Sustainable Wastewater Management in the Context of Circular Economy

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2023) | Viewed by 20547

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Environmental Engineering and Management, “Gheorghe Asachi” Technical University of Iasi, Iasi, Romania
Interests: waste management and valorization in the context of circular economy; advanced wastewater treatment processes for recycling and reuse; environmental and sustainability assessments by means of various instruments (life-cycle assessment, water footprint, carbon footprint, sustainability indicators, environmental integrated impact and risk assessment); integrated water resources management; environmental engineering
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Guest Editor
Faculty of Industrial Chemistry and Environmental Engineering, Politehnica University of Timisoara, Timisoara, Romania
Interests: development of advanced voltammetric and amperometric sensors; design of nanomaterials-based electrode materials; electrochemical detection and degradation of hazardous and emerging pollutants from water; advanced oxidation processes for water and wastewater treatment
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

When considering integrative environmental pollution prevention and control, the best options for wastewater management must be linked to the circular economy concept, which transform the wastewater from waste streams (effluents and sludge) into valuable resources. Moreover, urban wastewater treatment plants should be considered as important representatives of the circular economy through the integration of energy generation and resource recovery. The resources from municipal/industrial wastewater plants are recovered in the form of wastewater that might be recycled or reused, or energy, nutrients and other resources that require adequate strategies and treatment processes, which assure not only sustainable wastewater management but also the removal of emerging or priority pollutants. Wastewater recycling and reuse as well as sludge treatment requires advanced and innovative processes (such as membranes, advanced oxidation, biological, sorption, disinfection, etc.) which should be integrated with conventional treatment or developed as separate modules such that the wastewater treatment plants become more financially and environmentally sustainable. Several tools and indicators for the sustainability assessment of wastewater and sludge treatment should be applied, e.g., life cycle assessment, carbon footprint assessment, integrated assessments and more. The research in the field of wastewater management is continuously growing with the development of innovative and emerging technologies and solutions according to circular economy principles.

Potential topics of research or review articles may include but are not limited to the following:

  • municipal or industrial wastewater treatment processes such as membranes, advanced oxidation, biological, sorption, etc.;
  • assessment of wastewater treatment plants or processes considering the circular economy concepts and sustainability instruments;
  • conception of technological processes applied to wastewater treatment recycling and reuse, nutrient recovery;
  • integration of advanced processes within the conventional technological flow of wastewater treatment;
  • sludge management and valorization

Prof. Dr. Carmen Teodosiu
Prof. Dr. Florica Manea
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • advanced wastewater treatment
  • circular economy
  • innovative processes
  • wastewater management
  • nutrient recovery
  • energy production
  • wastewater recycling and reuse
  • emerging pollutants

