Topic Editors

Department of Industrial Engineering (DIN), University of Bologna, Viale Fontanelle, 40-47121 Forli, Italy
Department of Industrial Engineering (DIN), University of Bologna, Viale Risorgimento, 2-40136 Bologna, Italy
Interdepartmental Centre for Industrial Research in Renewable Resources, Environment, Sea and Energy, 48123 Ravenna, Italy

Sustainable Water Purification Technologies for Multiple Applications

Abstract submission deadline
15 August 2024
Manuscript submission deadline
15 October 2024
Viewed by
20780

Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

Water is a key element for the benefit of human well-being, poverty reduction and sustainable development. Even in countries with adequate water resources, water scarcity is not uncommon. Although this may be due to a number of factors, such as inefficient infrastructure and distribution systems, contamination, conflict, or the poor management of water resources, it is evident that climate change, as well as human factors, are increasingly denying water access to a relevant part of the population worldwide. Therefore, proposals for highly effective and inexpensive methods of fresh, salt, and wastewater treatment and purification are highly relevant. Moreover, it is crucial to consider the water, energy, and food nexus: water security is very much linked with both energy and food security, meaning that the actions in any one particular area often have effects in one or both of the other areas. At the present stage, there are a vast number of methods available for the treatment of waste and natural waters. The treatment target may vary on the basis of water specific application (i.e., drinkable water, domestic hot water production, water for irrigation, water for industrial/energy processes, and water for e-fuels generation, such as hydrogen). Modern methods of water treatment include the use of various sorption materials (like nanostructures, sorbents from waste, biosorbents, plant sorbents); membrane technologies (like ultra- and mesofiltration, reverse osmosis); phylomediation technologies using higher aquatic plants (like Eichhornia, duckweed, limnophila), and much more, depending on the final water use and chemical–physical characteristics required. The development and application of innovative and sustainable methods of water treatment for multiple applications will solve a number of environmental problems that are associated with clean water and public health, as well as increasing food and energy security. This Special Issue entitled “Sustainable Water Treatment Technologies for Multiple Applications " aims to systematize sustainable technologies used around the world, which will provide the world community with water for multiple applications in the water–food–energy nexus area. The topics are:

- Natural water and wastewater sustainable treatment for drinkable water production, including sorbents, biological, physical and chemical methods;
- Natural water and wastewater sustainable treatment for direct use in agriculture, including desalination;
- Natural water and wastewater sustainable treatment for water direct use in industrial processes, including heat and power plants;
- Natural water and wastewater sustainable treatment for water use as a feeding element to energy-to-chemicals conversion systems, like water electrolysis.

Dr. Marco Pellegrini
Dr. Cesare Saccani
Dr. Alessandro Guzzini
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • water purification
  • water treatment
  • sorbents
  • biological treatment
  • chemical treatment
  • water–food–energy nexus

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Energies
energies
3.2 5.5 2008 16.1 Days CHF 2600 Submit
Membranes
membranes
4.2 4.4 2011 13.6 Days CHF 2700 Submit
Molecules
molecules
4.6 6.7 1996 14.6 Days CHF 2700 Submit
Separations
separations
2.6 2.5 2014 13.6 Days CHF 2600 Submit
Water
water
3.4 5.5 2009 16.5 Days CHF 2600 Submit

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Published Papers (11 papers)

