Publications by authors named "Tien Vinh Nguyen"

20 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Performance of mediator-less double chamber microbial fuel cell-based biosensor for measuring biological chemical oxygen.

J Environ Manage 2020 Dec 3;276:111279. Epub 2020 Sep 3.

Centre for Technology in Water and Wastewater, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, NWS, 2007, Australia.

Recently, the microbial fuel cell-based biosensor has been considered as an attractive technology for measuring wastewater quality such as biochemical oxygen demand (BOD). In this study, a mediator-less double compartment MFC based biosensor utilizing carbon felt as an anode electrode and inoculated with mixed culture was developed to improve the real application of a rapid BOD detection. This study aims to: (i) establish the effect of the operating conditions (i.e., pH, external resistance, fuel feeding rate) on MFC performance; (ii) investigate the correlation between biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and signal output, and (iii) evaluate the operational stability of the biosensor. The presented result reveals that the maximum current and power production was obtained while 100 mM NaCl and 50 mM Phosphate buffer saline was used as a catholyte solution, neutral pH condition of media and fuel feeding rate at 0.3 mL min. Notably, a wider range of BOD concentration up to 300 mg L can be obtained with the voltage output (R > 0.9901). Stable and steady power was produced by running MFC in 30 days when cells operated at 1000 Ω external resistance. Our research has some competition with the previous double chamber MFC in the upper limit of BOD detection. This results might help to increase the real application of MFC based BOD biosensor in real-time measurement.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2020.111279DOI Listing
December 2020

Treatment of biologically treated landfill leachate with forward osmosis: Investigating membrane performance and cleaning protocols.

Sci Total Environ 2020 Nov 16;744:140901. Epub 2020 Jul 16.

Centre for Green Technology, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Technology Sydney, 15 Broadway, NSW, 2007, Australia.

This study presents systematic investigations to evaluate the performance, rejection rate, fouling, cleaning protocols and impact of physical and chemical cleaning strategies on the performance of commercial cellulose triacetate (CTA) membrane. The treatment of landfill leachate (LFL) solution was performed in the active layer facing feed solution and support layer facing the draw solution (AL-FS mode), and active layer facing the draw solution and support layer facing the feed solution (AL-DS mode). Compared to the AL-FS mode, a higher flux for AL-DS mode was achieved, but membrane fouling was more severe in the latter. In both membrane orientations, the rejection rate of the FO membrane to heavy ions and contaminants in the wastewater was between 93 and 99%. Physical and chemical cleaning strategies were investigated to recover the performance of the FO membrane and to study the impact of cleaning methods on the membrane rejection rate. Physical cleaning with hot water at 35 °C and osmotic backwashing with 1.5 M NaCl demonstrated excellent water flux recovery compared to chemical cleaning. In the chemical cleaning, an optimal concentration of 3% hydrogen peroxide was determined for 100% flux recovery of the fouled membrane. However, slight membrane damage was achieved at this concentration on the active layer side. Alkaline cleaning at pH 11 was more effective than acid cleaning at pH 4, although both protocols compromised the membrane rejection rate for some toxic ions. A comparison of the membrane long-term performance found that cleaning with osmotic backwashing and hot water were effective methods to restore water flux without comprising the membrane rejection rate. Overall, it was found that physical cleaning protocols are superior to chemical cleaning protocols for forward osmosis membrane fouled by landfill leachate wastewater.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.140901DOI Listing
November 2020

Contribution of the construction phase to environmental impacts of the wastewater treatment plant.

Sci Total Environ 2020 Nov 1;743:140658. Epub 2020 Jul 1.

Centre for Technology in Water and Wastewater, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, NWS 2007, Australia.

