Municipal Wastewater Treatment and Removal of Micropollutants

A special issue of Processes (ISSN 2227-9717). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental and Green Processes".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2024 | Viewed by 5359

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Environmental Engineering, Institute of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Slovak University of Technology, Bratislava 81237, Slovakia
Interests: ozone based advanced oxidation processes; biological and combined treatment processes; municipal, industrial wastewater and landfill leachate treatment; minimizing of sludge production, micropollutants, emerging pollutants, priority, hazardous and persistent substances; degradation, transformation and biodegradability enhancement; processes modelling and design

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Guest Editor
Department of Chemical Engineering and Technical Safety, Facuty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, University of Ljubljana, Večna pot 113, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Interests: treatment of industrial and municipal wastewater; sustainable solid waste management; microplastics

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Guest Editor
Water Research Institute, Slovak National Water Reference Laboratory, Department of Basic and Inorganic Chemistry, Nábr. arm. gen. L. Svobodu 5, 812 49 Bratislava, Slovakia
Interests: biological treatment; chemical analysis; environment protection; macronutrients; micropollutants; organics; physical-chemical processes; toxicity; wastewater

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We would like to take this opportunity to invite you to participate in this Special Issue on "(Municipal) Wastewater Treatment and Micropollutant Removal Processes" to be published in the open access journal Processes (ISSN 2227-9717; indexed in SCIE and Scopus; IF = 3.5 and CiteScore = 4.7, ranking Q2 in the category "Engineering, Chemical")), an international peer-reviewed open access journal on processes in chemistry, biochemistry, biology, materials, and related process/systems engineering research areas.

The removal of macronutrients and micropollutants is one of the most pressing problems of municipal wastewater treatment. Both categories of pollutants are characterized by their seriousness in terms of the protection of human health and the protection of the environment. A common feature is also a large amount of treated wastewater. However, they differ in the variety of pollutants and their concentration values. These specifics are reflected in the applied processes and treatment technologies. The dominant ones include biological processes and their combination with other processes. With extensive applications and significant progress in technological practice, effective procedures and technologies have been developed for the removal of macronutrient N and P from municipal wastewater. The main challenges for their further development include intensification and reduction in material and energy inputs.

The diversity of micropollutants from the point of view of the spectrum of pollutants, their structure, properties, and negative effects has initiated many separation, transformation, and degradation processes. The greatest attention is paid to priority, persistent, and toxic substances. However, in technological practice, degradation, separation, and combined processes are expanding, which make it possible to eliminate numerous micropollutants, or their toxic and harmful effects.

An important link between the removal of macronutrient and micropollutants is sewage and excess sludge, on which a significant amount of micropollutants is adsorbed. Their elimination from sludge increases the potential for their safe use in agriculture. At the same time, sludge degradation can serve as a renewable source of organic carbon for biological processes of macronutrient removal.

Prof. Dr. Jan Derco
Prof. Dr. Andreja Žgajnar Gotvajn
Dr. Angelika Kassai
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • biological treatment
  • micropollutants
  • minimization of material and energy inputs
  • priority and persistent substances
  • reduction in sludge production
  • degradative
  • transformation, separation, and combined processes
  • sludge treatment
  • toxicity
  • renewable carbon source
  • processes’ and technologies’ sustainability
  • wastewater treatment
  • water reuse

