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 "Wastewater Treatment and Reuse".

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

Special Issue Editors

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 Tekerlekopoulou
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Environmental Engineering, University of Patras, Greece
Interests: technologies of drinking water/toxic wastewater treatment using physicochemical and biological processes; supervision of treatment plants for the biological removal of water pollutants (ammonia, iron, manganese); biological treatment of industrial wastewaters (dairy, olive mill, table olive, winery, hexavalent chromium, etc.); application of microalgae for wastewater treatment and biofuel production or other valuable products; process modeling leading to the design of effective and economic systems for drinking water and wastewater treatment
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
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 (8 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Agro-Industrial Wastewater Treatment with Decentralized Biological Treatment Methods
Water 2021, 13(7), 953; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13070953 - 31 Mar 2021
Viewed by 252
Abstract
Food processing consumes high volumes of water, making agro-industries the third biggest industrial user of water after oil refineries, primary metals and chemicals industries [...] Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial

Open AccessArticle
Adsorption of Patent Blue V from Textile Industry Wastewater Using Sterculia alata Fruit Shell Biochar: Evaluation of Efficiency and Mechanisms
Water 2020, 12(7), 2017; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12072017 - 16 Jul 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 577
Abstract
Biochar prepared from Sterculia alata fruit shell showed a better performance for dye removal than the biomass from Sterculia alata fruit shell. The important process parameters—namely the pH, the amount of biochar, the initial dye concentration and the contact time—were optimized in order [...] Read more.
Biochar prepared from Sterculia alata fruit shell showed a better performance for dye removal than the biomass from Sterculia alata fruit shell. The important process parameters—namely the pH, the amount of biochar, the initial dye concentration and the contact time—were optimized in order to maximize dye removal using biochar of Sterculia alata fruit shell as the bio-sorbent. The results from this study showed that the maximum adsorption of dye on the biochar was obtained at a biochar dosage of 40 g/L, at a contact time of 5 h, and an initial dye concentration of 500 mg/L (pH 2.0; temperature 30 ± 5 °C). The increase in the rate adsorption with temperature and the scanning electron microscopic (SEM) images indicated the possibility of multilayer type adsorption which was confirmed by better fit of the Freundlich adsorption isotherm with the experimental data as compared to the Langmuir isotherm. The values n and R2 in the Freundlich isotherm were found to be 4.55 and 0.97, respectively. The maximum adsorption capacity was found to be 11.36 mg/g. The value of n > 1 indicated physical nature of the adsorption process. The first and second order kinetics were tested, and it was observed that the adsorption process followed the first-order kinetics (R2 = 0.911). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Feed Types Driven Differentiation of Microbial Community and Functionality in Marine Integrated Multitrophic Aquaculture System
Water 2020, 12(1), 95; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12010095 - 26 Dec 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 954
Abstract
Integrated multi trophic aquaculture (IMTA) improves the production of aquatic animals by promoting nutrient utilization through different tropical levels. Microorganisms play an important role in elements cycling, energy flow and farmed-species health. The aim of this study was to evaluate how feed types, [...] Read more.
Integrated multi trophic aquaculture (IMTA) improves the production of aquatic animals by promoting nutrient utilization through different tropical levels. Microorganisms play an important role in elements cycling, energy flow and farmed-species health. The aim of this study was to evaluate how feed types, fresh frozen fish diet (FFD) or formulated diet (FD), influence the microbial community diversity and functionality in both water and sediment in a marine IMTA system. Preferable water quality, higher animal yields and higher cost efficiency were achieved in the FD pond. Feed types changed the pond bacterial community distribution, especially in the rearing water. The FFD pond was dominated with Cyanobacteria in the water, which played an important role in nitrogen fixation through photosynthesis due to the high nitrogen input of the frozen fish diet. The high carbohydrate composition in the formulated diet triggered higher metabolic pathways related to carbon and lipid metabolism in the water of the FD pond. Sediment had significantly higher microbial diversity than the rearing water. In sediment, the dominating genus, Sulfurovum and Desulfobulbus, were found to be positively correlated by network analysis, which had similar functionality in sulfur transformation. The relatively higher rates of antibiotic biosynthesis in the FFD sediment might be related to the pathogenic bacteria introduced by the trash fish diet. The difference in microbial community composition and metabolic pathways may be associated with the different pathways for nutrient cycling and animal growth performance. The formulated diet was determined to be more ecologically and economically sustainable than the frozen fish diet for marine IMTA pond systems. Full article
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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
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 991
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
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1360
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 29 | Viewed by 1824
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 11 | Viewed by 1411
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 7 | Viewed by 1397
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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