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Advances in Water Treatment and Pollution Prevention explores the most up-to-date studies in the field of water pollution. More specifically, this book examines the causes and effects of this threatening phenomenon and identifies the preventive measures that can be taken to contain, and even to defeat, water pollution worldwide.

The papers gathered in this volume pinpoint the need to implement greener water treatments to prevent water pollution from impacting ecosystems, human well-being and economies any further. They also successfully outline the processes that have been studied, optimized and developed so far to sustain our environment.

Advances in Water Treatment and Pollution Prevention will represent a valuable resource to academic researchers, students, institutions, environmentalists, and anyone interested in environmental policies aimed at safeguarding both the quality and the quantity of water.



Chapter 1. Green Practices to Save Our Precious “Water Resource”

Population explosion and increasing urbanization and industrialization are the major reasons behind the increasing water pollution causing a major threat to the quality of water content. To a large extent, due to human activities and to some extent due to natural processes, a large number of organic toxicants such as petroleum hydrocarbons, halogenated and nitroaromatic compounds, phthalate esters, solvents, and pesticides pollute the aquatic environments. Conventional methods used for water purification can be costly and cumbersome leading to secondary pollution. Eco-friendly and cheaper alternates are always the need of the day. In this chapter, the properties and behavior of water, the pollutants responsible for water borne illness and the precautions and preventions against water pollution are discussed in the frame of new “Green technologies” which are being actively researched on and applied at larger scale to clean up the polluted water resources. The focus here is on “Green” practices to save this precious resource.
Sanjay K. Sharma, Rashmi Sanghi, Ackmez Mudhoo

Chapter 2. Water Pathways Through the Ages: From Early Aqueducts to Next Generation of Wastewater Treatment Plants

This chapter describes the history of water management from early civilizations with little or no regulations to modern times with stringent environmental standards. Public health and longevity were continually improved due to better management which resulted in clean drinking water and sanitation. Also, there were major socioeconomic events which brought focus on water management such as the Black Plague and the two world wars. Furthermore, there were also scientific events such as the development of better analytical techniques and mathematical models. This chapter highlights that pollution control has been changed by advances in scientific knowledge and technology.
Giusy Lofrano, Jeanette Brown, Giovanni De Feo

Chapter 3. The Removal of Illicit Drugs and Metabolites During Wastewater and Drinking Water Treatment

In recent years, the presence of illicit drugs and metabolites in the aquatic environment (wastewater, surface water, and drinking water) in relatively high concentrations (ng/L to μg/L range) was extensively investigated and described. However, only few papers gave attention to the behavior of these compounds during water treatment processes. This is an important aspect, since an inefficient removal of illicit drugs and metabolites could lead to their presence in surface water and drinking water. This eventually could lead to negative effects on different aspects of the aquatic environment. In this chapter, an overview of the current knowledge of the removal of illicit drugs and their metabolites during wastewater and drinking water treatment is given together with a critical discussion regarding future research needs in this field.
Alexander L. N. van Nuijs, Adrian Covaci

Chapter 4. Removal of Dyes and Pigments from Industrial Effluents

Dyes are widely used in food, cosmetic, pharmaceutical, printing, textile, and leather industries during manufacturing process. As a result, a considerable amount of undesired coloured effluents is generated. The presence of dyes and pigments in water resources not only renders them aesthetically unacceptable, but also poses serious health-risk factors on living organisms and the environment. Therefore, it is essential to remove such dyes before discharging them into natural water streams. A technically effective and cost-effective treatment method is needed. Removal of parameters such as colour, chemical oxygen demand (COD), biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), and total organic carbon (TOC) from dye containing industrial effluent have become the present topics of research. A wide range of treatment techniques have been explored, including (1) physical treatment (ion exchange, adsorption, etc.), (2) chemical treatment (oxidative processes, coagulation and precipitation, etc.), (3) biological treatment (aerobic, anaerobic, etc.), (4) thermal treatment (thermolysis, wet oxidation, etc.), and (5) combined treatment (adsorption/coagulation, coagulation-flocculation/nanofiltration, etc.), some of which have been applied in some industries’ wastewater treatment process. Current trends and efficient treatment technologies for dyes and pigments wastes are discussed and their strengths and weaknesses are to be compared.
Tjoon Tow Teng, Ling Wei Low

