Aug 2021, Volume 15 Issue 4

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  • Front Cover Story (see: Yuxin Li, Jiayin Ling, Pengcheng Chen, Jinliang Chen, Ruizhi Dai, Jinsong Liao, Jiejing Yu, Yanbin Xu, 2021, 15(4): 57)
    The livestock and poultry industry is very important for national life, supporting the policies of people’s livelihood and economic development. Pollutants from livestock and poultry has become the source of pollution over industrial pollution, which aggravated non-point pollution in rural area and might increase water [Detail] ...

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    Yaocheng Fan, Tiancui Li, Deshou Cun, Haibing Tang, Yanran Dai, Feihua Wang, Wei Liang

    • VFCWs are effective for the treatment of arsenic-containing wastewater.

    • Arsenic removal did not affect the removal of nutrients, except for TP in CW500.

    • Arsenic removal was highest when the temperature peaked and the reed was in bloom.

    • Substrate accumulation contributed more to arsenic removal than plant absorption.

    Four pilot-scale Vertical Flow Constructed Wetlands (VFCWs) filled with gravel and planted with Phragmites australis were operated for seven months in the field to study the efficiency of arsenic removal in contaminated wastewater. The average arsenic removal efficiency by the VFCWs was 52.0%±20.2%, 52.9%±21.3%, and 40.3%±19.4% at the theoretical concentrations of 50 μg/L (CW50), 100 μg/L (CW100), and 500 μg/L (CW500) arsenic in the wastewater, respectively. The results also showed no significant differences in the removal efficiency for conventional contaminants (nitrogen, phosphorus, or chemical oxygen demand) between wastewater treatments that did or did not contain arsenic (P>0.05), except for phosphorus in CW500. The highest average monthly removal rate of arsenic occurred in August (55.9%–74.5%) and the lowest in November (7.8%–15.5%). The arsenic removal efficiency of each VFCW was positively correlated with temperature (P<0.05). Arsenic accumulated in both substrates and plants, with greater accumulation associated with increased arsenic concentrations in the influent. The maximum accumulated arsenic concentrations in the substrates and plants at the end of the experiment were 4.47 mg/kg and 281.9 mg/kg, respectively, both present in CW500. The translocation factor (TF) of arsenic in the reeds was less than 1, with most of the arsenic accumulating in the roots. The arsenic mass balance indicated that substrate accumulation contributed most to arsenic removal (19.9%–30.4%), with lower levels in plants (3.8%–9.5%). In summary, VFCWs are effective for the treatment of arsenic-containing wastewater.

    Haoran Feng, Min Liu, Wei Zeng, Ying Chen

    • Real ML-GFW with high salinity and high organics was degraded by O3/H2O2 process.

    • Successful optimization of operation conditions was attained using RSM based on CCD.

    • Single-factor experiments in advance ensured optimal experimental conditions.

    • The satisfactory removal efficiency of TOC was achieved in spite of high salinity.

    • The initial pH plays the most significant role in the degradation of ML-GFW.

    The present study reports the use of the O3/H2O2 process in the pretreatment of the mother liquor of gas field wastewater (ML-GFW), obtained from the multi-effect distillation treatment of the gas field wastewater. The range of optimal operation conditions was obtained by single-factor experiments. Response surface methodology (RSM) based on the central composite design (CCD) was used for the optimization procedure. A regression model with Total organic carbon (TOC) removal efficiency as the response value was established (R2 = 0.9865). The three key factors were arranged according to their significance as: pH>H2O2 dosage>ozone flow rate. The model predicted that the best operation conditions could be obtained at a pH of 10.9, an ozone flow rate of 0.8 L/min, and H2O2 dosage of 6.2 mL. The dosing ratio of ozone was calculated to be 9.84 mg O3/mg TOC. The maximum removal efficiency predicted was 75.9%, while the measured value was 72.3%. The relative deviation was found to be in an acceptable range. The ozone utilization and free radical quenching experiments showed that the addition of H2O2 promoted the decomposition of ozone to produce hydroxyl radicals (·OH). This also improved the ozone utilization efficiency. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis showed that most of the organic matters in ML-GFW were degraded, while some residuals needed further treatment. This study provided the data and the necessary technical supports for further research on the treatment of ML-GFW.

    Rong Ye, Sai Xu, Qian Wang, Xindi Fu, Huixiang Dai, Wenjing Lu

    Ascomycota was the predominant phylum in sanitary landfill fungal communities.

    • Saprophytic fungi may be of special importance in landfill ecology.

    • Both richness and diversity of fungal community were lower in leachate than refuse.

    • Physical habitat partly contributed to the geographic variance of fungal community.

    • NO3 was considered the most significant abiotic factor shaping fungal community.

    Land filling is the main method to dispose municipal solid waste in China. During the decomposition of organic waste in landfills, fungi play an important role in organic carbon degradation and nitrogen cycling. However, fungal composition and potential functions in landfill have not yet been characterized. In this study, refuse and leachate samples with different areas and depths were taken from a large sanitary landfill in Beijing to identify fungal communities in landfills. In high-throughput sequencing of ITS region, 474 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were obtained from landfill samples with a cutoff level of 3% and a sequencing depth of 19962. The results indicates that Ascomycota, with the average relative abundance of 84.9%, was the predominant phylum in landfill fungal communities. At the genus level, Family Hypocreaceae unclassified (15.7%), Fusarium (9.9%) and Aspergillus (8.3%) were the most abundant fungi found in the landfill and most of them are of saprotrophic lifestyle, which plays a big role in nutrient cycling in ecosystem. Fungi existed both in landfilled refuse and leachate while both the richness and evenness of fungal communities were higher in the former. In addition, fungal communities in landfilled refuse presented geographic variances, which could be partly attributed to physical habitat properties (pH, dissolved organic carbon, volatile solid, NH4+, NO2 and NO3), while NO3 was considered the most significant factor (p<0.05) in shaping fungal community.

