Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering

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ISSN 2095-2201 (Print)
ISSN 2095-221X (Online)
CN 10-1013/X
Postal Subscription Code 80-973
Formerly Known as Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering in China
2018 Impact Factor: 3.883
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A syntrophic propionate-oxidizing microflora and its bioaugmentation on anaerobic wastewater treatment for enhancing methane production and COD removal
Chong Liu, Jianzheng Li, Shuo Wang, Loring Nies
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.    2016, 10 (4): 13.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (422KB)

Syntrophic propionate-oxidizing microflora B83 was enriched from anaerobic sludge.

The bioaugmentation of microflora B83 were evaluated from wastewater treatment.

Methane yield and COD removal were enhanced by bioaugmentation of microflora B83.

Hydrogen-producing acetogensis was a rate-limiting step in methane fermentation.

Methane fermentation process can be restricted and even destroyed by the accumulation of propionate because it is the most difficult to be anaerobically oxidized among the volatile fatty acids produced by acetogenesis. To enhance anaerobic wastewater treatment process for methane production and COD removal, a syntrophic propionate-oxidizing microflora B83 was obtained from an anaerobic activated sludge by enrichment with propionate. The inoculation of microflora B83, with a 1:9 ratio of bacteria number to that of the activated sludge, could enhance the methane production from glucose by 2.5 times. With the same inoculation dosage of the microflora B83, COD removal in organic wastewater treatment process was improved from 75.6% to 86.6%, while the specific methane production by COD removal was increased by 2.7 times. Hydrogen-producing acetogenesis appeared to be a rate-limiting step in methane fermentation, and the enhancement of hydrogen-producing acetogens in the anaerobic wastewater treatment process had improved not only the hydrogen-producing acetogenesis but also the acidogenesis and methanogenesis.

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Environment and economic feasibility of municipal solid waste central sorting strategy: a case study in Beijing
Hua ZHANG, Zongguo WEN, Yixi CHEN
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.    2016, 10 (4): 10.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (904KB)

The Green House program reduced the amount of waste by 34%.

The Green House is now running with a monthly loss of 1982 CNY.

Involve government, expand scale, use professional technology are main suggestions.

Improved program can reduce the amount of waste by 37% (33.8 tons monthly).

Improved program can flip the loss into a profit worth 35034 CNY monthly.

Although Beijing has carried out municipal solid waste (MSW) source separation since 1996, it has largely been ineffective. In 2012, a “Green House” program was established as a new attempt for central sorting. In this study, the authors used material flow analysis (MFA) and cost benefit analysis (CBA) methods to investigate Green House’s environment and economic feasibility. Results showed that the program did have significant environmental benefits on waste reduction, which reduced the amount of waste by 34%. If the Green House program is implemented in a residential community with wet waste ratio of 66%, the proportion of waste reduction can reach 37%. However, the Green House is now running with a monthly loss of 1982 CNY. This is mainly because most of its benefits come from waste reduction (i.e., 5878 CNY per month), which does not turn a monetary benefit, but is instead distributed to the whole of society as positive environmental externalities. Lack of government involvement, small program scale, and technical/managerial deficiency are three main barriers of the Green House. We, thus, make three recommendations: involve government authority and financial support, expand the program scale to separate 91.4 tons of waste every month, and use more professional equipment/technologies. If the Green House program can successfully adopt these suggestions, 33.8 tons of waste can be reduced monthly, and it would be able to flip the loss into a profit worth 35034 CNY.

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Municipal wastewater treatment in China: Development history and future perspectives Collection
Jiuhui Qu, Hongchen Wang, Kaijun Wang, Gang Yu, Bing Ke, Han-Qing Yu, Hongqiang Ren, Xingcan Zheng, Ji Li, Wen-Wei Li, Song Gao, Hui Gong
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.    2019, 13 (6): 88.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (1489KB)

The history of China’s municipal wastewater management is revisited.

The remaining challenges in wastewater sector in China are identified.

New concept municipal wastewater treatment plants are highlighted.

An integrated plant of energy, water and fertilizer recovery is envisaged.

China has the world’s largest and still growing wastewater sector and water market, thus its future development will have profound influence on the world. The high-speed development of China’s wastewater sector over the past 40 years has forged its global leading treatment capacity and innovation ability. However, many problems were left behind, including underdeveloped sewers and sludge disposal facilities, low sustainability of the treatment processes, questionable wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluent discharge standards, and lacking global thinking on harmonious development between wastewater management, human society and the nature. Addressing these challenges calls for fundamental changes in target design, policy and technologies. In this mini-review, we revisit the development history of China’s municipal wastewater management and identify the remaining challenges. Also, we highlight the future needs of sustainable development and exploring China’s own wastewater management path, and outlook the future from several aspects including targets of wastewater management, policies and technologies, especially the new concept WWTP. Furthermore, we envisage the establishment of new-generation WWTPs with the vision of turning WWTP from a site of pollutant removal into a plant of energy, water and fertilizer recovery and an integrated part urban ecology in China.

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Degradation of bisphenol A by microorganisms immobilized on polyvinyl alcohol microspheres
Xue BAI, Hanchang SHI, Zhengfang YE, Qiujin SUN, Qing WANG, Zhongyou WANG
Front Envir Sci Eng    2013, 7 (6): 844-850.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (225KB)

In this study, microorganisms (named B111) were immobilized on polyvinyl alcohol microspheres prepared by the inverse suspension crosslinked method. The biodegradation of bisphenol A (BPA) and 4-hydroxybenzaldehyde, a degradation product of BPA, by free and immobilized B111 was investigated. The BPA degradation studies were carried out at initial BPA concentrations ranging from 25 to 150 mg·L-1. The affinity constant Ks and maximum degradation rate Rmax were 98.3 mg·L-1 and 19.7 mg·mg-1VSS·d-1 for free B111, as well as 87.2 mg·L-1 and 21.1 mg·mg-1VSS·d-1 for immobilized B111, respectively. 16S rDNA gene sequence analyses confirmed that the dominant genera were Pseudomonas and Brevundimonas for BPA biodegradation in microorganisms B111.