Chapter 5. Heavy Metal Removal Through Biosorptive Pathways

In this chapter, biosorption, applied in removing heavy metal ions from wastewater, will be introduced and discussed. A vast array of biological materials, especially bacteria, fungi, algae, and plant leaves and their extraction, have received increasing attention for heavy metal removal and recovery due to their perfect performance in both experimental research and field treatment, low cost, and large available quantities. Through summarizing the published literatures and reports, these progresses in this field involving biosorbents will be briefly reviewed and discussed. Also in this field, recycling economy is a hot and rising topic, for example, to synthesize metallic nanoparticles in the process of wastewater treatment. Although these explorations are still in their infancy of theoretic and experimental phase, the trend leads irresistibly the future of this field to a green and economical one. That is, for the concrete example, a controlled synthesis method will be developed of metallic nanoparticles of well-defined size and shape while treating waste effluents.
Jinsheng Sun, Yulan Ji, Fang Cai, Jing Li

Chapter 6. Mesoporous-Assembled Nanocrystal Photocatalysts for Degradation of Azo Dyes

Currently, azo dyes undoubtedly play a significant role in our daily life since they are used for coloring several kinds of products ranging from garments, furniture, to large equipment in various industries. Unfortunately, they are carcinogenic compounds when being exposed to human beings and living organisms. When these carcinogenic compounds are processed in various industries to manufacture the aforementioned products, they are inevitably released to environment as the main components in the effluent wastewaters. Therefore, various basic and advanced techniques have been developed to treat and eliminate these compounds from the effluent wastewaters. During the last decades, a multitude of research attempts have been extensively devoted to investigate advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) as a highly potential technique for wastewater treatment. Among the investigated AOPs, heterogeneous photocatalysis is greatly considered to be the most promising destructive technique for treatment of wastewaters containing several types of azo dyes. For this technique, various nanostructured photocatalysts, especially with TiO2-based compounds, can be efficiently applied as they possess chemically stable and photo-stable characteristics. Therefore, this chapter summarizes sequentially the significance of azo dyes, their removal techniques when they are released to environment with an emphasis on the photocatalytic process, and the application of nanostructured photocatalysts for the photocatalytic process. The main focus of this chapter is also to describe how to synthesize mesoporous-assembled nanocrystal photocatalysts with very unique properties and their application for degradation of azo dyes in wastewaters.
Thammanoon Sreethawong

Chapter 7. Microwave-Assisted Organic Pollutants Degradation

Radiation technology is regarded to be a promising “green” alternative for its high efficiency in organic pollutants remediation. To date, microwave energy has been widely used in several domestic, industrial, and medical applications. In line with the need for environmental sustainability through the application of green chemistry and green engineering practices, the potential application of microwave energy irradiation as a major source of energy and/or pretreatment for the degradation of various types of organic pollutants found in wastewaters and other contaminated water bodies has been a growing research interest. This chapter will give an account of (1) the environmental issues related to the contamination of water by organic pollutants such as industrial/textile dyes, pesticides, herbicides, xenobiotics, PAHs, PCBs, and other persistent organic pollutants, and (2) research on the application of ultrasound and mainly microwave power irradiation for the degradation these organic pollutants.
Ackmez Mudhoo

