Apr 2019, Volume 13 Issue 2

Cover illustration

  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released from the waste treatment facilities are the major cause for NMBY due to their odorous property and hazard to human health. Non-thermal plasma (NTP) technology is newly developed methods which has attached great attention for abatement of industrial wastewater and air pollution. Review on recent progress of plasma technology, mainly focus on the dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) plasma for abatement of VOCs is conducted. The contents [Detail] ...

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    Wenjing Lu, Yawar Abbas, Muhammad Farooq Mustafa, Chao Pan, Hongtao Wang

    • Applications of non-thermal plasma reactors for reduction of VOCs were reviewed.

    • Dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) plasma was considered.

    • Effect of process parameters was studied.

    • Effect of catalysts and inhibitors were evaluated.

    Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released from the waste treatment facilities have become a significant issue because they are not only causing odor nuisance but may also hazard to human health. Non-thermal plasma (NTP) technologies are newly developed methods and became a research trend in recent years regarding the removal of VOCs from the air environment. Due to its unique characteristics, such as bulk homogenized volume, plasma with high reaction efficiency dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) technology is considered one of the most promising techniques of NTP. This paper reviews recent progress of DBD plasma technology for abatement of VOCs. The principle of plasma generation in DBD and its configurations (electrode, discharge gap, dielectric barrier material, etc.) are discussed in details. Based on previously published literature, attention has been paid on the effect of DBD configuration on the removal of VOCs. The removal efficiency of VOCs in DBD reactors is presented too, considering various process parameters such as initial concentration, gas feeding rate, oxygen content and input power. Moreover, using DBD technology, the role of catalysis and inhibitors in VOCs removal are discussed. Finally, a modified configuration of the DBD reactor, i.e. double dielectric barrier discharge (DDBD) for the abatement of VOCs is discussed in details. It was suggested that the DDBD plasma reactor could be used for higher conversion efficiency as well as for avoiding solid residue deposition on the electrode. These depositions can interfere with the performance of the reactor.

    Yongsheng Zhao, Lin Lin, Mei Hong

    The contaminant transport distance is predicted using numerical model.

    Zero-valent iron can be used to effectively transform nitrobenzene to aniline.

    Experiment shows that two-layer PRB systems have a very good treatment effect.

    Organic contamination of groundwater is a major concern in China. However, remediation technology for groundwater contamination to address the potential harm and danger brought by the above-mentioned serious issue is still in the research stage. This study aims to improve the current research findings. In the research project, drilling, soil, and groundwater sampling and analysis were conducted in a contamination site of a petrochemical plant, migration of contaminants to the river was predicted using a numerical model, the sequence permeable reactive barrier (PRB) for treating nitrobenzene (NB) and benzene was proposed, and simulation was carried out. Research findings demonstrated that three leaking locations had been identified in the plant, the major pollutants were NB and benzene, and the groundwater contamination area was around 640000 m2. Computation results of the numerical model indicated that, in the worst case, the groundwater plume would reach the river after migration for nearly 9 years, which would endanger the safety of surface water supply. Furthermore, the two-PRB system with the filling of zero-valent iron (ZVI) and granular activated carbon attached with biofilm exerted strong remediation effects. Experimental results indicated that ZVI could transform NB to aniline effectively with a rate of approximately 93%. Meanwhile, aniline, benzene, and other organic pollutants could easily be biodegraded.

    Qinqin Liu, Miao Li, Rui Liu, Quan Zhang, Di Wu, Danni Zhu, Xuhui Shen, Chuanping Feng, Fawang Zhang, Xiang Liu

    • Novel ACST allowed biodegradation to effectively remove adsorbed SMX and TMP.

    • Ammonia and nitrite were efficiently removed in ACSTs and water quality was improved.

    Four artificial composite soil treatment systems (ACSTs) fed with reclaimed water containing trimethoprim (TMP) and sulfamethoxazole (SMX) were constructed to investigate SMX and TMP biodegradation efficiency, ammonia and nitrite removal conditions and the microbial community within ACST layers. Results showed SMX and TMP removal rates could reach 80% and 95%, respectively, and removal rates of ammonia and nitrite could reach 80% and 90%, respectively, in ACSTs. The MiSeq sequencing results showed that microbial community structures of the ACSTs were similar. The dominant microbial community in the adsorption and biodegradation layers of the ACSTs contained Proteobacteria, Chloroflexi, Acidobacteria, Firmicutes, Actinobacteria and Nitrospirae. Firmicutes and Proteobacteria were considerably dominant in the ACST biodegradation layers. The entire experimental results indicated that Nitrosomonadaceae_uncultured, Nitrospira and Bacillus were associated with nitrification processes, while Bacillus and Lactococcus were associated with SMX and TMP removal processes. The findings suggest that ACSTs are appropriate for engineering applications.