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Upgrading to urban water system 3.0 through sponge city construction Collection
Nanqi Ren, Qian Wang, Qiuru Wang, Hong Huang, Xiuheng Wang
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.    2017, 11 (4): 9.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (220KB)

Cities in China confront full-scale and serious water crises due to urbanization.

System 2.0 with fragmented gray engineering measures showed inadaptability.

A novel water-cycling system is developed to systematically solve water crises.

Multi-purpose system 3.0 with integrated strategy shows powerful vitality.

Urban water system 3.0 (Blue, gray, brown and yellow arrows represent water flow, wastewater flow, resource and energy respectively)

Facing the pressure of excessive water consumption, high pollution load and rainstorm waterlogging, linear and centralized urban water system, system 2.0, as well as traditional governance measures gradually exposed characters of water-sensitivity, vulnerability and unsustainability, subsequently resulting in a full-blown crisis of water shortage, water pollution and waterlogging. To systematically relieve such crisis, we established healthy urban water-cycling system 3.0, in which decentralized sewerage systems, spongy infrastructures and ecological rivers play critical roles. Through unconventional water resource recycling, whole process control of pollutions and ecological restoration, system 3.0 with integrated management measures, is expected to fit for multiple purposes which involve environmental, ecological, economic and social benefits. With advantages of flexibility, resilience and sustainability, water system 3.0 will show an increasingly powerful vitality in the near future.

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Preparation of a novel anion exchange group modified hyper-crosslinked resin for the effective adsorption of both tetracycline and humic acid
Qing ZHOU, Mengqiao WANG, Aimin LI, Chendong SHUANG, Mancheng ZHANG, Xiaohan LIU, Liuyan WU
Front Envir Sci Eng    2013, 7 (3): 412-419.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (253KB)

A novel hyper-crosslinked resin (MENQ) modified with an anion exchange group was prepared using divinylbenzene (DVB) and methyl acrylate (MA) as comonomers via four steps: suspension polymerization, post-crosslinking, ammonolysis and alkylation reactions. The obtained resin had both a high specific surface area (793.34 m2·g-1) and a large exchange capacity (strong base anion exchange capacity, SEC: 0.74 mmol·g-1, weak base anion exchange capacity, WEC: 0.45 mmol·g-1). XAD-4 was selected as an adsorbent for comparison to investigate the adsorption behavior of tetracycline (TC) and humic acid (HA) onto the adsorbents. The results revealed that MENQ could effectively remove both TC and HA. The adsorption capacity of XAD-4 for TC was similar to that of MENQ, but XAD-4 exhibited poor performance for the adsorption of HA. The adsorption isotherms of TC and HA were well-fitted with the Freundlich model, which indicated the existence of heterogeneous adsorption through cation-π bonding and π–π interactions. The optimal solution condition for the adsorption of TC was at a pH of 5–6, whereas the adsorption of HA was enhanced with increasing pH of the solution.

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Soil enzyme activities and their indication for fertility of urban forest soil
SHAN Qihua, YU Yuanchun, ZHANG Jinchi, YU Jian
Front.Environ.Sci.Eng.    2008, 2 (2): 218-223.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (93KB)
To reveal the biological characteristics of urban forest soil and the effects of soil enzyme on soil fertility as well as the correlation between physicochemical properties and enzyme activities, 44 urban forest soil profiles in Nanjing were investigated. Basic soil physicochemical properties and enzyme activities were analyzed in the laboratory. Hydrogen peroxidase, dehydrogenase, alkaline phosphatase, and cellulase were determined by potassium permanganate titration, TTC (C19H15N4·Cl) colorimetry, phenyl phosphate dinatrium colorimetry, and anthrone colorimetry, respectively. The result showed that soil pH, organic carbon (C), and total nitrogen (N) had great effects on hydrogen peroxidase, dehydrogenase, and alkaline phosphatase activities in 0–20 cm thick soil. However, pH only had great effect on hydrogen peroxidase, dehydrogenase, and alkaline phosphatase activities in 20–40 cm thick soil. Hydrogen peroxidase, dehydrogenase, and alkaline phosphatase were important biological indicators for the fertility of urban forest soil. Both in 0–20 cm and 20–40 cm soil, soil enzyme system (hydrogen peroxidase, dehydrogenase, alkaline phosphatase, and cellulase) had a close relationship with a combination of physicochemical indicators (pH, organic C, total N, available K, available P, cation exchange capacity (CEC), and microbial biomass carbon (Cmic)). The more soil enzyme activities there were, the higher the fertility of urban forest soil.
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Transport of antibiotic resistance plasmids in porous media and the influence of surfactants
Peipei Chen, Chaoqi Chen, Xiqing Li
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.    2018, 12 (2): 5.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (1347KB)

Indigenous and engineered plasmids have similar transport behavior in porous media.

Indigenous plasmid pK5 transports similarly in quartz sand and soil.

Anionic surfactant SDS has negligible effect on plasmid transport in porous media.

Cationic surfactant CTAB affects plasmid transport at high concentrations.

Indigenous plasmids may transport over significant distances in environment.