    Ting Wang, Renxian Zhou

    • Pt/CZL exhibits the optimum catalytic performance for HC and NOx elimination.

    • The strong PM-Ce interaction favors the oxygen mobility and DOSC.

    • Pd/CZL shows higher catalytic activity for CO conversion due to more Olatt species.

    • Great oxygen mobility at high temperature broadens the dynamic operation window.

    • The relationship between DOSC and catalytic performance is revealed.

    The physicochemical properties of Pt-, Pd- and Rh- loaded (Ce,Zr,La)O2 (shorted for CZL) catalysts before/after aging treatment were systematically characterized by various techniques to illustrate the relationship of the dynamic oxygen storage/release capacity and redox ability with their catalytic performances for HC, NOx and CO conversions. Pt/CZL catalyst exhibits the optimum catalytic performance for HC and NOx elimination, which mainly contribute to its excellent redox ability and dynamic oxygen storage/release capacity (DOSC) at lower temperature due to the stronger PM (precious metals)-support interaction. However, the worse stability of Pt-O-Ce species and volatile Pt oxides easily result in the dramatical decline in catalytic activity after aging. Pd/CZL shows higher catalytic activity for CO conversion by reason of more Olatt species as the active oxygen for CO oxidation reaction. Rh/CZL catalyst displays the widest dynamic operation window for NOx elimination as a result of greater oxygen mobility at high temperature, and the ability to retain more Rh-O-Ce species after calcined at 1100°C effectively restrains sintering of active RhOx species, improving the thermal stability of Rh/CZL catalyst.

    Xinshu Liu, Xiaoman Su, Sijie Tian, Yue Li, Rongfang Yuan

    • SMX was mainly degraded by hydrolysis, isoxazole oxidation and double-bond addition.

    • Isoxazole oxidation and bond addition products were formed by direct ozonation.

    • Hydroxylated products were produced by indirect oxidation.

    • NOM mainly affected the degradation of SMX by consuming OH rather than O3.

    • Inhibitory effect of NOM on SMX removal was related to the components’ aromaticity.

    Sulfamethoxazole (SMX) is commonly detected in wastewater and cannot be completely decomposed during conventional treatment processes. Ozone (O3) is often used in water treatment. This study explored the influence of natural organic matters (NOM) in secondary effluent of a sewage treatment plant on the ozonation pathways of SMX. The changes in NOM components during ozonation were also analyzed. SMX was primarily degraded by hydrolysis, isoxazole-ring opening, and double-bond addition, whereas hydroxylation was not the principal route given the low maximum abundances of the hydroxylated products, with m/z of 269 and 287. The hydroxylation process occurred mainly through indirect oxidation because the maximum abundances of the products reduced by about 70% after the radical quencher was added, whereas isoxazole-ring opening and double-bond addition processes mainly depended on direct oxidation, which was unaffected by the quencher. NOM mainly affected the degradation of micropollutants by consuming OH rather than O3 molecules, resulting in the 63%–85% decrease in indirect oxidation products. The NOM in the effluent were also degraded simultaneously during ozonation, and the components with larger aromaticity were more likely degraded through direct oxidation. The dependences of the three main components of NOM in the effluent on indirect oxidation followed the sequence: humic-like substances>fluvic-like substances>protein-like substances. This study reveals the ozonation mechanism of SMX in secondary effluent and provides a theoretical basis for the control of SMX and its degradation products in actual water treatment.

    Fengping Hu, Yongming Guo

    •Impacts of air pollution on various body systems health in China were highlighted.

    •China’s actions to control air pollution and their effects were briefly introduced.

    •Challenges and perspectives of the health effects of air pollution are provided.

    The health effects of air pollution have attracted considerable attention in China. In this review, the status of air pollution in China is briefly presented. The impacts of air pollution on the health of the respiratory system, the circulatory system, the nervous system, the digestive system, the urinary system, pregnancy and life expectancy are highlighted. Additionally, China’s actions to control air pollution and their effects are briefly introduced. Finally, the challenges and perspectives of the health effects of air pollution are provided. We believe that this review will provide a promising perspective on the health impacts of air pollution in China, and further elicit more attention from governments and researchers worldwide.

    Boyi Cheng, Yi Wang, Yumei Hua, Kate V. Heal

    •Bacterially-mediated coupled N and Fe processes examined in incubation experiments.

    •NO3 reduction was considerably inhibited as initial Fe/N ratio increased.

    •The maximum production of N2 occurred at an initial Fe/N molar ratio of 6.

    •Fe minerals produced at Fe/N ratios of 1–2 were mainly easily reducible oxides.

    The Fe/N ratio is an important control on nitrate-reducing Fe(II) oxidation processes that occur both in the aquatic environment and in wastewater treatment systems. The response of nitrate reduction, Fe oxidation, and mineral production to different initial Fe/N molar ratios in the presence of Paracoccus denitrificans was investigated in 132 h incubation experiments. A decrease in the nitrate reduction rate at 12 h occurred as the Fe/N ratio increased. Accumulated nitrite concentration at Fe/N ratios of 2–10 peaked at 12–84 h, and then decreased continuously to less than 0.1 mmol/L at the end of incubation. N2O emission was promoted by high Fe/N ratios. Maximum production of N2 occurred at a Fe/N ratio of 6, in parallel with the highest mole proportion of N2 resulting from the reduction of nitrate (81.2%). XRD analysis and sequential extraction demonstrated that the main Fe minerals obtained from Fe(II) oxidation were easily reducible oxides such as ferrihydrite (at Fe/N ratios of 1–2), and easily reducible oxides and reducible oxides (at Fe/N ratios of 3–10). The results suggest that Fe/N ratio potentially plays a critical role in regulating N2, N2O emissions and Fe mineral formation in nitrate-reducing Fe(II) oxidation processes.

    Chenchen Li, Lijie Yan, Yiming Li, Dan Zhang, Mutai Bao, Limei Dong

    • A novel and multi-functional clay-based oil spill remediation system was constructed.