    Xinshu Jiang, Yingxi Qu, Liquan Liu, Yuan He, Wenchao Li, Jun Huang, Hongwei Yang, Gang Yu

    • 39 PPCPs were investigated at a DWTP using the Yangtze River as its water source.

    • Grab and continuous sampling were conducted for the comparison of data consistency.

    • Ketoprofen & carbamazepine can be risk management indicators because of the high RQ.

    The occurrence and removal of 39 targeted pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) from source water, through a drinking water treatment plant (DWTP) to the water supply station, were investigated around the central part of Yangtze River Delta in China using both grab sampling and continuous sampling. Totally 24 of the 39 targeted PPCPs were detected in raw water, and 12 PPCPs were detected in the finished water. The highest observed concentration was enrofloxacin (85.623 ng/L) in raw water. Removal efficiencies were remarkably negative correlated with log Kow (r = -0.777, p<0.01) after calibration control of concentration, indicating that more soluble PPCPs are easier to remove by the combined process (prechlorination and flocculation/precipitation), the concentration level also had a great impact on the removal efficiency. The normal process in the pilot DWTP seems to be ineffective for PPCPs control, with the limited removal efficiency of less than 30% for each step: pre-chlorination, flocculation and precipitation, post-chlorination and filter. There were notable differences between the data from continuous sampling and grab sampling, which should be considered for different monitoring purposes. The chlorination and the hydrolytic decomposition of PPCPs in the water supply pipe may attenuate PPCPs concentration in the pipeline network. The PPCPs examined in the effluent of DWTP do not impose a potential health risk to the local consumers due to their RQ value lower than 0.00067.

    Chao Yang, Wenjun Sun, Xiuwei Ao

    UV can induce damages on mRNA consistently among different genes.

    SOS response was more active after UV treatment.

    Programmed cell death was not found to be more active after UV treatment.

    The efficacy of ultraviolet (UV) disinfection has been analyzed and validated by numerous studies using culture-based methods, yet the discovery of the viable but nonculturable state necessitates the investigation of UV disinfection based on viability parameters. Paired regulators of the SOS response system, recA-lexA, and the programmed cell death system, mazEF, in Escherichia coli were chosen as the target genes, and the effect of UV irradiation on the mRNAs of the four genes was studied. This research showed that, after UV irradiation, the responses of the mRNAs were highly consistent, with reduction percentages of approximately 60% at 20 mJ/cm2, 70% at 40 mJ/cm2, and 90% at 80 mJ/cm2, and these reductions were believed to be the result of direct UV damage to nucleic acids. After 24 h of dark incubation, recA and lexA were both upregulated but to a lesser extent for repressor lexA; and mazE and mazF were both downregulated. This result implies that UV irradiation induces the dark repair system more actively, and the cells will proceed to death at a rate similar to that associated with natural decay.

    Xiaoli Song, Zhenghua Shi, Xiufen Li, Xinhua Wang, Yueping Ren

    Maillard reaction between reducing sugars and amides happened during pretreatment.

    Over 90 min of TAH at the optimal condition, 67.59% sludge proteins was solubilized.

    15.84% soluble proteins broke down to materials with small molecular weight.

    Proteins are the major organic component s of waste activated sludge (WAS); the recovery of sludge proteins is economically valuable. To efficiently recover sludge proteins, WAS should undergo hydrolysis pretreatment to fully release proteins from sludge flocs and microbial cells into aqueous phase. One of the most widely used chemical methods for that is thermal alkali hydrolysis (TAH). Here, the soluble protein concentration achieved the highest level over 90 min of TAH pretreatment at 80°C; the sludge floc disintegration and microbial cell destruction were maximized according to the content profiles of bound extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) and ribonucleic acid (RNA) of sludge. Both less proteins broken down to materials with small molecular weight and less melanoidin generated were responsible. TAH pretreatment at 80°C for 90 min resulted in the solubilization of 67.59% of sludge proteins. 34.64% of solubilized proteins was present in soluble high molecular; 1.55% and 4.85% broke down to polypeptides and amino acids. The lost proteins via being converted to ammonium and nitrate nitrogen accounted for 9.44% of solubilized proteins. It was important to understand the fate of sludge proteins during TAH pretreatment in terms of protein recovery, which would be helpful for designing the downstream protein separation method and its potential application.

