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Special Issue "Removal of Heavy Metals from Wastewater"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2019.

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Habil. Chem. Laura Bulgariu

“Gheorghe Asachi” Technical University of Iasi, “Cristofor Simionescu” Faculty of Chemical Engineering and Environmental Protection Department of Environmental Engineering and Management, Iasi, Romania
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +40 - 232 278683 / ext. 2244
Interests: heavy metals pollutants, biosorption/adsorption, environmental bioremediation, low-cost biosorbents/adsorbents, wastewater treatment, waste recycling

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue will discuss new trends in the removal of heavy metal ions from wastewater, both at the laboratory scale and at the industrial scale. The new technologies for removing heavy metals, which are environmentally friendly and respect the principles of sustainable development, will be preferred. Authors can submit their work related to each of the main factors contributing to heavy metals removal from wastewater, namely, methods and procedures, materials (especially low-cost materials originating from industrial and agricultural waste), management of wastewater containing heavy metals, valorisation possibilities of waste resulting from the removal of heavy metals from wastewater, etc. We also encourage submissions related to recycling, environmental impact, and wastewater policies post heavy metal removal.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Habil. Chem. Laura Bulgariu
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 monthly 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 1600 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

  • heavy metals
  • methods of removing heavy metals
  • wastewater treatment
  • environmental pollution
  • environmental bioremediation
  • low-cost materials
  • cyrcular economy

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Potential Use of Biochar from Various Waste Biomass as Biosorbent in Co(II) Removal Processes
Water 2019, 11(8), 1565; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11081565
Received: 8 July 2019 / Revised: 24 July 2019 / Accepted: 25 July 2019 / Published: 29 July 2019
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Abstract
The removal of Co(II) ions from aqueous media was done using three types of biochars obtained from algae waste biomass, mustard waste biomass, and soy waste biomass. The biochar samples were obtained by pyrolysis of waste biomass resulted from biofules production, at relative [...] Read more.
The removal of Co(II) ions from aqueous media was done using three types of biochars obtained from algae waste biomass, mustard waste biomass, and soy waste biomass. The biochar samples were obtained by pyrolysis of waste biomass resulted from biofules production, at relative low temperature (600–650 °C), and this procedure can be considered a suitable alternative to reduce the volume of such waste. FTIR spectra recorded for each type of biochar reveal the presence of several functional groups that can be used as binding sites for Co(II) retention. The batch biosorption experiments were performed as a function of initial Co(II) ions concentration and contact time, at constant solution pH (5.0), sorbent dose (8.0 g/L), and room temperature (25 ± 1 °C). The sorption experiments showed that the Co(II) ions retention reaches the equilibrium in maximum 60 min, and the maximum sorption capacity follows the order: Mustard biochar (MBC—24.21 mg/g) < soy biochar (SBC—19.61 mg/g) < algae biochar (ABC—11.90 mg/g). The modeling of experimental data proves that the retention of Co(II) ions from aqueous solution occurs through electrostatic interactions, and that the sorption process takes place until a monolayer coverage is formed on the outer surface of the biochar. This information is very useful in the design of a suitable desorption system. The desorption results showed that by treating the biochar samples loaded with Co(II) ions with 0.1 mol/L HNO3 solution, over 92% of Co(II) ions are desorbed and can be recovered, and the biochar samples can be used in at least three sorption/desorption cycles. All the experimental observations sustain the potential use of biochar obtained from different types of waste biomass as a promising alternative sorbent for the removal of Co(II) ions from aqueous media. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Removal of Heavy Metals from Wastewater)
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Open AccessArticle
Batch and Column Scale Removal of Cadmium from Water Using Raw and Acid Activated Wheat Straw Biochar
Water 2019, 11(7), 1438; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11071438
Received: 8 May 2019 / Revised: 3 July 2019 / Accepted: 8 July 2019 / Published: 12 July 2019
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Abstract
The present study examined novel wheat straw biochar (WSB) and acid treated wheat straw biochar (AWSB) for cadmium removal from contaminated water. A series of batch and column scale experiments was conducted to evaluate the potential of WSB and AWSB for cadmium removal [...] Read more.
