Our selection of open access publications on water reuse – September 2019

Our selection of open access publications on water reuse – September 2019

17th September 2019 newsletter research focus 0
open access journal articles

 

Our selection of open-access articles published recently in Science of the Total Environment, Environment International, Membranes and Water:

Technologies for water reuse

Title: Characteristics and influencing factors of organic fouling in forward osmosis operation for wastewater applications: A comprehensive review.

Authors: Ly, Q.V., Hu, Y., Li, J., Cho, J. and Hur, J.
In: Environment International
Publisher: Elsevier

Abstract: 
Wastewater reuse is considered one of the most promising practices for the achievement of sustainable water management on a global scale. In the context of the safe reuse of water, membrane filtration is a competitive technique due to its superior efficiency in several processes. However, membrane fouling by organics is an inevitable challenge that is encountered during the practical application of membrane processes. The resolution of the membrane fouling challenge requires an in-depth understanding of many complex interactions between organic foulants and the membrane. In the last few decades, the forward osmosis (FO) membrane process, which exploits osmosis as a driving force, has emerged as an effective technology for water production with low energy consumption, thus leveraging the water-energy nexus. However, their successful application is severely hampered by membrane fouling, which is caused by such complex fouling mechanisms as cake enhanced osmotic pressure (CEOP), reverse salt diffusion (RSD), internal, and external concentration polarization as well as by the traditional fouling processes encompassing colloids, microbial (biofouling), inorganic, and organic fouling. Of these fouling types, the fouling potential of organic matter in FO has not been given sufficient attention, in particular, when FO is applied to wastewater treatment. This paper aims to provide a comprehensive overview of FO membrane fouling for wastewater applications with a special focus on the identification of the major factors that lead to the unique properties of organic fouling in this filtration process. Based on the critical assessment of organic fouling formation and the governing mechanisms, proposals were advanced for future research aimed at the mitigation of FO membrane fouling to enhance process efficiency in wastewater applications. 

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Title: Hybrid forward osmosis-nanofiltration for wastewater reuse: System design

Authors: Giagnorio, M., Ricceri, F., Tagliabue, M., Zaninetta, L. and Tiraferri, A.
In: Membranes 
Publisher: MDPI

Abstract: 
The design of a hybrid forward osmosis-nanofiltration (FO-NF) system for the extraction of high-quality water from wastewater is presented here. Simulations were performed based on experimental results obtained in a previous study using real wastewater as the feed solution. A sensitivity analysis, conducted to evaluate the influence of different process parameters, showed that an optimum configuration can be designed with (i) an influent draw solution osmotic pressure equal to 15 bar and (ii) a ratio of influent draw solution to feed solution flow rate equal to 1.5:1. With this configuration, the simulations suggested that the overall FO-NF system can achieve up to 85% water recovery using Na2SO4 or MgCl2 as the draw solute. The modular configuration and the size of the NF stage, accommodating approximately 7000 m2 of active membrane area, was a function of the properties of the membranes selected to separate the draw solutes and water, while detailed simulations indicated that the size of the FO unit might be reduced by adopting a counter-current configuration. Experimental tests with samples of the relevant wastewater showed that Cl– and Mg2+– based draw solutes would be associated with larger membrane fouling, possibly due to their interaction with the other substances present in the feed solution. However, the results suggest that fouling would not significantly decrease the performance of the designed system. This study contributes to the further evaluation and potential implementation of FO in water reuse systems. 

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Understanding risks in water reuse

Title: Fate of pharmaceuticals in a spray-irrigation system: From wastewater to groundwater. 

