Special Issue "Innovative Materials and Processes for Removal of Biopersistent Pollutants"

A special issue of Processes (ISSN 2227-9717). This special issue belongs to the section "Materials Processes".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Andrea Petrella
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Ambientale, Edile, del Territorio e di Chimica, Politecnico di Bari, Via E. Orabona, 4, 70125 Bari, Italy
Interests: use of recycling organic and inorganic materials in the building trade and/or in the removal of heavy metals present in wastewater; photocatalytic materials for the degradation of bio-persistent pollutants in water and wastewater; nanocomposites for energy conversion and for novel optical devices
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Danilo Spasiano
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Civil, Environmental, Land, Building Engineering and Chemistry, Polytechnic University of Bari, via E. Orabona, 4, 70125 Bari, Italy
Interests: nanomaterials; wastewater treatment; adsorption; solid waste management; soil remediation; photodegradation; degradation; wastewater reuse
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Endocrine-disrupting compounds are emerging micro-pollutants produced by industrial practices and anthropogenic activities. These contaminants are of inorganic and organic natures (pharmaceuticals, food sources, potential toxic metals, dyes, personal care products, detergents, flame retardants, cosmetics, and pesticides) with potential toxicological effects on the human health and the environment (air, water, and soil) due to their ubiquity at trace levels. Endocrine disruptors are substances that can interfere with the hormonal system and thereby produce harmful effects in both humans and wildlife.

These molecules could be bio-persistent during conventional treatment processes; accordingly, the adoption of proper and innovative technologies are necessary for the removal of these hazardous, persistent chemicals before their release into the environment.

The aim of this Special Issue is to collect research devoted to the recent progress and new perspectives in the processes of treatment and removal of these hazardous artificial (xenobiotic) contaminants in air; soil; and water supply.

To this end, it is my pleasure to invite you to submit a manuscript for this Special Issue.

Full papers, communications, and reviews are all welcome.

Dr. Andrea Petrella
Dr. Marco Race
Dr. Danilo Spasiano
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Processes is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • innovative materials
  • environmental sustainability
  • wastewater
  • soil remediation
  • air pollution
  • contaminants fate
  • adsorption
  • treatment technologies and processes

