Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering

ISSN 2095-2201

ISSN 2095-221X(Online)

CN 10-1013/X

Postal Subscription Code 80-973

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Increasing significance of advanced physical/chemical processes in the development and application of sustainable wastewater treatment systems
Front.Environ.Sci.Eng.. 2008, 2 (4): 385-396.

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The awareness of the problem of the scarcity of water of high quality has strongly changed the approach of wastewater treatment. Currently, there is an increasing need for the beneficial reuse of treated wastewater and to recover valuable products and energy from the wastewater. Because microbiological treatment methods are, only to a limited part, able to satisfy these needs, the role and significance of physical/chemical processes in wastewater treatment are gaining more and more interest. The specific future role and aim of the various physical/chemical treatment processes can be categorized in five groups: improvement of the performance of microbiological treatment processes, achievement of the high quality required for reuse of the effluent, recovery of valuable components and energy from the wastewater for beneficial reuse, desalination of brackish water and seawater, and treatment of concentrated liquid or solid waste residues produced in a wastewater treatment process. Development of more environmentally sustainable wastewater treatment chains in which physical/chemical processes play a crucial role, also requires application of process control and modeling strategies. This is briefly introduced by the elaboration of treatment scenarios for three specific wastewaters.
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Fenton process for degradation of selected chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbons exemplified by trichloroethylene, 1,1-dichloroethylene and chloroform
QIANG Zhimin, BEN Weiwei, HUANG Chin-Pao
Front.Environ.Sci.Eng.. 2008, 2 (4): 397-409.

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The degradation of selected chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbons (CAHs) exemplified by trichloroethylene (TCE), 1,1-dichloroethylene (DCE), and chloroform (CF) was investigated with Fenton oxidation process. The results indicate that the degradation rate was primarily affected by the chemical structures of organic contaminants. Hydroxyl radicals (OH) preferred to attack the organic contaminants with an electron-rich structure such as chlorinated alkenes (i.e., TCE and DCE). The dosing mode of Fenton’s reagent, particularly of Fe2+, significantly affected the degradation efficiency of studied organic compound. A new “time-squared” kinetic model, C = Coexp(-kobst2), was developed to express the degradation kinetics of selected CAHs. This model was applicable to TCE and DCE, but inapplicable to CF due to their varied reaction rate constants towards OH. Chloride release was monitored to examine the degree of dechlorination during the oxidation of selected CAHs. TCE was more easily dechlorinated than DCE and CF. Dichloroacetic acid (DCAA) was identified as the major reaction intermediate in the oxidation of TCE, which could be completely removed as the reaction proceeded. No reaction intermediates or byproducts were identified in the oxidation of DCE and CF. Based on the identified intermediate, the reaction mechanism of TCE with Fenton’s reagent was proposed.
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Electro-assisted regeneration of ion exchange resins
LIU Zhigang, WANG Ying, LI Yansheng, CHANG Hui
Front.Environ.Sci.Eng.. 2008, 2 (4): 410-414.

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Electro-assisted regeneration (EAR) for the mixed bed of strongly acidic cation and weakly basic anion exchange resins with the Al(OH)3 suspension in a three-compartment cell was investigated. The desalination experiments were carried out to evaluate the characteristic of the regenerated mixed resins. Experimental results showed that the efficiency of resin regeneration was strictly dependent on the voltage, regeneration time, and feed regenerant flow rate. The amount of the effluent reached 50 times the volume of the resins bed, and the conductivity was less than 1.0 ?s/cm. Compared to the conventional ER, the total effluent volume of EAR was about 1000 mL more than that of ER under the same conditions, and the outlet conductivity was significantly lower. The desalination and regeneration reaction mechanisms of the mixed resins indicated the regeneration efficiency of resin with Al(OH)3 as the regenerant was much higher than that with H2O.
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Preparation and characterization of ZnO/ZnS hybrid photocatalysts via microwave-hydrothermal method
ZHAO Jinglian, WANG Xinping, ZHAO Liang
Front.Environ.Sci.Eng.. 2008, 2 (4): 415-420.

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The photocatalytic performance of ZnO/ZnS hybrid nanocomposite was largely higher than that of the mere ZnO or ZnS nanoparticles, but the complicated procedure and misdistribution of final products limited its large-scale productions. The exploration of a novel synthesis route of ZnO/ZnS hybrid photocatalysts with high catalytic performance is becoming a crucial step for the large-scale application of ZnO/ZnS hybrid photocatalytic technique. Preparation and characterization of nanosized ZnO/ZnS hybrid photocatalysts were studied in this paper. The photocatalysts were obtained via microwave-hydrothermal crystallization with the help of sodium citrate. The products were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), particle size distribution (PSD), and Fourier transformed infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR). The results indicated that so-synthesized ZnO/ZnS samples consisted of the high pure cubic (sphalerite) ZnS and hexagonal ZnO nanocrystallines with a narrow particle size distribution. The possible formation mechanisms of ZnO/ZnS nanocrystallines were mainly attributed to the superficially protective effect of citrate. The photocatalytic experiments demonstrated that the ZnO/ZnS photocatalysts exhibited a higher catalytic activity for the degradation of acid fuchsine than other monocomponents.
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Algal-bloom control by allelopathy of aquatic macrophytes-A review
HU Hongying, HONG Yu
Front.Environ.Sci.Eng.. 2008, 2 (4): 421-438.