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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15 pages, 1827 KiB  
Article
Impact of Combined Electrolysis and Activated Sludge Process on Municipal Wastewater Treatment
by Miroslav Hutňan, Barbora Jankovičová, Ronald Zakhar and Nikola Šoltýsová
Processes 2024, 12(5), 868; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr12050868 - 25 Apr 2024
Viewed by 517
Abstract
Electrochemical methods for the treatment of municipal and industrial wastewater are used either independently or in conjunction with biological methods for pretreatment or posttreatment of biologically treated wastewater. In our work, the combination of these processes was studied, where pre-electrolysis was used to [...] Read more.
Electrochemical methods for the treatment of municipal and industrial wastewater are used either independently or in conjunction with biological methods for pretreatment or posttreatment of biologically treated wastewater. In our work, the combination of these processes was studied, where pre-electrolysis was used to produce dissolved iron before the activation process. Electrolysis was also directly introduced into the activation using either iron or carbon electrodes. The surface of one iron electrode was 32.2 cm2, voltage at the electrodes was 21 V, and current was 270 mA. The surface of one carbon electrode was 7.54 cm2, current was 82.5 mA, and voltage at the electrodes was 21 V. Laboratory research on synthetic municipal wastewater treatment using a combination of electrolysis and activation processes showed that the use of iron electrodes increases the efficiency of phosphorus removal compared to its precipitation with iron salts. Electrolysis has shown a positive effect on the sedimentation properties of sludge and the destruction of filamentous microorganisms. Even though it negatively affected the respiration rates of activated sludge and the denitrification efficiency, it did not have a negative impact on the nitrification activity of sludge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Municipal Wastewater Treatment and Removal of Micropollutants)
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16 pages, 1692 KiB  
Article
Ciprofloxacin Uptake from an Aqueous Solution via Adsorption with K2CO3-Activated Biochar Derived from Brewing Industry Bagasse
by Víctor Francisco Meseguer, Juan Francisco Ortuño, María Isabel Aguilar, Mercedes Lloréns, Ana Belén Pérez-Marín and Emmanuel Fuentes
Processes 2024, 12(1), 199; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr12010199 - 17 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 898
Abstract
Ciprofloxacin (CPX), an antibiotic considered as an emerging contaminant, needs to be removed from aquatic environments. This work investigates the adsorption of CPX on K2CO3-activated biochar (AB). The biochar was obtained via the pyrolysis of barley bagasse from the [...] Read more.
Ciprofloxacin (CPX), an antibiotic considered as an emerging contaminant, needs to be removed from aquatic environments. This work investigates the adsorption of CPX on K2CO3-activated biochar (AB). The biochar was obtained via the pyrolysis of barley bagasse from the brewing industry, and then it was activated with 2M of K2CO3. The activated biochar was characterised using FTIR spectroscopy and a pHPZC assay. Batch adsorption tests were performed to study the influence of pH and temperature on CPX sorption and to obtain kinetic and equilibrium data. The adsorption of CPX on AB was favoured by increasing the temperature from 10 °C to 55 °C, demonstrating the endothermic nature of the process. The level of CPX removal after 24 h of contact and at pH 3.5 was 82% of that obtained when equilibrium was reached. The kinetic study showed that the adsorption is well described by the Elovich and the Bangham kinetic models. The adsorption is favourable, and the best fits to the experimental equilibrium data were obtained with the Freundlich, Redlich–Peterson and Sips isotherms. In an acidic solution (pH = 3.5) and at 25 °C, the maximum CPX adsorption capacity of AB was ≈105 mg·g−1, comparable to that reported for other adsorbents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Municipal Wastewater Treatment and Removal of Micropollutants)
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13 pages, 4258 KiB  
Article
Optimization of Binary Adsorption of Metronidazole and Sulfamethoxazole in Aqueous Solution Supported with DFT Calculations
by Juan Carlos Serna-Carrizales, Ana I. Zárate-Guzmán, Angélica Aguilar-Aguilar, Angélica Forgionny, Esther Bailón-García, Elizabeth Flórez, Cesar F. A. Gómez-Durán and Raúl Ocampo-Pérez
Processes 2023, 11(4), 1009; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr11041009 - 27 Mar 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1402
Abstract
Sulfamethoxazole [SMX] and metronidazole [MNZ] are emergent pollutants commonly found in surface water and wastewater, which can cause public health and environmental issues even at trace levels. An efficient alternative for their removal is the application of adsorption technology. The present work evaluated [...] Read more.
Sulfamethoxazole [SMX] and metronidazole [MNZ] are emergent pollutants commonly found in surface water and wastewater, which can cause public health and environmental issues even at trace levels. An efficient alternative for their removal is the application of adsorption technology. The present work evaluated single and binary adsorption processes using granular activated carbon (CAG F400) for SMX and MNZ in an aqueous solution. The binary adsorption process was studied using a Box–Behnken experimental design (RSD), and the results were statistically tested using an analysis of variance. Density functional theory (DFT) modeling was employed to characterize the interactions between the antibiotics and the CAG F400 surface. For the individual adsorption process, adsorption capacities (qe) of 1.61 mmol g−1 for SMX and 1.10 mmol g−1 for MNZ were obtained. The adsorption isotherm model that best fit experimental data was the Radke–Prausnitz isotherm model. The adsorption mechanism occurs through electrostatic and π-π dispersive interactions. For the binary adsorption process, the total binary adsorption capacity achieved was 1.13 mmol g−1, evidencing competitive adsorption. The significant factors that determine the removal of SMX and MNZ from a binary solution were the solution pH and the initial concentration of antibiotics. From DFT studies, it was found that SMX adsorption on CAG F400 was favored with adsorption energy (Eads) of −10.36 kcal mol−1. Finally, the binary adsorption results corroborated that the adsorption process was favorable for both molecules. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Municipal Wastewater Treatment and Removal of Micropollutants)
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Review

