Special Issue "Agro-Industrial Wastewater Treatment with Decentralized Biological Treatment Methods"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 August 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Assist. Prof. Dr. Christos S. Akratos
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Civil Engineering, Democritus University of Thrace, University Campus, GR-67100 Xanthi, Greece
Interests: decentralized wastewater treatment systems; agro-industrial and industrial wastewater treatment; constructed wetlands for wastewater and sludge treatment
Assist. Prof. Dr. Athanasia G. Tekerlekopoulou
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Environmental and Natural Resources Management, University of Patras, G. Seferi 2, GR-30100 Agrinio, Greece
Interests: decentralized wastewater treatment systems; agro-industrial and industrial wastewater treatment; technologies of drinking water/toxic wastewater treatment using physicochemical; supervision of treatment plants for the biological removal of water
Prof. Dr. Dimitris V. Vayenas
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Patras, University Campus, GR-26504 Rio, Patras, Greece
Interests: decentralized wastewater treatment systems; agro-industrial and industrial wastewater treatment; potable water treatment; application of microalgae for wastewater treatment and biodiesel production; modeling of biological processes

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nowadays, agro-industries represent one of the major contributors to the worldwide industrial pollution problem. In order to cover the needs of the growing population, the amount and complexity of waste generated by agro-industries and their management are very problematic. Therefore, agro-industries produce large quantities of wastewater and large amounts of wastes, which very often are left untreated or unexploited and directly or eventually end up in the environment. One other disadvantage is the fact that these facilities are usually scattered in rural areas and produce by-products and wastes on a seasonal rate, making their management even more problematic. In Greece, these units are usually small and often cannot bear the cost of waste disposal and fees. Therefore, they struggle to survive and remain competitive in the market or/and, in many cases, do not comply with the legislative standards.

Biological methods have been recognized as inexpensive and effective processes. Although aerobic biological treatment methods are more efficient, these processes are limited by the unbearable cost of the continuously provided mechanical aeration. However, recent research has shown that decentralized biological treatment methods (e.g. trickling filters and constructed wetlands) can successfully treat several types of agro-industrial wastewater (e.g. dairy wastewater, olive mill and table olive mill wastewater etc.) at a relatively low cost. Constructed wetlands are also considered a promising technology to treat wastewater because of their low cost, simple operation and maintenance, and favourable appearance.

Assist. Prof. Dr. Christos S. Akratos
Assist. Prof. Dr. Athanasia G. Tekerlekopoulou
Prof. Dr. Dimitris V. Vayenas
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • agro-industrial wastewater
  • constructed wetlands
  • trickling filters
  • decentralized wastewater treatment
  • biological treatment