The present study examined novel wheat straw biochar (WSB) and acid treated wheat straw biochar (AWSB) for cadmium removal from contaminated water. A series of batch and column scale experiments was conducted to evaluate the potential of WSB and AWSB for cadmium removal at different biochar dosage (0.5–8 g/L), initial cadmium concentration (5–100 mg/L), solution pH (2–8) and contact time (5–180 min). Results revealed that cadmium adsorption decreased by increasing biochar dosage from 0.5 to 8 g/L; however, optimum dosage for maximum (99%) removal of cadmium was 2 g/L by WSB and 1 g/L by AWSB. Enhanced cadmium removal potential by AWSB is attributed to increased surface area, microporosity and variation in functional groups. Equilibrium experimental data was well described by Freundlich adsorption isotherm whereas kinetic data were better explained with pseudo-second order model. Both WSB and AWSB have shown good adsorption capacity of 31.65 mg/g and 74.63 mg/g, respectively, that is comparable with other costly adsorbents. Columns packed with WSB and AWSB at laboratory scale have also shown good retention of cadmium with excellent reusability. These findings indicate that WSB especially AWSB could be a promising, cost-effective and environmental friendly strategy for the removal of metals from contaminated water. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Removal of Heavy Metals from Wastewater)
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Open AccessArticle
Biochar from A Freshwater Macroalga as A Potential Biosorbent for Wastewater Treatment
Water 2019, 11(7), 1390; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11071390
Received: 30 May 2019 / Revised: 28 June 2019 / Accepted: 1 July 2019 / Published: 6 July 2019
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Abstract
The multi-elemental composition, surface texture and morphology of biochar, produced by pyrolysis at 300, 350, 400 and 450 °C from freshwater macroalga Cladophora glomerata, as a biosorbent of toxic metals was examined with Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometry (ICP-OES), Scanning Electron [...] Read more.
The multi-elemental composition, surface texture and morphology of biochar, produced by pyrolysis at 300, 350, 400 and 450 °C from freshwater macroalga Cladophora glomerata, as a biosorbent of toxic metals was examined with Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometry (ICP-OES), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), and Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FT-IR) techniques. It was found that the yield of pyrolysis was inversely proportional to temperature: for 300 °C it was 63%, whereas for 450 °C—47%. The proximate analysis revealed that also biochar’s moisture and volatile matter was inversely proportional to temperature. The content of ash increased with temperature. All biochars were characterized by a similar total pore area of about 20 m2 g−1. FT-IR analysis showed that all biochars peaked at 3500–3100 cm−1 which was attributed to O–H stretching of the hydroxyl groups, at 2850–2970 cm−1, stretching vibrations of C–H bonds in aliphatic CH2 and CH groups, at 1605 cm−1, stretching vibrations from C=C of aromatics, at 1420 cm−1, bending oscillations from CH2, at about 1111 cm−1, stretching vibrations of Si–O, at 618 cm−1, vibrations from Fe–O bonds, and at 475 cm−1—Si–O–Si deformation vibrations. The biosorption properties of biochar towards Cr(III) ions were examined in kinetic studies. The biosorption capacity of biochar increased with an increase of pyrolysis temperature: the highest was for biochar obtained at 450 °C—87.1 mg Cr(III) g−1 and the lowest at 300 °C—45.9 mg g−1. Cladophora biochar also demonstrated a good ability to simultaneously remove metal ions from a multi-metal system, e.g., wastewater. The removal efficiency for Cr(III) was 89.9%, for Cu(II) 97.1% and for Zn(II) 93.7%. The biochar derived from waste-freshwater macroalgae can be a potent and eco-friendly alternative adsorptive material. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Removal of Heavy Metals from Wastewater)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Dissolved Silicon on the Removal of Heavy Metals from Aqueous Solution by Aquatic Macrophyte Eleocharis acicularis
Water 2019, 11(5), 940; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11050940
Received: 5 April 2019 / Revised: 1 May 2019 / Accepted: 2 May 2019 / Published: 4 May 2019
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Abstract
Silicon (Si) has been recently reconsidered as a beneficial element due to its direct roles in stimulating the growth of many plant species and alleviating metal toxicity. This study aimed at validating the potential of an aquatic macrophyte Eleocharis acicularis for simultaneous removal [...] Read more.