Transport of engineered antibiotic resistance plasmids in porous media has been reported to potentially cause significant spreading of antibiotic resistance in the environment. In this work, transport of an indigenous resistance plasmid pK5 in porous media was investigated through packed column experiments. At identical ionic strengths in CaCl2 solutions, the breakthroughs of pK5 from soil columns were very close to those from quartz sand columns, indicating that transport of pK5 in quartz sand and soil was similar. A similarity in transport behavior was also found between pK5 and an engineered plasmid pBR322 that has approximately the same number of base pairs as pK5. The influence of surfactants, a major group of constituents in soil solutions, was examined using an engineered plasmid pcDNA3.1(+)/myc-His A. The impact of an anionic surfactant, sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS), was negligible at concentrations up to 200 mg·L1. Cetyltrimethyl ammonium bromide (CTAB), a cationic surfactant, was found to significantly enhance plasmid adsorption at high concentrations. However, at environmentally relevant concentrations (<1 mg·L1), the effect of this surfactant was also minimal. The negligible impact of surfactants and the similarity between the transport of engineered and indigenous plasmids indicate that under environmentally relevant conditions, indigenous plasmids in soil also have the potential to transport over long distances and lead to the spreading of antibiotic resistance.

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Fluorescence spectroscopic studies of the effect of granular activated carbon adsorption on structural properties of dissolved organic matter fractions
Shuang XUE, Qingliang ZHAO, Liangliang WEI, Xiujuan HUI, Xiping MA, Yingzi LIN
Front Envir Sci Eng    2012, 6 (6): 784-796.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (753KB)

This work investigated the effect of granular activated carbon adsorption (GACA) on fluorescence characteristics of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in secondary effluent, by means of excitation–emission matrix (EEM) spectra, the fluorescence regional integration (FRI) method, synchronous spectra, the fluorescence index defined as the ratio of fluorescence emission intensity at wavelength 450 nm to that at 500 nm at excitation (λex)=370 nm, and the wavelength that corresponds to the position of the normalized emission band at its half intensity (λ0.5). DOM in the secondary effluent from the North Wastewater Treatment Plant (Shenyang, China) was fractionated using XAD resins into 5 fractions: hydrophobic acid (HPO–A), hydrophobic neutral (HPO–N), transphilic acid (TPI–A), transphilic neutral (TPI–N) and hydrophilic fraction (HPI). Results showed that fluorescent materials in HPO–N and TPI–N were less readily removed than those in the other fractions by GACA. The relative content of fluorescent materials in HPO–A, TPI–A and HPI decreased whereas that in HPO–N and TPI–N increased as a consequence of GACA. Polycyclic aromatics in all DOM fractions were preferentially absorbed by GACA, in comparison with bulk DOM expressed as DOC. On the other hand, the adsorption of aromatic amino acids and humic acid-like fluorophores exhibiting fluorescence peaks in synchronous spectra by GACA seemed to be dependent on the acid/neutral properties of DOM fractions. All five fractions had decreased fluorescence indices as a result of GACA. GACA led to a decreased λ0.5 value for HPO–A, increased λ0.5 values for HPO–N, TPI–A and HPI, and a consistent λ0.5 value for TPI–N.

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Promotion of transition metal oxides on the NH3-SCR performance of ZrO2-CeO2 catalyst
Weiman Li, Haidi Liu, Yunfa Chen
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.    2017, 11 (2): 6.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (371KB)

Manganese and chromium oxides promote the NH3-SCR activity of Zr-Ce mixed oxide.

Cr-Zr-Ce mixed oxide exhibited>80% NOx conversion at a wide temperature window.

More acid sites and higher reducibility may responsible for the high SCR ability.

Chromium oxide and manganese oxide promoted ZrO2-CeO2 catalysts were prepared by a homogeneous precipitation method for the selective catalytic reduction of NOx with NH3. A series of characterization including X-ray diffraction (XRD), high-resolution transmission electron microscope (HR-TEM), Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) surface area analysis, H2 temperature-programmed reduction (H2-TPR), and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) were used to evaluate the influence of the physicochemical properties on NH3-SCR activity. Cr-Zr-Ce and Mn-Zr-Ce catalysts are much more active than ZrO2-CeO2 binary oxide for the low temperature NH3-SCR, mainly because of the high specific surface area, more surface oxygen species, improved reducibility derived from synergistic effect among different elements. Mn-Zr-Ce catalyst exhibited high tolerance to SO2 and H2O. Cr-Zr-Ce mixed oxide exhibited>80% NOx conversion at a wide temperature window of 100°C–300°C. In situ DRIFT studies showed that the addition of Cr is beneficial to the formation of Bronsted acid sites and prevents the formation of stable nitrate species because of the presence of Cr6+. The present mixed oxide can be a candidate for the low temperature abatement of NOx.

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Effects of phosphorus concentration on Cr(VI) sorption onto phosphorus-rich sludge biochar
DING Wenchuan,PENG Wenlong,ZENG Xiaolan,TIAN Xiumei
Front.Environ.Sci.Eng.    2014, 8 (3): 379-385.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (190KB)

To investigate effects of phosphorus content on Cr(VI) sorption onto phosphorus-rich biochar, sewage sludge of different phosphorus concentrations from 4 to 60 mg·g-1 by dry weight were prepared and carbonized to make biochar for batch sorption experiments. Test results revealed that different phosphorous concentration of raw sludge had respective impacts on surface area, pore surface area, average pore diameter and pH value of derived biochar. The adsorption kinetics of phosphorus-rich biochar could be described by the pseudo-second-order model. The sorption isotherm data followed Langmiur model better than Freundlich model. Biochar produced from sludge with phosphorus concentration of 20 mg·g-1 gave the largest chromium sorption capacity, which could be attributed to its largest surface area and pores surface area comparing with those of biochars from sludge with other phosphorus concentrations. The chromium loaded biochar was analyzed using Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy and X-ray Diffraction measurement. The results indicated that chemical functional groups hydroxyl and methyl on surface of biochar were involved in Cr(VI) binding and its reducing to Cr(III). Then, a portion of Cr(III) in form of various phosphate precipitates was bound onto biochar surface and the rest was released into the solution. The experimental results suggested that phosphorus played an important role in pore and surface area development of sludge biochar during pyrolytic process. It also could react with Cr(III) on the biochar surface that impacted on capacity of Cr(VI) removal from solution by sludge biochar. Therefore, phosphorus concentration in sludge should be considered when sludge pyrolytic residue would be reused for heavy metals sorbing.

