Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering

ISSN 2095-2201

ISSN 2095-221X(Online)

CN 10-1013/X

2015 Impact Factor: 1.799

Cover Story   2018, Volume 12 Issue 6
Polychlorinated biphenyls, hexachlorobenzene and pentachlorobenzene are listed in the Stockholm Convention Annex C as unintentional Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). They can be unintentionally formed and released during various industrial and daily life processes. Since China is a party to the Stockholm Convention, China is required to identif [Detail] ...
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Potential sources of unintentionally produced PCB, HCB, and PeCBz in China: A preliminary overview
Xiaotu Liu, Heidelore Fiedler, Wenwen Gong, Bin Wang, Gang Yu
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.. 2018, 12 (6): 1-.

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A preliminary analysis of potential sources for unintentionally produced PCB, HCB and PeCBz in China.

Activity rates of sources for reference years from 2000 to 2015 provided.

Emissions from a number of sources summarized and compared.

Implications for future research and regulation discussed.

Under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), China is required not only to reduce polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDD/PCDF) but also unintentionally produced polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), hexachlorobenzene (HCB) and pentachlorobenzene (PeCBz). A baseline of the sources in China that generate these unintentional POPs is needed for both research and regulation purposes. In this paper, we have compiled production data of potential sources in China and assessed them in five-year intervals from 2000 to 2015. Most of these activities experienced changes from rapid growth to slow growth. Measured data for PCB, HCB and PeCBz in samples collected from potential sources in China were reviewed. Most information was associated to thermal processes with high potential of emission, including waste incineration and ferrous and non-ferrous metal production. In addition, high levels of PCB, HCB and PeCBz were found as impurities in a few chlorinated products or as by-products in solvent production, which suggested organochlorine industry might be important sources. Finally, based on the studies reviewed, recommendations for future actions in research and policy as well as a few regulatory issues in China are discussed.

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Sustainability of metal recovery from E-waste
Biswajit Debnath, Ranjana Chowdhury, Sadhan Kumar Ghosh
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.. 2018, 12 (6): 2-.

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Metal recovery techniques from electronic waste reported in literature.

Metal recovery processes followed in Industries from electronic waste.

Sustainability analysis of metal recovery processes from electronic waste.

The issue of E-waste disposal is concerning all the stakeholders, from policymakers to the end users which have accelerated the research and development on environmentally sound disposal of E-waste. The recovery of metals (gold, tantalum, copper, iron etc.) from E-waste has become an important focus. The mechanical recycling, thermo-chemical processes like pyrolysis, pyro-, hydro- and bio- metallurgical processes can play important roles in the Metal Recovery from E-waste (MREW) technology. For the industrial application of the MREW technology, it is important to analyze the sustainability. In this paper, two case studies have been presented on E-waste recycling industries in India and China. Based on the literature data, an attempt has been made to assess qualitatively the overall sustainability of MREW technology considering the three pillars, i.e., environmental, economic and social. Two conceptual frameworks with (Option-2) and without (Option-1) pyrolysis for integrated MREW units have been developed and the generalized energy and environmental impact analysis has been made using the principles of LCA. The impacts of two options have been compared. Option 2 has been found to be more efficient and sustainable. It has been realized that climate change, fossil fuel depletion, water depletion, eutrophication, acidification, fresh and marine water ecotoxicity are possible impact categories. The recommendations based on the generalized assessment are in good agreement with the findings of previous researchers on individual steps of MREW unit. The findings of this paper are expected to be beneficial to researchers and stakeholders for research directions and decision making on MREW.

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Roles of acid-producing bacteria in anaerobic digestion of waste activated sludge
Sijia Ai, Hongyu Liu, Mengjie Wu, Guangming Zeng, Chunping Yang
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.. 2018, 12 (6): 3-.

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Three acid-producing strains were isolated and identified.

The isolated bacteria accelerated the anaerobic digestion processes.

Bacillus coagulans improved TCOD removal, VS removal and biogas production.

The optimal inoculum concentration of Bacillus coagulans AFB-1 was 30%.