    • TiO2@PAL functions as a particulate dispersant to break oil slick into tiny droplets.

    • Effective dispersion leads to the direct contact of TiO2 with oil pollutes directly.

    • TiO2 loaded on PAL exhibits efficient photodegradation for oil pollutants.

    • TiO2@PAL shows a typical dispersion-photocatalysis synergistic remediation.

    Removing spilled oil from the water surface is critically important given that oil spill accidents are a common occurrence. In this study, TiO2@Palygorskite composite prepared by a simple coprecipitation method was used for oil spill remediation via a dispersion-photodegradation synergy. Diesel could be efficiently dispersed into small oil droplets by TiO2@Palygorskite. These dispersed droplets had an average diameter of 20–30 mm and exhibited good time stability. The tight adsorption of TiO2@Palygorskite on the surface of the droplets was observed in fluorescence and SEM images. As a particulate dispersant, the direct contact of TiO2@Palygorskite with oil pollutants effectively enhanced the photodegradation efficiency of TiO2 for oil. During the photodegradation process, •O2and •OH were detected by ESR and radical trapping experiments. The photodegradation efficiency of diesel by TiO2@Palygorskite was enhanced by about 5 times compared with pure TiO2 under simulated sunlight irradiation. The establishment of this new dispersion-photodegradation synergistic remediation system provides a new direction for the development of marine oil spill remediation.

    Ying Xu, Hui Gong, Xiaohu Dai

    • High-solid anaerobic digestion (HS-AD) of sewage sludge (SS) is overviewed.

    • Factors affecting process stability and performance in HS-AD of SS are revealed.

    • HS effect and knowledge gaps of current research on the HS-AD of SS are identified.

    • Future efforts on addressing knowledge gaps and improving HS-AD of SS are proposed.

    High-solid anaerobic digestion (HS-AD) has been applied extensively during the last few decades for treating various organic wastes, such as agricultural wastes, organic fractions of municipal solid wastes, and kitchen wastes. However, the application of HS-AD to the processing of sewage sludge (SS) remains limited, which is largely attributable to its poor process stability and performance. Extensive research has been conducted to attempt to surmount these limitations. In this review, the main factors affecting process stability and performance in the HS-AD of SS are comprehensively reviewed, and the improved methods in current use, such as HS sludge pre-treatment and anaerobic co-digestion with other organic wastes, are summarised. Besides, this paper also discusses the characteristics of substance transformation in the HS-AD of SS with and without thermal pre-treatment. Research has shown that the HS effect is due to the presence of high concentrations of substances that may inhibit the function of anaerobic microorganisms, and that it also results in poor mass transfer, a low diffusion coefficient, and high viscosity. Finally, knowledge gaps in the current research on HS-AD of SS are identified. Based on these, it proposes that future efforts should be devoted to standardising the definition of HS sludge, revealing the law of migration and transformation of pollutants, describing the metabolic pathways by which specific substances are degraded, and establishing accurate mathematical models. Moreover, developing green sludge dewatering agents, obtaining high value-added products, and revealing effects of the above two on HS-AD of SS can also be considered in future.

    Lina Gan, Kezhi Li, Hejingying Niu, Yue Peng, Jianjun Chen, Yuandong Huang, Junhua Li

    • A V2O5/TiO2 granular catalyst for simultaneous removal of NO and chlorobenzene.

    • Catalyst synthesized by vanadyl acetylacetonate showed good activity and stability.

    • The kinetic model was established and the synergetic activity was predicted.

    • Both chlorobenzene oxidation and SCR of NO follow pseudo-first-order kinetics.

    • The work is of much value to design of multi-pollutants emission control system.

    The synergetic abatement of multi-pollutants is one of the development trends of flue gas pollution control technology, which is still in the initial stage and facing many challenges. We developed a V2O5/TiO2 granular catalyst and established the kinetic model for the simultaneous removal of NO and chlorobenzene (i.e., an important precursor of dioxins). The granular catalyst synthesized using vanadyl acetylacetonate precursor showed good synergistic catalytic performance and stability. Although the SCR reaction of NO and the oxidation reaction of chlorobenzene mutually inhibited, the reaction order of each reaction was not considerably affected, and the pseudo-first-order reaction kinetics was still followed. The performance prediction of this work is of much value to the understanding and reasonable design of a catalytic system for multi-pollutants (i.e., NO and dioxins) emission control.

    Danyang Liu, Johny Cabrera, Lijuan Zhong, Wenjing Wang, Dingyuan Duan, Xiaomao Wang, Shuming Liu, Yuefeng F. Xie

    • A pilot study was conducted for drinking water treatment using loose NF membranes.

    • The membranes had very high rejection of NOM and medium rejection of Ca2+/Mg2+.

    • Organic fouling was dominant and contribution of inorganic fouling was substantial.

    • Both organic and inorganic fouling had spatial non-uniformity on membrane surface.

    • Applying EDTA at basic conditions was effective in removing membrane fouling.

    Nanofiltration (NF) using loose membranes has a high application potential for advanced treatment of drinking water by selectively removing contaminants from the water, while membrane fouling remains one of the biggest problems of the process. This paper reported a seven-month pilot study of using a loose NF membrane to treat a sand filtration effluent which had a relatively high turbidity (~0.4 NTU) and high concentrations of organic matter (up to 5 mg/L as TOC), hardness and sulfate. Results showed that the membrane demonstrated a high rejection of TOC (by>90%) and a moderately high rejection of two pesticides (54%–82%) while a moderate rejection of both calcium and magnesium (~45%) and a low rejection of total dissolved solids (~27%). The membrane elements suffered from severe membrane fouling, with the membrane permeance decreased by 70% after 85 days operation. The membrane fouling was dominated by organic fouling, while biological fouling was moderate. Inorganic fouling was mainly caused by deposition of aluminum-bearing substances. Though inorganic foulants were minor contents on membrane, their contribution to overall membrane fouling was substantial. Membrane fouling was not uniform on membrane. While contents of organic and inorganic foulants were the highest at the inlet and outlet region, respectively, the severity of membrane fouling increased from the inlet to the outlet region of membrane element with a difference higher than 30%. While alkaline cleaning was not effective in removing the membrane foulants, the use of ethylenediamine tetraacetate (EDTA) at alkaline conditions could effectively restore the membrane permeance.

