Jun 2011, Volume 5 Issue 2

  • Select all

    As species we humans generate excessive amounts of waste and hence for sustainability we should explore innovative ways to recover them. The primary objective of this study is to demonstrate an efficient and optimum way to recover chromium and iron from chromite ore processing residues (COPR) for the production of chrome steel and stainless steel. In Hudson County, New Jersey, there are more than two million tons of leftover COPR. Part of COPR was used as fill materials for construction sites, which spread the problem to a larger area. With high solubility along with their toxicity leached chromate from COPR is threatening the environment as well as human health. In this research, COPR was thermally treated to recover iron with chromium by applying techniques used in steel manufacturing. An extensive experimental program was performed using a Thermo-Gravimetric Analyzer (TGA) and bench scale tests to thermally treat the processed chromium contaminated soils with carbon and sand at varying temperatures and under reducing environment. The optimum chemical composition of COPR and additives to be used in the melts were evaluated based upon the thermodynamic properties of the mixture to ensure good phase separation, least amounts of iron and chromium oxides in the slag and minimum variability of final product (steel or iron with chromium). The impact of other oxides on the steel making process was evaluated to minimize the adverse impact on the process. The research demonstrated the feasibility of recovering a valuable construction material (chrome steel) from a waste (COPR).

    Yao CHEN, Jinhui LI, Huabo DUAN, Zhishi WANG

    Mechanical waste-processing methods, which combine crushing and separation processes for the recovery of valuable materials, have been widely applied in waste printed wiring board (PWB) treatment. However, both the high impact toughness and the tensile and flexural strengths of whole PWB with a laminated structure result in great energy consumption and severe abrasion of the cutters during multi-level crushing. In addition, the high temperatures occurring in continual crushing probably cause the decomposition of the polymer matrix. A thermal-crack method using residual steam as the heating medium has been developed to pre-treat waste PWBs. This treatment reduces the mechanical strength in order to improve the recovery rate of valuable materials in subsequent mechanical recycling. The changes of the PWBs’ macro-mechanical properties were studied to evaluate thermal expansion impacts associated with changes in temperature, and the dynamic dislocation micro-structures were observed to identify the fracture mechanism. The results showed that thermal cracking with steam at the temperature of 500 K can effectively attenuate the mechanical properties of waste PWBs, by reducing the impact, tensile and flexural strengths respectively, by 59.2%, 49.3% and 51.4%, compared to untreated PWB. Thermal expansion can also facilitate the separation of copper from glass fiber by reducing peel resistance by 95.4% at 500 K. It was revealed that the flexural fracture was a transverse cracking caused by concentrated stress when the heating temperature was less than 500 K, and shifted to a vertical cracking after exceeding 500 K.

    Pinjing HE, Na YANG, Wenjuan FANG, Fan Lü, Liming SHAO

    To understand the influence patterns and interactions of three important environmental factors, i.e. soil water content, oxygen concentration, and ammonium addition, on methane oxidation, the soils from landfill cover layers were incubated under full factorial parameter settings. In addition to the methane oxidation rate, the quantities and community structures of methanotrophs were analyzed to determine the methane oxidation capacity of the soils. Canonical correspondence analysis was utilized to distinguish the important impact factors. Water content was found to be the most important factor influencing the methane oxidation rate and Type II methanotrophs, and the optimum value was 15% (w/w), which induced methane oxidation rates 10- and 6- times greater than those observed at 5% (w/w) and 20% (w/w), respectively. Ambient oxygen conditions were more suitable for methane oxidation than 3% oxygen. The addition of 100? mg-N·kgdrysoil-1 of ammonium induced different effects on methane oxidation capacity when conducted at low or high water content. With regard to the methanotrophs, Type II was sensitive to the changes of water content, while Type I was influenced by oxygen content. Furthermore, the methanotrophic acidophile, Verrucomicrobia, was detected in soils with a pH of 4.9, which extended their known living environments.

    Yuheng FENG, Xuguang JIANG, Yong CHI, Xiaodong LI, Hongmei ZHU

    In China, safe disposal of hazardous waste is more and more a necessity, urged by rapid economic development. The pyrolysis and combustion characteristics of a residue from producing monopotassium phosphate (monopotassium phosphate residue), considered as a hazardous waste, were studied using a thermogravimetric, coupled with Fourier transform infrared analyzer (TG-FTIR). Both pyrolysis and combustion runs can be subdivided into three stages: drying, thermal decomposition, and final devolatilization. The average weight loss rate during fast thermal decomposition stage in pyrolysis is higher than combustion. Acetic acid, methane, pentane, (acetyl) cyclopropane, 2,4,6-trichlorophenol, CO, and CO2 were distinguished in the pyrolysis process, while CO2 was the dominant combustion product.