This study aims to investigate the environmental issues regarding the construction phase of the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) and explore the roles of different materials through their environmental impacts. Detailed inventories of the two WWTPs were conducted by involving materials and transportation for civil works undertaken. EPD 2018 and ReCiPe life cycle impact assessment methods were employed to measure all the impact categories. Five treatment processes - (1) pumping, (2) primary treatment, (3) secondary treatment, (4) sludge line, and (5) building landscape - were considered for the assessment. It was found that concrete and reinforcing steel played similarly vital roles in most of the EPD 2018 impacts. The significant score of reinforcing steel was found on human cancer toxicity, which contributed more than 90% of the impacts. The contribution of diesel on ozone formation was 5% higher than that of reinforcing steel. Glassfiber was responsible for 70% of the burdens on ozone depletion, showing much higher than the total share of concrete and reinforcing steel. Primary treatment units only contributed 9.5% of the construction impacts in the Girona WWTP but up to 43.8% in Mill Creek WWTP mainly because of the proportion of consumed materials. In short, the comprehensive data inventories were necessary when evaluating the total environmental impacts of the WWTP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.140658DOI Listing
November 2020

Iron and zirconium modified luffa fibre as an effective bioadsorbent to remove arsenic from drinking water.

Chemosphere 2020 Nov 11;258:127370. Epub 2020 Jun 11.

Faculty of Engineering and IT, University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Sydney, Australia.

Porous luffa plant fibre (LF) was grafted with Fe and Zr, and the ability of the fabricated adsorbents to remove arsenate (As(V)) from water was investigated in batch and column adsorption experiments. The Langmuir adsorption capacity (mg g) at pH 7 of LF was found to be 0.035, which increased to 2.55 and 2.89 after being grafted with Fe (FLF-3) and Zr (ZLF-3), respectively. Grafting with Fe and Zr increased the zeta potential and zero point of charge (ZPC) of LF (from pH 3.9 to 7.4 for Fe grafting and to 7.6 for Zr grafting), due to chemical bonding of the metals, possibly with the hydroxyl and carboxylic groups in LF as indicated in FTIR peaks. Zeta potential and ZPC decreased after As adsorption owing to inner-sphere complexation mechanism of adsorption. The increase of pH from 3 to 10 progressively reduced the adsorbents' adsorption capacity. Co-existing anions weakened the As(V) removal efficiency in the order, PO > SiO > CO > SO. Adsorption kinetics data fitted well to the Weber and Morris model, which revealed initial fast and subsequent slow rates of intra-particle As diffusion into the bigger pores and smaller pores, respectively. Column adsorption data fitted well to the Thomas model with the predicted adsorption capacities in the same order as in the batch adsorption experiment (ZLF-3 > FLF-3 > LF).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.127370DOI Listing
November 2020

Phosphate Adsorption by Silver Nanoparticles-Loaded Activated Carbon derived from Tea Residue.

Sci Rep 2020 02 27;10(1):3634. Epub 2020 Feb 27.

Laboratory of Advanced Materials Chemistry, Advanced Institute of Materials Science, Ton Duc Thang University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

This study presents the removal of phosphate from aqueous solution using a new silver nanoparticles-loaded tea activated carbon (AgNPs-TAC) material. In order to reduce costs, the tea activated carbon was produced from tea residue. Batch adsorption experiments were conducted to evaluate the effects of impregnation ratio of AgNPs and TAC, pH solution, contact time, initial phosphate concentration and dose of AgNPs-AC on removing phosphate from aqueous solution. Results show that the best conditions for phosphate adsorption occurred at the impregnation ratio AgNPs/TAC of 3% w/w, pH 3, and contact time lasting 150 min. The maximum adsorption capacity of phosphate on AgNPs-TAC determined by the Langmuir model was 13.62 mg/g at an initial phosphate concentration of 30 mg/L. The adsorption isotherm of phosphate on AgNPs-TAC fits well with both the Langmuir and Sips models. The adsorption kinetics data were also described well by the pseudo-first-order and pseudo-second-order models with high correlation coefficients of 0.978 and 0.966, respectively. The adsorption process was controlled by chemisorption through complexes and ligand exchange mechanisms. This study suggests that AgNPs-TAC is a promising, low cost adsorbent for phosphate removal from aqueous solution.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-60542-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7046672PMC
February 2020

Removing arsenic from water with an original and modified natural manganese oxide ore: batch kinetic and equilibrium adsorption studies.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2020 Feb 18;27(5):5490-5502. Epub 2019 Dec 18.