    Xiaojie Shi, Zhuo Chen, Yun Lu, Qi Shi, Yinhu Wu, Hong-Ying Hu

    • Annual AOCs in MBR effluents were stable with small increase in warmer seasons.

    • Significant increase in AOC levels of tertiary effluents were observed.

    • Coagulation in prior to ozonation can reduce AOC formation in tertiary treatment.

    • ∆UV254 and SUVA can be surrogates to predict the AOC changes during ozonation.

    As water reuse development has increased, biological stability issues associated with reclaimed water have gained attention. This study evaluated assimilable organic carbon (AOC) in effluents from a full-scale membrane biological reactor (MBR) plant and found that they were generally stable over one year (125–216 µg/L), with slight increases in warmer seasons. After additional tertiary treatments, the largest increases in absolute and specific AOCs were detected during ozonation, followed by coagulation-ozonation and coagulation. Moreover, UV254 absorbance is known to be an effective surrogate to predict the AOC changes during ozonation. Applying coagulation prior to ozonation of MBR effluents for removal of large molecules was found to reduce the AOC formation compared with ozonation treatment alone. Finally, the results revealed that attention should be paid to seasonal variations in influent and organic fraction changes during treatment to enable sustainable water reuse.

    Hefu Pu, Aamir Khan Mastoi, Xunlong Chen, Dingbao Song, Jinwei Qiu, Peng Yang

    • An integrated method, called PHDVPSS, was proposed for treating DCS.

    • The PHDVPSS method showed superior performance compared to conventional method.

    • Using the method, water content (%) of DCS decreased from 300 to<150 in 3 days.

    • The 56-day UCS from this method is 12‒17 times higher than conventional method.

    • Relative to PC, GGBS-MgO binder yielded greater reduction in the leachability.

    To more efficiently treat the dredged contaminated sediment (DCS) with a high water content, this study proposes an integrated method (called PHDVPSS) that uses the solidifying/stabilizing (S/S) agents and prefabricated horizontal drain (PHD) assisted by vacuum pressure (VP). Using this method, dewatering and solidification/stabilization can be carried out simultaneously such that the treatment time can be significantly shortened and the treatment efficacy can be significantly improved. A series of model tests was conducted to investigate the effectiveness of the proposed method. Experimental results indicated that the proposed PHDVPSS method showed superior performance compared to the conventional S/S method that uses Portland cement (PC) directly without prior dewatering. The 56-day unconfined compressive strength of DCS treated by the proposed method with GGBS-MgO as the binder is 12‒17 times higher than that by the conventional S/S method. DCS treated by the PHDVPSS method exhibited continuous decrease in leaching concentration of Zn with increasing curing age. The reduction of Zn leachability is more obvious when using GGBS-MgO as the binder than when using PC, because GGBS-MgO increased the residual fraction and decreased the acid soluble fraction of Zn. The microstructure analysis reveals the formation of hydrotalcite in GGBS-MgO binder, which resulted in higher mechanical strength and higher Zn stabilization efficiency.

    Sanjena Narayanasamydamodaran, Jian’e Zuo, Haiteng Ren, Nawnit Kumar

    • Microbes enhance denitrification under varying DO concentrations and SIF dosages.

    • Abiotic nitrate reduction rates are proportional to SIF age and dosage.

    • Over 80% of the simultaneously loaded NO3-N and PO43 is removed biologically.

    This study focuses on identifying the factors under which mixed microbial seeds assist bio-chemical denitrification when Scrap Iron Filings (SIF) are used as electron donors and adsorbents in low C/N ratio waters. Batch studies were conducted in abiotic and biotic reactors containing fresh and aged SIF under different dissolved oxygen concentrations with NO3-N and/or PO43- influent(s) and their nitrate/phosphate removal and by-product formations were studied. Batch reactors were seeded with a homogenized mixed microbial inoculum procured from natural sludges which were enriched over 6 months under denitrifying conditions in the presence of SIF. Results indicated that when influent containing 40 mg/L of NO3-N was treated with 5 g SIF, 79.9% nitrate reduction was observed in 8 days abiotically and 100% removal was accomplished in 20 days when the reactor was seeded. Both abiotic and seeded reactors removed more than 92% PO43 under high DO conditions in 12 days. Abiotic and biochemical removal of NO3-N and abiotic removal of PO43 were higher under independent NO3-N/PO43 loading, while 99% PO43- was removed biochemically under combined NO3-N and PO43 loading. This study furthers the understandings of nitrate and phosphate removal in Zero Valent Iron (ZVI) assisted mixed microbial systems to encourage the application of SIF-supported bio-chemical processes in the simultaneous removals of these pollutants.

    Shuai Li, Zhiyao Yang, Da Hu, Liu Cao, Qiang He

    • The built environment, occupants, and microbiomes constitute an integrated ecosystem.

    • This review summarizes research progress which has focused primarily on microbiomes.

    • Critical research needs include studying impacts of occupant behaviors on microbiomes.

    Built environments, occupants, and microbiomes constitute a system of ecosystems with extensive interactions that impact one another. Understanding the interactions between these systems is essential to develop strategies for effective management of the built environment and its inhabitants to enhance public health and well-being. Numerous studies have been conducted to characterize the microbiomes of the built environment. This review summarizes current progress in understanding the interactions between attributes of built environments and occupant behaviors that shape the structure and dynamics of indoor microbial communities. In addition, this review also discusses the challenges and future research needs in the field of microbiomes of the built environment that necessitate research beyond the basic characterization of microbiomes in order to gain an understanding of the causal mechanisms between the built environment, occupants, and microbiomes, which will provide a knowledge base for the development of transformative intervention strategies toward healthy built environments. The pressing need to control the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in indoor environments highlights the urgency and significance of understanding the complex interactions between the built environment, occupants, and microbiomes, which is the focus of this review.