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Algal-bloom control is an important issue for water environment protection as it induces several negative impacts on the lives of aquatic organisms, aquaculture, landscaping, and human health. The development of an environment-friendly, cost-effective, and convenient alternative for controlling algal bloom has gained much concern. Using the allelopathy of aquatic macrophytes as a novel and safe method for algal-bloom control is a promising alternative. This paper reviews the development and potential application about allelopathy of aquatic plants on algae, including the allelopathic research history, the potential research problems, the research methodology, and the reported aquatic macrophytes and their inhibitory allelochemicals. Potential modes of inhibition action of allelochemicals on algae, possible ways for application, and future development directions of research on algal-bloom control by aquatic macrophytes were also presented.
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Performance of completely autotrophic nitrogen removal over nitrite process under different aeration modes and dissolved oxygen
GUO Jinsong, YANG Guohong, FANG Fang, QIN Yu
Front.Environ.Sci.Eng.. 2008, 2 (4): 439-445.

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In this study, three sequential batch biofilm reactors (SBBRs) were operated for 155 days to evaluate the performance of completely autotrophic nitrogen removal over nitrite (CANON) process under different aeration modes and dissolved oxygen (DO). Synthetic wastewater with 160-mg NH4+-N/L was fed into the reactors. In the continuously-aerated reactor, the efficiency of the ammonium nitrogen conversion and total nitrogen (TN) removal reached 80% and 70%, respectively, with DO between 0.8–1.0 mg/L. Whereas in the intermittently-aerated reactor, at the aeration/non-aeration ratio of 1.0, ammonium was always under the detection limit and 86% of TN was removed with DO between 2.0–2.5 mg/L during the aeration time. Results show that CANON could be achieved in both continuous and intermittent aeration pattern. However, to achieve the same nitrogen removal efficiency, the DO needed in the intermittently-aerated sequential batch biofilm reactor (SBBR) during the aeration period was higher than that in the continuously-aerated SBBR. In addition, the DO in the CANON system should be adjusted to the aeration mode, and low DO was not a prerequisite to CANON process.
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Removing nitrogen and phosphorus from simulated wastewater using algal biofilm technique
WEI Qun, HU Zhiquan, LI Genbao, XIAO Bo, SUN Hao, TAO Meiping
Front.Environ.Sci.Eng.. 2008, 2 (4): 446-451.

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Algal biofilm technology is a new and advanced wastewater treatment method. Experimental study on removing nitrogen and phosphorus from simulated wastewater using algal biofilm under the continuous light of 3500 Lux in the batch and continuous systems was carried out in this paper to assess the performance of algal biofilm in removing nutrients. The results showed that the effect of removing nitrogen and phosphorus by algal biofilm was remarkable in the batch system. The removal efficiencies of total phosphorus (TP), total nitrogen (TN), ammonia-nitrogen (NH3-N), and chemical oxygen demand (COD) reached 98.17%, 86.58%, 91.88%, and 97.11%, respectively. In the continuous system, hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 4 days was adopted; the effects of removing TP, TN, NH3-N, and COD by algal biofilm were very stable. During a run of 24 days, the removal efficiencies of TP, TN, NH3-N, and COD reached 95.38%, 83.93%, 82.38%, and 92.31%, respectively. This study demonstrates the feasibility of removing nitrogen and phosphorus from simulated wastewater using algal biofilm.
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Enhanced atrazine removal using membrane bioreactor bioaugmented with genetically engineered microorganism
Front.Environ.Sci.Eng.. 2008, 2 (4): 452-460.