    Hua ZHANG, Zhiliang ZHU, Noboru YOSHIKAWA

    Microwave processing was used to stabilize copper ions in soil samples. Its effects on the stabilization efficiency were studied as a function of additive, microwave power, process time, and reaction atmosphere. The stabilization efficiency of the microwave process was evaluated based on the results of the toxicity characteristic leaching procedure (TCLP) test. The results showed that the optimal experimental condition contained a 700 W microwave power, 20 min process time and 3 iron wires as the additive, and that the highest stabilization efficiency level was more than 70%. In addition, the different reaction atmospheres showed no apparent effect on the stabilization efficiency of copper in the artificially contaminated soil. According to the result of the Tessier sequential extraction, the partial species of copper in the contaminated soil was deduced to transform from unstable species to stable states after the microwave process.

    Fei XU, Yanwei ZHAO, Zhifeng YANG, Yuan ZHANG

    Previous studies on river health evaluation mainly focused on characterizations at a river-corridor scale and ignored the complex interactions between the river ecosystem and other components of the river basin. Based on the consideration of the interactions among rivers, associated river basin and habitats, an assessment framework with multi-scale indicators was developed. An index system divided among these three scales to characterize the health of river ecosystems in China’s Liao River Basin was established. Set pair analysis was applied to integrate the multi-scale indicators and determine the health classes. The evaluation results indicated that the rivers in the western and eastern zones of the Liao River were classified as sick, and rivers in the main stream of the Liao and Huntai rivers were classified as unhealthy. An excessive level of disturbances, such as large pollution loads and dense construction of water conservation projects within the river basin, were the main causes of the river health deterioration.

    Tianxiang XIA, Xuehua LIU

    Copper and zinc interaction on clearance from water and distribution in different tissues was investigated for the freshwater mussel, Cristaria plicata, under laboratory conditions. Clearance rate of Cu or Zn from water was highly dependent on exposure concentration. Interaction effect was most evident at 300 μg·L-1 Cu exposure and depressed the Zn clearance rate significantly (p<0.05). However, the presence of 100 μg·L-1 and 300 μg·L-1 Zn hardly affected the Cu clearance rate. The 300 μg·L-1 Cu presence enhanced Cu accumulation in each tissue most significantly (p<0.01), but caused Zn content to decrease in the gills by 62% (p<0.05), viscera by 49% (p<0.05) and foot by 31% (p<0.05), and increase in the mantle by 97% (p<0.05) and the muscles by 243% (p<0.05) for different Zn exposure treatments. The response of metal accumulation in various tissues of the test mussels indicated that Zn transferred from the gills, viscera and foot to the mantle and muscles might be one of the important characteristics of the Zn regulatory mechanism by leading to a narrow range of Zn concentration in the different tissues.

    Lei LIU, Xiaoming MA

    The rapid urbanization of China is causing a burden on their water resources and hindering their sustainable development. This paper analyzes effective methods to integrated river basin management (IRBM) using Longgang River basin of Shenzhen as an example, which is the city with the fastest rate of urbanization in China and even the whole world. Over the past 20 years, China has undergone a population boom due to the increase of immigrant workers and rapid development of labor-intensive industries, which led to the sharp increase of water consumption and sewage discharge. However, the construction of the water infrastructure is still lagging far behind the environmental and social development, with only 32.7% of sewage in the district being treated. Currently, every water quality indicator of the Longgang River basin was unable to meet the required corresponding environmental standards, which further aggravated the water shortages of the region. Thus, an analytical framework is proposed to address the IRBM of the study area. The problems with the current management system include the lack of decentralization in decision-making, lack of enforcement with redundant plans, weak management capacity, financial inadequacy, and a poor system of stakeholder participation. In light of the principles of IRBM and the situation of the region, corresponding measures are put forward, including an increase of power given to sub-district offices, fewer but more feasible plans, capacity building among stakeholders, a combination of planning and marketing for overcoming financial inadequacy, and profound reform in the public participation system. The framework and institutional suggestions could inform similar processes in other representative river basins.

    Haifeng JIA, Shuo WANG, Mingjie WEI, Yansong ZHANG

    The water quality pollution and ecological deterioration in peri-urban rivers are usually serious under rapid urbanization and economic growth. In the study, a typical peri-urban river, Nansha River, was selected as a case study to discuss the scheme of peri-urban river rehabilitation. Located in the north part of the Beijing central region, the Nansha River watershed has been designated as an ecologically friendly garden-style area with high-tech industry parks and upscale residential zones. However, the Nansha River is currently seriously contaminated by urban and rural pollutants from both nonpoint sources (NPS) and point sources (PS). In this study, the pollutant loads from point sources and nonpoint sources in the Nansha River watershed were first assessed. A coupled model, derived from the Environmental Fluid Dynamics Code and Water Quality Analysis Simulation Program, was developed to simulate the hydrodynamics and water quality in the Nansha River. According to the characteristics of the typical peri-urban river, three different PS and NPS control scenarios were designed and examined by modeling analyses. Based on the results of the scenario analysis, a river rehabilitation scheme was recommended for implementation.