Three acid-producing strains, AFB-1, AFB-2 and AFB-3, were isolated during this study, and their roles in anaerobic digestion of waste activated sludge (WAS) were evaluated. Data of 16S rRNA method showed that AFB-1 and AFB-2 were Bacillus coagulans, and AFB-3 was Escherichia coli. The removal in terms of volatile solids (VS) and total chemical oxygen demand (TCOD) was maximized at 42.7% and 44.7% by inoculating Bacillus coagulans AFB-1. Besides, the optimal inoculum concentration of Bacillus coagulans AFB-1 was 30% (v/v). Solubilization degree experiments indicated that solubilization ratios (SR) of WAS reached 20.8%±2.2%, 17.7%±1.48%, and 11.1%±1.53%. Volatile fatty acids (VFAs) concentrations and compositions were also explored with a gas chromatograph. The results showed that VFAs improved by 98.5%, 53.0% and 11.6% than those of the control, respectively. Biochemical methane potential (BMP) experiments revealed that biogas production increased by 90.7% and 75.3% when inoculating with Bacillus coagulans AFB-1 and AFB-2. These results confirmed that the isolated acid-producing bacteria, especially Bacillus coagulans, was a good candidate for anaerobic digestion of WAS.

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Broadening of appropriate demulsifier dosage range for latex-containing wastewater by sulfate addition
Shengzhi Zheng, Yudong Song, Yiming Li, Lidong Sun, Bin Hu, Mingdong An, Yuexi Zhou
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.. 2018, 12 (6): 4-.

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The effect of latex concentration on appropriate demulsifier dosage was investigated.

The appropriate demulsifier dosage range was controlled by zeta potential.

Sulfate could broaden appropriate demulsifier dosage range and improve latex removal.

Investigation of demulsification of polybutadiene latex (PBL) wastewater by polyaluminum chloride (PAC) indicated that there was an appropriate dosage range for latex removal. The demulsification mechanism of PAC was adsorption-charge neutralization and its appropriate dosage range was controlled by zeta potential. When the zeta potential of the mixture was between -15 and 15 mV after adding PAC, the demulsification effect was good. Decreasing the latex concentration in chemical oxygen demand (COD) from 8.0 g/L to 0.2 g/L made the appropriate PAC dosage range narrower and caused the maximum latex removal efficiency to decrease from 95% to 37%. Therefore, more accurate PAC dosage control is required. Moreover, adding 50 mg/L sulfate broadened the appropriate PAC dosage range, resulting in an increase in maximum latex removal efficiency from 37% to 91% for wastewater of 0.2 g COD/L. The addition of sulfate will favor more flexible PAC dosage control in demulsification of PBL wastewater.

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Nitrogen removal performance of municipal reverse osmosis concentrate with low C/N ratio by membrane-aerated biofilm reactor
Xiao Quan, Kai Huang, Mei Li, Meichao Lan, Baoan Li
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.. 2018, 12 (6): 5-.

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MABR exhibits excellent TN removal performance for treating ROC with low C/N ratio.

Operating conditions should be properly controlled to achieve optimal TN removal.

Denitrifying bacteria and NOB are proved notably inhibited by high salinity stress.

The TN removal rate remains over 70% when the NaCl addition amount is below 20 g/L.

A membrane-aerated biofilm reactor was employed to investigate the nitrogen removal of one typical municipal reverse osmosis(RO) concentrate with a high total nitrogen (TN) concentration and a low C/N ratio. The effects of operational conditions, including the aeration pressure, the hydraulic retention time and the C/N ratio, on the systematic performance were evaluated. The nitrogen removal mechanism was evaluated by monitoring the effluent concentrations of nitrogen contents. Furthermore, the microbial tolerance with elevated salinity was identified. The results indicated that the optimal TN removal efficiency of 79.2% was achieved of the aeration pressure of 0.02 MPa, hydraulic retention time of 24 h, and the C/N ratio of 5.8, respectively. It is essential to supplement the carbon source for the targeted RO concentrate to promote the denitrification process. The inhibitory effect of salinity on denitrifying bacteria and nitrite oxidizing bacteria was significant, revealing the limited TN removal capacity of the conditions in this work. The TN removal efficiency remained more than 70% with the addition of salt (NaCl) amount below 20 g/L. This work preliminarily demonstrated the MABR feasibility for the nitrogen removal of municipal RO concentrate with low C/N ratio and provided technical guidance for further scale-up application.

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Removal of sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim from reclaimed water and the biodegradation mechanism
Qinqin Liu, Miao Li, Xiang Liu, Quan Zhang, Rui Liu, Zhenglu Wang, Xueting Shi, Jin Quan, Xuhui Shen, Fawang Zhang
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.. 2018, 12 (6): 6-.

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The artificial composite soil treatment system could efficiently remove SMX and TMP by biodegradation mechanism.

