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Effects of Sludge Retention Time on the Performance of Anaerobic Ceramic Membrane Bioreactor Treating High-Strength Phenol Wastewater

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Research Article

Simulation of a Novel Tubular Microalgae Photobioreactor with Aerated Tangent Inner Tubes: Improvements in Mixing Performance and Flashing-Light Effects

At present, large-scale and high-efficiency microalgal cultivation is the key to realizing the technology for carbon capture and storage (CCS) and bioresource recovery. Meanwhile, tubular photobioreactors (PBRs) have great potential for microalgal cultivation due to their high productivity. To improve the mixing performance and flashing-light effect, a novel tube PBR with the inner tube tangential to the outer tube was developed, whose radial aeration pores are situated along the length of the inner tube. The direction of aeration, aeration rate, light/dark cycle period (L/D), light-time ratio, average turbulent kinetic energy (TKE), and degree of synergy between the velocity and direction of the light field in the PBR were optimized by a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation and field synergy theory. The results show that a downwards aeration direction of 30° and an aeration rate of 0.7 vvm are the most conducive to reducing the dead zone and improving the light/dark cycle frequency. Compared to the concentric double-tube PBR, the light/dark cycle frequency and light time of the tangent double-tube PBR increased by 78.2% and 36.2% to 1.8 Hz and 47.8%, respectively, and the TKE was enhanced by 48.1% from 54 to 80 cm2·s−2. Meanwhile, field synergy theory can be extended and applied to the design of tubular microalgae PBRs, and the average synergy of the light and velocity gradients across the cross-section increased by 38% to 0.69. The tangential inner tube aeration structure generated symmetrical vertical vortices between the light and dark areas in the PBR, which significantly improved the mixing performance and flashing-light effect. This novel design can provide a more suitable microenvironment for microalgal cultivation and is promising for bioresource recovery applications and improving the yield of microalgae.

Research Article

Response and Adaptation of Microbial Community in a CANON Reactor Exposed to an Extreme Alkaline Shock

Responses of a microbial community in the completely autotrophic nitrogen removal over nitrite (CANON) process, which was shocked by a pH of 11.0 for 12 h, were investigated. During the recovery phase, the performance, anaerobic ammonia oxidation (anammox) activity, microbial community, and correlation of bacteria as well as the influencing factors were evaluated synchronously. The performance of the CANON process deteriorated rapidly with a nitrogen removal rate (NRR) of 0.13 kg·m-3·d-1, and Firmicutes, spore-forming bacteria, were the dominant phyla after alkaline shock. However, it could self-restore within 107 days after undergoing four stages, at which Planctomycetes became dominant with a relative abundance of 64.62%. Network analysis showed that anammox bacteria (Candidatus Jettenia, Kuenenia, and Brocadia) were positively related to some functional bacteria such as Nitrosomonas, SM1A02, and Calorithrix. Canonical correspondence analysis presented a strong correlation between the microbial community and influencing factors during the recovery phase. With the increase of nitrogen loading rate, the decrease of free nitrous acid and the synergistic effects, heme c content, specific anammox activity (SAA), NRR, and the abundance of dominant genus increased correspondingly. The increase of heme c content regulates the quorum sensing system, promotes the secretion of extracellular polymeric substances, and further improves SAA, NRR, and the relative abundance of the dominant genus. This study highlights some implications for the recovery of the CANON reactor after being exposed to an alkaline shock.

Research Article

Biosorption Mechanism of Aqueous Pb2+, Cd2+, and Ni2+ Ions on Extracellular Polymeric Substances (EPS)

Heavy metal pollution has been a focus with increasing attention, especially Pb2+, Cd2+, and Ni2+ in an aqueous environment. The adsorption capacity and mechanism of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) from Agrobacterium tumefaciens F2 for three heavy metals were investigated in this study. The adsorption efficiency of 94.67%, 94.41%, and 77.95% were achieved for Pb2+, Cd2+, and Ni2+ adsorption on EPS, respectively. The experimental data of adsorption could be well fitted by Langmuir, Freundlich, Dubinin–Radushkevich isotherm models, and pseudo-second-order kinetic model. Model parameters analysis demonstrated the great adsorption efficiency of EPS, especially for Pb2+, and chemisorption was the rate-limiting step during the adsorption process. The functional groups of C=O of carboxyl and C-O-C from sugar derivatives in EPS played the major role in the adsorption process judged by FTIR. In addition, 3D-EEM spectra indicated that tyrosine also assisted EPS adsorption for three heavy metals. But EPS from strain F2 used the almost identical adsorption mechanism for three kinds of divalent ions of heavy metals, so the adsorption efficiency difference of Pb2+, Cd2+, and Ni2+ on EPS could be correlated to the inherent characteristics of each heavy metal. This study gave the evidence that EPS has a great application potential as a bioadsorbent in the treatment of heavy metals pollution.