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13 pages, 2732 KiB  
Article
Magnesium Ion Gated Ion Rejection through Carboxylated Graphene Oxide Nanopore: A Theoretical Study
by Jianjun Jiang, Yusong Tu and Zonglin Gu
Molecules 2024, 29(4), 827; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules29040827 - 12 Feb 2024
Viewed by 533
Abstract
While nanoporous graphene oxide (GO) is recognized as one of the most promising reverse osmosis desalination membranes, limited attention has been paid to controlling desalination performance through the large GO pores, primarily due to significant ion leakage resulting in the suboptimal performance of [...] Read more.
While nanoporous graphene oxide (GO) is recognized as one of the most promising reverse osmosis desalination membranes, limited attention has been paid to controlling desalination performance through the large GO pores, primarily due to significant ion leakage resulting in the suboptimal performance of these pores. In this study, we employed a molecular dynamics simulation approach to demonstrate that Mg2+ ions, adhered to carboxylated GO nanopores, can function as gates, regulating the transport of ions (Na+ and Cl) through the porous GO membrane. Specifically, the presence of divalent cations near a nanopore reduces the concentration of salt ions in the vicinity of the pore and prolongs their permeation time across the pore. This subsequently leads to a notable enhancement in salt rejection rates. Additionally, the ion rejection rate increases with more adsorbed Mg2+ ions. However, the presence of the adsorbed Mg2+ ions compromises water transport. Here, we also elucidate the impact of graphene oxidation degree on desalination. Furthermore, we design an optimal combination of adsorbed Mg2+ ion quantity and oxidation degree to achieve high water flux and salt rejection rates. This work provides valuable insights for developing new nanoporous graphene oxide membranes for controlled water desalination. Full article
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17 pages, 3686 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Cr(VI) Removal from Tanning Effluents Using Magnetic Nanoparticles of Fe3O4 Synthesized with Olea europaea Bone Extract
by Maria Bejarano-Meza, Fabricio Eduardo Deza-Carrasco, Sofia Salinas-Herrera, Susan Flores-Calla and Hugo Guillermo Jimenez-Pacheco
Molecules 2024, 29(2), 534; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules29020534 - 22 Jan 2024
Viewed by 805
Abstract
The tanning industry generates effluents with high chromium content, which require treatment prior to discharge into the sewage system. This article explores the use of magnetic magnetite nanoparticles (MNPs) to remove Cr(VI) from aqueous solutions, such as tanning effluents. The MNPs were synthesized [...] Read more.
The tanning industry generates effluents with high chromium content, which require treatment prior to discharge into the sewage system. This article explores the use of magnetic magnetite nanoparticles (MNPs) to remove Cr(VI) from aqueous solutions, such as tanning effluents. The MNPs were synthesized by coprecipitation reaction using the Olea europaea extract as a reducing agent. Subsequently, they were characterized by dynamic light scattering spectroscopy (DLS), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS). MNPs with irregular morphology and diameters ranging from 73.28 to 162.90 nm were obtained. Cr(VI) removal was performed using jar test methodology, and its efficiency was evaluated in the laboratory for different initial Cr(VI) (mg/L) concentration and nanoparticle (g/L) concentration. A kinetic study was developed and indicated that the equilibrium adsorption mechanism corresponds to a pseudo-second-order model. Furthermore, the isotherm analysis revealed that chromium adsorption best fits the Langmuir isotherm. Finally, Cr(VI) removal rates from 85% to 100% were achieved in tanning and retanning effluents. Full article
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16 pages, 6298 KiB  
Article
Effect of Cone-Plate Radius on the Separation Performance of Cyclone Clarifier
by Yulong Zhang, Hongxu Bai, Linjing Xiao, Jingqi Huang, Yu Wang, Zhengwei Yang, Kuoyue Zhang and Weiping Du
Water 2024, 16(2), 216; https://doi.org/10.3390/w16020216 - 08 Jan 2024
Viewed by 783
Abstract
In order to further reduce the number of particles in the overflow port of a cyclone clarifier, a cone-plate structure with an equiproportionally varying cone-plate radius is proposed. This includes two structures, namely, an equal–proportional gradually shrinking cone-plate radius and an equal–proportional gradually [...] Read more.
In order to further reduce the number of particles in the overflow port of a cyclone clarifier, a cone-plate structure with an equiproportionally varying cone-plate radius is proposed. This includes two structures, namely, an equal–proportional gradually shrinking cone-plate radius and an equal–proportional gradually expanding cone-plate radius. In this paper, numerical simulation is used to comparatively study the flow field characteristics and particle separation inside the traditional equal radius, the gradually shrinking radius, and the gradually expanding radius cone-plate cyclone clarifier. The simulation results show that compared with the traditional equal radius cone-plate structure, the gradual shrinking of the cone-plate structure, due to the bottom of the cone-plate radius being small, can better give full play to the cone-plate settling capacity. The gradually expanding cone-plate cyclone clarifier, due to the bottom of the cone-plate radius being large, results in more fine particles entering the overflow pipe and being discharged from the overflow port. Compared with the traditional cone-plate cyclone clarifier, the gradually shrinking cone-plate cyclone clarifier has a significant increase in the removal efficiency of particles of different sizes than the traditional cyclone clarifier overflow port. The removal efficiency of all particles at the overflow of the gradually shrinking cyclone clarifier was increased by 10.32% compared to the conventional cone-plate cyclone clarifier. Full article