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Article
Use of the Solid By-Product of Anaerobic Digestion of Biomass to Remove Anthropogenic Organic Pollutants with Endocrine Disruptive Activity
Processes 2021, 9(11), 2018; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pr9112018 - 11 Nov 2021
Viewed by 253
Abstract
Anaerobic digestion of biomass has increasing implementation for bioenergy production. The solid by-product of this technology, i.e., the digestate, has relevant potential in agricultural and environmental applications. This study explored the capacity of a digestate from mixed feedstock to remove from water four [...] Read more.
Anaerobic digestion of biomass has increasing implementation for bioenergy production. The solid by-product of this technology, i.e., the digestate, has relevant potential in agricultural and environmental applications. This study explored the capacity of a digestate from mixed feedstock to remove from water four endocrine-disrupting chemicals, namely the pesticides metribuzin (MET) and boscalid (BOS) and the xenoestrogens bisphenol A (BPA) and 4-tert-octylphenol (OP). The surface micromorphology and functional groups of the digestate were investigated using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, respectively. Results of sorption kinetics showed that all compounds reached the steady state in a few hours according to a pseudo-first-order model in the cases of MET and OP, a pseudo-second-order model for BOS and both models in the case of BPA. Data of adsorption isotherms were fitted to the Henry, Freundlich, Langmuir and Temkin equations. The adsorption of MET preferentially followed the non-linear Freundlich model, whereas the adsorption of the other compounds was properly described by both the linear and Freundlich models. The organic carbon partition coefficients, KOC, were 170, 1066, 256 and 2180 L kg−1 for MET, BOS, BPA and OP, respectively. The desorption of BOS, BPA and OP was slow and incomplete, indicating a phenomenon of hysteresis. In conclusion, the digestate showed a remarkable efficiency in the removal of the compounds, especially those with high hydrophobicity, thus behaving as a promising biosorbent for environmental remediation. Full article
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Article
To Advance Industrial Green Technology via Environmental Governance—Evidence from China’s Industrial Sector
Processes 2021, 9(10), 1797; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pr9101797 - 11 Oct 2021
Viewed by 306
Abstract
Industrial green technology progress is an effective way to realize high-quality economic development in China. The different competitive incentives of local governments make a difference in the intensity of environmental regulation between regions. The intensity of environmental regulation is different in different areas [...] Read more.
Industrial green technology progress is an effective way to realize high-quality economic development in China. The different competitive incentives of local governments make a difference in the intensity of environmental regulation between regions. The intensity of environmental regulation is different in different areas of the same industry, leading to the inter-regional transfer of pollution enterprises. The regional distribution of industries is different, which determines the different industries’ needs to coordinate different regions. Only when various industries realize the coordination of regional governance can they jointly promote the progress of industrial green technology. Based on data from 33 industrial sectors in China from 2001 to 2015 and considering the institutional evolution of governance synergy, this study comprehensively investigated the influence mechanism of local government environmental regulation on the industrial green technology progress using the mediating effect model. We found that environmental regulation promoted industrial technological progress through governance synergy and a low degree of inter-regional regulation coordination hindered the industries’ green technology progress. With the change in inter-regional governance synergy levels, we further discovered that the impact of environmental regulation on industrial green technology progress changed substantially. At a low level of governance synergy, environmental regulation inhibited industrial green technology progress. At a high level of governance synergy, environmental regulation promoted industrial green technology progress. While strengthening environmental regulation, we should promote inter-regional cooperation at the industry level. Only by collectively enforcing pollution regulations in industrial level can industrial green technology progress be promoted. Full article
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Article
Degradation of Landfill Leachate Using UV-TiO2 Photocatalysis Combination with Aged Waste Reactors
Processes 2021, 9(6), 946; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pr9060946 - 27 May 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 464
Abstract
This study explored the performance of TiO2 nanoparticles in combination with aged waste reactors to treat landfill leachate. The optimum conditions for synthesis of TiO2 were determined by a series of characterizations and removal rates of methyl orange. The effect of [...] Read more.
This study explored the performance of TiO2 nanoparticles in combination with aged waste reactors to treat landfill leachate. The optimum conditions for synthesis of TiO2 were determined by a series of characterizations and removal rates of methyl orange. The effect of the ultraviolet irradiation time, amount of the catalyst, and pH on the removal efficiency for the chemical oxygen demand (COD) and color in the leachate was explored to determine the optimal process conditions, which were 500 min, 4 g/L and 8.88, respectively. The removal rates for COD and chroma under three optimal conditions were obtained by the single factor control method: 89% and 70%; 95.56% and 70%; and 85% and 87.5%, respectively. Under optimal process conditions, the overall average removal rates for ammonium nitrogen (NH4+–N) and COD in the leachate for the combination of TiO2 nanoparticles and an aged waste reactor were 98.8% and 32.5%, respectively, and the nitrate (NO3–N) and nitrite nitrogen (NO2–N) concentrations were maintained at 7–9 and 0.01–0.017 mg/L, respectively. TiO2 nanoparticles before and after the photocatalytic reaction were characterized by emission scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, and Fourier transform infrared spectrometry. In addition, TiO2 nanoparticles have excellent recyclability, showing the potential of the photocatalytic/biological combined treatment of landfill leachate. This simulation of photocatalysis-landfilling could be a baseline study for the implementation of technology at the pilot scale. Full article
