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Low-Cost Water Treatment - New Materials and New Approaches

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944). This special issue belongs to the section "Smart Materials".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 August 2021) | Viewed by 10559

Special Issue Editors

Institute of Chemistry, University of Potsdam, Building 25, Rm. B.0.17-17, Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 24-25, D-14476 Golm, Germany
Interests: inorganic materials synthesis in ionic liquids; functional ionic liquids-hybrid materials; ionogels; biomimetic materials; hybrid materials; calcium phosphate; silica; water treatment; energy materials
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
African Centre of Excellence for Water and Environmental Research (ACEWATER), Redeemer’s University, PMB 230, Ede, Nigeria
Interests: adsorbents; photocatalysis; composites; water treatment; environmental engineering
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Water is one of the most valuable resources, and in (pre)historic times, wars began over access to reliable water sources. With an ever-growing world population and with climate change currently accelerating global transformation, access to clean water for a world population approaching eight billion humans is a critical issue for global health and security. As a result, the production of clean water, the long-term quality assurance of water resources, and the establishment of safe and secure water politics are among the global key challenges for the present and the future.

Chemistry, materials science, engineering, and education can significantly contribute to the technical aspects of securing water availability and water quality. The current Special Issue concentrates on material-based approaches for water treatment such as adsorbents, (photo)catalysts, engineered materials with special properties useful for the degradation of hazardous substances, and related topics. A special focus is on low-cost, high-performance materials because the single major reason for many of the severe health issues in the developing countries is not a lack of technologies for water purification but cost. We must therefore not only concentrate on new technologies and approaches suited to first-world problems, but there is a very special and challenging mandate for these rich countries to also develop viable technologies for people living in countries with much more problematic water situations.

As long-term collaborators on the subject and as the guest editors of this Special Issue, we invite you to show us your newest research and developments in the field of low-cost materials for water treatment. We encourage everyone to discuss what can be done to alleviate some of the problems we are currently facing and are looking forward to many interesting and exciting contributions.

You may choose our Joint Special Issue in Chemistry.

Prof. Dr. Andreas Taubert
Prof. Dr. Emmanuel Unuabonah
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 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

  • water treatment
  • remediation
  • low-cost materials
  • adsorbents
  • (photo)catalysts
  • engineered materials
  • renewable raw materials

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Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