Bacillus subtilis from column reactors degraded SMX and TMP efficiently.

Bacillus subtilis biodegrades TMP to NH4+, and then converts NH4+ to NO3.

Sulfamethoxazole (SMX) and trimethoprim (TMP) are two critical sulfonamide antibiotics with enhanced persistency that are commonly found in wastewater treatment plants. Recently, more scholars have showed interests in how SMX and TMP antibiotics are biodegraded, which is seldom reported previously. Novel artificial composite soil treatment systems were designed to allow biodegradation to effectively remove adsorbed SMX and TMP from the surface of clay ceramsites. A synergy between sorption and biodegradation improves the removal of SMX and TMP. One highly efficient SMX and TMP degrading bacteria strain, Bacillus subtilis, was isolated from column reactors. In the removal process, this bacteria degrade SMX and TMP to NH4+, and then further convert NH4+ to NO3 in a continuous process. Microbial adaptation time was longer for SMX degradation than for TMP, and SMX was also able to be degraded in aerobic conditions. Importantly, the artificial composite soil treatment system is suitable for application in practical engineering.

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Occurrence, removal, and environmental risks of pharmaceuticals in wastewater treatment plants in south China
Huang Huang, Jie Wu, Jian Ye, Tingjin Ye, Jia Deng, Yongmei Liang, Wei Liu
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.. 2018, 12 (6): 7-.

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Five pharmaceuticals were detected in wastewater treatment plants in southern China.

Biological treatment was the most effective process for PhACs removal.

Metoprolol showed negative removal during secondary treatment process.

The pharmaceuticals studied posed a low environmental risk to aquatic ecosystems.

Pharmaceutically active compounds in wastewater released from human consumption have received considerable attention because of their possible risks for aquatic environments. In this study, the occurrence and removal of 10 pharmaceuticals in three municipal wastewater treatment plants in southern China were investigated and the environmental risks they posed were assessed. Nifedipine, atenolol, metoprolol, valsartan and pravastatin were detected in the influent wastewater. The highest average concentration in the influents was observed for metoprolol (164.6 ng/L), followed by valsartan (120.3 ng/L) in August, while median concentrations were higher in November than in August. The total average daily mass loadings of the pharmaceuticals in the three plants were 289.52 mg/d/person, 430.46 mg/d/person and 368.67 mg/d/person, respectively. Elimination in the treatment plants studied was incomplete, with metoprolol levels increasing during biological treatment. Biological treatment was the most effective step for PhACs removal in all of the plants studied. Moreover, the removal of PhACs was observed with higher efficiencies in August than in November. The WWTP equipped with an Unitank process exhibited similar removals of most PhACs as other WWTPs equipped with an anoxic/oxic (A/O) process or various anaerobic-anoxic-oxic (A2/O) process. The environmental risk assessment concluded that all of the single PhAC in the effluents displayed a low risk (RQ<0.1) to the aquatic environments.

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The temporal changes of the concentration level of typical toxic organics in the river sediments around Beijing
Qiang Li, Xiong Xu, Yaoyao Fang, Ruiyang Xiao, Donghong Wang, Wenjue Zhong
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.. 2018, 12 (6): 8-.

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The current situation of typical organics in the sediments around Beijing was unclear.

56 kinds of typical toxic organics were detected in this article.

Historical data was compared with the data in this study.

The change of different organics in the sediments around Beijing was concluded.

In this study, the current situation of five types of toxic organics and endocrine disrupters in the sediments of rivers around Beijing, i.e., polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), phthalic acid esters (PAEs), organic chlorinated pesticides (OCPs), estrogens (Es), and bisphenol A (BPA), which included 56 contaminants, was analyzed and compared with that registered by the historical literatures. The ecological risks were also assessed. The total concentration of PAHs, PAEs, OCPs, Es, and BPA ranged from 232.5 ng·g1 to 5429.7 ng·g1, 2047.2 ng·g1 to 18051.5 ng·g1, 4.5 ng·g1 to 11.7 ng·g1, 18.1 ng·g1 to 105.2 ng·g1, and 36.3 ng·g1 to 69.6 ng·g1, respectively. Among these five types of organic compounds, the concentration levels of PAHs and OCPs have decreased significantly in the last ten years, while those of PAEs and Es had an upward trend compared with the previous studies. BPA still remained at a moderately high level, as it was ten years ago. The risks of the PAEs in all of the sample sites, and fluoranthene, benzo[a]anthrene, and benzo[a]pyrene in the Wenyu River sediment, were relatively high. These results supplemented the database of toxic organics’ concentration levels in the sediments of Beijing rivers.