    Mei Lei, Ziping Dong, Ying Jiang, Philip Longhurst, Xiaoming Wan, Guangdong Zhou

    Pilot-scale combustion is required to treat arsenic-enriched biomass in China.

    CaO addition to arsenic-enriched biomass reduces arsenic emission.

    CaO captures arsenic via chemical adsorption to form Ca3(AsO4)2.

    Large quantities of contaminated biomass due to phytoremediation were disposed through combustion in low-income rural regions of China. This process provided a solution to reduce waste volume and disposal cost. Pilot-scale combustion trials were conducted for in site disposal at phytoremediation sites. The reaction mechanism of arsenic capture during pilot-scale combustion should be determined to control the arsenic emission in flue gas. This study investigated three Pteris vittata L. biomass with a disposal capacity of 600 kg/d and different arsenic concentrations from three sites in China. The arsenic concentration in flue gas was greater than that of the national standard in the trial with no emission control, and the arsenic concentration in biomass was 486 mg/kg. CaO addition notably reduced arsenic emission in flue gas, and absorption was efficient when CaO was mixed with biomass at 10% of the total weight. For the trial with 10% CaO addition, arsenic recovery from ash reached 76%, which is an ~8-fold increase compared with the control. Synchrotron radiation analysis confirmed that calcium arsenate is the dominant reaction product.

    Gang Yi, Xinfei Fan, Xie Quan, Shuo Chen, Hongtao Yu

    CNT-PVA membrane was fabricated and compared with polymeric membranes.

    The separation performance was evaluated by homemade and cutting fluid emulsions.

    The three membranes show similar oil retention rates.

    CNT-PVA membranes have higher permeation fluxes compared with polymeric membranes.

    CNT-PVA membrane shows higher fouling resistance.

    Membrane separation is an attractive technique for removal of emulsified oily wastewater. However, polymeric membranes which dominate the current market usually suffer from severe membrane fouling. Therefore, membranes with high fouling resistance are imperative to treat emulsified oily wastewater. In this study, carbon nanotube-polyvinyl alcohol (CNT-PVA) membrane was fabricated. And its separation performance for emulsified oily wastewater was compared with two commercial polymeric membranes (PVDF membrane and PES membrane) by filtration of two homemade emulsions and one cutting fluid emulsion. The results show that these membranes have similar oil retention efficiencies for the three emulsions. Whereas, the permeation flux of CNT-PVA membrane is 1.60 to 3.09 times of PVDF membrane and 1.41 to 11.4 times of PES membrane, respectively. Moreover, after five consecutive operation circles of filtration process and back flush, CNT-PVA membrane can recover 62.3% to 72.9% of its initial pure water flux. However, the pure water flux recovery rates are only 24.1% to 35.3% for PVDF membrane and 6.0% to 26.3% for PES membrane, respectively. Therefore, CNT-PVA membrane are more resistant to oil fouling compared with the two polymeric membranes, showing superior potential in treatment of emulsified oily wastewater.

    Kaikai Zhang, Peng Sun, Yanrong Zhang

    PFRs were produced on biochar during Cr(VI) decontamination.

    PFRs formation on biochar was owing to the oxidization of phenolic-OH by Cr(VI).

    Appearance of excessive oxidant led to the consumption of PFRs on biochar.

    Biochar charred at high temperature possessed great performance to Cr(VI) removal.

    This study investigated the facilitation of Cr(VI) decontamination to the formation of persistent free radicals (PFRs) on rice husk derived biochar. It was found that Cr(VI) remediation by biochar facilitated the production of PFRs, which increased with the concentration of treated Cr(VI). However, excessive Cr(VI) would induce their decay. Biochar with high pyrolysis temperature possessed great performance to Cr(VI) removal, which was mainly originated from its reduction by biochar from Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectroscopy and X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy. And the corresponding generation of PFRs on biochar was primarily ascribed to the oxidization of phenolic hydroxyl groups by Cr(VI) from Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy analysis, which was further verified by the H2O2 treatment experiments. The findings of this study will help to illustrate the transformation of reactive functional groups on biochar and provide a new insight into the role of biochar in environmental remediation.

    Yuzhou Deng, Shengpan Peng, Haidi Liu, Shuangde Li, Yunfa Chen

    • Mechanism of DCM disproportionation over mesoporous TiO2 was studied.