13 pages, 2074 KiB  
Article
Synthesis of Micro-Spikes and Herringbones Structures by Femtosecond Laser Pulses on a Titanium Plate—A New Material for Water Organic Pollutants Degradation
Materials 2021, 14(19), 5556; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14195556 - 24 Sep 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1572
Abstract
(1) Background: The shrinkage of water resources, as well as the deterioration of its quality as a result of industrial human activities, requires a comprehensive approach relative to its protection. Advanced oxidation processes show high potential for the degradation of organic pollutants in [...] Read more.
(1) Background: The shrinkage of water resources, as well as the deterioration of its quality as a result of industrial human activities, requires a comprehensive approach relative to its protection. Advanced oxidation processes show high potential for the degradation of organic pollutants in water and wastewater. TiO2 is the most popular photocatalyst because of its oxidizing ability, chemical stability and low cost. The major drawback of using it in powdered form is the difficulty of separation from the reaction mixture. The solution to this problem may be immobilization on a support (glass beads, molecular sieves, etc.). In order to avoid these difficulties, the authors propose to prepare a catalyst as a titanium plate covered with an oxide layer obtained with laser treatment. (2) Methods: In the present work, we generated titanium oxide structures using a cheap and fast method based on femtosecond laser pulses. The structurized plates were tested in the reaction of methylene blue (MB) degradation under UVA irradiation (365 nm). The photocatalytic activity and kinetic properties for the degradation of MB are provided. (3) Results: Studies of X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) confirm a titanium oxide layer with laser-induced generated structures that are called “spikes” and “herringbones”. The structurized plates were effective photocatalysts, and their activity depends on the structure of the oxide layer (spike and herringbone). (4) Conclusions: The immobilization of the catalyst on a solid support can be performed in a fast and reproducible manner by using the technique of laser ablation. The layers obtained with this method have been shown to have catalytic properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Low-Cost Water Treatment - New Materials and New Approaches)
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14 pages, 1708 KiB  
Article
Fixed-Bed Column Technique for the Removal of Phosphate from Water Using Leftover Coal
Materials 2021, 14(19), 5466; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14195466 - 22 Sep 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3152
Abstract
The excessive discharge of phosphate from anthropogenic activities is a primary cause for the eutrophication of aquatic habitats. Several methodologies have been tested for the removal of phosphate from aqueous solutions, and adsorption in a flow-through reactor is an effective mechanism to reduce [...] Read more.
The excessive discharge of phosphate from anthropogenic activities is a primary cause for the eutrophication of aquatic habitats. Several methodologies have been tested for the removal of phosphate from aqueous solutions, and adsorption in a flow-through reactor is an effective mechanism to reduce the nutrient loading of water. This research aimed to investigate the adsorption potential of leftover coal material to remove phosphate from a solution by using continuous flow fixed-bed column, and analyzes the obtained breakthrough curves. A series of column tests were performed to determine the phosphorus breakthrough characteristics by varying operational design parameters such as adsorbent bed height (5 to 8 cm), influent phosphate concentration (10–25 mg/L), and influent flow rate (1–2 mL/min). The amorphous and crystalline property of leftover coal material was studied using XRD technology. The FT-IR spectrum confirmed the interaction of adsorption sites with phosphate ions. Breakthrough time decreased with increasing flow rate and influent phosphate concentration, but increased with increasing adsorbent bed height. Breakthrough-curve analysis showed that phosphate adsorption onto the leftover coal material was most effective at a flow rate of 1 mL/min, influent phosphate concentration of 25 mg/L, and at a bed height of 8 cm. The maximal total phosphate adsorbed onto the coal material’s surface was 243 mg/kg adsorbent. The Adams–Bohart model depicted the experimental breakthrough curve well, and overall performed better than the Thomas and Yoon–Nelson models did, with correlation values (R2) ranging from 0.92 to 0.98. Lastly, leftover coal could be used in the purification of phosphorus-laden water, and the Adams–Bohart model can be employed to design filter units at a technical scale. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Low-Cost Water Treatment - New Materials and New Approaches)
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16 pages, 4660 KiB  
Article
Treatment of Rhenium-Containing Effluents Using Environmentally Friendly Sorbent, Saccharomyces cerevisiae Biomass
Materials 2021, 14(16), 4763; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14164763 - 23 Aug 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1636
Abstract
Yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae biomass was applied for rhenium and accompanying elements (copper and molybdenum) removal from single- and multi-component systems (Re, Re-Mo, Re-Cu, and Re-Mo-Cu). Yeast biomass was characterized using X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The effects of [...] Read more.
Yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae biomass was applied for rhenium and accompanying elements (copper and molybdenum) removal from single- and multi-component systems (Re, Re-Mo, Re-Cu, and Re-Mo-Cu). Yeast biomass was characterized using X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The effects of biosorption experimental parameters such as solution pH (2.0–6.0), rhenium concentration (10–100 mg/L), time of interaction (5–120 min), and temperature (20–50 °C) have been discussed in detail. Maximum removal of rhenium (75–84%) and molybdenum (85%) was attained at pH 2.0, while pH 3.0–5.0 was more favorable for copper ions removal (53–68%). The Langmuir, Freundlich, and Temkin isotherm models were used to describe the equilibrium sorption of rhenium on yeast biomass. Langmuir isotherm shows the maximum yeast adsorption capacities toward rhenium ions ranged between 7.7 and 33 mg/g. Several kinetic models (pseudo-first-order, pseudo-second-order, and Elovich) were applied to define the best correlation for each metal. Biosorption of metal ions was well-fitted by Elovich and pseudo-first-order models. The negative free energy reflected the feasibility and spontaneous nature of the biosorption process. Saccharomyces cerevisiae biomass can be considered as a perspective biosorbent for metal removal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Low-Cost Water Treatment - New Materials and New Approaches)
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17 pages, 2544 KiB  
Article
Chemical Modification of Agro-Industrial Waste-Based Bioadsorbents for Enhanced Removal of Zn(II) Ions from Aqueous Solutions
Materials 2021, 14(9), 2134; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14092134 - 22 Apr 2021
Cited by 29 | Viewed by 2928
Abstract
Contamination of water by heavy metals is a major environmental concern due to the potential ecological impact on human health and aquatic ecosystems. In this work, we studied the chemical modification of various fruit peels such as banana (BP), granadilla (GP), and orange [...] Read more.
Contamination of water by heavy metals is a major environmental concern due to the potential ecological impact on human health and aquatic ecosystems. In this work, we studied the chemical modification of various fruit peels such as banana (BP), granadilla (GP), and orange ones (OP) in order to obtain novel bio-adsorbents to improve the removal of Zn(II) ions from 50 mg·L−1 synthetic aqueous solutions. For this purpose, sodium hydroxide and calcium acetate were employed to modify the fruit peels. The moisture, extractives, lignin, hemicellulose, and cellulose contents of the raw materials were determined according to ASTM standards. The obtained bio-adsorbents were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The results showed the OP bio-adsorbents performed better, especially when the concentration of the modifier solutions increased, e.g., the OP particles modified using 0.8 M NaOH and Ca(CH3COO)2 solutions resulted in 97% removal of Zn(II) contaminating ions and reached a maximum adsorption capacity of 27.5 mg Zn per gram of bio-adsorbent. The adsorption processes were found to follow a pseudo-second order model. The error function sum of square error indicated the Freundlich isotherm (non-linear regression) as best fit model. The obtained results are particularly interesting for material selection in wastewater treatment technologies based on contaminant adsorption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Low-Cost Water Treatment - New Materials and New Approaches)
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