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Effects of heavy rainfall on the composition of airborne bacterial communities
Gwang Il Jang, Chung Yeon Hwang, Byung Cheol Cho
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.    2018, 12 (2): 12.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (388KB)

Airborne bacterial community composition changed between before and after rainfall.

Actinobacteria and Firmicutes, respectively, increased and decreased after rain.

Rainfalls might have adverse effects on human and plant health.

Wet deposition scavenges particles and particle-associated bacteria from the air column, but the impact of raindrops on various surfaces on Earth causes emission of surface-associated bacteria into the air column. Thus, after rainfall, these two mechanisms are expected to cause changes in airborne bacterial community composition (BCC). In this study, aerosol samples were collected at a suburban site in Seoul, Korea before and after three heavy rainfall events in April, May, and July 2011. BCC was investigated by pyrosequencing the 16S rRNA gene in aerosol samples. Interestingly, the relative abundance of non-spore forming Actinobacteria operational taxonomic units (OTUs) was always higher in post-rain aerosol samples. In particular, the absolute and relative abundances of airborne Propionibacteriaceae always increased after rainfall, whereas those of airborne Firmicutes, including Carnobacteriaceae and Clostridiales, consistently decreased. Marine bacterial sequences, which were temporally important in aerosol samples, also decreased after rainfall events. Further, increases in pathogen-like sequences were often observed in post-rain air samples. Rainfall events seemed to affect airborne BCCs by the combined action of the two mechanisms, with potentially adverse effects on human and plant health.

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Immobilization of Cu2+, Zn2+, Pb2+, and Cd2+ during geopolymerization
Lei ZHENG,Wei WANG,Wei QIAO,Yunchun SHI,Xiao LIU
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.    2015, 9 (4): 642-648.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (200KB)

The present research explored the application of geopolymerization for the immobilization and solidification of heavy metal added into metakaolinte. The compressive strength of geopolymers was controlled by the dosage of heavy metal cations, and geopolymers have a toleration limit for heavy metals. The influence of alkaline activator dosage and type on the heavy metal ion immobilization efficiency of metakaolinte-based geopolymer was investigated. A geopolymer with the highest heavy metal immobilization efficiency was identified to occur at an intermediate Na2SiO3 dosage and the metal immobilization efficiency showed an orderly increase with the increasing Na+ dosage. Geopolymers with and without heavy metals were analyzed by the X-ray powder diffraction (XRD) and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. No crystalline phase containing heavy metals was detected in geopolymers with heavy metal, suggesting that the crystalline phase containing heavy metals is not produced or most of the phases incorporating heavy metals are amorphous. FTIR spectroscopy showed that, with increasing heavy metal addition, an increase in NO3- peak intensity was observed, which was accompanied by a decrease in the CO32- peak.

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Approaching the binding between Cu(II) and aerobic granules by a modified titration and µ-XRF
Hongwei LUO,Longfei WANG,Zhonghua TONG,Hanqing YU,Guoping SHENG
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.    2016, 10 (2): 362-367.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (815KB)

Interactions between metals and activated sludge can substantially affect the fate and transport of heavy metals in wastewater treatment plants. Therefore, it is important to develop a simple, fast and efficient method to elucidate the interaction. In this study, a modified titration method with a dynamic mode was developed to investigate the binding of Cu(II), a typical heavy metal, onto aerobic granules. The titration results indicated that pH and ionic strength both had a positive effect on the biosorption capacity of the granular sludge. The µ-XRF results demonstrated that the distribution of metals on the granular surface was heterogeneous, and Cu showed strong correlations and had the same “hot spots” positions with other metal ions (e.g., Ca, Mg, Fe etc.). Ion exchange and complexing were the main mechanisms for the biosorption of Cu(II) by aerobic granules. These results would be beneficial for better understanding of Cu(II) migration and its fate in wastewater treatment plants.

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Engineering application of membrane bioreactor for wastewater treatment in China: Current state and future prospect
Kang XIAO, Ying XU, Shuai LIANG, Ting LEI, Jianyu SUN, Xianghua WEN, Hongxun ZHANG, Chunsheng CHEN, Xia HUANG
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.    2014, 8 (6): 805-819.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (527KB)

China has been the forerunner of large-scale membrane bioreactor (MBR) application. Since the first large-scale MBR (≥10 000 m3·d-1) was put into operation in 2006, the engineering implementation of MBR in China has attained tremendous development. This paper outlines the commercial application of MBR since 2006 and provides a variety of engineering statistical data, covering the fields of municipal wastewater, industrial wastewater, and polluted surface water treatment. The total treatment capacity of MBRs reached 1 × 106 m3·d-1 in 2010, and has currently exceeded 4.5 × 106 m3·d-1 with ~75% of which pertaining to municipal wastewater treatment. The anaerobic/anoxic/aerobic-MBR and its derivative processes have been the most popular in the large-scale municipal application, with the process features and typical ranges of parameters also presented in this paper. For the treatment of various types of industrial wastewater, the configurations of the MBR-based processes are delineated with representative engineering cases. In view of the significance of the cost issue, statistics of capital and operating costs are also provided, including cost structure and energy composition. With continuous stimulation from the environmental stress, political propulsion, and market demand in China, the total treatment capacity is expected to reach 7.5 × 106 m3·d-1 by 2015 and a further expansion of the market is foreseeable in the next five years. However, MBR application is facing several challenges, such as the relatively high energy consumption. Judging MBR features and seeking suitable application areas should be of importance for the long-term development of this technology.