    Shujuan Meng, Rui Wang, Kaijing Zhang, Xianghao Meng, Wenchao Xue, Hongju Liu, Dawei Liang, Qian Zhao, Yu Liu

    • Bacteria could easily and quickly attached onto TEP to form protobiofilms.

    • TEP-protobiofilm facilitate the transport of bacteria to membrane surface.

    • More significant flux decline was observed in the presence of TEP-protobiofilms.

    • Membrane fouling shows higher sensitivity to protobiofilm not to bacteria level.

    Transparent exopolymer particles (TEPs) are a class of transparent gel-like polysaccharides, which have been widely detected in almost every kind of feed water to membrane systems, including freshwater, seawater and wastewater. Although TEP have been thought to be related to the membrane fouling, little information is currently available for their influential mechanisms and the pertinence to biofouling development. The present study, thus, aims to explore the impact of TEPs on biofouling development during ultrafiltration. TEP samples were inoculated with bacteria for several hours before filtration and the formation of “protobiofilm” (pre-colonized TEP by bacteria) was examined and its influence on biofouling was determined. It was observed that the bacteria can easily and quickly attach onto TEPs and form protobiofilms. Ultrafiltration experiments further revealed that TEP-protobiofilms served as carriers which facilitated and accelerated transport of bacteria to membrane surface, leading to rapid development of biofouling on the ultrafiltration membrane surfaces. Moreover, compared to the feed water containing independent bacteria and TEPs, more flux decline was observed with TEP-protobiofilms. Consequently, it appeared from this study that TEP-protobiofilms play a vital role in the development of membrane biofouling, but unfortunately, this phenomenon has been often overlooked in the literature. Obviously, these findings in turn may also challenge the current understanding of organic fouling and biofouling as membrane fouling caused by TEP-protobiofilm is a combination of both. It is expected that this study might promote further research in general membrane fouling mechanisms and the development of an effective mitigation strategy.

    Shanshan Zhao, Zhu Tao, Liwei Chen, Muqiao Han, Bin Zhao, Xuelin Tian, Liang Wang, Fangang Meng

    • Underwater superoleophobic membrane was fabricated by deposition of catechol/chitosan.

    • The membrane had ultrahigh pure water flux and was stable under harsh pH conditions.

    • The membrane exhibited remarkable antifouling property in O/W emulsion separation.

    • The hydration layer on the membrane surface prevented oil droplets adhesion.

    Low-pressure membrane filtrations are considered as effective technologies for sustainable oil/water separation. However, conventional membranes usually suffer from severe pore clogging and surface fouling, and thus, novel membranes with superior wettability and antifouling features are urgently required. Herein, we report a facile green approach for the development of an underwater superoleophobic microfiltration membrane via one-step oxidant-induced ultrafast co-deposition of naturally available catechol/chitosan on a porous polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) substrate. Membrane morphology and surface chemistry were studied using a series of characterization techniques. The as-prepared membrane retained the original pore structure due to the ultrathin and uniform catechol/chitosan coating. It exhibited ultrahigh pure water permeability and robust chemical stability under harsh pH conditions. Moreover, the catechol/chitosan hydrophilic coating on the membrane surface acting as an energetic barrier for oil droplets could minimize oil adhesion on the surface, which endowed the membrane with remarkable antifouling property and reusability in a cyclic oil-in-water (O/W) emulsion separation. The modified membrane exhibited a competitive flux of ~428 L/(m2·h·bar) after three filtration cycles, which was 70% higher than that of the pristine PVDF membrane. These results suggest that the novel underwater superoleophobic membrane can potentially be used for sustainable O/W emulsions separation, and the proposed green facile modification approach can also be applied to other water-remediation materials considering its low cost and simplicity.

    Zhiling Wu, Xianchun Tang, Hongbin Chen

    • Seasonal and treatment-process variations in invertebrates in a DWTP were analyzed.

    • The propagation and leakage of invertebrates in BAC filter were the most serious.

    • Invertebrates can survive and reproduce in chlorine disinfected clear water tanks.

    • Proportions of endogenous invertebrates increased along the treatment process.

    Problems associated with excessive propagation and leakage of invertebrates in drinking water have received increasing attention in recent years. We performed a monthly survey of invertebrate abundance and taxa in the effluent of each treatment stage in a drinking water treatment plant between May 2015 and April 2016 and analyzed seasonal and treatment-process variations in invertebrates. The results showed that invertebrate abundances in raw water, effluent of the biological activated carbon (BAC) filter, and finished water significantly correlated with water temperature, whereas no correlation was observed between water temperature and invertebrate abundance in the effluents of the sedimentation tank and sand filter. The dominant taxa in the effluent of each treatment stage were rotifers, nematodes, and crustaceans. The sedimentation tank could efficiently remove invertebrates with an annual average removal rate of 92%. The propagation and leakage of invertebrates occurred in the sand and BAC filters but more seriously in the latter. The average reproduction rate in the BAC filter was 268.8% with rotifers as the taxon that leaked the most. Invertebrate survival and reproduction were also observed in the chlorine-disinfected clean water reservoir with an average reproduction rate of 41.9%. Owing to differences in chlorine resistance, the reproduction ability of the dominant taxa was in the order nematodes>crustaceans>rotifers. The proportion of endogenous invertebrates gradually increased along the treatment process. The average proportion of endogenous invertebrates in the finished water was higher than 79.0%. Our findings suggested that waterworks should pay more attention to endogenous invertebrate growth.