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20 pages, 6980 KiB  
Article
Fabrication of Superhydrophobic Porous Brass by Chemical Dealloying for Efficient Emulsion Separation
by Yanbiao Zhou, Qingqing Ye, Yongjun Han, Guoxu He and Changdong Chen
Molecules 2023, 28(18), 6509; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28186509 - 08 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 837
Abstract
By taking advantage of typical dealloying and subsequent aging methods, a novel homogeneous porous brass with a micro/nano hierarchical structure was prepared without any chemical modification. The treatment of commercial brass with hot concentrated HCl solution caused preferential etching of Zn from Cu [...] Read more.
By taking advantage of typical dealloying and subsequent aging methods, a novel homogeneous porous brass with a micro/nano hierarchical structure was prepared without any chemical modification. The treatment of commercial brass with hot concentrated HCl solution caused preferential etching of Zn from Cu62Zn38 alloy foil, leaving a microporous skeleton with an average tortuous channel size of 1.6 μm for liquid transfer. After storage in the atmosphere for 7 days, the wettability of the dealloyed brass changed from superhydrophilic to superhydrophobic with a contact angle > 156° and sliding angle < 7°. The aging treatment enhanced the hydrophobicity of the brass by the formation of Cu2O on the surface. By virtue of the opposite wettability to water and oil, the aged brass separated surfactant-stabilized water-in-oil emulsions with separation efficiency of over 99.4% and permeate flux of about 851 L·m−2·h−1 even after recycling for 60 times. After 10 times of tape peeling or sandpaper abrasion, the aged brass maintained its superhydrophobicity, indicating its excellent mechanical stability. Moreover, the aged brass still retained its superhydrophobicity after exposure to high temperatures or corrosive solutions, displaying high resistance to extreme environments. The reason may be that the bicontinuous porous structure throughout the whole foil endows stable mechanical properties to tolerate extreme environments. This method should have a promising future in expanding the applications of alloys. Full article
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26 pages, 6768 KiB  
Article
Earth Abundant Oxidation Catalysts for Removal of Contaminants of Emerging Concern from Wastewater: Homogeneous Catalytic Screening of Monomeric Complexes
by Leslie Garcia, Makynna R. Koper, Somrita Mondal, Joshua T. Priddle, William A. Truong, Elisabeth M. A. Allbritton, Ashtyn G. McAdoo, Desiray J. Cannon-Smith, Neil L. Funwie, Tuyet Hoang, Inseo Kim, David J. Hubin, Jeanette A. Krause, Allen G. Oliver, Timothy J. Prior and Timothy J. Hubin
Molecules 2023, 28(18), 6466; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28186466 - 06 Sep 2023
Viewed by 777
Abstract
Twenty novel Mn, Fe, and Cu complexes of ethylene cross-bridged tetraazamacrocycles with potentially copolymerizable allyl and benzyl pendant arms were synthesized and characterized. Multiple X-ray crystal structures demonstrate the cis-folded pseudo-octahedral geometry forced by the rigidifying ethylene cross-bridge and show that two cis [...] Read more.
Twenty novel Mn, Fe, and Cu complexes of ethylene cross-bridged tetraazamacrocycles with potentially copolymerizable allyl and benzyl pendant arms were synthesized and characterized. Multiple X-ray crystal structures demonstrate the cis-folded pseudo-octahedral geometry forced by the rigidifying ethylene cross-bridge and show that two cis coordination cites are available for interaction with substrate and oxidant. The Cu complexes were used to determine kinetic stability under harsh acidic and high-temperature conditions, which revealed that the cyclam-based ligands provide superior stabilization with half-lives of many minutes or even hours in 5 M HCl at 50–90 °C. Cyclic voltammetry studies of the Fe and Mn complexes reveal reversible redox processes indicating stabilization of Fe2+/Fe3+ and Mn2+/Mn3+/Mn4+ oxidation states, indicating the likelihood of catalytic oxidation for these complexes. Finally, dye-bleaching experiments with methylene blue, methyl orange, and rhodamine B demonstrate efficient catalytic decolorization and allow selection of the most successful monomeric catalysts for copolymerization to produce future heterogeneous water purification materials. Full article
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22 pages, 1095 KiB  
Review
Adsorption-Based Pretreatment of Irrigation Water to Prevent Water Quality Issues
by Tamás Kucserka, Gábor István Németh, Ivett Pálfi, Zsolt L. Kiss, Etelka Tombácz and Ildikó Galambos
Separations 2023, 10(9), 468; https://doi.org/10.3390/separations10090468 - 24 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1268
Abstract
Access to and the use of irrigation water of adequate quality and targeted nutrient supplementation have become more widespread in recent years. Both crop quality and the irrigation system lifetime are affected by the quality of the water used for irrigation. Micro-irrigation (e.g., [...] Read more.
