Nanotechnology and water treatment: applications and emerging opportunities.

Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology, University of Pretoria, South Africa.
Critical Reviews in Microbiology (Impact Factor: 6.09). 02/2008; 34(1):43-69. DOI: 10.1080/10408410701710442
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Nanotechnology, the engineering and art of manipulating matter at the nanoscale (1-100 nm), offers the potential of novel nanomaterials for treatment of surface water, groundwater, and wastewater contaminated by toxic metal ions, organic and inorganic solutes, and microorganisms. Due to their unique activity toward recalcitrant contaminants and application flexibility, many nanomaterials are under active research and development. Accordingly, literature about current research on different nanomaterials (nanostructured catalytic membranes, nanosorbents, nanocatalysts, and bioactive nanoparticles) and their application in water treatment, purification and disinfection is reviewed in this article. Moreover, knowledge regarding toxicological effects of engineered nanomaterials on humans and the environment is presented.

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    ABSTRACT: There is a growing interest in the study of plasma-liquid interactions with application to biomedicine, chemical disinfection, agriculture, and other fields. This work models the momentum, heat, and neutral species mass transfer between gas and aqueous phases in the context of a streamer discharge; the qualitative conclusions are generally applicable to plasma-liquid systems. The problem domain is discretized using the finite element method. The most interesting and relevant model result for application purposes is the steep gradients in reactive species at the interface. At the center of where the reactive gas stream impinges on the water surface, the aqueous concentrations of OH and ONOOH decrease by roughly 9 and 4 orders of magnitude respectively within 50 $\mu$m of the interface. Recognizing the limited penetration of reactive plasma species into the aqueous phase is critical to discussions about the therapeutic mechanisms for direct plasma treatment of biological solutions. Other interesting results from this study include the presence of a 10 K temperature drop in the gas boundary layer adjacent to the interface that arises from convective cooling and water evaporation. Accounting for the resulting difference between gas and liquid bulk temperatures has a significant impact on reaction kinetics; factor of two changes in terminal aqueous species concentrations like H$_2$O$_2$, NO$_2^-$, and NO$_3^-$ are observed if the effect of evaporative cooling is not included.
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    ABSTRACT: Olive mill wastewater (OMW) still is a major environmental problem due to its high chemical oxygen demand (COD) and total phenolic content (TPC), contributing for the high toxicity and recalcitrant nature. Several attempts have been made for developing more efficient treatment processes, but no chemical or biological approaches were found to be totally effective, especially in terms of toxicity reduction. In this context, the main purpose of this study was to investigate the treatability of OMW by the combination of photocatalytic oxidation, using two nanomaterials as catalysts (TiO2 and Fe2O3), with biological degradation by fungi (Pleurotus sajor caju and Phanerochaete chrysosporium). Photocatalytic oxidation was carried out using different systems, nano-TiO2/UV, nano-Fe2O3/UV, nano-TiO2/H2O2/UV and nano-Fe2O3/H2O2/UV. The effectiveness of the treatment was assessed through color (465nm), aromatics (270nm), COD and TPC reductions, as well as by the decrease in toxicity using the bacterium Vibrio fischeri. The chemical treatment with the system nano-TiO2/H2O2/UV promoted 43%, 14%, 38% and 31% reductions in color, aromatics content, COD and TPC, respectively. However no toxicity reduction was observed. The combination with a biological treatment increased the reduction of COD and TPC as well as a reduction in toxicity. The treatment with P. chrysosporium promoted the highest reduction in toxicity, but P. sajor caju was responsible for the best reduction in COD and TPC. However, the biological treatment was more effective when no hydrogen peroxide was used in the pre-treatment. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 02/2015; 115C:234-242. DOI:10.1016/j.ecoenv.2015.02.028 · 2.48 Impact Factor


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May 30, 2014