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CONTENTS
Volume 9, Number 3, May 2018
 

Abstract
Soil washing is one of the most frequently used remediation technologies for heavy metal-contaminated soils. Inorganic and organic acids and chelating agents that can enhance the removal of heavy metals from contaminated soils have been employed as soil washing agents. However, the toxicity, low removal efficiency and high cost of these chemicals limit their use. Given that humic substance (HS) can effectively chelate heavy metals, the development of an eco-friendly, performance-efficient and cost-effective soil washing agent using a nano-scale chelator composed of HS was examined in this study. Copper (Cu) and lead (Pb) were selected as target heavy metals. In soil washing experiments, HS concentration, pH, soil:washing solution ratio and extraction time were evaluated with regard to washing efficiency and the chelation effect. The highest removal rates by soil washing (69% for Cu and 56% for Pb) were achieved at an HS concentration of 1,000 mg/L and soil:washing solution ratio of 1:25. Washing with HS was found to be effective when the pH value was higher than 8, which can be attributed to the increased chelation effect between HS and heavy metals at the high pH range. In contrast, the washing efficiency decreased markedly in the low pH range due to HS precipitation. The chelation capacities for Cu and Pb in the aqueous phase were determined to be 0.547mmol-Cu/g-HS and 0.192mmol-Pb/g-HS, respectively.

Key Words
heavy metal; contaminated soil; soil washing; humic substance; chelating agent

Address
Heejun Lim, Sungyoon Park, Jun Won Yang, Wooyoun Cho, Yejee Lim, Han S. Kim: Civil and Environmental Engineering, Konkuk University, 120 Neungdong-ro, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul, Korea
Heejun Lim, Young Goo Park, Dohyeong Kwon:
Sehwa E&F, 196-17 3Gongdan3ro, Gumi, Gyungbuk, Korea

Abstract
This study investigates the role of microbial extracellular polymeric substances (EPSs) as bioflocculants to harvest microalgae (water-microalgae separation). The EPS extracted from waste activated sludge (WAS) by heat extraction were fractionated into soluble EPS (S-EPS), loosely-bound EPS (LB-EPS) and tightly-bound EPS (TB-EPS) forms. All the EPSs facilitated the flocculation of microalgal cells from stable growth medium. Of those EPSs, the TB-EPS showed the highest flocculating activity (FA) resulting in the substantial decrease in the amount of EPS added in terms of total organic carbon (TOC) during flocculation. The FA of microalgae was improved with the increase in TB-EPS dose, however, excessive dose of TB-EPS adversely affected it due to destabilization. Both LB- and TB-EPS could be utilized for flocculating microalgae as a sustainable option to the existing chemical-based flocculants. In addition to the conventional assessments, the effectiveness of the two bioflocculants for floc forming was also confirmed using a novel assessment of lens-free shadow imaging technique (LSIT), which was firstly applied for the rapid and quantitative assessment of microalgal flocculation.

Key Words
microalgae; extracellular polymeric substances (EPS); bioflocculant; activated sludge; lens-free shadow imaging technique (LSIT)

Address
Dandan Dong, Jae Woo Lee: Program in Environmental Technology and Policy, Korea University, Sejong, 30019, Republic of Korea
Dongmin Seo, Sungkyu Seo: Department of Electronics and Information Engineering, Korea University, Sejong, 30019, Republic of Korea

Abstract
Process modeling with activated sludge models (ASMs) is useful for the design and operational improvement of biological nutrient removal (BNR) processes. Effective utilization of ASMs requires the influent fraction analysis (IFA) of the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). However, this is difficult due to the time and cost involved in the design and operation steps, thereby declining the simulation reliability. Harmony Search (HS) algorithm was utilized herein to determine the relationships between composite variables and state variables of the model IWA ASM1. Influent fraction analysis was used in estimating fractions of the state variables of the WWTP influent and its application to 9 wastewater treatment processes in South Korea. The results of influent Ss and Xs+XBH, which are the most sensitive variables for design of activated sludge process, are estimated within the error ranges of 8.9-14.2%, and 3.8-6.4%, respectively. Utilizing the chemical oxygen demand (COD) fraction analysis for influent wastewater, it was possible to predict the concentrations of treated organic matter and nitrogen in 9 full scale BNR processes with high accuracy. In addition, the results of daily influent fraction analysis (D-IFA) method were superior to those of the constant influent fraction analysis (C-IFA) method.