Access to and the use of irrigation water of adequate quality and targeted nutrient supplementation have become more widespread in recent years. Both crop quality and the irrigation system lifetime are affected by the quality of the water used for irrigation. Micro-irrigation (e.g., drip and sprinkle) is becoming increasingly common alongside the more typical irrigation methods, but it requires expertise and pre-treatment to ensure a proper water supply. The most significant problem is clogging, which can greatly reduce irrigation efficiency. Treatment for irrigation purposes mainly depends on the contaminants that are present in the water. The main treatment options available are biological, electromagnetic and electrostatic treatments, but these have a wide range of effectiveness levels compared to membrane separation technologies. In addition, adsorption treatments are also available, which, depending on the adsorbent used, can greatly improve the pre-treatment of irrigation water. This work provides an overview of adsorbents suitable for the treatment of irrigation water and their effectiveness. The separation of interfering components via adsorption is effective and promising for future application as the expected irrigation demands increase. Full article
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12 pages, 2409 KiB  
Article
Stream Water Quality Control and Odor Reduction through a Multistage Vortex Aerator: A Novel In Situ Remediation Technology
by Arnab Ghosh, Mijeong Choi, Dain Yoon, Sunghoon Kim, Jaebum Kim, Jurng-Jae Yee and Sunghyuk Park
Water 2023, 15(11), 1982; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15111982 - 23 May 2023
Viewed by 1273
Abstract
In this work, we report the restoration of a polluted urban stream by employing the multistage vortex aerator (MVA), an in-line mixer device that improves the dissolved oxygen concentration of polluted streams and accelerates the water purification rate. It was observed during the [...] Read more.
In this work, we report the restoration of a polluted urban stream by employing the multistage vortex aerator (MVA), an in-line mixer device that improves the dissolved oxygen concentration of polluted streams and accelerates the water purification rate. It was observed during the field experiment that the dissolved oxygen was enhanced up to 7.05 mg/L and the water quality was improved to a good grade. As a result, the complex odor was successfully eliminated and reduced by up to 71.9%, while the water quality grade was also improved by more than two grades on average. Stream water quality indicators monitored for twelve months revealed high removal rates of total phosphorous (56.4%) and suspended solids (61%). The study demonstrated MVA as a promising eco-friendly technology for significant improvement in urban stream water quality. Moreover, the MVA process creates no secondary pollution and is believed to be a sustainable treatment option for odorous water bodies. Overall, the MVA process is technically feasible for implementation, and this study provides a specific reference as a basis for the treatment of polluted water bodies in urban settings. Full article
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15 pages, 1642 KiB  
Article
Analysis of Desalination Performance with a Thermal Vapor Compression System
by Zineb Fergani, Zakaria Triki, Rabah Menasri, Hichem Tahraoui, Mohammed Kebir, Abdeltif Amrane, Nassim Moula, Jie Zhang and Lotfi Mouni
Water 2023, 15(6), 1225; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15061225 - 21 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2100
Abstract
Multi-effect distillation with thermal vapor compression (MED-TVC) is a highly energy-efficient desalination technology that can provide a reliable and sustainable source of high-quality water, particularly in areas with limited energy infrastructure and water resources. In this study, a numerical model based on exergoeconomic [...] Read more.
Multi-effect distillation with thermal vapor compression (MED-TVC) is a highly energy-efficient desalination technology that can provide a reliable and sustainable source of high-quality water, particularly in areas with limited energy infrastructure and water resources. In this study, a numerical model based on exergoeconomic approach is developed to analyze the economic performance of a MED-TVC system for seawater desalination. A parallel/cross feed configuration is considered because of its high energy efficiency. In addition, a parametric study is performed to evaluate the effects of some operational parameters on the total water price, such as the top brine temperature, seawater temperature, motive steam flow rate, and number of effects. The obtained results indicate that the total water price is in the range of 1.73 USD/m3 for a distilled water production of 55.20 kg/s. Furthermore, the exergy destructions in the effects account for 45.8% of the total exergy destruction. The MED effects are also identified to be the most relevant component from an exergoeconomic viewpoint. Careful attention should be paid to these components. Of the total cost associated with the effects, 75.1% is due to its high thermodynamic inefficiency. Finally, the parametric study indicates that adjusting the top brine temperature, the cooling seawater temperature, the motive steam flow rate, and the number of effects has a significant impact on the TWP, which varies between 1.42 USD/m3 and 2.85 USD/m3. Full article
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8 pages, 1102 KiB  
Communication
Conceptual Design of a Compact Water Purification Unit Using Reed Bed Filtration
by Elias Farah, Maria Khalil, Manuella Richa and Chantal Abou Harb
Separations 2023, 10(3), 194; https://doi.org/10.3390/separations10030194 - 12 Mar 2023
Viewed by 2467
Abstract
One of the most widespread global challenges is the insufficient provision of potable water, which affects individuals across diverse geographical regions. It is anticipated that issues related to water scarcity and quality will escalate in tandem with the expanding human population and the [...] Read more.