Chapter 8. Direct Flocculation Process for Wastewater Treatment

Flocculation remains as the conventional but most reliable mechanism for suspended solids removal in wastewater treatment system. The long-chain polymers or polyelectrolytes, derivatives of hydrocarbon, are employed as flocculants or sometimes being termed as coagulant aids. This chapter will first introduce the basic principle of flocculation followed by a detailed description on the difference between coagulation-flocculation and direct flocculation. Emphasis on single and dual polymer systems for direct flocculation process is also presented with a case study. The Population Balance Model (PBM) used to simulate the evolution of floc-size distribution to investigate the efficiency of direct flocculation process is also reviewed in this chapter. Flocculants come with many forms and they are classified in terms of molecular weight, physical form, type of charge, and charge density. Thus, flocculants classification, their commercial availability, and applications are included to give a practical guide for the users. Industrial applications of direct flocculation to replace the conventional coagulation-flocculation mainly in ceramic and tiles, food, oleo-chemical, petrochemical, slaughtering house, rubber and latex, textile, paper mill, and packaging industries are investigated. The investigation on direct flocculation in terms of dosage, treatment efficiency, and cost-effectiveness are presented. A new technique of simultaneous adsorption-flocculation for boron removal from wastewater by using palm oil mill boiler (POMB) bottom ash and flocculant is discussed at the end of this chapter.
Mei Fong Chong

Chapter 9. Combined Macromolecular Adsorption and Coagulation for Improvement of Membrane Separation in Water Treatment

Fouling is the biggest obstacle facing the operation of RO desalination plants. Seawater contains many foulants that foul RO membranes, such as suspended particles, natural organic matter (NOM), microorganisms, and heavy metals. Different processes such as coagulation, flocculation, acid treatment, pH adjustment, addition of anti-scalant, and media filtration have been used as conventional pretreatment. Nowadays, membrane systems are utilized for pretreatment because of their feasibility, process reliability, plant availability, modularity, relative insensitivity in case of raw water, and lower operating costs.
Natural organic matter and heavy metals are present in all water sources. They are of particular concern in desalination due to their toxicity and due to their effects on RO membrane fouling. Natural organic matter is a complex mixture of compounds formed from the breakdown of plant and animal material in the environment. Natural organic matter contains humic substances (HS) among other constituents. Heavy metals usually exist as free ions, but they also have a tendency of binding with HS. Consequently, heavy metals retention by ultrafiltration (UF) membranes is possible even though heavy metals have molecular sizes lower than the pore sizes of the membranes because of HS-metal complex formation.
In this study, P005F UF membrane retention of humic substances, Cu and Zn, and its fouling is investigated with and without the aid of poly diallydimethylammonium chloride (PDADMAC) and copolymer of dimethyl aminoethyl acrylate (CoAA) polyelectrolyte coagulants. The conditions studied are salinity level, humic substances (HS) concentration, heavy metals concentration, and polyelectrolyte’s type and concentration.
Mohammed Al-Abri, Chedly Tizaoui, Nidal Hilal

Chapter 10. Hybrid Sonochemical Treatment of Contaminated Wastewater: Sonophotochemical and Sonoelectrochemical Approaches. Part I: Description of the Techniques

Sonochemical oxidation is one of the advanced oxidation techniques that are widely used to decompose various organic contaminants in aqueous environment. Recent studies have suggested that the use of hybrid techniques is more effective compared to individual techniques for the decomposition of organic contaminants. The combination of more than one oxidation technique overcomes the disadvantages of individual techniques. This chapter deals with the instrumentation aspects of sonochemistry on its own and its combination with photocatalysis and electrochemistry. Various experimental parameters such as ultrasound frequency, power, lab-scale and large-scale equipment used for the sonochemical oxidation of organic contaminants have been analyzed using several examples available in the literature.
B. Neppolian, M. Ashokkumar, I. Tudela, J. González-García

Chapter 11. Hybrid Sonochemical Treatments of Wastewater: Sonophotochemical and Sonoelectrochemical Approaches. Part II: Sonophotocatalytic and Sonoelectrochemical Degradation of Organic Pollutants

Sonochemical oxidation is one of the advanced oxidation techniques that are widely used to decompose various organic contaminants in aqueous environment. Recent studies have suggested that the use of hybrid techniques is more effective compared to individual techniques for the decomposition of organic contaminants. The combination of more than one oxidation technique overcomes the disadvantages of individual techniques. This chapter provides a very detailed analysis of the sonochemical, sonophotocatalytic, and sonoelectrochemical degradation of various organic pollutants in aqueous environment. In addition to providing experimental data including kinetic information on the degradation reactions, specific examples have been analyzed in terms of their reaction mechanisms.
B. Neppolian, M. Ashokkumar, V. Sáez, M. D. Esclapez, P. Bonete