Faculty of Engineering and IT, University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Sydney, Australia.

Arsenic contamination of drinking water is a serious water quality problem in many parts of the world. In this study, a low-cost manganese oxide ore from Vietnam (Vietnamese manganese oxide (VMO)) was firstly evaluated for its performance in arsenate (As(V)) removal from water. This material contains both Mn (25.6%) and Fe (16.1%) mainly in the form of cryptomelane and goethite minerals. At the initial As(V) concentration of 0.5 mg/L, the adsorption capacity of original VMO determined using the Langmuir model was 0.11 mg/g. The modified VMOs produced by coating VMO with iron oxide (Fe-VMO) and zirconium oxide (Zr-VMO) at 110 °C and 550 °C achieved the highest As(V) adsorption capacity when compared to three other methods of VMO modifications. Langmuir maximum adsorption capacities of Fe-VMO and Zr-VMO at pH 7.0 were 2.19 mg/g and 1.94 mg/g, respectively, nearly twenty times higher than that of the original VMO. Batch equilibrium adsorption data fitted well to the Langmuir, Freundlich, and Temkin models and batch kinetics adsorption data to pseudo-first order, pseudo-second order, and Elovich models. The increase of pH progressively from 3 to 10 reduced As(V) adsorption with a maximum reduction of 50-60% at pH 10 for both original and modified VMOs. The co-existing oxyanions considerably weakened the As(V) removal efficiency because they competed with As(V) anions. The competition order was PO > SiO > CO > SO. The characteristics of the original and modified VMOs evaluated using SEM, FTIR, XRD, XRF, surface area, and zeta potential explained the As(V) adsorption behaviour.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-019-07284-3DOI Listing
February 2020

Laterite as a low-cost adsorbent in a sustainable decentralized filtration system to remove arsenic from groundwater in Vietnam.

Sci Total Environ 2020 Jan 5;699:134267. Epub 2019 Sep 5.

VNU University of Science, Vietnam National University, Hanoi, Viet Nam.

In the Red River Delta, Vietnam, arsenic (As) contamination of groundwater is a serious problem where more than seventeen million people are affected. Millions of people in this area are unable to access clean water from the existing centralized water treatment systems. They also cannot afford to buy expensive household water filters. Similar dangerous situations exist in many other countries and for this reason there is an urgent need to develop a cost-effective decentralized filtration system using new low-cost adsorbents for removing arsenic. In this study, seven locally available low-cost materials were tested for arsenic removal by conducting batch adsorption experiments. Of these materials, a natural laterite (48.7% FeO and 18.2% AlO) from Thach That (NLTT) was deemed the most suitable adsorbent based on arsenic removal performance, local availability, stability/low risk and cost (US$ 0.10/kg). Results demonstrated that the adsorption process was less dependent on the solution pH from 2.0 to 10. The coexisting anions competed with As(III) and As(V) in the order, phosphate > silicate > bicarbonate > sulphate > chloride. The adsorption process reached a fast equilibrium at approximately 120-360 min, depending on the initial arsenic concentrations. The Langmuir maximum adsorption capacities of NLTT at 30 °C were 512 μg/g for As(III) and 580 μg/g for As(V), respectively. Thermodynamic study conducted at 10 °C, 30 °C, and 50 °C suggested that the adsorption process of As(III) and As(V) was spontaneous and endothermic in nature. A water filtration system packed with NLTT was tested in a childcare centre in the most disadvantaged community in Ha Nam province, Vietnam, to determine arsenic removal performance in an operation lasting six months. Findings showed that the system reduced total arsenic concentration in groundwater from 122 to 237 μg/L to below the Vietnam drinking water standard of 10 μg/L.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.134267DOI Listing
January 2020

Removing arsenic from water by coprecipitation with iron: Effect of arsenic and iron concentrations and adsorbent incorporation.