    Haiyan Mou, Wenchao Liu, Lili Zhao, Wenqing Chen, Tianqi Ao

    • Separate reduction and sintering cannot be effective for Cr stabilization.

    • Combined treatment of reduction and sintering is effective for Cr stabilization.

    • Almost all the Cr in the reduced soil is residual form after sintering at 1000°C.

    This study explored the effectiveness and mechanisms of high temperature sintering following pre-reduction with ferric sulfate (FeSO4), sodium sulfide (Na2S), or citric acid (C6H8O7) in stabilizing hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) in highly contaminated soil. The soil samples had an initial total Cr leaching of 1768.83 mg/L, and Cr(VI) leaching of 1745.13 mg/L. When FeSO4 or C6H8O7 reduction was followed by sintering at 1000°C, the Cr leaching was reduced enough to meet the Safety Landfill Standards regarding general industrial solid waste. This combined treatment greatly improved the stabilization efficiency of chromium because the reduction of Cr(VI) into Cr(III) decreased the mobility of chromium and made it more easily encapsulated in minerals during sintering. SEM, XRD, TG-DSC, and speciation analysis indicated that when the sintering temperature reached 1000°C, almost all the chromium in soils that had the pre-reduction treatment was transformed into the residual form. At 1000°C, the soil melted and promoted the mineralization of Cr and the formation of new Cr-containing compounds, which significantly decreased subsequent leaching of chromium from the soil. However, without reduction treatment, chromium continued to leach from the soil even after being sintered at 1000°C, possibly because the soil did not fully fuse and because Cr(VI) does not bind with soil as easily as Cr(III).

    Minxiang Wang, Lili Yang, Xiaoyun Liu, Zheng Wang, Guorui Liu, Minghui Zheng

    • Unintentional HCBD production in typical chemical plants was investigated.

    • The highest HCBD concentrations were found in the bottom residue.

    • Tri/tetrachloroethylene production processes were important HCBD sources.

    Hexachlorobutadiene (HCBD) was classed as a persistent organic pollutant under the Stockholm Convention in 2015. HCBD is mainly an unintentionally produced by-product of chlorinated hydrocarbon (e.g., trichloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene) synthesis. Few studies of HCBD formation during chemical production processes have been performed, so HCBD emissions from these potentially important sources are not understood. In this study, HCBD concentrations in raw materials, intermediate products, products, and bottom residues from chemical plants producing chlorobenzene, trichloroethylene, and tetrachloroethylene were determined. The results indicated that HCBD is unintentionally produced at much higher concentrations in trichloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene plants than chlorobenzene plants. The sum of the HCBD concentrations in the samples from all of the trichloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene production stages in plant PC was 247000 mg/mL, about three orders of magnitude higher than the concentrations in the tetrachloroethylene production samples (plant PB) and about six orders of magnitude higher than the concentrations in the chlorobenzene production samples (plant PA). The HCBD concentrations were highest in bottom residues from all of the plants. The concentrations in the bottom residue samples contributed 24%–99% of the total HCBD formed in the chemical production plants. The bottom residue, being hazardous waste, could be disposed of by incineration. The HCBD concentrations were much higher in intermediate products than raw materials, indicating that HCBD formed during production of the intended chemicals. The results indicate the concentrations of HCBD unintentionally produced in typical chemical plants and will be useful in developing protocols for controlling HCBD emissions to meet the Stockholm Convention requirements.

    Safaa M. Ezzat, Mohammed T. Mohammed T.

    • Smart wetland was designed to treat wastewater according to zero waste principle.

    • The system included a dynamic roughing filter, Cyperus papyrus (L.) and zeolite.

    • It removed 98.8 and 99.8% of chemical and bacterial pollutants in 3 days.

    • The effluent reused to irrigate a landscape and the sludge recycled as fertilizer.

    • The plant biomass is a profitable resource for antibacterial and antioxidants.

    The present investigation demonstrates the synergistic action of using a sedimentation unit together with Cyperus papyrus (L.) wetland enriched with zeolite mineral in one-year round experiment for treating wastewater. The system was designed to support a horizontal surface flow pattern and showed satisfactory removal efficiencies for both physicochemical and bacteriological contaminants within 3 days of residence time. The removal efficiencies ranged between 76.3% and 98.8% for total suspended solids, turbidity, iron, biological oxygen demand, and ammonia. The bacterial indicators (total and fecal coliforms, as well as fecal streptococci) and the potential pathogens (Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa) showed removal efficiencies ranged between 96.9% and 99.8%. We expect the system to offer a smart management for every component according to zero waste principle. The treated effluent was reused to irrigate the landscape of pilot area, and the excess sludge was recycled as fertilizer and soil conditioner. The zeolite mineral did not require regeneration for almost 36 weeks of operation, and enhanced the density of shoots (14.11%) and the height of shoots (15.88%). The harvested plant biomass could be a profitable resource for potent antibacterial and antioxidant bioactive compounds. This could certainly offset part of the operation and maintenance costs and optimize the system implementation feasibility. Although the experiment was designed under local conditions, its results could provide insights to upgrade and optimize the performance of other analogous large-scale constructed wetlands.

    Yanxia Zhao, Huiqing Lian, Chang Tian, Haibo Li, Weiying Xu, Sherub Phuntsho, Kaimin Shih

    • Emerging titanium coagulation was high-efficient for algae-laden water treatment.

    • Polytitanium coagulation was capable for both algae and organic matter removal.

    • Surface water purification was improved by around 30% due to algae inclusion.

    • Algae functioned as flocculant aid to assist polytitanium coagulation.

    • Algae could enhance charge neutralization capability of polytitanium coagulant.