    • DCM was completely eliminated at 350℃ under 1 vol.% humidity.

    • Anatase (001) was the key for disproportionation.

    • A competitive oxidation route co-existed with disproportionation.

    • Disproportionation was favored at low temperature.

    Mesoporous TiO2 was synthesized via nonhydrolytic template-mediated sol-gel route. Catalytic degradation performance upon dichloromethane over as-prepared mesoporous TiO2, pure anatase and rutile were investigated respectively. Disproportionation took place over as-made mesoporous TiO2 and pure anatase under the presence of water. The mechanism of disproportionation was studied by in situ FTIR. The interaction between chloromethoxy species and bridge coordinated methylenes was the key step of disproportionation. Formate species and methoxy groups would be formed and further turned into carbon monoxide and methyl chloride. Anatase (001) played an important role for disproportionation in that water could be dissociated into surface hydroxyl groups on such structure. As a result, the consumed hydroxyl groups would be replenished. In addition, there was another competitive oxidation route governed by free hydroxyl radicals. In this route, chloromethoxy groups would be oxidized into formate species by hydroxyl radicals transfering from the surface of TiO2. The latter route would be more favorable at higher temperature.

    Bo Zhang, Xilai Zheng, Tianyuan Zheng, Jia Xin, Shuai Sui, Di Zhang

    Slope collapse will reduce the water exchange.

    Slope collapse will affect the spatial distribution of the water exchange.

    Precipitation have the most impact on the dynamics of the water exchange.

    Due to the increase in open pit mining, pit lakes have become common surface water features, posing a potential risk to subsurface aquifer. In this study, a pit lake–groundwater interaction model is built based on the general program MODFLOW with the LAK3 package. For the first time, the effects of lake-slope collapse and aquifer heterogeneity on pit lake–groundwater interactions are analyzed by dividing the lake into six water exchange zones based on the aquifer lithology and groundwater level. Our investigation and simulations reveal a total water exchange from groundwater to the lake of 349000 m3/a without collapse of the pit lake slope, while the total net water exchange under slope collapse conditions is 248000 m3/a (i.e., a reduction of 1.40-fold). The monthly net water exchange per unit width from groundwater to the lake reaches the largest in April, shifting to negative values in zone IV from June to August and in zone V in June and July. Moreover, the monthly net water exchange per unit width decreases from north to south, and the direction and magnitude of water exchange are found to depend on the hydraulic gradients between the lake and groundwater and the hydraulic conductivity of the slope collapse.

    Nathalie Tanne, Rui Xu, Mingyue Zhou, Pan Zhang, Xiaomao Wang, Xianghua Wen

    Four NF membranes were compared regarding arsenate rejection and their properties.

    Rejection of arsenate had no relationship with membrane pore size.

    A more negative surface charge was favorable for arsenate rejection at neutral pH.

    A severe membrane fouling could lead to a great reduction of arsenic rejection.

    Nanofiltration (NF) has a great potential in removing arsenate from contaminated water. The performance including arsenate rejection, water permeability and resistance to fouling could however differ substantially among NF membranes. This study was conducted to investigate the influence of membrane pore size and surface properties on these aspects of membrane performance. Four fully-aromatic NF membranes with different physicochemical properties were adopted for this study. The results showed that surface charge, hydrophobicity, roughness and pore size could affect water permeability and/or arsenate rejection considerably. A more negative surface charge was desirable to enhance arsenate rejection rates. NF90 and a non-commercialized membrane (M#1) demonstrated the best performance in terms of arsenate rejection and water permeability. The M#1 membrane showed less membrane fouling than NF90 when used for filtration of real arsenic-containing groundwater. This was mainly due to its distinct chemical composition and surface properties. A severe membrane fouling could lead to a substantial reduction of arsenic rejection. The M#1 membrane showed the best performance, which indicated that membrane modification could indeed enhance the overall membrane performance for water treatment.

    Hang Zhang, Shuo Chen, Haiguang Zhang, Xinfei Fan, Cong Gao, Hongtao Yu, Xie Quan

    CNTs were incorporated into MIL-88B-Fe to get a new Fenton-like catalyst (C@M).

    Fe(II) was introduced in C@M to get a fast initiation of Fenton-like reaction.

    Fe(II) content in C@M was related with oxygen-containing functional groups on CNTs.

    C@M shows efficient catalytic degradation of pollutants over a wide pH range.