Chemosphere 2019 Jul 26;226:431-438. Epub 2019 Mar 26.

Faculty of Engineering, University of Technology Sydney (UTS), P.O. Box 123, Broadway, NSW, 2007, Australia. Electronic address:

Arsenic (As) contamination of drinking water is a major cause of As toxicity in many parts of the world. A study was conducted to evaluate As removal from water containing 100-700 μg/L of As and As to Fe concentration ratios of 1:5-1:1000 using the coprecipitation process with and without As/Fe adsorption onto granular activated carbon (GAC). Fe concentration required to reduce As concentrations in order to achieve the WHO standard level of 10 μg/L increased exponentially with the increase in initial As concentration. When small amounts of GAC were added to the As/Fe solutions the Fe required to remove these As concentrations reduced drastically. This decline was due to the GAC adsorption of Fe and As, enhancing the removal of these metals through coprecipitation. Predictive regression equations were developed relating the GAC dose requirement to the initial As and Fe concentrations. Zeta potential data revealed that As was adsorbed on the GAC by outer-sphere complexation whereas Fe was adsorbed by inner-sphere complexation reversing the negative charge on GAC to positive values. X-ray diffraction of the GAC samples in the presence of Fe had an additional peak characteristic of ferrihydrite (Fe oxide) compared to that of the GAC sample without Fe. The study showed that incorporating an adsorbent into the coprecipitation process has the advantage of removing As from waters at all concentrations of Fe and As compared to coprecipitation alone which does not remove As to the required levels if Fe concentration is low.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2019.03.142DOI Listing
July 2019

Adsorption mechanism of hexavalent chromium onto layered double hydroxides-based adsorbents: A systematic in-depth review.

J Hazard Mater 2019 07 5;373:258-270. Epub 2019 Mar 5.

Department of Environmental Engineering and R&D Center for Membrane Technology, Chung Yuan Christian University, Taoyuan, 32023, Taiwan. Electronic address:

An attempt has been made in this review to provide some insights into the possible adsorption mechanisms of hexavalent chromium onto layered double hydroxides-based adsorbents by critically examining the past and present literature. Layered double hydroxides (LDH) nanomaterials are typical dual-electronic adsorbents because they exhibit positively charged external surfaces and abundant interlayer anions. A high positive zeta potential value indicates that LDH has a high affinity to Cr(VI) anions in solution through electrostatic attraction. The host interlayer anions (i.e., Cl, NO, SO, and CO) provide a high anion exchange capacity (53-520 meq/100 g) which is expected to have an excellent exchangeable capacity to Cr(VI) oxyanions in water. Regarding the adsorption-coupled reduction mechanism, when Cr(VI) anions make contact with the electron-donor groups in the LDH, they are partly reduced to Cr(III) cations. The reduced Cr(III) cations are then adsorbed by LDH via numerous interactions, such as isomorphic substitution and complexation. Nonetheless, the adsorption-coupled reduction mechanism is greatly dependent on: (1) the nature of divalent and trivalent salts utilized in LDH preparation, and the types of interlayer anions (i.e., guest intercalated organic anions), and (3) the adsorption experiment conditions. The low Brunauer-Emmett-Teller specific surface area of LDH (1.80-179 m/g) suggests that pore filling played an insignificant role in Cr(VI) adsorption. The Langmuir maximum adsorption capacity of LDH (Q) toward Cr(VI) was significantly affected by the natures of used inorganic salts and synthetic methods of LDH. The Q values range from 16.3 mg/g to 726 mg/g. Almost all adsorption processes of Cr(VI) by LDH-based adsorbent occur spontaneously (ΔG° <0) and endothermically (ΔH° >0) and increase the randomness (ΔS° >0) in the system. Thus, LDH has much potential as a promising material that can effectively remove anion pollutants, especially Cr(VI) anions in industrial wastewater.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2019.03.018DOI Listing
July 2019

Iron-impregnated granular activated carbon for arsenic removal: Application to practical column filters.