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Article
Removal of Phenol from Aqueous Solution Using Internal Microelectrolysis with Fe-Cu: Optimization and Application on Real Coking Wastewater
Processes 2021, 9(4), 720; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pr9040720 - 19 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 633
Abstract
Fe-Cu materials were synthesized using the chemical plating method from Fe powder and CuSO4 5% solution and then characterized for surface morphology, composition and structure by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) and X-ray diffraction (XRD), respectively. The as-synthesized [...] Read more.
Fe-Cu materials were synthesized using the chemical plating method from Fe powder and CuSO4 5% solution and then characterized for surface morphology, composition and structure by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) and X-ray diffraction (XRD), respectively. The as-synthesized Fe-Cu material was used for removal of phenol from aqueous solution by internal microelectrolysis. The internal electrolysis-induced phenol decomposition was then studied with respect to various parameters such as pH, time, Fe-Cu material weight, phenol concentration and shaking speed. The optimal phenol decomposition (92.7%) was achieved under the conditions of (1) a pH value of phenol solution of 3, (2) 12 h of shaking at the speed of 200 rpm, (3) Fe-Cu material weight of 10 g/L, (4) initial phenol concentration of 100.98 mg/L and (5) at room temperature (25 ± 0.5 °C). The degradation of phenol using Fe-Cu materials obeyed the second-order apparent kinetics equation with a reaction rate constant of k of 0.009 h−1L mg−1. The optimal process was then tested against real coking wastewater samples, resulting in treated wastewater with favorable water indicators. Current findings justify the use of Fe-Cu materials in practical internal electrolysis processes. Full article
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Article
Liquid-Phase Removal of Methylene Blue as Organic Pollutant by Mesoporous Activated Carbon Prepared from Water Caltrop Husk Using Carbon Dioxide Activation
Processes 2021, 9(2), 238; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pr9020238 - 27 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 557
Abstract
In this work, a mesoporous activated carbon (AC) was prepared from a unique lignocellulosic biomass (water caltrop husk) in triplicate using a single-step physical activation process at lower temperature (i.e., 750 °C) and longer holding time (i.e., 90 min). Based on the pore [...] Read more.
In this work, a mesoporous activated carbon (AC) was prepared from a unique lignocellulosic biomass (water caltrop husk) in triplicate using a single-step physical activation process at lower temperature (i.e., 750 °C) and longer holding time (i.e., 90 min). Based on the pore properties and adsorption properties for removal of methylene blue (MB) as organic pollutant, the results proved that the resulting AC possesses a mesoporous feature with the Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) surface area of 810.5 m2/g and mesopore volume of about 0.13 cm3/g. Due to its fast adsorption rate and maximal adsorption capacity fitted (126.6 mg/g), the mesoporous carbon material could be used as an excellent adsorbent for liquid-phase removal of MB. In addition, the pseudo-second-order model is well suited for describing the adsorption system between the cationic adsorbate and the resulting AC with oxygen surface groups. Full article
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Article
Methyl Orange Photo-Degradation by TiO2 in a Pilot Unit under Different Chemical, Physical, and Hydraulic Conditions
Processes 2021, 9(2), 205; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pr9020205 - 21 Jan 2021
Viewed by 478
Abstract
The photo-catalytic degradation of a textile azo-dye as Methyl Orange was studied in an innovative unit constituted by a channel over which a layer of titanium dioxide (TiO2) catalyst in anatase form was deposited and activated by UVB irradiation. The degradation [...] Read more.
The photo-catalytic degradation of a textile azo-dye as Methyl Orange was studied in an innovative unit constituted by a channel over which a layer of titanium dioxide (TiO2) catalyst in anatase form was deposited and activated by UVB irradiation. The degradation kinetics were followed after variation of the chemical, physical, and hydraulic/hydrodynamic parameters of the system. For this purpose, the influence of the TiO2 dosage (g/cm3), dye concentration (mg/L), pH of the solution, flow-rate (L/s), hydraulic load (cm), and irradiation power (W) were evaluated on the degradation rates. It was observed that the maximum dosage of TiO2 was 0.79 g/cm3 while for higher dosage a reduction of homogeneity of the cement conglomerate occurred. The Langmuir–Hinshelwood (LH) kinetic model was followed up to a dye concentration around 1 mg/L. It was observed that with the increase of the flow rate, an increase of the degradation kinetics was obtained, while the further increase of the flow-rate associated with the modification of the hydraulic load determined a decrease of the kinetic rates. The results also evidenced an increase of the kinetic rates with the increase of the UVB intensity. A final comparison with other dyes such as Methyl Red and Methylene Blue was carried out in consideration of the pH of the solution, which sensibly affected the removal efficiencies. Full article
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