    Titanium-based coagulation has proved to be effective for algae-laden micro-polluted water purification processes. However, the influence of algae inclusion in surface water treatment by titanium coagulation is barely reported. This study reports the influence of both Microcystis aeruginosa and Microcystis wesenbergii in surface water during polytitanium coagulation. Jar tests were performed to evaluate coagulation performance using both algae-free (controlled) and algae-laden water samples, and floc properties were studied using a laser diffraction particle size analyzer for online monitoring. Results show that polytitanium coagulation can be highly effective in algae separation, removing up to 98% from surface water. Additionally, the presence of algae enhanced organic matter removal by up to 30% compared to controlled water containing only organic matter. Polytitanium coagulation achieved significant removal of fluorescent organic materials and organic matter with a wide range of molecular weight distribution (693–4945 Da) even in the presence of algae species in surface water. The presence of algae cells and/or algal organic matter is likely to function as an additional coagulant or flocculation aid, assisting polytitanium coagulation through adsorption and bridging effects. Although the dominant coagulation mechanisms with polytitanium coagulant were influenced by the coagulant dosage and initial solution pH, algae species in surface water could enhance the charge neutralization capability of the polytitanium coagulant. Algae-rich flocs were also more prone to breakage with strength factors approximately 10% lower than those of algae-free flocs. Loose structure of the flocs will require careful handling of the flocs during coagulation-sedimentation-filtration processes.

    Yuxin Li, Jiayin Ling, Pengcheng Chen, Jinliang Chen, Ruizhi Dai, Jinsong Liao, Jiejing Yu, Yanbin Xu

    Pseudomonas mendocina was first reported for aerobic nitrate removal.

    • It removed 90% of NO3-N in 24 h under aerobic conditions.

    • This strain converted NO3-N to bio-nitrogen (37.9%) and gaseous nitrogen (49.7%).

    • Inoculation of this strain increased sludge denitrification rate by 4.3 times.

    The problem of nitrate accumulation in aerobic tank and total nitrogen excessive discharge in effluent was very common in traditional livestock and poultry farming wastewater treatment systems owing to the lengthy process flow and low process control level. A strain LYX of aerobic bacterium was isolated from the activated sludge of a wastewater treatment system in a pig farm, which could remove nitrate effectively in aerobic tank and was identified Pseudomonas mendocina by 16S rRNA sequencing. Under the condition of nitrate as the sole nitrogen source, this strain removed over 90% of NO3-N with an initial concentration of 110 mg/L under aerobic conditions within 48 hours. Among them, 37.9% of NO3-N was assimilated into Bio-N, about 51.9% was reduced to gaseous nitrogen and less than 0.5% of nitrogen was replaced by NO2-N and NH4+-N, 9.7% NO3-N remained in the effluent at the end. At the same time, four key genes (napA, nirK, norB and nosZ) related to nitrate nitrogen removal were expressed during the denitrification process of P. mendocina LYX, in which the transcription level of the indicator genes of this aerobic denitrifying bacterium (napA) was the highest. In addition, it was found with the 15N tracer technique that inoculation of this strain on sludge increased the amount of nitrogen loss from 9.26 nmol N/(g·h) to 23.835 nmol N/(g·h). Therefore, P. medocina LYX is a potential bioagent for advanced nitrogen removal by assimilating and reducing nitrate simultaneously in aerobic tanks.

    Ling Wang, Chunxue Yang, Sangeetha Thangavel, Zechong Guo, Chuan Chen, Aijie Wang, Wenzong Liu

    • High hydrogen yield is recovered from thermal-alkaline pretreated sludge.

    • Separating SFL by centrifugation is better than filtration for hydrogen recovery.

    • The cascaded bioconversion of complex substrates in MECs are studied.

    • Energy and electron efficiency related to substrate conversion are evaluated.

    The aim of this study was to investigate the biohydrogen production from thermal (T), alkaline (A) or thermal-alkaline (TA) pretreated sludge fermentation liquid (SFL) in a microbial electrolysis cells (MECs) without buffer addition. Highest hydrogen yield of 36.87±4.36 mgH2/gVSS (0.026 m3/kg COD) was achieved in TA pretreated SFL separated by centrifugation, which was 5.12, 2.35 and 43.25 times higher than that of individual alkaline, thermal pretreatment and raw sludge, respectively. Separating SFL from sludge by centrifugation eliminated the negative effects of particulate matters, was more conducive for hydrogen production than filtration. The accumulated short chain fatty acid (SCFAs) after pretreatments were the main substrates for MEC hydrogen production. The maximum utilization ratio of acetic acid, propionic acid and n-butyric acid was 93.69%, 90.72% and 91.85%, respectively. These results revealed that pretreated WAS was highly efficient to stimulate the accumulation of SCFAs. And the characteristics and cascade bioconversion of complex substrates were the main factor that determined the energy efficiency and hydrogen conversion rate of MECs.

    Tianhao Xi, Xiaodan Li, Qihui Zhang, Ning Liu, Shu Niu, Zhaojun Dong, Cong Lyu

    • Bi2O3 cannot directly activate PMS.

    • Bi2O3 loading increased the specific surface area and conductivity of CoOOH.

    • Larger specific surface area provided more active sites for PMS activation.

    • Faster electron transfer rate promoted the generation of reactive oxygen species.

    1O2 was identified as dominant ROS in the CoOOH@Bi2O3/PMS system.

    Cobalt oxyhydroxide (CoOOH) has been turned out to be a high-efficiency catalyst for peroxymonosulfate (PMS) activation. In this study, CoOOH was loaded on bismuth oxide (Bi2O3) using a facile chemical precipitation process to improve its catalytic activity and stability. The result showed that the catalytic performance on the 2,4-dichlorophenol (2,4-DCP) degradation was significantly enhanced with only 11 wt% Bi2O3 loading. The degradation rate in the CoOOH@Bi2O3/PMS system (0.2011 min1) was nearly 6.0 times higher than that in the CoOOH/PMS system (0.0337 min1). Furthermore, CoOOH@Bi2O3 displayed better stability with less Co ions leaching (16.4% lower than CoOOH) in the PMS system. These phenomena were attributed to the Bi2O3 loading which significantly increased the conductivity and specific surface area of the CoOOH@Bi2O3 composite. Faster electron transfer facilitated the redox reaction of Co (III) / Co (II) and thus was more favorable for reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation. Meanwhile, larger specific surface area furnished more active sites for PMS activation. More importantly, there were both non-radical (1O2) and radicals (SO4•, O2•, and OH•) in the CoOOH@Bi2O3/PMS system and 1O2 was the dominant one. In general, this study provided a simple and practical strategy to enhance the catalytic activity and stability of cobalt oxyhydroxide in the PMS system.