One of the most widespread global challenges is the insufficient provision of potable water, which affects individuals across diverse geographical regions. It is anticipated that issues related to water scarcity and quality will escalate in tandem with the expanding human population and the rapid pace of global development. Water sources are massively polluted hence, not safe for drinking nor irrigation. As a consequence, it is very important to have a water purification treatment plant to provide good water quality. Given the pressing need to ensure universal access to safe and clean drinking water, this investigation aims to engineer a compact and space-efficient apparatus that can expeditiously produce purified water. The proposed system seeks to optimize water purification performance while minimizing spatial requirements and operational duration. Its size is minimized by combining the three processes: coagulation, flocculation, and clarification together in one tank. Following to the aforementioned reservoir, an integrated natural system is employed to reduce the usage of chemicals and establish an ecologically sustainable platform. A hydraulic study is conducted to obtain the dimensioning of the several units which can be later scaled according to the flowrate. The latter was assumed in this study to be 2 L/s, then the compact unit can serve up to 800 persons by scaling the model and adjusting it. Full article
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19 pages, 4379 KiB  
Review
A Review of Bubble Aeration in Biofilter to Reduce Total Ammonia Nitrogen of Recirculating Aquaculture System
by Putu Ayustin Suriasni, Ferry Faizal, Camellia Panatarani, Wawan Hermawan and I Made Joni
Water 2023, 15(4), 808; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15040808 - 19 Feb 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 6105
Abstract
Aeration becomes an essential aspect of biofilter performance to reduce ammonia nitrogen in the Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS). Efficient aeration introduces air into water media and offers an aerobic environment in the biofilter for microbial degradation of organic matter and ammonia nitrogen. The [...] Read more.
Aeration becomes an essential aspect of biofilter performance to reduce ammonia nitrogen in the Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS). Efficient aeration introduces air into water media and offers an aerobic environment in the biofilter for microbial degradation of organic matter and ammonia nitrogen. The efficiency of the bubble aeration depends on the size of the bubbles; these include coarse bubble, microbubble, fine bubble, and ultrafine bubble or nanobubble. This review highlights an overview of bubble aeration features in a biofilter to reduce ammonia nitrogen. Moreover, key aspects responsible for the ammonia nitrogen removal efficiencies, such as oxygen transfer, microbial community, and biofilm thickness, are evaluated in this review. In conclusion, the bubble size of aeration affects the microbial community of nitrifying bacteria, consequently determining the growth and thickness of biofilm to improve ammonia removal efficiency. It is emphasized that fine bubble and nanobubble aeration have very positive prospects on improving biofilter performance, though they are currently not widely used in RAS. Full article
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19 pages, 5053 KiB  
Article
Performance Analysis of an Eductor-Based Membrane Distillation Unit
by Ravi Koirala, Quoc Linh Ve, Eliza Rupakheti, Kiao Inthavong and Abhijit Date
Water 2022, 14(22), 3624; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14223624 - 10 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1795
Abstract
Thermal desalination technologies involve two primary processes: vapor generation from saline water, and effective recovery of the resulting condensate. Membrane distillation (MD) systems are among the emerging thermal desalination technologies which use a hydrophobic membrane to recover condensate through either direct or indirect [...] Read more.
Thermal desalination technologies involve two primary processes: vapor generation from saline water, and effective recovery of the resulting condensate. Membrane distillation (MD) systems are among the emerging thermal desalination technologies which use a hydrophobic membrane to recover condensate through either direct or indirect contact (with the cooling fluid) condensation. The specific process technology (for thermal energy transfer and condensate recovery) depends on the type of MD. Direct contact membrane distillation (DCMD) and vacuum membrane distillation (VMD) are two significant MD processes, with DCMD having the advantage of direct condensation and simple design, while VMD systems have high yield through sub-atmospheric vapor generation. This work focuses on developing an eductor-based MD process incorporating the strengths of both DCMD and VMD. It is an experimental study with a water jet eductor replacing the vacuum pump and condenser in a typical VMD system for active permeate vapor transfer and condensation. Unlike the exiting VMD systems, the proposed design recovers condensate by direct contact condensation. The sub-cooled water acts as a motive flow which entrains the secondary vapor into the stream, causing mass transfer via condensation at the interface. The modified VMD was found to have achieved better flux compared to the conventional VMD system. The performance of the eductor, sensitivity to parameters, and the practicality of the technology have been analyzed. Full article
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