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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17 pages, 4399 KiB  
Article
Sand/Polyethyleneimine Composites with Enhanced Sorption/Desorption Properties toward Pollutants
by Florin Bucatariu, Larisa-Maria Petrila, Marius-Mihai Zaharia, Frank Simon and Marcela Mihai
Water 2022, 14(23), 3928; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14233928 - 2 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1811
Abstract
The direct deposition of polyethyleneimine (PEI), a weak polycation with a large content of amino groups, onto sand fractions with different sizes (F70, F100, F200, and F355), resulted in versatile core-shell sorbents for water cleaning. Herein, PEI and the weak polyanion poly(acrylic acid) [...] Read more.
The direct deposition of polyethyleneimine (PEI), a weak polycation with a large content of amino groups, onto sand fractions with different sizes (F70, F100, F200, and F355), resulted in versatile core-shell sorbents for water cleaning. Herein, PEI and the weak polyanion poly(acrylic acid) (PAA) were directly precipitated as an nonstoichiometric polyelectrolyte complex ([PEI]:[PAA] = 2:1) onto a sand surface followed by cross-linking with glutaraldehyde (GA) at three molar ratios ([CHO]:[amine] = 1:10; 1:5; 1:1 = r). Non-crosslinked polyelectrolyte chains were washed out in strongly basic (pH 14) and acidic (pH 0) media. The sand/PEI-GA composites were evaluated to determine the organic shell stability using swelling experiments and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The sorbed/desorbed amount of two model pollutants (copper ions and bromocresol green) in column experiments depended on the sand fraction size and cross-linking degree of the PEI shell. The maximum recorded values, after five loading/release cycles of pollutant species onto F70/PEI-GAr, F100/PEI-GAr, F200/PEI-GAr, and F355/PEI-GAr, were situated between the 0.7–5.5 mg Cu2+/mL column and 3.7–15 mg BCG/mL column. Sand/PEI-GAr composites could act as promising sorbents, low-cost and eco-friendly, which could be applied for water purification procedures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Wastewater Management in the Context of Circular Economy)
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16 pages, 4809 KiB  
Article
Enhancing the TiO2-Ag Photocatalytic Efficiency by Acetone in the Dye Removal from Wastewater
by Catalina Nutescu Duduman, Consuelo Gómez de Castro, Gabriela Antoaneta Apostolescu, Gabriela Ciobanu, Doina Lutic, Lidia Favier and Maria Harja
Water 2022, 14(17), 2711; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14172711 - 31 Aug 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2021
Abstract
TiO2 nanoparticles synthesized by the sol-gel method and doped with Ag were characterized by SEM, EDAX, FTIR, BET, XRD and TEM, then tested in the photocatalytic degradation of methylene blue (MB) under UV irradiation. The experimental results indicate that the average size [...] Read more.
TiO2 nanoparticles synthesized by the sol-gel method and doped with Ag were characterized by SEM, EDAX, FTIR, BET, XRD and TEM, then tested in the photocatalytic degradation of methylene blue (MB) under UV irradiation. The experimental results indicate that the average size of the raw particles was 10 nm, and their size was increased by calcination. The photocatalytic degradation of MB on nanostructured TiO2-Ag shows a high degradation efficiency upon the addition of a photosensitizer. A parametric study of the process was performed and has revealed the optimal value of the photocatalyst dose (0.3 g L−1) at a MB concentration of 4 ppm. Afterwards, the effect of acetone as a photosensitizer was studied. A MB degradation mechanism was proposed to explain the synergy between the TiO2 and the silver nanoparticles in the degradation performance. Under the optimal experimental conditions, at photosensitizer doses of 0.1 and 0.2%, yields of 92.38% and 97.25% MB degradation were achieved, respectively. Kinetic models showed that, at 0.1% acetone concentration, the data fit the pseudo-first-order model, while at 0.2% acetone, the photodegradation mechanism fits a second-order model. The values of the apparent rate constants indicate that the reaction rate increased between 24 and 40 times in the presence of acetone on TiO2 and TiO2-Ag. The addition of acetone modified the photodegradation mechanism and the Ag-doped samples became more active. The results of recycling tests using calcined TiO2-Ag material clearly show that the material was highly photocatalytically stable for the MB degradation. According to experimental results, the dye degradation decreased from 97.25% to 92.39% after four consecutive cycles. This simple approach could be applied for the advanced cleaning of wastewater contaminated with dyes, in the perspective of its reuse. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Wastewater Management in the Context of Circular Economy)
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16 pages, 3365 KiB  
Article
Advanced Electrodegradation of Doxorubicin in Water Using a 3-D Ti/SnO2 Anode
by Corina Orha, Cornelia Bandas, Carmen Lazau, Mina Ionela Popescu, Anamaria Baciu and Florica Manea
Water 2022, 14(5), 821; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14050821 - 6 Mar 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2160
Abstract
This study investigated the application of an advanced electrooxidation process with three-dimensional tin oxide deposited onto a titanium plate anode, named 3-D Ti/SnO2, for the degradation and mineralization of one of the most important emerging contaminants with cytostatic properties, doxorubicin (DOX). [...] Read more.
This study investigated the application of an advanced electrooxidation process with three-dimensional tin oxide deposited onto a titanium plate anode, named 3-D Ti/SnO2, for the degradation and mineralization of one of the most important emerging contaminants with cytostatic properties, doxorubicin (DOX). The anode was synthesized using a commercial Ti plate, with corrosion control in acidic medium, used as a substrate for SnO2 deposition by the spin-coating method. X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analyses revealed that porous SnO2 was obtained, and the rutile phase of TiO2 was identified as an intermediary substrate onto the Ti plate. The results of CV analysis allowed us to determine the optimal operating conditions for the electrooxidation process conducted under a constant potential regime, controlled by the electron transfer or the diffusion mechanisms, involving hydroxyl radicals. The determination of UV–VIS spectra, total organic carbon (TOC), and chemical oxygen demand (COD) allowed us to identify the degradation mechanism and pathway of DOX onto the 3-D Ti/SnO2 anode. The effective degradation and mineralization of DOX contained in water by the electrooxidation process with this new 3-D dimensionally stable anode (DSA) was demonstrated in this study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Wastewater Management in the Context of Circular Economy)
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Review