Chapter 12. Nature Is the Answer: Water and Wastewater Treatment by New Natural-Based Agents

Environmental concerns regarding water quality are relevant nowadays because of their impact in human life. Persistent contaminants, such as heavy metals, dyes, or surfactants, have become a permanent menace to the fragile environmental equilibrium. Although their presence is due to the increasing level of industrial and economical development in large areas, it is even more mandatory to implement new and efficient systems for removing them from effluents.
In this new scenario of pollutant disposal, the traditional methods for eliminating contaminants (such as coagulation or adsorption) should be improved in order to overcome many drawbacks that make them weak: lack of sustainability, external dependence, technological complexity, and many others. These reasons do not allow the universalization of water and wastewater treatment, above all in developing countries.
This chapter will explore new methods for water treatment. Coagulant agents such as aqueous extract of Moringa oleifera, modified starches or tannin-derived coagulants have demonstrated their ability in removing dyes, heavy metals, surfactants, phytoplankton, and turbidity from aqueous effluents. Adsorbents such as tannin rigid foam from natural species like Schinopsis balansae or Acacia mearnsii de Wild are also very effective in removing cationic compounds from water. If the question is how to become clean, nature is the answer.
Jesús Sánchez-Martín, Jesús Beltrán-Heredia

Chapter 13. Polysaccharide-Based Macromolecular Materials for Decolorization of Textile Effluents

Polysaccharides are the renewable natural reservoir which can be tailored to obtain a broad spectrum of macromolecular materials. The multifunctional nature of polysaccharides offers wide flexibility of tailoring and modification. To suit adsorption applications, many water-soluble polysaccharides have been transformed to insoluble materials by chemical modification and cross-linking. These materials have also been utilized for coagulation–flocculation of industrial wastes. Depending upon the targeted application, which may be either adsorption or coagulation and flocculation, the solubility and characteristics of these materials are tailored. Present chapter focuses on the polysaccharides and polysaccharide-derived materials that are known to decolorize industrial waste and synthetic aqueous dye solutions through flocculation and adsorption.
Vandana Singh, Tulika Malviya, Rashmi Sanghi

Chapter 14. Wastewater Treatment with Concomitant Bioenergy Production Using Microbial Fuel Cells

Billions of dollars are spent on wastewater treatment each year, and the worldwide energy crisis makes green technologies increasingly more attractive. Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) can potentially be used to digest organic matter in wastewaters and reduce its solids by up to 90%. MFCs generate electricity by harvesting the electrons donated to the anode from organic carbon oxidation in an anaerobic anodic chamber mediated by bacteria in biofilms. The electrons flow through an external circuit to reach the cathode where they are used to react with oxygen and protons to form water in the cathodic chamber. Instead of using oxygen in the cathodic chamber, which requires expensive catalytic cathodes, alternate oxidants such as nitrate and nitrite in wastewaters can also be used as electron acceptors with a biocathode. It was claimed that MFCs have the potential to reduce power consumption in wastewaters by as much as 50%. By operating MFCs in electrolysis mode, known as microbial electrolysis cells (MECs), biohydrogen can be produced by applying a much lower external voltage than that for the direct water electrolysis. In laboratory investigations, MECs have been used to treat many kinds of hazardous wastes and wastewaters. Recently, there is a growing interest in producing value-added bioproducts from MFCs or MECs, as well as microbial desalination cells. Significant technical hurdles need to be overcome before large-scale MFCs become practical. Recent advances such as genetically engineered, dispersion-deficient microbes that bind tenaciously to an electrode, electrogenic hyperpilated bacteria, new anodic materials, more efficient mediators, and membrane-less MFCs make the feasibility of MFCs for wastewater treatment more promising than ever. This review discusses new advances in MFC operation, design, and optimization for wastewater treatment with concomitant bioenergy production.
Liping Huang, Shaoan Cheng, Daniel J. Hassett, Tingyue Gu


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