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42 pages, 3854 KiB  
Review
Nutrient Removal and Recovery from Municipal Wastewater
by Ján Derco, Andreja Žgajnar Gotvajn, Patrícia Guľašová, Angelika Kassai and Nikola Šoltýsová
Processes 2024, 12(5), 894; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr12050894 - 28 Apr 2024
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Abstract
With the ongoing amendment of the EU legislation on the treatment of urban wastewater, stricter requirements for the removal of pollutants are expected, which calls for the need for innovative wastewater treatment technologies. Biological systems are still the first choice. A survey of [...] Read more.
With the ongoing amendment of the EU legislation on the treatment of urban wastewater, stricter requirements for the removal of pollutants are expected, which calls for the need for innovative wastewater treatment technologies. Biological systems are still the first choice. A survey of typical bioreactors applied in wastewater treatment is presented. The wastewater treatment objective, biochemical environment, and microbial growth are selected as the main criteria for the classification of these bioreactors. Hydraulic and kinetic aspects are considered, along with the advantages and drawbacks of these bioreactors regarding the selection of the appropriate type of reactor; as well, details regarding the operation of reactors are mentioned. The aim of this paper is to provide operators and designers with a brief overview of the selected traditional and advanced processes, reactors, and technologies for nutrient removal from municipal wastewater. The possibilities and limitations in complying with more strict effluent standards are also discussed. Methods of nutrient recovery are added value. From the evaluation of the published papers, we determine that the currently applied traditional methods for nutrient removal have the potential to also convey the expected stricter limits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Municipal Wastewater Treatment and Removal of Micropollutants)
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23 pages, 619 KiB  
Review
An Extensive Analysis of the Engineering Design of Underground Sewage Plants in China
by Abdulmoseen Segun Giwa and Nasir Ali
Processes 2023, 11(10), 3010; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr11103010 - 19 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1589
Abstract
In recent years, underground sewage treatment plants that can remarkably reduce land occupation with less environmental pollution are gradually entering the popular consciousness and are now being used widely. However, problems associated with the traditional treatment plants, such as high construction and operation [...] Read more.
In recent years, underground sewage treatment plants that can remarkably reduce land occupation with less environmental pollution are gradually entering the popular consciousness and are now being used widely. However, problems associated with the traditional treatment plants, such as high construction and operation cost, severe health and safety risks, and monotonous landscape design have limited their value and restricted their application and promotion. Through the literature and field investigations, the value of underground sewage treatment plants (STPs) was analyzed, their engineering and landscape design were studied, and their development direction was explored in order to supply a theoretical basis for further application and development of underground STPs. The analysis showed that as a new model of environmentally friendly sewage treatment and resource conservation, underground STPs have the apparent advantages of lower cost of land use for construction and pipeline as well as an outstanding value for the urban landscape and ecological environment. These factors can offset its relatively high construction and operating costs to a certain extent, especially when compared with above-ground STPs. The engineering design study results showed that significant differences existed between underground STPs and traditional above-ground STPs, and that the main contents of the engineering design of underground STPs consist of treatment scale and degree, influent and effluent qualities, site selection, design model, underground arrangement and structure, main treatment process, monomer structure, ventilation and deodorization, daylighting and artificial lightings, fire safety, operation and maintenance, and the linkage design between the above-ground landscape and the underground STP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Municipal Wastewater Treatment and Removal of Micropollutants)
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