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Comparison of membrane fouling in ultrafiltration of down-flow and up-flow biological activated carbon effluents
Lu Ao, Wenjun Liu, Yang Qiao, Cuiping Li, Xiaomao Wang
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.. 2018, 12 (6): 9-.

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The UF membrane fouling by down- and up-flow BAC effluents were compared.

Up-flow BAC effluent fouled the membrane faster than down-flow BAC effluent.

The combined effects dominated irreversible fouling.

The extent of fouling exacerbated by inorganic particles was higher.

The TMP, permeate flux, and normalized membrane flux during 21 days of UF of DBAC and UBAC effluents.

Fouling during ultrafiltration of down- and up-flow biological activated carbon effluents was investigated to determine the roles of polysaccharides, proteins, and inorganic particles in ultrafiltration membrane fouling. During ultrafiltration of down- flow biological activated carbon effluent, the trans-membrane pressure was≤26 kPa and the permeate flux was steady at 46.7 L?m2?h1. However, during ultrafiltration of up-flow biological activated carbon effluent, the highest trans-membrane pressure was almost 40 kPa and the permeate flux continuously decreased to 30 L?m2?h1. At the end of the filtration period, the normalized membrane fluxes were 0.88 and 0.62 for down- and up-flow biological activated carbon effluents, respectively. The membrane removed the turbidity and polysaccharides content by 47.4% and 30.2% in down- flow biological activated effluent and 82.5% and 22.4% in up-flow biological activated carbon effluent, respectively, but retained few proteins. The retention of polysaccharides was higher on the membrane that filtered the down- flow biological activated effluent compared with that on the membrane that filtered the up-flow biological activated carbon effluent. The polysaccharides on the membranes fouled by up-flow biological activated carbon and down- flow biological activated effluents were spread continuously and clustered, respectively. These demonstrated that the up-flow biological activated carbon effluent fouled the membrane faster. Membrane fouling was associated with a portion of the polysaccharides (not the proteins) and inorganic particles in the feed water. When there was little difference in the polysaccharide concentrations between the feed waters, the fouling extent was exacerbated more by inorganic particles than by polysaccharides.

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Enhanced heterogeneous Fenton-like activity by Cu-doped BiFeO3 perovskite for degradation of organic pollutants
Jie Mao, Xie Quan, Jing Wang, Cong Gao, Shuo Chen, Hongtao Yu, Yaobin Zhang
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.. 2018, 12 (6): 10-.

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OH played a key role in heterogeneous Fenton-like catalytic oxidation of organic pollutants.

Doping Cu into BiFeO3 promoted the generation of Fe2+ and then facilitated the effective formation of •OH.

Cu-doped BiFeO3 exhibited higher catalytic performance for phenol degradation than non-doped BiFeO3.

Heterogeneous Fenton-like reaction has been extensively investigated to eliminate refractory organic contaminants in wastewater, but it usually shows low catalytic performance due to difficulty in reduction from Fe(III) to Fe(II). In this study, enhanced catalytic efficiency was obtained by employing Cu-doped BiFeO3 as heterogeneous Fenton-like catalysts, which exhibited higher catalytic performance toward the activation of H2O2 for phenol degradation than un-doped BiFeO3. BiFe0.8Cu0.2O3 displayed the best performance, which yielded 91% removal of phenol (10 mg L1) in 120 min. The pseudo first-order kinetic rate constant of phenol degradation in BiFe0.8Cu0.2O3 catalyzed heterogeneous Fenton-like reaction was 5 times higher than those of traditional heterogeneous Fenton-like catalysts, such as Fe3O4 and goethite. The phenol degradation efficiency could still reach 83% after 4 cycles, which implied the good stability of BiFe0.8Cu0.2O3. The high catalytic activity of BiFe0.8Cu0.2O3 was attributed to the fact that the doping Cu into BiFeO3 could promote the generation of Fe(II) in the catalyst and then facilitate the activation of H2O2 to degrade the organic pollutants.

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Efficient photoelectrochemical oxidation of rhodamine B on metal electrodes without photocatalyst or supporting electrolyte
Xuejiao Wang, Xiang Feng, Jing Shang
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.. 2018, 12 (6): 11-.

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•The efficient PEC degradation of RhB is realized using no photocatalyst.

•The efficient PEC degradation of RhB features the low salinity.