    Nanqi REN, Han KANG, Xiuheng WANG, Nan LI

    Sequencing batch reactor (SBR) for enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) processes was used to investigate the impact of the temperature shock on the competition between phosphorus-accumulating organisms (PAOs) and glycogen accumulating organisms (GAOs) in start-up stage. During the 34 days operation, SBR was set with temperature variation(0–5 d, 22±1°C; 6–13 d, 29±1°C; 14–34 d, 14±1°C). PAOs and GAOs were analyzed by fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH), and intracellular polyphosphate granules were stained by Neisser-stain. The results showed that the influence of temperature shock on PAOs’ abundance was more serious than that on GAOs in the enriching process. Under sudden and substantially temperature variation, from 22±1°C to 29±1°C and then to 14±1°C, the domination of PAOs was deteriorated. After temperature shock, PAOs’ competitive advantages at low temperature that concluded in other study did not appear in our study. As mesophilic, GAOs (indicated by Alphaproteobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria) were more temperature adaptive and better grew and took the domination at 14±1°C in the end. In the competition process, organisms of tetrad forming organisms (TFOs)-like shape which were considered as typical GAOs, were observed. With the evidence of poly-P granules containing by Neisser-straining and result of FISH, these organisms of TFOs-like shape were better to be assumed as adaption state or a special self-protecting shape of PAOs.

    Hongjing LI, Yinguang CHEN

    In this paper, a study was conducted on the effect of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) and glycogen transformations on biologic nitrogen and phosphorus removal in low dissolved oxygen (DO) systems. Two laboratory-scale sequencing batch reactors (SBR1 and SBR2) were operating with anaerobic/aerobic (low DO, 0.15–0.45 mg·L-1) configurations, which cultured a propionic to acetic acid ratio (molar carbon ratio) of 1.0 and 2.0, respectively. Fewer poly-3-hydroxybutyrate (PHB), total PHA, and glycogen transformations were observed with the increase of propionic/acetic acid, along with more poly-3-hydroxyvalerate (PHV) and poly-3-hydroxy-2-methyvalerate (PH2MV) shifts. The total nitrogen (TN) removal efficiency was 68% and 82% in SBR1 and SBR2, respectively. In the two SBRs, the soluble ortho-phosphate (SOP) removal efficiency was 94% and 99%, and the average sludge polyphosphate (poly-P) content (g·g-MLVSS-1) was 8.3% and 10.2%, respectively. Thus, the propionic to acetic acid ratio of the influent greatly influenced the PHA form and quantity, glycogen transformation, and poly-P contained in activated sludge and further determined TN and SOP removal efficiency. Moreover, significant correlations between the SOP removal rate and the (PHV+ PH2MV)/PHA ratio were observed (R2>0.99). Accordingly, PHA and glycogen transformations should be taken into account as key components for optimizing anaerobic/aerobic (low DO) biologic nitrogen and phosphorus removal systems.

    Daijun ZHANG, Cui BAI, Ting TANG, Qing YANG

    Shortcut nitrification-denitrification, anaerobic ammonium oxidation (ANAMMOX), and methanogenesis have been successfully coupled in an Expanded Granular Sludge Bed-Biological Aerated Filter (EGSB-BAF) integrated system. As fed different synthetic wastewater with chemical oxygen demand (COD) of 300–1200 mg·L-1 and NH4+-N of 30–120 mg·L-1 at the outer recycle ratio of 200%, the influence of influent on ANAMMOX in the integrated system was investigated in this paper. The experimental results showed that higher COD concentration caused an increase in denitrification and methanogenesis but a decrease in ANAMMOX; however, when an influent with the low concentration of COD was used, the opposite changes could be observed. Higher influent NH4+-N concentration favored ANAMMOX when the COD concentration of influent was fixed. Therefore, low COD/NH4+-N ratio would decrease competition for nitrite between ANAMMOX and denitrification, which was favorable for reducing the negative effect of organic COD on ANAMMOX. The good performance of the integrated system indicated that the bacterial community of denitrification, ANAMMOX, and methanogenesis could be dynamically maintained in the sludge of EGSB reactor for a certain range of influent.