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Bioaugmentation with genetically engineered microorganisms (GEMs) in a membrane bioreactor (MBR) for enhanced removal of recalcitrant pollutants was explored. An atrazine-degrading genetically engineered microorganism (GEM) with green fluorescent protein was inoculated into an MBR and the effects of such a bioaugmentation strategy on atrazine removal were investigated. The results show that atrazine removal was improved greatly in the bioaugmented MBR compared with a control system. After a start-up period of 6 days, average 94.7% of atrazine was removed in bioaugmented MBR when atrazine concentration of influent was 14.5 mg/L. The volumetric removal rates increased linearly followed by atrazine loading increase and the maximum was 65.5 mg/(L·d). No negative effects were found on COD removal although carbon oxidation activity of bioaugmented sludge was lower than that of common sludge. After inoculation, adsorption to sludge flocs was favorable for GEM survival. The GEM population size initially decreased shortly and then was kept constant at about 104–105 CFU/mL. Predation of micro-organisms played an important role in the decay of the GEM population. GEM leakage from MBR was less than 102 CFU/mL initially and was then undetectable. In contrast, in a conventionally activated sludge bioreactor (CAS), sludge bulking occurred possibly due to atrazine exposure, resulting in bioaugmentation failure and serious GEM leakage. So MBR was superior to CAS in atrazine bioaugmentation treatment using GEM.
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Aerobic granulation of pure bacterial strain
ADAV Sunil S., LEE Duu-Jong
Front.Environ.Sci.Eng.. 2008, 2 (4): 461-467.

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The objective of this study is to cultivate aerobic granules by pure bacterial strain, Bacillus thuringiensis, in a sequencing batch reactor. Stable granules sized 2.0–2.2 mm were formed in the reactor after a five-week cultivation. These granules exhibited excellent settling attributes, and degraded phenol at rates of 1.49 and 1.19 g phenol/(g VSS·d) at 250 and 1500 mg/L of phenol concentration, respectively. Confocal laser scanning microscopic test results show that Bacillus thuringiensis was distributed over the initial small aggregates, and the outer edge of the granule was away from the core regime in the following stage.
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Effect of rhizosphere on soil microbial community and pyrene biodegradation
SU Yuhong, YANG Xueyun, CHIOU Cary
Front.Environ.Sci.Eng.. 2008, 2 (4): 468-474.

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To access the influence of a vegetation on soil microorganisms toward organic pollutant biogegration, this study examined the rhizospheric effects of four plant species (sudan grass, white clover, alfalfa, and fescue) on the soil microbial community and in-situ pyrene (PYR) biodegradation. The results indicated that the spiked PYR levels in soils decreased substantially compared to the control soil without planting. With equal planted densities, the efficiencies of PYR degradation in rhizosphere with sudan grass, white clover, alfalfa and fescue were 34.0%, 28.4%, 27.7%, and 9.9%, respectively. However, on the basis of equal root biomass the efficiencies were in order of white clover >> alfalfa > sudan > fescue. The increased PYR biodegradation was attributed to the enhanced bacterial population and activity induced by plant roots in the rhizosphere. Soil microbial species and biomasses were elucidated in terms of microbial phospholipid ester-linked fatty acid (PLFA) biomarkers. The principal component analysis (PCA) revealed significant changes in PLFA pattern in planted and non-planted soils spiked with PYR. Total PLFAs in planted soils were all higher than those in non-planted soils. PLFA assemblages indicated that bacteria were the primary PYR degrading microorganisms, and that Gram-positive bacteria exhibited higher tolerance to PYR than Gram-negative bacteria did.
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Concentrations of anthropogenic Pt and Pd in urban roadside soils in Xuzhou, China
WANG Xuesong, SUN Cheng
Front.Environ.Sci.Eng.. 2008, 2 (4): 475-479.

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The potential accumulation of platinum group elements (PGE) in the environment from automobile catalysts is high in urban areas, with the major sinks being roadside soils. Therefore, this investigation presented the detailed study on characterized concentrations of Pt and Pd and their enrichment ratios in urban roadside soils in Xuzhou, China in March 2003. Data from 21 roadside topsoil samples analyzed by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometer (ICP-MS) illustrated that the medians of concentrations of Pt and Pd were 2.9 and 2.8 ng/g, respectively. Hierarchical clustering analysis indicated that Pt and Pd were mainly from traffic emissions. Compared to unpolluted soils, computation of Pt and Pd enrichment ratios suggested that the Xuzhou roadside soils had average enrichment factors of 3.53 for Pt (in range of 1.22–5.73) and of 3.37 for Pd (in range of 1.35–4.46). Lower Pt/Pd ratios (in range of 0.35–2.86) in relation to similar studies in other countries were observed, which might be due to the different Pt/Pd ratios in Chinese automobile catalytic converters. Moreover, fine fraction (<250 ?m) contained higher concentrations of Pt and Pd compared to the coarse fraction (250–500 ?m).
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Effect of soil crust on evaporation and dew deposition in Mu Us sandy land, China
SUN Yongliang, LI Xiaoyan, XU Heye, YANG Zhipeng, TANG Jia, ZHANG Xiaoying
Front.Environ.Sci.Eng.. 2008, 2 (4): 480-486.