Key Words
ASMs; COD; influent fraction analyzer (IFA); Harmony Search (HS); optimization algorithm; WWTPs

Address
Kwangtae You, Jongrack Kim, Gijung Pak: UnU Inc., Guro-gu, Seoul 08390, Republic of Korea
Zuwhan Yun: Department of Environmental Engineering, Korea University, Sejong 30019, Republic of Korea
Hyunook Kim: Department of Energy and Environmental System Engineering, University of Seoul, Seoul 02504, Republic of Korea

Abstract
This study investigated the effect of organic matter on the precipitation of struvite and calcium phosphate for phosphorus recovery from synthetic dairy wastewater. Batch precipitation experiments were performed to precipitate phosphorus from solutions containing PO43- and NH4+ by the addition of Mg2+ and Ca2+, separately, at varying pH, Mg/P and Ca/P molar ratios, and organic matter concentrations. Soluble total organic solids exhibited more inhibition to precipitation due to potential interaction with other dissolved ionic species involved in phosphorus precipitation. Xylan with low total acidity only exhibited significant inhibition at very high concentrations in synthetic wastewater (at up to 100 g/L). No significant inhibition was observed for Mg and Ca precipitation at relatively lower concentrations (at up to 1.2 g/L). MINTEQ simulations show that dissolved organic matter (DOM) as humic substances (HS) can cause significant inhibition even at relatively low concentrations of 0.165 g/L fulvic acid. However, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis suggested that xylan altered the crystal structure of both precipitates and had caused the formation of smaller sized struvite crystals with slightly rougher surfaces This could be due to xylan molecules adhering on the surface of the crystal potentially blocking active sites and limit further crystal growth. Smaller particle sizes will have negative practical impact because of poorer settleability.

Key Words
phosphorus recovery; struvite; calcium phosphate

Address
Prince Aleta, Minseung Park and Sungpyo Kim: Department of Environmental Systems Engineering, Korea University, Sejong-ro, Sejong City 339-770 Republic of Korea
Sanjai J. Parikh, Amy P. Silchuk, Kate M. Scow: Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, University of California, Davis, Ca 95616, United States

Abstract
Microcystin-LR, one of algal toxins induced by the eutrophication of a reservoir, is known to be harmful to human by adversely affecting our liver and brain. Hypochlorous acid is very efficient to remove Microcystin-LR in a clear well. The previous researches showed that CT, pH, and temperature affected removal rate in batch tests. It was noted that hydrodynamic properties of clear well could also influence its removal rate. A mathematical model was built using an axial dispersion reactor model and software was used to simulate the removal rate. The model consisted of the second order differential equations including dispersion, convection, Microcystin-LR reaction with chlorine. Kinetic constants were obtained through batch tests with chlorine. They were 0.430 x 10-3L/mg/sec and 0.143 x 10-3L.mg/sec for pH 7.0 and 8.1, respectively. The axial dispersion reactor model was shown to be useful for the numerical model through conservative tracer tests. The numerical model successfully estimated the removal rate of Microcyctin-LR in a clear well. Numerical simulations showed that a small dispersion number, low pH, and long hydraulic retention time were critical for higher removal rate with same chlorine dosage. This model could be used to optimize the operation of a clear well during an eutrophication season.

Key Words
Microcystin-LR; clear well; chlorine; axial dispersion reactor model; numerical simulation; dispersion number

Address
Inhee Yeo and Dooil Kim: Civil and Environmental Engineering, Dankook University, Yonginsi, 448-701 Korea
Yong-Gyun Park: Environmental Process Engineering Team, GS E&C, 33, Jong-ro, Jongro-gu, Seoul, 03159, Korea

Abstract
A sidestream contains the filtrate or concentrate from the belt filter press, filter backwash, and supernatant from sludge digesters. The sidestream flow, which heads back into the sewage treatment train, is about 1-3% less than the influent flow. However, the sidestream can increase the nutrient load since it contains high concentrations of phosphorus and nitrogen. In this study, the removal of PO4-P with organic matter characteristics and bacteriological changes during the sidestream treatment via ladle furnace (LF) slag was investigated. The sidestream used in this study consisted of 11-14% PO4-P and 3.2-3.6% soluble chemical oxygen demand in influent loading rates. LF slag, which had a relatively high Ca2+ release compared to other slags, was used to remove PO4-P from the sidestream. The phosphate removal rates increased as the slag particle size decreased 19.1% (2.0-4.0 mm, 25.2% (1.0-2.0 mm), and 79.9% (0.5-1.0 mm). The removal rates of dissolved organic carbon, soluble chemical oxygen demand, color, and aromatic organic matter (UV254) were 17.6, 41.7, 90.2, and 77.3%, respectively. Fluorescence excitation-emission matrices and liquid chromatography-organic carbon detection demonstrated that the sidestream treatment via LF slag was effective in the removal of biopolymers. However, the removal of dissolved organic matter was not significant during the treatment. The intact bacterial biomass decreased from 1.64 x 108 cells/mL to 1.05 x 108 cells/mL. The use of LF slag was effective for the removal of phosphate, and the removal efficiency of phosphate was greater than 80% for up to 100 bed volumes.