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NO oxidation over Co-La catalysts and NOx reduction in compact SCR
Tiejun Zhang, Jian Li, Hong He, Qianqian Song, Quanming Liang
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.    2017, 11 (2): 4.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (1049KB)

The Co-La catalyst (pH= 1) exhibited maximum NO conversion of 43% at 180°C.

Acid modified catalyst enhanced the resistance to SO2.

The formed sulfates may block the pore structure of the catalyst.

The NO conversion of compact SCR was 91% at 180°C at the highest space velocity.

A series of Co-La catalysts were prepared using the wet impregnation method and the synthesis of catalysts were modified by controlling pH with the addition of ammonium hydroxide or oxalic solution. All the catalysts were systematically investigated for NO oxidation and SO2 resistance in a fixed bed reactor and were characterized by Brunanuer–Emmett–Teller (BET) method, Fourier Transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X–ray diffraction (XRD), Thermogravimetric (TG) and Ion Chromatography (IC). Among the catalysts, the one synthesized at pH= 1 exhibited the maximum NO conversion of 43% at 180°C. The activity of the catalyst was significantly suppressed by the existence of SO2 (300 ppm) at 220°C. Deactivation may have been associated with the generation of cobalt sulfate, and the SO2 adsorption quantity of the catalyst might also have effected sulfur resistance. In the case of the compact selective catalytic reduction (SCR), the activity increased from 74% to 91% at the highest gas hourly space velocity (GHSV) of 300000 h1 when the NO catalyst maintained the highest activity, in excess of 50% more than that of the standard SCR.

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Excitation-emission matrix (EEM) fluorescence spectroscopy for characterization of organic matter in membrane bioreactors: Principles, methods and applications
Jinlan Yu, Kang Xiao, Wenchao Xue, Yue-xiao Shen, Jihua Tan, Shuai Liang, Yanfen Wang, Xia Huang
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.    2020, 14 (2): 31.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (1520KB)

• Principles and methods for fluorescence EEM are systematically outlined.

• Fluorophore peak/region/component and energy information can be extracted from EEM.

• EEM can fingerprint the physical/chemical/biological properties of DOM in MBRs.

• EEM is useful for tracking pollutant transformation and membrane retention/fouling.

• Improvements are still needed to overcome limitations for further studies.

The membrane bioreactor (MBR) technology is a rising star for wastewater treatment. The pollutant elimination and membrane fouling performances of MBRs are essentially related to the dissolved organic matter (DOM) in the system. Three-dimensional excitation-emission matrix (3D-EEM) fluorescence spectroscopy, a powerful tool for the rapid and sensitive characterization of DOM, has been extensively applied in MBR studies; however, only a limited portion of the EEM fingerprinting information was utilized. This paper revisits the principles and methods of fluorescence EEM, and reviews the recent progress in applying EEM to characterize DOM in MBR studies. We systematically introduced the information extracted from EEM by considering the fluorescence peak location/intensity, wavelength regional distribution, and spectral deconvolution (giving fluorescent component loadings/scores), and discussed how to use the information to interpret the chemical compositions, physiochemical properties, biological activities, membrane retention/fouling behaviors, and migration/transformation fates of DOM in MBR systems. In addition to conventional EEM indicators, novel fluorescent parameters are summarized for potential use, including quantum yield, Stokes shift, excited energy state, and fluorescence lifetime. The current limitations of EEM-based DOM characterization are also discussed, with possible measures proposed to improve applications in MBR monitoring.

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Electrochemical removal of nitrate in industrial wastewater Collection
Dong Xu, Yang Li, Lifeng Yin, Yangyuan Ji, Junfeng Niu, Yanxin Yu
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.    2018, 12 (1): 9.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (611KB)

Electrochemical removal is promising in nitrate elimination from wastewater.

Influencing factors of nitrate electrochemical removal are critically reviewed.

Electroreduction pathways of nitrate undergo electron transfer and hydrogenation.

Electrocoagulation pathways of nitrate undergo coagulation, reduction, flotation.

Electrodialysis pathways of nitrate undergo dialysis, reduction and oxidation.

A number of recent studies have demonstrated that electrochemical technologies, including electroreduction (ER), electrocoagulation (EC), and electrodialysis (ED), are effective in nitrate elimination in wastewater due to their high reactivity. To obtain the maximal elimination efficiency and current efficiency, many researchers have conducted experiments to investigate the optimal conditions (i.e., potential, current density, pH value, plate distance, initial nitrate concentration, electrolyte, and other factors) for nitrate elimination. The mechanism of ER, EC and ED for nitrate removal has been fully elucidated. The ER mechanism of nitrate undergoes electron transfer and hydrogenation reduction. The EC pathways of nitrate removal include reduction, coagulation and flotation. The ED pathways of nitrate include redox reaction and dialysis. Although the electrochemical technology can remove nitrate from wastewater efficiently, many problems (such as relatively low selectivity toward nitrogen, sludge production and brine generation) still hinder electrochemical treatment implementation. This paper critically presents an overview of the current state-of-the-art of electrochemical denitrification to enhance the removal efficiency and overcome the shortages, and will significantly improve the understanding of the detailed processes and mechanisms of nitrate removal by electrochemical treatment and provide useful information to scientific research and actual practice.

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Design and evaluation of control strategies in urban drainage systems in Kunming city Collection
Xin Dong, Senchen Huang, Siyu Zeng
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.    2017, 11 (4): 13.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (866KB)

A stepwise design approach for real time control strategy was proposed.

Three typical strategies (static, constant and equal-filling strategy) were studied.

The fourth urban drainage system in Kunming was used for case study.