    Xinyi Liu, Caichao Wan, Xianjun Li, Song Wei, Luyu Zhang, Wenyan Tian, Ken-Tye Yong, Yiqiang Wu, Jian Li

    •Wood and its reassemblies are ideal substrates to develop novel photocatalysts.

    •Synthetic methods and mechanisms of wood-derived photocatalysts are summarized.

    •Advances in wood-derived photocatalysts for organic pollutant removal are summed up.

    •Metal doping, morphology control and semiconductor coupling methods are highlighted.

    •Structure-activity relationship and catalytic mechanism of photocatalysts are given.

    Wood-based nanotechnologies have received much attention in the area of photocatalytic degradation of organic contaminants in aquatic environment in recent years, because of the high abundance and renewability of wood as well as the high reaction activity and unique structural features of these materials. Herein, we present a comprehensive review of the current research activities centering on the development of wood-based nanocatalysts for photodegradation of organic pollutants. This review begins with a brief introduction of the development of photocatalysts and hierarchical structure of wood. The review then focuses on strategies of designing novel photocatalysts based on wood or its recombinants (such as 1D fiber, 2D films and 3D porous gels) using advanced nanotechnology including sol-gel method, hydrothermal method, magnetron sputtering method, dipping method and so on. Next, we highlight typical approaches that improve the photocatalytic property, including metal element doping, morphology control and semiconductor coupling. Also, the structure-activity relationship of photocatalysts is emphasized. Finally, a brief summary and prospect of wood-derived photocatalysts is provided.

    Xuefeng Liu, Shijie You, Fang Ma, Hao Zhou

    • Electrode fouling is characterized by non-destructive characterization.

    • Electrode fouling is highly dependent on electrochemical process.

    • Active chlorine can prevent the formation of polymeric fouling film.

    Electrode fouling is a problem that commonly occurs during electro-oxidation water purification. This study focused on identifying the fouling behavior of Pt electrode associated with the formation of polymeric layer during electro-oxidation of phenol. The in situ electrochemical measurements and non-destructive observation of the electrode morphology were reported. The results demonstrated that the electrode fouling was highly dependent on thermodynamic process of electrode that was controlled by anode potential. At anode potential lower than 1.0 V vs SHE, the direct electro-oxidation caused the electrode fouling by the formation of polymeric film. The fouling layer decreased the electrochemically active surface area from 8.38 cm2 to 1.57 cm2, indicated by the formation of polymeric film with thickness of 2.3 mm, increase in mass growing at a rate of 3.26 μg/cm2/min. The degree to which the anode was fouled was independent of anion in the electrolyte. In comparison, at anode potential higher than 2.7 V vs SHE, the anions (e.g., chloride) could exert a major influence to the behavior of electrode fouling. The presence of chloride was shown to mitigate the fouling of electrode significantly through preventing the formation of polymeric film by active chlorine (e.g., Cl• and Cl2) produced from anodic oxidation of chloride. Since chloride is the most abundant anionic species existing in both natural and engineered water system, this study not only offers a deep insight into the mechanism of electrode fouling, but also suggests strategies for anti-fouling in the presence of chloride in electro-oxidation process.

    Wei Mao, Lixun Zhang, Tianye Wang, Yichen Bai, Yuntao Guan

    • A novel Bi2WO6/CuS composite was fabricated by a facile solvothermal method.

    • This composite efficiently removed organic pollutants and Cr(VI) by photocatalysis.

    • The DOM could promoted synchronous removal of organic pollutants and Cr(VI).

    • This composite could be applied at a wide pH range in photocatalytic reactions.

    • Possible photocatalytic mechanisms of organic pollutants and Cr(VI) were proposed.

    A visible-light-driven Bi2WO6/CuS p-n heterojunction was fabricated using an easy solvothermal method. The Bi2WO6/CuS exhibited high photocatalytic activity in a mixed system containing rhodamine B (RhB), tetracycline hydrochloride (TCH), and Cr (VI) under natural conditions. Approximately 98.8% of the RhB (10 mg/L), 87.6% of the TCH (10 mg/L) and 95.1% of the Cr(VI) (15 mg/L) were simultaneously removed from a mixed solution within 105 min. The removal efficiencies of TCH and Cr(VI) increased by 12.9% and 20.4%, respectively, in the mixed solution, compared with the single solutions. This is mainly ascribed to the simultaneous consumption electrons and holes, which increases the amount of excited electrons/holes and enhances the separation efficiency of photogenerated electrons and holes. Bi2WO6/CuS can be applied over a wide pH range (2–6) with strong photocatalytic activity for RhB, TCH and Cr(VI). Coexisiting dissolved organic matter in the solution significantly promoted the removal of TCH (from 74.7% to 87.2%) and Cr(VI) (from 75.7% to 99.9%) because it accelerated the separation of electrons and holes by consuming holes as an electron acceptor. Removal mechanisms of RhB, TCH, and Cr(VI) were proposed, Bi2WO6/CuS was formed into a p-n heterojunction to efficiently separate and transfer photoelectrons and holes so as to drive photocatalytic reactions. Specifically, when reducing pollutants (e.g., TCH) and oxidizing pollutants (e.g., Cr(VI)) coexist in wastewater, the p-n heterojunction in Bi2WO6/CuS acts as a “bridge” to shorten the electron transport and thus simultaneously increase the removal efficiencies of both types of pollutants.