Key Words
hydroxyapatite; organic matter; phosphorus; slag; sidestream

Address
Jin H. Noh, and Sung Kyu Maeng: Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Sejong University, 209 Neungdongro, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul 05006, Republic of Korea
Sang-hyup Lee, Jae-Woo Choi: Center for Water Resource Cycle, Green City Technology Institute, Korea Institute of Science and Technology, 5, Hwarang-ro 14-gil, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul 02792, Republic of Korea
Sang-hyup Lee: KU-KIST Green School, Graduate School of Energy and Environment, Korea University, 145 Anam-ro, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul, 02841, Republic of Korea

Abstract
Electrochemical reduction of nitrate was studied using Zn, Cu and (Ir+Ru)-Ti cathodes and Pt/Ti anode in a cell divided by an ion exchange membrane. During electrolysis, effects of the different cathode types on operating parameters (i.e. voltage, temperature and pH), nitrate removal efficiency and by-products (i.e. nitrite and ammonia) formation were investigated. Ammonia oxidation rate in the presence of NaCl was also determined using the different ratios of hypochlorous acid to ammonia. The operating parameter values were similar for all types of cathode materials and were maintained relatively constant. Nitrate was well reduced and converted mostly to ammonia using Zn and Cu cathodes. Ammonia, produced as a by-product of nitrate reduction, was oxidized in the presence of NaCl in the electrochemical process and the oxidation performance was enhanced upon increasing the hypochlorous acid-to-ammonia ratio to 1.09:1. Zn and Cu cathodes promoted the nitrate reduction to ammonia and the produced ammonia was finally removed from solution by reacting with hypochlorite ions. Using Zn or Cu cathodes, instead of noble metal cathodes, in the electrochemical process can be an alternative technology for nitrate-containing wastewater treatment.

Key Words
electrochemical reduction; nitrate; divided cell; ion exchange membrane

Address
Jongkeun Lee, Ho Young Cha and Ki Young Park: Department of Civil and Environmental Plant Engineering, Konkuk University, 120 Neungdong-ro, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul 05029, Republic of Korea
Kyung Jin Min: AinChem Tech Co., Ltd, 33 Omokcheon-ro, Gwonseon-gu, Suwon-si, Gyunggi 16642, Republic of Korea
Jinwoo Cho: Department of Environmental and Energy, Sejong University, 209 Neungdong-ro, Gwangjin-Gu, Seoul 05006, Republic of Korea

Abstract
N-acetylcysteine (NAC) has been widely used as an initial mucolytic agent and is generally used as an antioxidant to help alleviate various inflammatory symptoms. NAC reduces bacterial extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) production, bacterial adhesion to the surface and strength of mature biofilm. The efficacy has been shown to inhibit proliferation of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. In membrane bioreactor (MBR) processes, which contain a variety of gram negative bacteria, biofilm formation has become a serious problem in stable operation. In this study, use of NAC as an inhibitor of biofilm contamination was investigated using the center for disease control (CDC) reactors with MBR sludge. Biomass reduction was confirmed with CLSM images of membrane surfaces by addition of NAC, which was more efficient as the concentration of NAC was increased to 1.5 mg/mL. NAC addition also showed decreases in EPS concentrations of the preformed biofilm, indicating that NAC was able to degrade EPS in the mature biofilm. NAC addition was also effective to inhibit biofilm formation by MBR sludge, which consisted of various microorganisms in consortia.

Key Words
Extracellular polymeric substance; N-acetyl cysteine; MBR sludge; CDC reactor; biofilm formation

Address
Department of Environmental Engineering, Konkuk University, 120 Neungdong-ro, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul 05029, Republic of Korea


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