Silicon (Si) has been recently reconsidered as a beneficial element due to its direct roles in stimulating the growth of many plant species and alleviating metal toxicity. This study aimed at validating the potential of an aquatic macrophyte Eleocharis acicularis for simultaneous removal of heavy metals from aqueous solutions under different dissolved Si. The laboratory experiments designed for determining the removal efficiencies of heavy metals were conducted in the absence or presence of Si on a time scale up to 21 days. Eleocharis acicularis was transplanted into the solutions containing 0.5 mg L−1 of indium (In), gallium (Ga), silver (Ag), thallium (Tl), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), cadmium (Cd), and lead (Pb) with various Si concentrations from 0 to 4.0 mg L−1. The results revealed that the increase of dissolved Si concentrations enhanced removal efficiencies of E. acicularis for Ga, Cu, Zn, Cd, and Pb, while this increase did not show a clear effect for In, Tl, and Ag. Our study presented a notable example of combining E. acicularis with dissolved Si for more efficient removals of Cu, Zn, Cd, Pb, and Ga from aqueous solutions. The findings are applicable to develop phytoremediation or phytomining strategy for contaminated environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Removal of Heavy Metals from Wastewater)
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Open AccessArticle
Removal Efficiency and Mechanism of Cr(VI) from Aqueous Solution by Maize Straw Biochars Derived at Different Pyrolysis Temperatures
Water 2019, 11(4), 781; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11040781
Received: 14 February 2019 / Revised: 9 April 2019 / Accepted: 11 April 2019 / Published: 15 April 2019
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Abstract
The removal efficiency and mechanism of Cr(VI) removal from aqueous solution on semi-decomposed maize straw biochars pyrolyzed at 300 to 600 °C were investigated. The removal of Cr(VI) by the biochars decreased with pyrolysis temperature increasing from 300 to 600 °C, and the [...] Read more.
The removal efficiency and mechanism of Cr(VI) removal from aqueous solution on semi-decomposed maize straw biochars pyrolyzed at 300 to 600 °C were investigated. The removal of Cr(VI) by the biochars decreased with pyrolysis temperature increasing from 300 to 600 °C, and the maximum removal capacity of Cr(VI) for maize straw biochar pyrolyzed at 300 °C was 91 mg/g at pH 2.0. The percentage removal of Cr(VI) rapidly decreased with pH increasing from 2.0 to 8.0, with the maximum (>99.9%) at pH 2.0. The variation of Cr(VI) and Cr(III) concentrations in the solution after reaction showed that Cr(VI) concentration decreased while Cr(III) increased and the equilibrium was reached after 48 h, while the redox potential after reaction decreased due to Cr(VI) reduction. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) semi-quantitative analysis showed that Cr(III) accounted for 75.7% of the total Cr bound to maize straw biochar, which indicated reductive adsorption was responsible for Cr(VI) removal by the biochars. Cr(VI) was firstly adsorbed onto the positively charged biochar surface and reduced to Cr(III) by electrons provided by oxygen-containing functional groups (e.g., C=O), and subsequently part of the converted Cr(III) remained on the biochar surface and the rest released into solution. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) data indicated the participation of C=O, Si–O, –CH2 and –CH3 groups in Cr(VI) removal by the biochars. This study showed that maize straw biochar pyrolyzed at 300 °C for 2 h was one low-cost and efficient adsorbent for Cr(VI) removal from aqueous solution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Removal of Heavy Metals from Wastewater)
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Open AccessArticle
Adsorption of Aqueous As (III) in Presence of Coexisting Ions by a Green Fe-Modified W Zeolite
Water 2019, 11(2), 281; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11020281
Received: 1 January 2019 / Revised: 31 January 2019 / Accepted: 1 February 2019 / Published: 6 February 2019
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Abstract
The high toxicity of arsenite and the difficulty to remove it is one of the main challenges for water treatment. In the present work the surface of a low cost zeolite was modified by chemical treatment with a ferrous chloride to enhance its [...] Read more.
