Advanced Wastewater Treatment Processes for Micropollutants and Pathogens Removal

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2023) | Viewed by 10492

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Water Resources and Environmental Engineering, School of Civil Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, Athens, Greece
Interests: water, wastewater and sludge treatment; removal and fate of micropollutants in wastewater treatment plants; nutrients and energy recovery from waste; wastewater and sludge reuse

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Guest Editor
Department of Water Resources and Environmental Engineering, School of Civil Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, Athens, Greece
Interests: biological processes; emerging contaminants; mathematical modelling; resources recovery; water quality; wastewater treatment; wastewater and sludge reuse
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Environment, University of the Aegean, Mytilene, Greece
Interests: wastewater treatment and valorization; micropollutants; biodegradation; microalgae; ecotoxicity

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The occurrence of recalcitrant and persistent micropollutants and pathogens in the environment is nowadays a major concern because of their potentially negative impacts on human health, natural resources and ecosystems. Municipal WWTPs have been identified as significant sources for the emission of micropollutants, antibiotic-resistant bacteria and genes. These micropollutants are usually referred in the literature as contaminants of emerging concern (CEC) and include a diverse and heterogeneous group of chemicals, that are contained in everyday products, such as pharmaceuticals and personal care products, pesticides, plasticizers, illicit drugs and others. On the other hand, pathogens and antibiotic resistant genes are of concern for wastewater reuse and for the potential to be transmitted through wastewater disposal to the environment. One of the challenges that Environmental Technology has to face in the near future is the optimization of wastewater treatment processes, in order to achieve efficient removal of micropollutants and pathogens.

In view of the above, the present Special Issue aims to the publication of original research or review papers on advanced or alternative municipal wastewater treatment processes for micropollutants and pathogens removal. Subject areas may include, but are not limited to:

  • Advanced Oxidation Processes
  • Powdered-activated carbon or granular-activated carbon or alternative adsorbents
  • Membrane processes
  • Novel biological processes
  • Natural Based Systems (constructed wetlands, etc.)
  • Application of nanomaterials
  • Generation of by-products during wastewater treatment
  • The fate of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and genes through wastewater treatment
  • Wastewater reuse studies with focus on micropollutants and/or antibiotic-resistant bacteria and genes

Prof. Dr. Daniel Mamais
Prof. Dr. Constantinos Noutsopoulos
Prof. Dr. Athanasios Stasinakis
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • micropollutants
  • emerging contaminants
  • antibiotic-resistant bacteria
  • antibiotic-resistant genes
  • advanced wastewater treatment
  • wastewater reuse
  • wastewater treatment plants