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Second Cheese Whey Treatment Using Zeolite under Continuous Flow Mode and Its Application on Wheat Growth
Water 2019, 11(5), 928; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11050928 - 01 May 2019
Abstract
The efficiency of natural zeolite to treat second cheese whey (SCW) and remove ammonium from artificial wastewater (AWW) was examined. Since zeolite has been reported to improve nitrogen availability in soils, its effect on wheat plant growth was also examined. Continuing a previous [...] Read more.
The efficiency of natural zeolite to treat second cheese whey (SCW) and remove ammonium from artificial wastewater (AWW) was examined. Since zeolite has been reported to improve nitrogen availability in soils, its effect on wheat plant growth was also examined. Continuing a previous study using batch reactors, results are presented concerning experiments in fixed-bed columns under continuous operation. Results from the continuous flow column experiments using AWW and zeolite (2.0–2.8 mm) indicated that low flow rates (4 mL/min and 8 mL/min) did not significantly affect zeolite adsorption ability, while maximum zeolite adsorption capacity reached 15.30 mg NH4+-N/g. Finally, the effect of zeolite saturated with NH4+-N on plant growth was examined. The application of saturated zeolite affected significantly wheat plant growth and resulted in faster growth and higher biomass production. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Diversity and Biotechnological Potential of Xylan-Degrading Microorganisms from Orange Juice Processing Waste
Water 2019, 11(2), 274; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11020274 - 05 Feb 2019
Abstract
The orange juice processing sector produces worldwide massive amounts of waste, which is characterized by high lignin, cellulose and hemicellulose content, and which exceeds 40% of the fruit’s dry weight (d.w.). In this work, the diversity and the biotechnological potential of xylan-degrading microbiota [...] Read more.
The orange juice processing sector produces worldwide massive amounts of waste, which is characterized by high lignin, cellulose and hemicellulose content, and which exceeds 40% of the fruit’s dry weight (d.w.). In this work, the diversity and the biotechnological potential of xylan-degrading microbiota in orange juice processing waste were investigated through the implementation of an enrichment isolation strategy followed by enzyme assays for the determination of xylanolytic activities, and via next generation sequencing for microbial diversity identification. Intracellular rather than extracellular endo-1,4-β-xylanase activities were detected, indicating that peripheral cell-bound (surface) xylanases are involved in xylan hydrolysis by the examined microbial strains. Among the isolated microbial strains, bacterial isolates belonging to Pseudomonas psychrotolerans/P. oryzihabitans spectrum (99.9%/99.8% similarity, respectively) exhibited activities of 280 U/mg protein. In contrast, almost all microbial strains isolated exerted low extracellular 1,4-β-xylosidase activities (<5 U/mg protein), whereas no intracellular 1,4-β-xylosidase activities were detected for any of them. Illumina data showed the dominance of lactic and acetic acid bacteria and of the yeasts Hanseniaspora and Zygosaccharomyces. This is the first report on indigenous xylanolytic microbiota isolated from orange juice processing waste, possessing the biotechnological potential to serve as biocatalysts for citrus biomass valorization through the production of high-added value products and energy recovery. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Zeolite as a Potential Medium for Ammonium Recovery and Second Cheese Whey Treatment
Water 2019, 11(1), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11010136 - 14 Jan 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
The efficiency of natural zeolite to remove ammonium from artificial wastewater (ammonium aqueous solutions) and to treat second cheese whey was examined, aiming to recover nitrogen nutrients that can be used for further applications, such as slow-release fertilizers. Sorption experiments were performed using [...] Read more.
The efficiency of natural zeolite to remove ammonium from artificial wastewater (ammonium aqueous solutions) and to treat second cheese whey was examined, aiming to recover nitrogen nutrients that can be used for further applications, such as slow-release fertilizers. Sorption experiments were performed using artificial wastewater and zeolite of different granulometries (i.e., 0.71–1.0, 1.8–2.0, 2.0–2.8, 2.8–4.0, and 4.0–5.0 mm). The granulometry of the zeolite had no significant effect on its ability to absorb ammonium. Nevertheless, smaller particles (0.71–1.0 mm) exhibited quicker NH4+-N adsorption rates of up to 93.0% in the first 10 min. Maximum ammonium removal efficiency by the zeolite was achieved at ammonium concentrations ranging from 10 to 80 mg/L. Kinetic experiments revealed that chemisorption is the mechanism behind the adsorption process of ammonium on zeolite, while the Freundlich isotherm model fitted the experimental data well. Column sorption experiments under batch operating mode were performed using artificial wastewater and second cheese whey. Column experiments with artificial wastewater showed high NH4+-N removal rates (over 96% in the first 120 min) for all granulometries and initial NH4+-N concentrations tested (200 and 5000 mg/L). Column experiments with second cheese whey revealed that natural zeolite can remove significant organic loads (up to 40%, 14.53 mg COD/g of zeolite) and NH4+-N (about 99%). For PO43−-P, the zeolite appeared to saturate after day 1 of the experiments at a removal capacity of 0.15 mg P/g of zeolite. Desorption experiments with water resulted in low NH4+-N and PO43−-P desorption rates indicating that the zeolite could be used as a substrate for slow nitrogen release in soils. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Agroindustrial Wastewater Treatment with Simultaneous Biodiesel Production in Attached Growth Systems Using a Mixed Microbial Culture
Water 2018, 10(11), 1693; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10111693 - 20 Nov 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
The use of cyanobacteria in biological wastewater treatment technologies can greatly reduce operation costs by combining wastewater bioremediation and production of lipid suitable as biodiesel feedstock. In this work, an attached growth system was employed to achieve the above-mentioned dual objective using a [...] Read more.
The use of cyanobacteria in biological wastewater treatment technologies can greatly reduce operation costs by combining wastewater bioremediation and production of lipid suitable as biodiesel feedstock. In this work, an attached growth system was employed to achieve the above-mentioned dual objective using a mixed microbial culture dominated by Leptolyngbya and Limnothrix species in diverse heterotrophic consortia. Kinetic experiments on different initial pollutant concentrations were carried out to determine the ability of the established culture to remove organic load (expressed by d-COD, dissolved-Chemical Oxygen Demand), N and P from agroindustrial wastewaters (dairy, winery and raisin). Biomass and oil productivity were determined. It was found that significant removal rates of nutrients were achieved in all the wastewaters examined, especially in that originated from winery in which the highest d-COD removal rate (up to 97.4%) was observed. The attached microbial biomass produced in winery wastewater contained 23.2% lipid/biomass, wt/wt, which was satisfying. The growth in the dairy wastewater yielded the highest attached biomass productivity (5.03 g m−2 day−1) followed by the mixed effluent of winery-raisin (4.12 g m−2 day−1) and the winery wastewater (3.08 g m−2 day−1). The produced microbial lipids contained high percentages of saturated and mono-unsaturated fatty acids (over 89% in total lipids) in all substrates examined. We conclude that the proposed attached growth photobioreactor system can be considered an effective wastewater treatment system that simultaneously produces microbial lipids suitable as biodiesel feedstock. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Treatment Efficiency of Diffuse Agricultural Pollution in a Constructed Wetland Impacted by Groundwater Seepage
Water 2018, 10(11), 1601; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10111601 - 08 Nov 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Diffuse agricultural pollution degrades water quality and is one of the main causes of eutrophication; therefore, it is important to reduce it. Constructed wetlands (CW) can be used as an effective measure for water quality improvement. There are two possible ways to establish [...] Read more.
Diffuse agricultural pollution degrades water quality and is one of the main causes of eutrophication; therefore, it is important to reduce it. Constructed wetlands (CW) can be used as an effective measure for water quality improvement. There are two possible ways to establish surface flow CWs, in-stream and off-stream. We studied treatment efficiency of the in-stream free surface flow (FSW) Vända CW in southern Estonia from March 2017 until July 2018. The CW consists of two shallow-water parts planted with cattail (Typha latifolia). According to our analyses, the CW reduced total phosphorus (TP) and phosphate (PO4-P) by 20.5% and 16.3%, respectively, however, in summer, phosphorus removal was twice as high. We saw significant logarithmic correlation between flow rates and log TP and log PO4-P removal efficiency (rs = 0.53, rs = 0.63, p < 0.01 respectively). Yearly reduction of total organic carbon was 12.4% while total inorganic carbon increased by 9.7% due to groundwater seepage. Groundwater inflow also increased the concentration of total nitrogen in the outlet by 27.7% and nitrate concentration by 31.6%. In-stream FWS CWs are a promising measure to reduce diffuse pollution from agriculture; however, our experience and literature data prove that there are several factors that can influence CWs’ treatment efficiency. Full article
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