Special Issue "Innovative Technologies and Approaches for Sustainable Wastewater Treatment and Wastewater Reuse"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Maria Cristina Collivignarelli
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture, University of Pavia, 27100 Pavia, Italy
Interests: advanced biological wastewater treatments; treatments for sludge minimization; innovative management of wastewater and drinking water treatment plants; membrane processes; advanced oxidation processes; resource recovery; circular economy and interdisciplinary approaches
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Alessandro Abbà
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Civil, Environmental, Architectural Engineering and Mathematics, University of Brescia, 25121 Brescia, Italy
Interests: water reuse; circular economy; resource recovery; advanced biological wastewater treatment; treatment for sludge minimization; membrane processes; assessment of wastewater treatment plants
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The increasing demand for material and energy resources from wastewater management represents a major challenge for public health and economic development. Both wastewater reuse and sludge reduction represent suitable choices to move towards a sustainable approach to integrated urban water management.

However, the current technologies in existing wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are not able to remove (complete or partially) huge amounts of “new” pollutants, such as contaminants of emerging concern. These compounds could be released in the environment, involving serious effects on the aquatic environment and on human health.

Therefore, advanced treatment technologies have been sought to find solutions supporting sustainable approach in wastewater management.

Authors are invited to submit original research and review articles focusing on this area. Potential topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • Recent advances in wastewater treatments;
  • Recent advances in membrane-based processes;
  • Advanced technologies for wastewater reuse;
  • Innovative technologies in wastewater treatment plants to improve resource recovery and to minimize residues;
  • Technologies for the removal of contaminants of emerging concern;
  • Toxicity reduction.

Prof. Dr. Maria Cristina Collivignarelli
Dr. Alessandro Abbà
Guest Editors

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/sludge treatment technologies
  • energy/resource recovery from wastewater/sludge
  • advanced oxidation
  • innovative tertiary treatment technologies
  • membrane processes
  • wastewater management
  • circular economy