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The development of soil crust on sandy land may affect the surface hydrological process. This paper investigates the process of evaporation and dew deposition influenced by different soil surface types which were dominated by sand, primitive biotic crust, and advanced biotic crust, respectively, in the south fringe of Mu Us sandy land in Northwest China from July to September of 2006. The experimental results indicate that the advanced biotic crust could increase evaporation and dew deposition compared to the primitive biotic crust and bare sand although the differences between them were not significant. The average evaporation from advanced biotic crust, primitive biotic crust and sand was 6.8, 6.6, and 6.5 mm/d, respectively, and water content is around 16.2 % in the condition of initially identical soil. The average dew amount on advanced biotic crust was 0.116 mm/d with extreme 0.05 and 0.24 mm/d. The average values on primitive biotic crust and sand were 0.105 and 0.101 mm/d, respectively, with extreme 0.04 and 0.21 mm/d for both treatments. Also, the dew deposition on advanced biotic crust seemed stable and might rest for a longer time than that on primitive biotic crust and sand. The results suggest that the advanced biotic crust possibly facilitates evaporation and dew deposition. Therefore, the development of biotic crust may potentially enhance the hydrological circulation in the upper sand layer in sandy land.
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Driving mechanisms of desertification process in the Horqin Sandy Land-a case study in Zhalute Banner, Inner Mongolia of China
TANG Haiping, CHEN Yufu, LI Xinyu
Front.Environ.Sci.Eng.. 2008, 2 (4): 487-493.

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Both natural and human factors contributing to desertification were examined to understand the driving mechanisms of the desertification process in Zhalute Banner, Inner Mongolia of China. The coefficient of variation (CV) and climate departure index (Z) were calculated to examine the fluctuations and trends of inter-annual variations of temperature and precipitation; TM remote sensing data was extracted to obtain the sandy land area; linear regression analysis was used to analyze climate changes and the socio-economic evolution over the years, and it was also used to standardize the variables, which included annual temperature, annual precipitation, human population, and livestock number, in order to measure the difference in the rate of change between climate and anthropogenic factors. The results showed that there was a rise of about 1.6°C in temperature but no significant change in precipitation from 1961 to 2000, which indicated a short-term climatic trend toward aridity in this area, a condition necessary for desertification. The fraction of precipitation in spring tended to increase whilst the fraction in autumn and winter decreased. Both the human population and livestock population had tripled and the cultivated area had doubled from 1961 to 2000, suggesting that socio-economic factors might have contributed more significantly to the desertification. Between 1988 and 1997, the sandy land area increased by 12.5%, nearly 2.4 times in the farming section. It could be concluded that the driving mechanisms of the desertification processes in Zhalute banner are mainly the policy of cropland expansion and the rising populations of humans and their livestock, which has affected the land use pattern in the past decades.
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Uncertainty analysis on aquatic environmental impacts of urban land use change
ZHOU Jiquan, LIU Yi, CHEN Jining, YU Fanxian
Front.Environ.Sci.Eng.. 2008, 2 (4): 494-504.

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Uncertainties hamper the implementation of strategic environmental assessment (SEA). In order to quantitatively characterize the uncertainties of environmental impacts, this paper develops an integrated methodology through uncertainty analysis on land use change, which combines the scenario analysis approach, stochastic simulation technique, and statistics. Dalian city in China was taken as a case study in the present work. The results predict that the Fuzhou River poses the highest environmental pollution risk with a probability of 89.63% for COD in 2020. Furthermore, the Biliu River, Fuzhou River, Zhuang River, and Dasha River have 100% probabilities for NH3-N. NH3-N is a more critical pollutant than COD for all rivers. For COD, industry is the critical pollution source for all rivers except the Zhuang River. For NH3-N, agriculture is the critical pollution source for the Biliu River, Yingna River, and Dasha River, sewage for the Fuzhou River and Zhuang River, and industry for the Dengsha River. This methodology can provide useful information, such as environmental risk, environmental pressure, and extremely environmental impact, especially under considerations of uncertainties. It can also help to ascertain the significance of each pollution source and its priority for control in urban planning.
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Determination of the dissociation constants of polyepoxysuccinic acid
ZHANG Lihua, ZHU Zhiliang, QIU Yanling, ZHANG Ronghua, ZHAO Jianfu
Front.Environ.Sci.Eng.. 2008, 2 (4): 505-508.

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The dissociation constants of polyepoxysuccinic acid (PESA) were investigated in this study. Based on the potentiometric titration and the BEST program, the dissociation constants of PESA were determined. Considering the complexity of the dissociation of PESA in aqueous solution, several models were constructed to simulate the dissociation process of PESA. By comparison, the dissociation constants of PESA were obtained with model 4. The species distribution of PESA in aqueous solution as a function of pH was also presented according to the experimental and calculation results. It showed that the H2L model with five basic structure units to describe the dissociation of PESA was reasonable, and the relevant constants had less error and better matching between the experimental and calculation data. The corresponding values of pKai were 4.68 and 4.92, respectively, for H2L at 35°C with ionic strength of 0.1 mol/L.
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15 articles