Equal-filling strategy was found to be able to reduce CSO effectively.

Real time control (RTC) of urban drainage systems (UDSs) is an important measure to reduce combined sewer overflow (CSO) and urban flooding, helping achieve the aims of ‘Sponge City’. Application of RTC requires three main steps: strategy design, simulation-based evaluation and field test. But many of published RTC studies are system-specific, lacking discussions on how to design a strategy step by step. In addition, the existing studies are prone to use hydrologic model to evaluated strategies, but a more precise and dynamic insight into strategy performance is needed. To fill these knowledge gaps, based on a case UDS in Kunming city, a study on RTC strategy design and simulation-based evaluation is performed. Two off-line volume-based RTC strategy design principles, Maximize WWTP inflow and Make full use of space, are emphasized. Following these principles, a detailed design procedure is shown for the case UDS resulting in three RTC strategies: static, constant and equal filling. The proposed strategies are evaluated based on a hydrodynamic model- Storm Water Management Model (SWMM) - under four typical rainfall events characterized by different return periods (1-year or 0.5 year) and different spatial distributions (uniform or uneven). The equal filling strategy outperforms other two strategies and it can achieve 10% more CSO reduction and 5% more flooding reduction relative to the no-tank case.

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Treatment technologies for aqueous perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoate (PFOA)
Chad D. VECITIS, Hyunwoong PARK, Jie CHENG, Brian T. MADER, Michael R. HOFFMANN
Front Envir Sci Eng Chin    2009, 3 (2): 129-151.
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Fluorochemicals (FCs) are oxidatively recalcitrant, environmentally persistent, and resistant to most conventional treatment technologies. FCs have unique physiochemical properties derived from fluorine which is the most electronegative element. Perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS), and perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) have been detected globally in the hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere. Reducing treatment technologies such as reverses osmosis, nano-filtration and activated carbon can? remove ?FCs ?from ?water. ?However,? incineration ?of the concentrated waste is required for complete FC destruction. Recently, a number of alternative technologies for FC decomposition have been reported. The FC degradation technologies span a wide range of chemical processes including direct photolysis, photocatalytic oxidation, photochemical oxidation, photochemical reduction, thermally-induced reduction, and sonochemical pyrolysis. This paper reviews these FC degradation technologies in terms of kinetics, mechanism, energetic cost, and applicability. The optimal PFOS/PFOA treatment method is strongly dependent upon the FC concentration, background organic and metal concentration, and available degradation time.

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Activated carbons and amine-modified materials for carbon dioxide capture –– a review
Zhenhe CHEN, Shubo DENG, Haoran WEI, Bin WANG, Jun HUANG, Gang YU
Front Envir Sci Eng    2013, 7 (3): 326-340.
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Rapidly increasing concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has drawn more and more attention in recent years, and adsorption has been considered as an effective technology for CO2 capture from the anthropogenic sources. In this paper, the attractive adsorbents including activated carbons and amine-modified materials were mainly reviewed and discussed with particular attention on progress in the adsorbent preparation and CO2 adsorption capacity. Carbon materials can be prepared from different precursors including fossil fuels, biomass and resins using the carbonization-activation or only activation process, and activated carbons prepared by KOH activation with high CO2 adsorbed amount were reviewed in the preparation, adsorption capacity as well as the relationship between the pore characteristics and CO2 adsorption. For the amine-modified materials, the physical impregnation and chemical graft of polyethylenimine (PEI) on the different porous materials were introduced in terms of preparation method and adsorption performance as well as their advantages and disadvantages for CO2 adsorption. In the last section, the issues and prospect of solid adsorbents for CO2 adsorption were summarized, and it is expected that this review will be helpful for the fundamental studies and industrial applications of activated carbons and amine-modified adsorbents for CO2 capture.

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Oxidation and biotoxicity assessment of microcystin-LR using different AOPs based on UV, O3 and H2O2
Siyi Lu, Naiyu Wang, Can Wang
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.    2018, 12 (3): 12.
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MC-LR removal performances under different AOPs were compared systematically.

Higher removal efficiency and synergistic effects were obtained by combined process.

The acute biotoxicity raised in different degrees after oxidation.

Microcystin-LR attracts attention due to its high toxicity, high concentration and high frequency. The removal characteristics of UV/H2O2 and O3/H2O2 advanced oxidation processes and their individual process for MC-LR were investigated and compared in this study. Both the removal efficiencies and rates of MC-LR as well as the biotoxicity of degradation products was analyzed. Results showed that the UV/H2O2 process and O3/H2O2 were effective methods to remove MC-LR from water, and they two performed better than UV-, O3-, H2O2-alone processes under the same conditions. The effects of UV intensity, H2O2 concentration and O3 concentration on the removal performance were explored. The synergistic effects between UV and H2O2, O3 and H2O2 were observed. UV dosage of 1800 mJ·cm2 was required to remove 90% of 100 mg·L1 MC-LR, which amount significantly decreased to 500 mJ·cm2 when 1.7 mg·L1 H2O2 was added. 0.25 mg·L1 O3, or 0.125 mg·L1 O3 with 1.7 mg·L1 H2O2 was needed to reach 90% removal efficiency. Furthermore, the biotoxicity results about these UV/H2O2, O3/H2O2 and O3-alone processes all present rising trends with oxidation degree of MC-LR. Biotoxicity of solution, equivalent to 0.01 mg·L1 Zn2+, raised to 0.05 mg·L1 Zn2+ after UV/H2O2 or O3/H2O2 reaction. This phenomenon may be attributed to the aldehydes and ketones with small molecular weight generated during reaction. Advice about the selection of MC-LR removal methods in real cases was provided.