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Article
Extraction and Purification of Phosphorus from the Ashes of Incinerated Biological Sewage Sludge
Water 2021, 13(8), 1102; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13081102 - 16 Apr 2021
Viewed by 359
Abstract
Phosphorus depletion represents a significant problem. Ash of incinerated biological sewage sludge (BSS) contains P, but the presence of heavy metals (e.g., Fe and Al) is the main issue. Based on chemical characterization by SEM-EDS, ED-XRF and ICP-OES techniques, the characteristics and P [...] Read more.
Phosphorus depletion represents a significant problem. Ash of incinerated biological sewage sludge (BSS) contains P, but the presence of heavy metals (e.g., Fe and Al) is the main issue. Based on chemical characterization by SEM-EDS, ED-XRF and ICP-OES techniques, the characteristics and P content of bottom ash (BA) and fly ash (FA) of incinerated BSS were very similar. On BA, P extraction carried out in counter- current with an S:L ratio of 1:10 and H2SO4 0.5 M led to better extraction yields than those of a similar test with H2SO4 1 M and an S:L ratio of 1:5 (93% vs. 86%). Comparing yields with H2SO4 0.5 M (S:L ratio of 1:10), the counter-current method gave better results than those of the crossflow method (93% vs. 83.9%), also improving the performance obtained with HCl in crossflow (93% vs. 89.3%). The results suggest that the purification of the acid extract from heavy metals with pH variation was impractical due to metal precipitation as phosphates. Extraction with H2SO4 and subsequent treatment with isoamyl alcohol represented the best option to extract and purify P, leading to 81% extraction yields of P with low amounts of metals. Full article
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Article
Efficiency and Energy Demand in Polishing Treatment of Wastewater Treatment Plants Effluents: Photoelectrocatalysis vs. Photocatalysis and Photolysis
Water 2021, 13(6), 821; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13060821 - 17 Mar 2021
Viewed by 486
Abstract
Photoelectrocatalysis (PEC), photolysis (PL), and photocatalysis (PC) were applied to increase the biodegradability of wastewaters effluents sampled from a plant collecting both municipal wastewaters and aqueous waste. In PEC, the catalyst was a porous TiO2 photoanode obtained by plasma electrolytic oxidation and [...] Read more.
Photoelectrocatalysis (PEC), photolysis (PL), and photocatalysis (PC) were applied to increase the biodegradability of wastewaters effluents sampled from a plant collecting both municipal wastewaters and aqueous waste. In PEC, the catalyst was a porous TiO2 photoanode obtained by plasma electrolytic oxidation and electrically polarized during operation. In PC a dispersion of TiO2 powders was used. The same irradiation shielding, and similar catalyst surface areas were set for PC and PEC, allowing a straightforward evaluation of the catalytic effect of the electrical polarization of TiO2 during operation. Results showed that the chemical oxygen demand (COD) and color removal rates follow the order: PEC > PL and PEC > PC. The specific biodegradability rate (SBR) increased following the same order, the PEC process allowing SBR values more than twice higher than PL and PC. The operating costs were calculated based on the electrical energy per order of COD, color, and SBR values, demonstrating that at the laboratory scale the energy demand of PEC is significantly lower than the other two tested processes. Full article
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Article
Optimal Solutions for the Use of Sewage Sludge on Agricultural Lands
Water 2021, 13(5), 585; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13050585 - 24 Feb 2021
Viewed by 501
Abstract
The use of sewage sludge in agriculture decreases the pressure on landfills. In Romania, massive investments have been made in wastewater treatment stations, which have resulted in the accumulation of important quantities of sewage sludge. The presence of these sewage sludges coincides with [...] Read more.
The use of sewage sludge in agriculture decreases the pressure on landfills. In Romania, massive investments have been made in wastewater treatment stations, which have resulted in the accumulation of important quantities of sewage sludge. The presence of these sewage sludges coincides with large areas of degraded agricultural land. The aim of the present article is to identify the best technological combinations meant to solve these problems simultaneously. Adapting the quality and parameters of the sludge to the specificity of the land solves the possible compatibility problems, thus reducing the impact on the environment. The physico-chemical characteristics of the fermented sludge were monitored and optimal solutions for their treatment were suggested so as to allow that the sludge could be used in agriculture according to the characteristics of the soils. The content of heavy metals in the sewage sludge was closely monitored because the use of sewage sludge as a fertilizer does not allow for any increases in the concentrations of these in soils. The article identifies those agricultural areas which are suitable for the use of sludge, as well as ways of correcting some parameters (e.g., pH), which allow the improvement of soil quality and obtained higher agricultural production. Full article
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Article
Enhancement of Anaerobic Digestion of Waste-Activated Sludge by Conductive Materials under High Volatile Fatty Acids-to-Alkalinity Ratios
Water 2021, 13(4), 391; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040391 - 03 Feb 2021
Viewed by 533
Abstract
Anaerobic digestion (AD) represents a suitable option for the management of the waste-activated sludge (WAS) produced in municipal wastewater treatment plants. Nevertheless, due to its complex characteristics, WAS is often barely degradable under conventional anaerobic processes. The use of conductive materials during AD [...] Read more.
Anaerobic digestion (AD) represents a suitable option for the management of the waste-activated sludge (WAS) produced in municipal wastewater treatment plants. Nevertheless, due to its complex characteristics, WAS is often barely degradable under conventional anaerobic processes. The use of conductive materials during AD provides a promising route for enhancing WAS digestion, through the effects of direct inter-species electron transfer (DIET). The present paper aims to evaluate the effects of the addition of four different materials—granular activated carbon (GAC), granular iron, and aluminium and steel scrap powders—in semi-continuous lab-scale reactors under very high volatile fatty acids-to-alkalinity ratios. In particular, the use of metallic aluminium in WAS digestion was investigated for the first time and compared to the other materials. The AD of WAS without the addition of conductive materials was impossible, while the use of steel powder and zero-valent iron is shown not to improve the digestion process in a satisfactory way. On the contrary, both GAC and Al allow for effective WAS degradation. At stable conditions, methane yields of about 230 NmLCH4/gVS and 212 NmLCH4/gVS are recorded for GAC- and Al-amended reactors, respectively. These two materials are the most promising in sustaining WAS AD through DIET also in case of unbalanced volatile fatty acids-to-alkalinity ratios. Full article
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Article
Potential Viable Products Identified from Characterisation of Agricultural Slaughterhouse Rendering Wastewater
Water 2021, 13(3), 352; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13030352 - 30 Jan 2021
Viewed by 777
Abstract
The composition of challenging matrices must be fully understood in order to determine the impact of the matrix and to establish suitable treatment methods. Rendering condensate wastewater is a complex matrix which is understudied. It is produced when the vapour from rendering facilities [...] Read more.
The composition of challenging matrices must be fully understood in order to determine the impact of the matrix and to establish suitable treatment methods. Rendering condensate wastewater is a complex matrix which is understudied. It is produced when the vapour from rendering facilities (heat processing of slaughterhouse waste material) is cooled as a liquid for discharge. This study offers a full physicochemical characterisation of rendering condensate wastewater and its potential for valorisation via production of viable by-products. A study of seasonal variation of levels of dissolved oxygen, chemical oxygen demand, total nitrogen and ammonia was carried out on the wastewater. The results show that the wastewater was high strength all year-round, with a chemical oxygen demand of 10,813 ± 427 mg/L and high concentrations of total Kjeldahl nitrogen (1745 ± 90 mg/L), ammonia (887 ± 21 mg/L), crude protein (10,911 ± 563 mg/L), total phosphorous (51 ± 1 mg/L), fat and oil (11,363 ± 934 mg/L), total suspended solids (336 ± 73 mg/L) and total dissolved solids (4397 ± 405 mg/L). This characterisation demonstrates the requirement for adequate treatment of the condensate before releasing it to the environment. While there is a reasonably constant flow rate and dissolved oxygen level throughout the year, higher chemical oxygen demand, total nitrogen and ammonia levels were found in the warmer summer months. From this study, rendering condensate slaughterhouse wastewater is shown to have potential for production of marketable goods. These products may include ammonium sulphate fertilizer, protein supplements for animal feeds and recovery of acetic acid calcium hydroxyapatite, thus enhancing both the financial and environmental sustainability of slaughterhouse operations. This work demonstrates a valuable assessment of a complex wastewater, while taking advantage of on-site access to samples and process data to inform the potential for wastewater reuse. Full article
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