About this Research Topic
The primary objective of a wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) is to reduce the concentrations of pollutants to the level at which the discharge of the effluent will not adversely affect the environment or pose a health threat. Recent advances in analytical chemistry have revealed that wastewater is far more complex than previously imagined, carrying numerous synthetic inorganic and emerging organic compounds (ECs). Treatment of wastewater using microbial bioremediation tools is an attractive approach as these are environment-friendly methods. However, conventional biological processes are not designed for the efficient removal of ECs. Therefore, the modification of existing biological treatment systems and/or addition of advanced technologies into WWTPs is an urgent issue. Microalgae and plant-mediated bioremediation of ECs is of growing scientific interest because of its many advantages such as solar energy driven systems, low operational inputs, eco-friendliness, and simultaneous production of high-value products.
The leftover sludge at WWTPs is treated through anaerobic digestion (AD), which is undoubtedly one of the most promising and favorable technologies. Recently, more efforts have been devoted to effectively utilize high-strength organic wastes (i.e., wastes containing high amounts of organic substrates) in an anaerobic co-digestion approach as it significantly enhances biogas production. Despite its high productivity, utilization of high-strength wastes involves major issues, including slower hydrolysis of complex compounds such as long-chain fatty acids and lignin, sludge foaming, and the inhibition of key microorganisms of AD (acetogens and methanogens). The microbial populations and their interactive roles have not been fully discovered to date as the microbial networking is very complicated. A better understanding of key ecological niches in AD and metabolic characteristics of microbial populations inhabiting these niches could facilitate new process designs and operational strategies that can enhance biogas recovery from organic waste.
The aim of this Research Topic is to provide a suitable platform to publish state-of-the-art research on the latest developments and applications of wastewater treatment technologies including the biological removal of contaminants and biosolids reduction. We welcome manuscripts (Original Research articles, Perspectives, and Reviews) describing the fundamental mechanism of microbial degradation processes, new advances in EC removal and AD in WWTPs, and their possible applications at pilot plant or real scale.
Topics of interest include but are not limited to:
• Application of bacterial remediation (bioremediation), microalgal remediation (phycoremediation) and plant remediation (phytoremediation) for the removal of emerging contaminants (i.e., PPCPs, pesticides, synthetic fragrances, nanomaterials) from wastewater
• Integrated biological approach (combination of different microorganisms) and/or bioaugmentation processes for contaminant degradation
• Catalytic enzymes and novel degradation pathways in bioremediation
• Physico-chemical interactions between contaminants and biological entities
• Novel molecular-based techniques for wastewater microbiology, changes in microbial communities, and functional genomics and/or proteomics to understand the microbial interactions
• Advances in anaerobic digestion of biomass for higher yield in gaseous fuels
• Effect of substrate composition and the effects of substrate pre-treatment on the efficacy of AD
• Process inhibitors and challenges, such as biomass degradation for utilization in anaerobic digestion and the strategies to eliminate it
Topic Editor Byong-Hun Jeon has patents related to the Research Topic. All other topic editors declare no competing interests with regard to the Research Topic subject.
Keywords: Emerging contaminant, Wastewater treatment, Bioremediation, Phytoremediation, Anaerobic digestion, Bioenergy
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