    Iron-based metal organic frameworks have been verified to be efficient heterogeneous Fenton catalysts due to their open pore channels and highly uniform distribution of metallic centers. In these catalysts, however, the iron element is mainly in the form of Fe(III), which results in a process required to reduce Fe(III) to Fe(II) to initiate Fenton reaction. To address this problem, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) with electron-rich oxygen-functional groups on the surface were incorporated into the metal organic frameworks (MIL-88B-Fe) to improve Fe(II) content for an enhanced Fenton-like performance. The prepared CNT@MIL-88B-Fe (C@M) showed much stronger catalytic ability toward H2O2 than MIL-88B-Fe. The pseudo-first-order kinetic constant for phenol degradation by C@M (0.32 min–1) was about 7 times that of MIL-88B-Fe, and even higher than or comparable to the values of reported heterogeneous Fenton-like catalysts. Moreover, the Fenton-like system could effectively degrade various kinds of refractory organic pollutants and exhibited excellent catalytic activity over a wide pH range (4–9). XPS analysis confirmed that Fe(II) content of the catalyst gradually increased with CNT loadings. Electron spin resonance analysis showed that the signal intensity (•OH) of C@M was much higher than MIL-88B-Fe, which was consistent with the degradation efficiency of pollutants. Furthermore, the Fe(II) content of the catalyst gradually increased along with the oxygen-functional group content of CNTs. The result demonstrated that oxygen-containing functional groups of CNTs have a significant impact on the enhanced catalytic performance of C@M. This study provides a new insight to enhance Fenton reaction by using nanocarbon materials.

    Xiangyang Ye, Jian’e Zuo, Ruohan Li, Yajiao Wang, Lili Gan, Zhonghan Yu, Xiaoqing Hu

    An image-recognition-based diagnosis system of pipe defect types was established.

    1043 practical pipe images were gathered by CCTV robot in a southern Chinese city.

    The overall accuracy of the system is 84% and the highest accuracy is 99.3%.

    The accuracy shows positive correlation to the number of training samples.

    Closed circuit television (CCTV) systems are widely used to inspect sewer pipe conditions. During the diagnosis process, the manual diagnosis of defects is time consuming, labor intensive and error prone. To assist inspectors in diagnosing sewer pipe defects on CCTV inspection images, this paper presents an image recognition algorithm that applies features extraction and machine learning approaches. An algorithm of image recognition techniques, including Hu invariant moment, texture features, lateral Fourier transform and Daubechies (DBn) wavelet transform, was used to describe the features of defects, and support vector machines were used to classify sewer pipe defects. According to the inspection results, seven defects were defined; the diagnostic system was applied to a sewer pipe system in a southern city of China, and 28,760 m of sewer pipes were inspected. The results revealed that the classification accuracies of the different defects ranged from 51.6% to 99.3%. The overall accuracy reached 84.1%. The diagnosing accuracy depended on the number of the training samples, and four fitting curves were applied to fit the data. According to this paper, the logarithmic fitting curve presents the highest coefficient of determination of 0.882, and more than 200 images need to be used for training samples to guarantee the accuracy higher than 85%.

    Qinghao Jin, Chenyang Cui, Huiying Chen, Jing Wu, Jing Hu, Xuan Xing, Junfeng Geng, Yanhong Wu

    Dielectrophoresis (DEP) process could enhance the removal the Cd2+ and Pb2+ with less absorbent.

    The removal rates of both Cd2+ and Pb2+ increased with the increase of voltage.

    The overall removal rate of Cd2+ and Pb2+ in the binary system is higher than that of Cd2+ or Pb2+ in the single system.

    DEP could cause considerable changes of the bentonite particles in both surface morphology and microstructure.

    Dielectrophoresis (DEP) was combined with adsorption (ADS) to simultaneously and effectively remove Cd2+ and Pb2+ species from aqueous solution. To implement the process, bentonite particles of submicro-meter size were used to first adsorb the heavy metal ions. These particles were subsequently trapped and removed by DEP. The effects of the adsorbent dosage, DEP cell voltage and the capture pool numbers on the removal rate were investigated in batch processes, which allowed us to determine the optimal experimental conditions. The high removal efficiency, 97.3% and 99.9% for Cd2+ and Pb2+, respectively, were achieved when the ions are coexisting in the system. The microstructure of bentonite particles before and after ADS/DEP was examined by scanning electron microscopy. Our results suggest that the dielectrophoresis-assisted adsorption method has a high capability to remove the heavy metals from wastewater.