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18 pages, 2725 KiB  
Review
Cellulose Acetate-Based Materials for Water Treatment in the Context of Circular Economy
by Madalina Oprea and Stefan Ioan Voicu
Water 2023, 15(10), 1860; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15101860 - 14 May 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 5600
Abstract
Water, one of the most important resources that the planet offers us, cannot be used without meeting certain quality parameters which are increasingly difficult to achieve due to human activities such as deforestation, improper industrial and agricultural waste management, maritime traffic and fuel [...] Read more.
Water, one of the most important resources that the planet offers us, cannot be used without meeting certain quality parameters which are increasingly difficult to achieve due to human activities such as deforestation, improper industrial and agricultural waste management, maritime traffic and fuel spillages. Cellulose-based materials or membranes are among the most important candidates to water treatment processes in the actual context of sustainable processes due to the chemical versatility of this cellulose derivative and also due to its large availability This review aims to present the use of functionalized or composite cellulose acetate membranes in water reuse processes in the context of the circular economy. The synthesis methods, process performances, and limitations of these membranes are presented, and the main future directions are thoroughly discussed at the end of the manuscript. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Wastewater Management in the Context of Circular Economy)
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19 pages, 2219 KiB  
Review
Advanced Oxidation Processes for Degradation of Water Pollutants—Ambivalent Impact of Carbonate Species: A Review
by Manoj P. Rayaroth, Grzegorz Boczkaj, Olivier Aubry, Usha K. Aravind and Charuvila T. Aravindakumar
Water 2023, 15(8), 1615; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15081615 - 20 Apr 2023
Cited by 35 | Viewed by 4350
Abstract
Advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) hold great promise in the removal of organic contaminants. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) produced in AOPs react with target pollutants to initially form several intermediate compounds that finally undergo complete mineralization. Such observations are reported, especially for laboratory-scale experiments [...] Read more.
Advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) hold great promise in the removal of organic contaminants. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) produced in AOPs react with target pollutants to initially form several intermediate compounds that finally undergo complete mineralization. Such observations are reported, especially for laboratory-scale experiments performed in pure water. On the other hand, while considering real contaminated wastewater matrices, particularly industrial effluents, there are many co-existing ions. Carbonate ions are one of the major inorganic ions commonly existing in water resources. Hence, these ions have a significant impact on the respective water treatment processes. This review focused on the effect of carbonate ions on the degradation of pollutants in AOPs. In AOPs, carbonate radicals are formed by the scavenging reaction of the respective ions with ROS. The reactivity of these radicals towards the pollutant varies with respect to the structure and functionality. Therefore, depending on the functionalities of the contaminants, these ions show both positive and negative effects. Thus, this review aims to summarize the effects of carbonate species on the degradation of organic contaminants during AOPs and their environmental impacts. The carbonates enhanced the degradation of several emerging organic pollutants, including aniline, bisphenol A, rhodamine B, acid orange 7, naphthalene, and phenol derivatives. Carbonate presence was also revealed to have a positive contribution in cases of drug degradation, including sulfamethoxazole, propranolol, sulfamethazine, salbutamol, trimethoprim, azithromycin, naproxen, oxcarbazepine, and oxytetracycline. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Wastewater Management in the Context of Circular Economy)
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24 pages, 1643 KiB  
Review
Biowaste Valorization Using Hydrothermal Carbonization for Potential Wastewater Treatment Applications
by Anca Andreea Ţurcanu, Ecaterina Matei, Maria Râpă, Andra Mihaela Predescu, George Coman and Cristian Predescu
Water 2022, 14(15), 2344; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14152344 - 29 Jul 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3245
Abstract
In today’s world, due to population increase, there are many alarming and potential catastrophic problems like climate change, environmental pollution and an enormous mass of wastes constantly produced by humankind to find innovative solutions for the management, recycling, and valorization of biowaste from [...] Read more.
In today’s world, due to population increase, there are many alarming and potential catastrophic problems like climate change, environmental pollution and an enormous mass of wastes constantly produced by humankind to find innovative solutions for the management, recycling, and valorization of biowaste from agricultural production, food processing, and organic household residues. The search for sustainable and efficient wastewater treatment technologies has gained scientific interest recently; particular focus is on using biowaste to produce hydrochars (HCs) via the hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) process used as adsorbent materials for dye, heavy metal, and emerging pollutant removal. HTC materials derived from renewable resources are an environmentally friendly and adequate way to adsorb pollutants such as organic and inorganic molecules from wastewaters. This review focuses on the advantages of the HTC process which lead to improved properties of the materials obtained, making them highly efficient in wastewater treatment. The information presented in this paper was derived from the most recent publications in the field. Future perspectives of HC materials should consider the possibilities of scale-up, pretreatment of biowastes, and the optimal parameters of the HTC process to produce HCs applied for pollutant removal from wastewaters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Wastewater Management in the Context of Circular Economy)
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