•The PEC degradation of RhB takes place on the anode and cathode simultaneously.

We designed photoelectrochemical cells to achieve efficient oxidation of rhodamine B (RhB) without the need for photocatalyst or supporting electrolyte. RhB, the metal anode/cathode, and O2 formed an energy-relay structure, enabling the efficient formation of O2− species under ultraviolet illumination. In a single-compartment cell (S cell) containing a titanium (Ti) anode, Ti cathode, and 10 mg·mL−1 RhB in water, the zero-order rate constant of the photoelectrochemical oxidation (kPEC) of RhB was 0.049 mg·L−1·min−1, while those of the photochemical and electrochemical oxidations of RhB were nearly zero. kPEC remained almost the same when 0.5 mol·L−1 Na2SO4 was included in the reactive solution, regardless of the increase in the photocurrent of the S cell. The kPEC of the illuminated anode compartment in the two-compartment cell, including a Ti anode, Ti cathode, and 10 mg·mL−1 RhB in water, was higher than that of the S cell. These results support a simple, eco-friendly, and energy-saving method to realize the efficient degradation of RhB.

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Reduction of wastewater toxicity and change of microbial community in a hydrolysis acidification reactor pre-treating trimethylolpropane wastewater
Xin Xing, Yin Yu, Hongbo Xi, Guangqing Song, Yajiao Wang, Jiane Zuo, Yuexi Zhou
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.. 2018, 12 (6): 12-.

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HAP was verified to reduce the toxicity of TMP wastewater effectively.

Actual TMP wastewater was fed in HAP with different dilution ratios for 240 days.

Formaldehyde, 2-ethylacrolein, TMP and 2-ethylhexanol were all greatly removed.

Firmicutes became the dominant phylum (the abundance increased to 57.08%).

Trimethylolpropane (TMP) wastewater is one of the most toxic petrochemical wastewater. Toxicants with high concentrations in TMP wastewater often inhibit the activity of microorganisms associated with biological treatment processes. The hydrolysis acidification process (HAP) is widely used to pre-treat petrochemical wastewater. However, the effects of HAP on the reduction of wastewater toxicity and the relevant underlying mechanisms have rarely been reported. In this study, an HAP reactor was operated for 240 days, fed with actual TMP wastewater diluted by tap water in varying ratios. The toxicity of TMP wastewater was assessed with the inhibition ratio of oxygen uptake rate. When the organic loading rates were lower than 7.5 kg COD/m3/d, the toxicity of TMP wastewater was completely eliminated. When the actual TMP wastewater was directly fed into the reactor, the toxicity of TMP wastewater decreased from 100% to 34.9%. According to the results of gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis, four main toxicants contained in TMP wastewater, namely, formaldehyde, 2-ethylacrolein, TMP and 2-ethylhexanol, were all significantly removed, with removal efficiencies of 93.42%, 95.42%, 72.85% and 98.94%, respectively. Compared with the removal efficiency of CODCr, the reduction rate of toxicity is markedly higher by HAP. In addition, the change of microbial community in the HAP reactor, along the operation period, was studied. The results revealed that, compared with the seed sludge, Firmicutes became the dominant phylum (abundance increased from 0.51% to 57.08%), followed by Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes (abundance increased from 59.75% to 25.99% and from 4.70% to 8.39%, respectively).

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Distribution of phytoplankton community and its influence factors in an urban river network, East China
Ling Sun, Hui Wang, Yuanqing Kan, Shiliang Wang
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.. 2018, 12 (6): 13-.

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Effects of urban river conditions on phytoplankton community were investigated.

Nitrate utilization and hydrodynamic condition affected phytoplankton distribution.

A winter bloom was induced by abundant ammonia, total phosphorus and organic matters.

The diatoms and euglenoids dominated in an urban beheaded river ecosystem.