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Increasing prevalence of antibiotic resistance genes in manured agricultural soils in northern China
Nan Wu, Weiyu Zhang, Shiyu Xie, Ming Zeng, Haixue Liu, Jinghui Yang, Xinyuan Liu, Fan Yang
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.    2020, 14 (1): 1.
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• Manure application increased the abundances of ARGs and MGEs in agricultural soils.

• Five classes of ARGs and two MGEs were prevalent in manured and unfertilized soils.

• Genera Pseudomonas and Bacteroidetes might be the dominant hosts of intI1 and ermF.

• The abundances of ARGs positively correlated with TC, TN, OM, Cu, Zn, Pb and MGEs.

Land application of manure tends to result in the dissemination of antibiotic resistance in the environment. In this study, the influence of long-term manure application on the enrichment of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) and mobile genetic elements (MGEs) in agricultural soils was investigated. All the analyzed eight ARGs (tetA, tetW, tetX, sulI, sulII, ermF, aac(6’)-Ib-cr and blaTEM) and two MGEs (intI1 and Tn916/1545) were detected in both the manured and control soils, with relative abundances ranging from 10-6 to 10-2. Compared with the control soil, the relative abundances of ARGs and MGEs in manured soils were enriched 1.0–18.1 fold and 0.6–69.1 fold, respectively. High-throughput sequencing analysis suggested that at the phylum level, the bacteria carrying intI1 and ermF might be mainly affiliated with Proteobacteria and Bacteroides, respectively. The dominant genera carrying intI1 and ermF could be Pseudomonas and Bacteroides, independent of manure application. Correlation analysis revealed that ARGs had strong links with soil physicochemical properties (TC, TN, and OM), heavy metals (Cu, Zn and Pb) and MGEs, indicating that the profile and spread of ARGs might be driven by the combined impacts of multiple factors. In contrast, soil pH and C/N exhibited no significant relationships with ARGs. Our findings provide evidence that long-term manure application could enhance the prevalence and stimulate the propagation of antibiotic resistance in agricultural soils.

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Comparison of different algicides on growth of Microcystis aeruginosa and microcystin release, as well as its removal pathway in riverways
Naiyu Wang, Kai Wang, Can Wang
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.    2017, 11 (6): 3.
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Aluminum silicate is the most effective algicide on Microcystis aeruginosa control.

Algicides increased MC-LR concentration by disrupting M. aeruginosa cells.

Acute biotoxicity and extracellular MC-LR concentration were positively correlated.

MC-LR was mainly removed by benthal sludge and UV-rays under natural conditions.

Eutrophication with a large number of Microcystis aeruginosa commonly occurs worldwide, thereby threatening the aquatic ecosystem and human health. In this study, four kinds of algicides were tested to explore their influence on cell density and chlorophyll-a of M. aeruginosa. Results showed that aluminum silicate agent, which inhibited more than 90% cell growth compared with the control group, demonstrated the strongest inhibition effect immediately on M. aeruginosa growth. Furthermore, the production and release of microcystin (MC)-LR were investigated. Aluminum silicate, CuSO4, and Emma-11 were more effective than pyrogallic acid in disrupting the cells of M. aeruginosa, thereby increasing the extracellular MC-LR concentration. Aluminum silicate caused the highest extracellular MC-LR concentration of more than 45 mg·L1. Biotoxicity was also detected to evaluate the environmental risks of MC-LR release, which were related to the usages of different algicides. Extracellular MC-LR concentration mostly increased when the biotoxicity of algae solution increased. The experiments were also designed to reveal the effects of physical conditions in riverways, such as natural sunlight, aeration and benthal sludge, on MC-LR degradation. These findings indicated that UV rays in sunlight, which can achieve a MC-LR removal efficiency of more than 15%, played an important role in MC-LR degradation. Among all the physical pathways of MC-LR removal, benthal sludge adsorption presented the optimal efficiency at 20%.

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Increasing the performance of anaerobic digestion: Pilot scale experimental study for thermal hydrolysis of mixed sludge
Front.Environ.Sci.Eng.    2010, 4 (2): 135-141.
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The performance of a pilot plant operation combining thermal hydrolysis (170&#176;C, 30&#8201;min) and anaerobic digestion (AD) was studied, determining the main properties for samples of fresh mixed sludge, hydrolyzed sludge, and digested sludge, in order to quantify the thermal pretreatment performance (disintegration, solubilisation, and dewaterability) and its impact on the anaerobic digestion performance (biodegradability, volatile solids reduction, and digester rheology) and end product characteristics (dewaterability, sanitation, organic and nitrogen content). The disintegration achieved during the thermal treatment enhances the sludge centrifugation, allowing a 70% higher total solids concentration in the feed to anaerobic digestion. The digestion of this sludge generates 40% more biogas in half the time, due to the higher solids removal compared to a conventional digester. The waste generated can be dewatered by centrifugation to 7% dry solids without polymer addition, and is pathogen free.
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Quantitative characterization of Cu binding potential of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in sediment from Taihu Lake using multiple techniques
Front.Environ.Sci.Eng.    2014, 8 (5): 666-674.
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Dissolved organic matter (DOM) plays an important role in heavy metal speciation and distribution in the aquatic environment especially for eutrophic lakes which have higher DOM concentration. Taihu Lake is the third largest freshwater and a high eutrophic lake in the downstream of the Yangtze River, China. In the lake, frequent breakout of algae blooms greatly increased the concentration of different organic matters in the lake sediment. In this study, sediment samples were collected from various part of Taihu Lake to explore the spatial difference in the binding potential of DOM with Cu. The titration experiment was adopted to quantitatively characterize the interaction between Cu(II) and DOM extracted from Taihu Lake sediments using ion selective electrode (ISE) and fluorescence quenching technology. The ISE results showed that the exogenous DOM had higher binding ability than endogenous DOM, and DOM derived from aquatic macrophytes had a higher binding ability than that derived from algae. The fluorescence quenching results indicated that humic substances played a key role in the complexation between DOM and Cu(II) in the lake. However, because of the frequent breakout of algae blooms, protein-like matters are also main component like humic matters in Taihu Lake. Therefore, the metals bound by protein-like substances should be caused concern as protein-like substances in DOM were unstable and they will release bound metal when decomposed.