The high toxicity of arsenite and the difficulty to remove it is one of the main challenges for water treatment. In the present work the surface of a low cost zeolite was modified by chemical treatment with a ferrous chloride to enhance its arsenite adsorption capacity. The effect of pH, ions coexistence, concentration, temperature and dosage was studied on the adsorption process. Additionally, the Fe-modified W zeolite was aged by an accelerated procedure and the regeneration of the exhausted zeolite was demonstrated. The Fe-modified W zeolite was stable in the pH range of 3 to 8 and no detriment to its arsenite removal capacity was observed in the presence of coexisting ions commonly found in underground water. The studies showed that the adsorption of As (III) on Fe-modified W zeolite is a feasible, spontaneous and endothermic process and it takes place by chemical bonding. The exhausting process proved the adsorption of 0.20 mg g−1 of As (III) by the Fe-modified W zeolite and this withstand at least five aging cycles without significant changes of its arsenite adsorption capacity. Fe-modified W zeolite prepared from fly ash might be a green and low-cost alternative for removal of As (III) from groundwater. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Removal of Heavy Metals from Wastewater)
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Open AccessArticle
Characterization of the Adsorption of Cu (II) from Aqueous Solutions onto Pyrolytic Sludge-Derived Adsorbents
Water 2018, 10(12), 1816; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10121816
Received: 22 November 2018 / Revised: 6 December 2018 / Accepted: 7 December 2018 / Published: 10 December 2018
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Abstract
The adsorption of Cu (II) onto two typical types of pyrolytic sludge was investigated in this study. The examined conditions include pH, adsorption time, and temperature, as well as the dosage of adsorbents. Results show that the adsorbents removed the Cu (II) effectively. [...] Read more.
The adsorption of Cu (II) onto two typical types of pyrolytic sludge was investigated in this study. The examined conditions include pH, adsorption time, and temperature, as well as the dosage of adsorbents. Results show that the adsorbents removed the Cu (II) effectively. The adsorbent made from pyrolyzed paper mill sludge (CuMS) exhibited exceptional performance, with a removal efficiency of around 100%. Moreover, the adsorption of Cu (II) onto CuMS was not affected by pH in the range of 3–9. The kinetic data showed better conformation with the pseudo-second-order kinetic model, and the adsorption processes of the CuMS fit well to the Langmuir isotherm model. The adsorption capacity reached 4.90 mg·g−1 under appropriate conditions. Microscopic analysis and FT-IR analysis revealed that the adsorbent with porous structure and high monosilicate content was beneficial to Cu (II) adsorption. Thus, the CuMS is a potentially promising candidate for retaining Cu (II) in aqueous environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Removal of Heavy Metals from Wastewater)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Review of Constructed Wetlands for Acid Mine Drainage Treatment
Water 2018, 10(11), 1685; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10111685
Received: 11 October 2018 / Revised: 3 November 2018 / Accepted: 8 November 2018 / Published: 19 November 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1174 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The mining industry is the major producer of acid mine drainage (AMD). The problem of AMD concerns at active and abandoned mine sites. Acid mine drainage needs to be treated since it can contaminate surface water. Constructed wetlands (CW), a passive treatment technology, [...] Read more.
The mining industry is the major producer of acid mine drainage (AMD). The problem of AMD concerns at active and abandoned mine sites. Acid mine drainage needs to be treated since it can contaminate surface water. Constructed wetlands (CW), a passive treatment technology, combines naturally-occurring biogeochemical, geochemical, and physical processes. This technology can be used for the long-term remediation of AMD. The challenge is to overcome some factors, for instance, chemical characteristics of AMD such a high acidity and toxic metals concentrations, to achieve efficient CW systems. Design criteria, conformational arrangements, and careful selection of each component must be considered to achieve the treatment. The main objective of this review is to summarize the current advances, applications, and the prevalent difficulties and opportunities to apply the CW technology for AMD treatment. According to the cited literature, sub-surface CW (SS-CW) systems are suggested for an efficient AMD treatment. The synergistic interactions between CW components determine heavy metal removal from water solution. The microorganism-plant interaction is considered the most important since it implies symbiosis mechanisms for heavy metal removal and tolerance. In addition, formation of litter and biofilm layers contributes to heavy metal removal by adsorption mechanisms. The addition of organic amendments to the substrate material and AMD bacterial consortium inoculation are some of the strategies to improve heavy metal removal. Adequate experimental design from laboratory to full scale systems need to be used to optimize equilibria between CW components selection and construction and operational costs. The principal limitations for CW treating AMD is the toxicity effect that heavy metals produce on CW plants and microorganisms. However, these aspects can be solved partially by choosing carefully constructed wetlands components suitable for the AMD characteristics. From the economic point of view, a variety of factors affects the cost of constructed wetlands, such as: detention time, treatment goals, media type, pretreatment type, number of cells, source, and availability of gravel media, and land requirements, among others. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Removal of Heavy Metals from Wastewater)
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