To reveal the distribution characteristics of phytoplankton and the main influence factors under different conditions in the urban rivers, the investigations were conducted during autumn and winter 2014 in Changzhou City, East China. 178 taxa of phytoplankton belonging to 28 functional assemblages were identified. In autumn, the phytoplankton community compositions have high similarity for enhanced hydrological connectivity. The chlorophytes and diatoms (prevailing functional groups C, F, J, P), together with euglenoids (W1), showed high proportions of biomass in the main rivers and connected rivers. It was related to the well mixed eutrophic conditions. The phytoplankton community exhibited spatiotemporal heterogeneity in winter. Affected by the low water level and temperature, the free-living phytoflagellates (X2) replaced groups F and J in the main rivers. Phytoplankton productivity was the highest in the Tongji River. Chlorophytes Dictyosphaerium ehrenbergianum and Chlamydobotrys stellata had an overwhelming superiority during the winter bloom. They were significantly correlated with ammonium, total phosphorus and biochemical oxygen demand. Affected by tail water supply, the diatoms (MP) and euglenoids (W1) dominated in a beheaded river. The multivariate analyses based on the phytoplankton functional groups helped to evaluate the relationships and variations between the urban rivers. The redundancy analysis (RDA) results showed that nitrate nitrogen, water temperature, total nitrogen and total suspended solids were the main influence factors on the phytoplankton community. Except MP, the prevailing groups all showed significant negative correlations with nitrate nitrogen. Availability and utilization of dissolved inorganic nitrogen and hydrodynamic conditions affected the phytoplankton distribution.

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Microalgae cultivation and culture medium recycling by a two-stage cultivation system
Xinfeng Wang, Lu Lin, Haifeng Lu, Zhidan Liu, Na Duan, Taili Dong, Hua Xiao, Baoming Li, Pei Xu
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.. 2018, 12 (6): 14-.

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A two-stage system was designed for microalgae cultivation and nutrients removal.

Two species of microalgae were cultivated for biomass production.

UF costed less than centrifuge for harvesting microalgae at small scale.

100% NH4+ of the wastewater was removed and met discharge requirement.

Nutrients and water play an important role in microalgae cultivation. Using wastewater as a culture medium is a promising alternative to recycle nutrients and water, and for further developing microalgae-based products. In the present study, two species of microalgae, Chlorella sp. (high ammonia nitrogen tolerance) and Spirulina platensis (S. platensis, high growth rate), were cultured by using poultry wastewater through a two-stage cultivation system for algal biomass production. Ultrafiltration (UF) or centrifuge was used to harvest Chlorella sp. from the first cultivation stage and to recycle culture medium for S. platensis growth in the second cultivation stage. Results showed the two-stage cultivation system produced high microalgae biomass including 0.39 g·L1 Chlorella sp. and 3.45 g·L1 S. platensis in the first-stage and second-stage, respectively. In addition, the removal efficiencies of NH4+ reached 19% and almost 100% in the first and the second stage, respectively. Total phosphorus (TP) removal reached 17% and 83%, and total organic carbon (TOC) removal reached 55% and 72% in the first and the second stage, respectively. UF and centrifuge can recycle 96.8% and 100% water, respectively. This study provides a new method for the combined of pure microalgae cultivation and wastewater treatment with culture medium recycling.

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Investigation of phosphate adsorption from an aqueous solution using spent fluid catalytic cracking catalyst containing lanthanum
Zhen Li, Zhaofu Qiu, Ji Yang, Benteng Ma, Shuguang Lu, Chuanhui Qin
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.. 2018, 12 (6): 15-.

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Spent FCC catalyst with lanthanum is proposed as a novel P-removal adsorbent.

The spent FCC catalyst exhibits 99% adsorption efficiency for low P-concentration wastewater (C0 <5.0 mg/L).

High affinity, endothermic reaction and fast sorption kinetics are achieved.

The phosphate is adsorbed in the form of LaPO4 and KH2PO4.

A spent fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) catalyst containing lanthanum (La) was used as a novel adsorbent for phosphorus (P) in simulated wastewater. The experiments were conducted in a batch system to optimize the operation variables, including pH, calcination temperature, shaking time, solid-liquid ratio, and reaction temperature under three initial P-concentrations (C0 = 0.5, 1.0, and 5.0 mg/L). Orthogonal analysis was used to determine that the initial P-concentration was the most important parameter for P removal. The P-removal rate exceeded 99% and the spent FCC catalyst was more suitable for use in low P-concentration wastewater (C0 <5.0 mg/L). Isotherms, thermodynamics and dynamics of adsorption are used to analyze the mechanism of phosphorus removal. The results show that the adsorption is an endothermic reaction with high affinity and poor reversibility, which indicates a low risk of second releasing of phosphate. Moreover, chemical and physical adsorption coexist in this adsorption process with LaPO4 and KH2PO4 formed on the spent FCC catalyst as the adsorption product. These results demonstrate that the spent FCC catalyst containing La is a potential adsorbent for P-removal from wastewater, which allows recycling of the spent FCC catalyst to improve the quality of water body.

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15 articles