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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17 pages, 42436 KiB  
Article
Solar Light-Induced Photocatalytic Degradation of Sulfamethoxazole by Cobalt Phosphide-Promoted Bismuth Vanadate
by Alexandra A. Ioannidi, Joanne Zappa, Athanasia Petala, Manolis Souliotis, Dionissios Mantzavinos and Zacharias Frontistis
Water 2023, 15(7), 1370; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15071370 - 03 Apr 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1794
Abstract
The pursuit of low-cost, high-efficiency co-catalysts that are free of noble metals has become an area of considerable interest in the field of photocatalysis over the past few years. In this work, a series of cobalt phosphide (CoP 0.125–1.00 wt.%)-promoted bismuth vanadate (BiVO [...] Read more.
The pursuit of low-cost, high-efficiency co-catalysts that are free of noble metals has become an area of considerable interest in the field of photocatalysis over the past few years. In this work, a series of cobalt phosphide (CoP 0.125–1.00 wt.%)-promoted bismuth vanadate (BiVO4) photocatalysts was synthesized and physicochemical characterized by means of X-Ray diffraction, nitrogen isotherm absorption diffuse-reflectance spectroscopy, and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy. The efficiency of the as prepared photocatalytic materials was investigated for sulfamethoxazole (SMX) destruction in ultrapure water under simulated solar light irradiation. Results showed that the deposition of small amounts (0.50 wt.%) of CoP on BiVO4 enhances SMX degradation. Moreover, SMX removal increased by increasing 0.50 CoP/BiVO4 loading (up to 1 g/L) and decreasing SMX loading (1000–250 μg/L). Further tests were carried out in real and synthetic matrices, such as wastewater secondary effluent and bottled water, revealing the existence of hindering effects on SMX removal. The efficiency of 0.50 CoP/BiVO4 photocatalyst was further investigated in a pilot plant configuration where the examined system was able to remove >99% of 300 μg/L SMX in deionized water utilizing 80 kJ/L of solar irradiation. Full article
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11 pages, 655 KiB  
Article
Battery of In Vitro Bioassays: A Case Study for the Cost-Effective and Effect-Based Evaluation of Wastewater Effluent Quality
by Nikiforos Alygizakis, Kelsey Ng, Niki Maragou, Sylvana Alirai, Peter Behnisch, Harrie Besselink, Peter Oswald, Ľuboš Čirka, Nikolaos S. Thomaidis and Jaroslav Slobodnik
Water 2023, 15(4), 619; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15040619 - 04 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1942
Abstract
Wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) represent an important input of contaminants in the environment. Therefore, it is critical to continuously monitor the performance of WWTPs to take appropriate action and avoid an influx of contaminants in the environment. In this study, a battery of [...] Read more.
Wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) represent an important input of contaminants in the environment. Therefore, it is critical to continuously monitor the performance of WWTPs to take appropriate action and avoid an influx of contaminants in the environment. In this study, a battery of seven in vitro bioassays covering a selected spectrum of toxicity effects is proposed for quality control of wastewater effluents. The bioassays address mixture toxicity, which is the combined adverse effect of multiple contaminants and can act as an early warning system. The proposed battery was applied to samples from 11 WWTPs of representative technology from the Danube River Basin (DRB). The order of toxic effects in terms of extent of exceedance of effect-based trigger values (EBTs) was PAH (PAH activity) > PXR (xenobiotic metabolism) > ERα (estrogenic activity) > PPARγ > Nrf2 (oxidative stress) > anti-AR > GR. A mitigation plan for WWTP operators based on EBT exceedance is proposed. This study demonstrates that the proposed effect-based monitoring battery is a complementary tool to the chemical analysis approach. A regular application of such time- and cost-effective bioanalytical tools in the WWTPs of the DRB is proposed to provide a ‘safety net’ for aquatic ecosystems. Full article
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16 pages, 2632 KiB  
Article
Development of a Process for Domestic Wastewater Treatment Using Moringa oleifera for Pathogens and Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Inhibition under Tropical Conditions
by Nini Sané, Malick Mbengue, Amandine Laffite, Serge Stoll, John Poté and Philippe Le Coustumer
Water 2022, 14(15), 2379; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14152379 - 31 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2519
Abstract
Developing countries are confronted with general issues of municipal wastewater management and treatment. Untreated wastewater and faecal sludge from septic tanks and traditional toilets are often discharged into rivers and used for urban agriculture without any treatment to minimize potential biorisks. Such practices [...] Read more.
Developing countries are confronted with general issues of municipal wastewater management and treatment. Untreated wastewater and faecal sludge from septic tanks and traditional toilets are often discharged into rivers and used for urban agriculture without any treatment to minimize potential biorisks. Such practices result in potential environmental and public health risks. In this study, a wastewater treatment plant prototype coupled with Moringa oleifera seeds treatment was developed to evaluate their effectiveness for the reduction of faecal indicator bacteria and antibiotic-resistant bacteria in domestic wastewater. We demonstrated that that the proposed wastewater treatment plant prototype reduces bacteria by 99.34%. A high removal of the bacteria load was obtained after the addition of Moringa oleifera seeds into waters, with removal rates of 36.6–78.8% for E. coli, 28.3–84.6% for faecal coliform, 35.3–95.6% for Vibrio cholera and 32.1–92.4% for total flora. A similar effect of Moringa oleifera seeds was noted for the removal of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, extended-spectrum beta-lactamases and carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, with a removal rate of up to 98% for E. coli and faecal coliform, 100% for Vibrio cholera and 91.96% for total flora. This study demonstrated the high removal efficiency pathogens and antibiotic-resistant bacteria from domestic wastewater using Moringa oleifera seeds. Full article
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Review

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28 pages, 1556 KiB  
Review
The Fate and Occurrence of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria and Antibiotic Resistance Genes during Advanced Wastewater Treatment and Disinfection: A Review
by Maria Kalli, Constantinos Noutsopoulos and Daniel Mamais
Water 2023, 15(11), 2084; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15112084 - 31 May 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3316
Abstract
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a serious problem for modern society, not only associated with clinical environments, but also the natural environment. Conventional wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are important nodes for the dissemination of antibiotic resistance to the aquatic environment since they are reservoirs [...] Read more.
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a serious problem for modern society, not only associated with clinical environments, but also the natural environment. Conventional wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are important nodes for the dissemination of antibiotic resistance to the aquatic environment since they are reservoirs of antibiotic-resistant bacteria (ARB), antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs), and antibiotic residues. WWTPs are not designed to remove these antibiotic resistance determinants from wastewater, and as a result, they are present in treated effluent, leading to environmental and public health concerns regarding wastewater disposal and reuse. Additional treatments combined with conventional WWTPs can be barriers to the spread of AMR to the environment. In order to understand the effect of wastewater treatment methods on the removal of ARB and ARGs, an extensive bibliographic study was conducted. This review summarizes the efficiency of conventional disinfection methods, tertiary wastewater treatment, and advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) to remove ARB and ARGs from wastewater. In the context of the revised Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive 91/271/EEC, further studies are needed on the removal potential of AOPs on a full-scale, as they offer great potential for the removal of ARB and ARGs with a low formation of toxic by-products compared to conventional disinfection methods. Full article
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