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Nanoscale zero-valent iron supported on biochar for the highly efficient removal of nitrobenzene
Gaoling Wei, Jinhua Zhang, Jinqiu Luo, Huajian Xue, Deyin Huang, Zhiyang Cheng, Xinbai Jiang
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.    2019, 13 (4): 61.
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• Biochar supported nanoscale zero-valent iron composite (nZVI/BC) was synthesized.

• nZVI/BC quickly and efficiently removed nitrobenzene (NB) in solution.

• NB removal by nZVI/BC involves simultaneous adsorption and reduction mechanism.

• nZVI/BC exhibited better catalytic activity, stability and durability than nZVI.

The application of nanoscale zero-valent iron (nZVI) in the remediation of contaminated groundwater or wastewater is limited due to its lack of stability, easy aggregation and iron leaching. To address this issue, nZVI was distributed on oak sawdust-derived biochar (BC) to obtain the nZVI/BC composite for the highly efficient reduction of nitrobenzene (NB). nZVI, BC and nZVI/BC were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). For nZVI/BC, nZVI particles were uniformly dispersed on BC. nZVI/BC exhibited higher removal efficiency for NB than the simple summation of bare nZVI and BC. The removal mechanism was investigated through the analyses of UV-Visible spectra, mass balance and XPS. NB was quickly adsorbed on the surface of nZVI/BC, and then gradually reduced to aniline (AN), accompanied by the oxidation of nZVI to magnetite. The effects of several reaction parameters, e.g., NB concentration, reaction pH and nZVI/BC aging time, on the removal of NB were also studied. In addition to high reactivity, the loading of nZVI on biochar significantly alleviated Fe leaching and enhanced the durability of nZVI.

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Classification of contaminants and treatability evaluation of domestic wastewater
WANG Xiaochang, JIN Pengkang, ZHAO Hongmei, MENG Lingba
Front.Environ.Sci.Eng.    2007, 1 (1): 57-62.
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Long-term sampling and analysis were conducted in a domestic wastewater treatment plant for the investigation on the characteristics of the representative contaminants in raw sewage such as SS, COD, BOD5, TP, and TN. All these constituents were classified into dissolved and suspended groups by using a 0.45-µm membrane filter, and the concentration of each constituent in each group was analyzed. As a result, almost 100% of the SS was found to be suspended matter, as well as about 65% of COD, 60% of BOD5, 50% of P, and 20% of N. All these could be easily removed by sedimentation or coagulation/sedimentation. A treatability evaluation diagram was proposed for a rational selection of wastewater treatment process in accordance with raw water quality.
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Dynamic simulation of urban water metabolism under water environmental carrying capacity restrictions
Weihua ZENG,Bo WU,Ying CHAI
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.    2016, 10 (1): 114-128.
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A revised concept for urban water metabolism (UWM) is presented in this study to address the inadequacies in current research on UWM and the problems associated with the traditional urban water metabolic process. Feedback loops can be analyzed to increase the water environmental carrying capacity (WECC) of the new urban water metabolism system (UWMS) over that of a traditional UWMS. An analysis of the feedback loops of an UWMS was used to construct a system dynamics (SD) model for the system under a WECC restriction. Water metabolic processes were simulated for different scenarios using the Tongzhou District in Beijing as an example. The results for the newly developed UWM case showed that a water environment of Tongzhou District could support a population of 1.1926 × 106, an irrigation area of 375.521 km2, a livestock of 0.7732 × 106, and an industrial value added of ¥193.14 × 109 (i.e. about US$28.285× 109) in 2020. A sensitivity analysis showed that the WECC could be improved to some extent by constructing new sewage treatment facilities or by expanding the current sewage treatment facilities, using reclaimed water and improving the water circulation system.

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Attached cultivation of Scenedesmus sp. LX1 on selected solids and the effect of surface properties on attachment
Victor M. Deantes-Espinosa, Tian-Yuan Zhang, Xiao-Xiong Wang, Yinhu Wu, Guo-Hua Dao, Hong-Ying Hu
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.    2019, 13 (4): 57.
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Attachment of Scenedesmus sp. LX1 was tested on certain materials.

A criterion for selection of materials was used to choose seven materials.

The amount of S. sp. LX1 attached on polyurethane foam was 51.74 mg/L.

Materials’ surface influenced the attachment of microalgae.

Hydrophilic and hydrophobic properties also affected the attachment of S. sp. LX1.

Attached cultivation systems in the literature do not present a methodology to screen materials for microalgal growth. Hence, a method is needed to find suitable materials for attached cultivation that may enhance attachment of microalgae. In this paper, we have tested seven materials culturing Scenedesmus sp. LX1 (S. sp. LX1) to evaluate the attachment of microalgae on the material surface, its growth in suspension phase and the properties of the materials. Two materials showed attachment of S. sp. LX1, polyurethane foam and loofah sponge, and allowed microalgae to grow both in the surface of the material and suspended phase. Polyurethane foam proved to be a good material for attachment of S. sp. LX1 and the amount of attached microalgae obtained was 51.73 mg/L when adding 100 pieces/L. SEM images showed that the surface and the pore size of the materials affected the attachment of the microalgae, increasing its attachment in scaffold-like materials. Furthermore, the hydrophilic and hydrophobic properties of the materials also affected the attachment of microalgae. This research can be used as a methodology to search for the assessment of a material suitable for attachment of microalgae.

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