Authors: Kibuye, F.A., Gall, H.E., Elkin, K.R., Ayers, B., Veith, T.L., Miller, M., Jacob, S., Hayden, K.R., Watson, J.E. and Elliott, H.A.
In: Science of the Total Environment
Publisher: Elsevier

Abstract:
Land application of wastewater effluent is beneficial for recharging groundwater aquifers and avoiding direct pollutant discharges to surface waters. However, the fate of non-regulated organic wastewater pollutants, such as pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs), in such wastewater reuse systems is understudied. Here, a 14-month study (October 2016 through December 2017) was conducted to evaluate the fate and potential risks of seven commonly used PPCPs in a local wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) and from 13 groundwater monitoring wells at a spray-irrigation site where effluent has been spray-irrigated since the early 1980s. Acetaminophen and trimethoprim were the most frequently detected (93%) PPCPs in WWTP influent, while in the effluent, caffeine and trimethoprim were detected most frequently (70%). Wastewater treatment generally reduced concentrations of acetaminophen and caffeine by >88%; however, some compounds had low removal or were present at higher concentrations in the effluent compared with influent (e.g. naproxen, sulfamethoxazole, trimethoprim and ofloxacin). Seasonal trends were observed, with higher PPCP concentrations in the WWTP influent and effluent in the winter. Risk calculations conducted on the wastewater effluent suggest that the risk posed by PPCPs that persisted in the effluent are medium to high to aquatic organisms. Detection frequencies of PPCPs were lower in groundwater samples compared to the effluent, with sulfamethoxazole (40%) and caffeine (32%) as the most frequently detected compounds. Similarly, average concentrations of PPCPs in groundwater were found to be nearly two orders of magnitude lower than concentrations in the effluent. Minimal seasonal influence was observed for groundwater samples. Human health risk assessments indicate that concentrations in groundwater, which is used as a drinking water source, appear to pose minimal risk.

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Water Reuse in Europe – opportunities and challenges

Effluent water reuse possibilities in Northern Cyprus

Authors: Elkiran, G., Aslanova, F. and Hiziroglu, S.
In: Water (Switzerland)
Publisher: MDPI

Abstract:
Northern Cyprus (NC) is suffering from limited water resources and reiterated drought condition experiences due to global warming effects. Previous studies revealed that the water management policy in the country is not sustainable from the perspective of demand and balance. Apparently, the reuse of recycled water will be an alternative resource and can be utilized for some specific purposes to reduce water extraction from the ground. It is expected that treated wastewater will reach 20 million cubic meters (MCM) per year after the completion of the new sewage system for Lefkosa. Today, 20,000 m 3 of wastewater is treated at the Lefkosa Central Treatment Plant up to the secondary treatment level, in which the degree of treatment varies from 60% to 95% owing to the weather conditions in the country during the year. Effluent water reuse in NC was not accepted due to cultural belief. However, water scarcity was experienced in the country during the last decade, forcing the farmers to benefit from the recycled water. There is no regulatory framework available in the country for effluent water reuse. However, preparation studies are almost finalized after discussions among government and European Union (EU) agencies. Cyprus, as an EU country, has an obligation to treat the wastewater up to the secondary level before releasing it in an environmentally friendly nature, following the Directive 91/271/EEC. This paper analyzes the effluent water reuse possibilities as a component of integrated water resource management in Northern Cyprus considering laboratory experiment results. It appears that applying tertiary treatment in Northern Cyprus will allow 20 MCM of water contribution to the water budget and it will help protect the vulnerable environment. Also, since the cost of tertiary treatment will be 0.2 United States dollars (USD)/m3 , it would be reasonable to prefer this process to the desalination of water, which costs of 1 USD/m3.

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Wastewater treatment and water reuse in Spain. Current situation and perspectives

Authors: Jodar-Abellan, A., López-Ortiz, M.I. and Melgarejo-Moreno, J.
In: Water (Switzerland)
Publisher: MDPI

Abstract: 
The issues of wastewater treatment and the reuse of water are of great importance, especially in areas where the shortage of conventional resources is a structural problem, as it is in the case of Spain. Wastewater reuse is a valid mechanism to avoid problems derived from droughts and water scarcity. It allows access to water resources in areas with water restrictions and to prevent futures scenarios, due to it being expected that water consumption will double by 2050 over the world. Thus, the likelihood that this unconventional, strategic resource would become scarce is unquestionable, particularly in cases where water planning and exploitation systems prioritize the preservation, protection, and improvement of water quality, as well as the sustainable and efficient use of natural resources. This paper shows how wastewater treatment and reuse are linked, as the reuse of wastewater is associated with a previous regeneration, and both of them are essential tools for maximizing environmental outcomes, as called for in the European Union Directives.

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