the effect from the pre-ozone treatment, so the COD removal is better. Overall DOM degradation efficiency by post-ozone treatment is 55%, which is much higher than the pre-ozone treatment efficiency of 38%. Microbial community analysis reveals that the genus Thauera and the genus Parasegetibacter take great responsibility for the degradation of phenolics in this process. All the results show that the post-ozone treatment is more efficient for the mixed wastewater treatment in refractory organics removal. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Electricity Generation, Salt and Nitrogen Removal and Microbial Community in Aircathode Microbial Desalination Cell for Saline-Alkaline Soil-Washing Water Treatment
Water 2020, 12(8), 2257; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12082257 - 12 Aug 2020
Abstract
An aircathode microbial desalination cell (AMDC) was successfully started by inoculating anaerobic sludge into the anode of a microbial desalination cell and then used to study the effects of salinity on performance of AMDC and effect of treatment of coastal saline-alkaline soil-washing water. [...] Read more.
An aircathode microbial desalination cell (AMDC) was successfully started by inoculating anaerobic sludge into the anode of a microbial desalination cell and then used to study the effects of salinity on performance of AMDC and effect of treatment of coastal saline-alkaline soil-washing water. The results showed that the desalination cycle and rate gradually shorten, but salt removal gradually increased when the salinity was decreased, and the highest salt removal was 98.00 ± 0.12% at a salinity of 5 g/L. COD removal efficiency was increased with the extension of operation cycle and largest removal efficiency difference was not significant, but the average coulomb efficiency had significant differences under the condition of each salinity. This indicates that salinity conditions have significant influence on salt removal and coulomb efficiency under the combined action of osmotic pressure, electric field action, running time and microbial activity, etc. On the contrary, COD removal effect has no significant differences under the condition of inoculation of the same substrate in the anode chamber. The salt removal reached 99.13 ± 2.1% when the AMDC experiment ended under the condition of washing water of coastal saline-alkaline soil was inserted in the desalination chamber. Under the action of osmotic pressure, ion migration, nitrification and denitrification, NH4+-N and NO3-N in the washing water of the desalination chamber were removed, and this indicates that the microbial desalination cell can be used to treatment the washing water of coastal saline-alkaline soil. The microbial community and function of the anode electrode biofilm and desalination chamber were analyzed through high-throughput sequencing, and the power generation characteristics, organics degradation and migration and transformation pathways of nitrogen of the aircathode microbial desalination cell were further explained. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Additional Carbon Sources in the Biodegradation of 1,4-Dioxane by a Mixed Culture
Water 2020, 12(6), 1718; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12061718 - 16 Jun 2020
Abstract
A mixed culture utilizing 1,4-dioxane as a sole carbon and energy source was obtained from the activated sludge at a textile wastewater treatment plant. The biodegradation of 1,4-dioxane was characterized by a model based on the Monod equation. The effects of the presence [...] Read more.
A mixed culture utilizing 1,4-dioxane as a sole carbon and energy source was obtained from the activated sludge at a textile wastewater treatment plant. The biodegradation of 1,4-dioxane was characterized by a model based on the Monod equation. The effects of the presence of easily degradable carbon sources other than 1,4-dioxane were investigated using dextrose. Structural analogs commonly found in 1,4-dioxane-containing wastewater such as tetrahydrofuran (THF), 2-methyl-1,3-dioxolane, and 1,4-dioxene were also evaluated for their potential effects on 1,4-dioxane biodegradation. The presence of dextrose did not show any synergetic or antagonistic effects on 1,4-dioxane biodegradation, while the structural analogs showed significant competitive inhibition effects. The inhibitory effects were relatively strong with heptagonal cyclic ethers such as THF and 2-methyl-1,3-dioxolane, and mild with hexagonal cyclic ethers such as 1,4-dioxene. It was also shown that the treatment of 1,4-dioxane in the raw textile wastewater required 170% more time to remove 1,4-dioxane due to the co-presence of 2-methyl-1,3-dioxolane, and the extent of delay depended on the initial concentration of 1,3-doxolane. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Hydraulic Retention Time and Influent Nitrate-N Concentration on Nitrogen Removal and the Microbial Community of an Aerobic Denitrification Reactor Treating Recirculating Marine Aquaculture System Effluent
Water 2020, 12(3), 650; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12030650 - 28 Feb 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
The effects of hydraulic retention time (HRT) and influent nitrate-N concentration on nitrogen removal and the microbial community composition of an aerobic denitrification reactor treating recirculating marine aquaculture system effluent were evaluated. Results showed that over 98% of nitrogen was removed and ammonia-N [...] Read more.
The effects of hydraulic retention time (HRT) and influent nitrate-N concentration on nitrogen removal and the microbial community composition of an aerobic denitrification reactor treating recirculating marine aquaculture system effluent were evaluated. Results showed that over 98% of nitrogen was removed and ammonia-N and nitrite-N levels were below 1 mg/L when influent nitrate-N was below 150 mg/L and HRT over 5 h. The maximum nitrogen removal efficiency and nitrogen removal rate were observed at HRT of 6 or 7 h when influent nitrate-N was 150 mg/L. High-throughput DNA sequencing analysis revealed that the microbial phyla Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes were predominant in the reactor, with an average relative total abundance above 70%. The relative abundance of denitrifying bacteria of genera Halomonas and Denitratisoma within the reactor decreased with increasing influent nitrate-N concentrations. Our results show the presence of an aerobically denitrifying microbial consortium with both expected and unexpected members, many of them relatively new to science. Our findings provide insights into the biological workings and inform the design and operation of denitrifying reactors for marine aquaculture systems. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Photocatalytic Oxidation of Natural Organic Matter in Water
Water 2021, 13(3), 288; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13030288 - 25 Jan 2021
Abstract
Increased concentrations of natural organic matter (NOM), a complex mixture of organic substances found in most surface waters, have recently emerged as a substantial environmental issue. NOM has a significant variety of molecular and chemical properties, which in combination with its varying concentrations [...] Read more.
Increased concentrations of natural organic matter (NOM), a complex mixture of organic substances found in most surface waters, have recently emerged as a substantial environmental issue. NOM has a significant variety of molecular and chemical properties, which in combination with its varying concentrations both geographically and seasonally, introduce the opportunity for an array of interactions with the environment. Due to an observable increase in amounts of NOM in water treatment supply sources, an improved effort to remove naturally-occurring organics from drinking water supplies, as well as from municipal wastewater effluents, is required to continue the development of highly efficient and versatile water treatment technologies. Photocatalysis has received increasing interest from around the world, especially during the last decade, as several investigated processes have been regularly reported to be amongst the best performing water treatment technologies to remove NOM from drinking water supplies and mitigate the formation of disinfection by products. Consequently, this overview highlights recent research and developments on the application of photocatalysis to degrade NOM by means of TiO2-based heterogeneous and homogeneous photocatalysts. Analytical techniques to quantify NOM in water and hybrid photocatalytic processes are also reviewed and discussed. Full article
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