Research Article

Integration of Marine Macroalgae (Chaetomorpha maxima) with a Moving Bed Bioreactor for Nutrient Removal from Maricultural Wastewater

Rather than direct nutrient removal from wastewaters, an alternative approach aimed at nutrient recovery from aquacultural wastewaters could enable sustainable management for aquaculture production. This study demonstrated the feasibility of cultivating marine macroalgae (Chaetomorpha maxima) with a moving bed bioreactor (MBBR-MA), to remove nitrogen and phosphorus in aquaculture wastewater as well as to produce macroalgae biomass. MBBR-MA significantly increased the simultaneous removal of nitrate and phosphate in comparison with only MBBR, resulting in an average total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) removal efficiency of % and %, respectively, in MBBR-MA while MBBR had no capacity for TN and TP removal. No chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal was detected in both reactors. Phosphorus could be a limiting factor for nitrogen uptake when N : P ratio increased. The recovered nitrogen and phosphorus resulted in a specific growth rate of 3.86%–10.35%/day for C. maxima with an uptake N : P ratio of 6. The presence of macroalgae changed the microbial community in both the biofilter and water by decreasing the relative abundance of Proteobacteria and Nitrospirae and increasing the abundance of Bacteroidetes. These findings indicate that the integration of the macroalgae C. maxima with MBBR could represent an effective wastewater treatment option, especially for marine recirculating aquaculture systems.

Research Article

Characteristics of Biohydrogen Production and Performance of Hydrogen-Producing Acetogen by Increasing Normal Molasses Wastewater Proportion in Anaerobic Baffled Reactor

The biohydrogen production efficiency and performance of hydrogen-producing acetogen in a four-compartment anaerobic baffled reactor (ABR) were studied by gradually increasing the influent normal molasses wastewater (NMWW) proportion. When the influent NMWW proportion increased to 55%, ABR could develop microbial community with methanogenic function in 63 days and reach a stable operation. When the influent NMWW proportion increased to 80% and reached a stable state, ethanol fermentation was established from butyric acid fermentation in the first three compartments, whereas butyric acid fermentation in the fourth compartment was strengthened. The average biohydrogen production yield and biohydrogen production capacity by COD removal increased to as high as 12.85 L/day and 360.22 L/kg COD when the influent NMWW proportion increased from 55% to 80%, respectively. Although the biogas yield and the specific biogas production rate reached 61.54 L/day and 232 L/kg MLVSS·day, the biohydrogen production yield and specific biohydrogen production rate were only 12.85 L/day and 48 L/kg MLVSS·day, which results in hydrogen consumption by homoacetogenesis and methanogenesis.

Research Article

Functional Group Distribution of the Carrier Surface Influences Adhesion of Methanothermobacter thermautotrophicus

Various support carriers are used for high-density retention of methanogenic archaea in anaerobic wastewater treatment systems. Although the physicochemical properties of carrier materials and microorganisms influence the adhesion of methanogenic archaea, details about the underlying mechanism remain poorly characterized. We applied seven types of chemical surface modifications to carbon felts to clarify the adhesion properties of Methanothermobacter thermautotrophicus, a representative thermophilic hydrogenotrophic methanogen. The relationship between carrier surface properties and methanogen adhesion was evaluated. M. thermautotrophicus adhesion was significantly increased up to 2.6 times in comparison with control on carbon felts treated with NaOH, HCl, H2SO4, or Na2HPO4. Treated carbon felts showed a lower water contact angle, but no correlation between the carrier surface contact angle and methanogen adhesion was observed. On the other hand, at the surface of the carrier that showed improved adhesion of methanogens, the ratio of -COOH : -OH was 1 : 0.65. Such a ratio was not observed with treated carriers for which methanogen adhesion was not improved. Therefore, in the adhesion of M. thermautotrophicus, the functional group abundance was important as well as physical surface properties such as the hydrophobicity. Hydrogenotrophic methanogens are involved in active methanation during the startup of anaerobic digestion. Additionally, these methanogenic archaea function as methanogenic cathode catalysts. Therefore, anaerobic digestion performance will greatly improve by controlling the adhesion of hydrogenotrophic methanogens such as M. thermautotrophicus.

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 Journal metrics
Acceptance rate-
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CiteScore5.400
Impact Factor3.379
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