J Environ Manage 2019 Jun 20;239:235-243. Epub 2019 Mar 20.

Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, University of Technology, Sydney, NSW, 2007, Australia. Electronic address:

Arsenic is a major drinking water contaminant in many countries causing serious health hazards, and therefore, attempts are being made to remove it so that people have safe drinking water supplies. The effectiveness of arsenic removal from As(V) solutions using granular activated carbon (GAC) (zero point of charge (ZPC) pH 3.2) and iron incorporated GAC (GAC-Fe) (ZPC pH 8.0) was studied at 25 ± 1 °C. The batch study confirmed that GAC-Fe had higher Langmuir adsorption capacity at pH 6 (1.43 mg As/g) than GAC (1.01 mg As/g). Adsorption data of GAC-Fe fitted the Freundlich model better than the Langmuir model, thus indicating the presence of heterogeneous adsorption sites. Weber and Morris plots of the kinetic adsorption data suggested intra-particle diffusion into meso and micro pores in GAC. The column adsorption study revealed that 2-4 times larger water volumes can be treated by GAC-Fe than GAC, reducing the arsenic concentration from 100 μg/L to the WHO guideline of 10 μg/L. The volume of water treated increased with a decrease in flow velocity and influent arsenic concentration. The study indicates the high potential of GAC-Fe to remove arsenic from contaminated drinking waters in practical column filters.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2019.03.053DOI Listing
June 2019

Characteristics and mechanisms of cadmium adsorption onto biogenic aragonite shells-derived biosorbent: Batch and column studies.

J Environ Manage 2019 Jul 11;241:535-548. Epub 2018 Oct 11.

Sustainable Management of Natural Resources and Environment Research Group, Faculty of Environment and Labour Safety, Ton Duc Thang University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Electronic address:

Calcium carbonate (CaCO)-enriched biomaterial derived from freshwater mussel shells (FMS) was used as a non-porous biosorbent to explore the characteristics and mechanisms of cadmium adsorption in aqueous solution. The adsorption mechanism was proposed by comparing the FMS properties before and after adsorption alongside various adsorption studies. The FMS biosorbent was characterized using nitrogen adsorption/desorption isotherm, X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive spectroscopy, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, and point of zero charge. The results of batch experiments indicated that FMS possessed an excellent affinity to Cd(II) ions within solutions pH higher than 4.0. An increase in ionic strength resulted in a significant decrease in the amount of Cd(II) adsorbed onto FMS. Kinetic study demonstrated that the adsorption process quickly reached equilibrium at approximately 60 min. The FMS biosorbent exhibited the Langmuir maximum adsorption capacity as follows: 18.2 mg/g at 10 °C < 26.0 mg/g at 30 °C < 28.6 mg/g at 50 °C. The Cd(II) adsorption process was irreversible, spontaneous (-ΔG°), endothermic (+ΔH°), and more random (+ΔS°). Selective order (mmol/g) of metal cations followed as Pb > Cd > Cu > Cr > Zn. For column experiments, the highest Thomas adsorption capacity (7.86 mg/g) was achieved at a flow rate (9 mL/min), initial Cd(II) concentration (10 mg/L), and bed height (5 cm). The Cd(II) removal by FMS was regarded as non-activated chemisorption that occurred very rapidly (even at a low temperature) with a low magnitude of activation energy. Primary adsorption mechanism was surface precipitation. Cadmium precipitated in the primary (Cd,Ca)CO form with a calcite-type structure on the FMS surface. A crust of rhombohedral crystals on the substrate was observed by SEM. Freshwater mussel shells have the potential as a renewable adsorbent to remove cadmium from water.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2018.09.079DOI Listing
July 2019

Saccharide-derived microporous spherical biochar prepared from hydrothermal carbonization and different pyrolysis temperatures: synthesis, characterization, and application in water treatment.

Environ Technol 2018 Nov 24;39(21):2747-2760. Epub 2017 Aug 24.

a Department of Environmental Engineering , Chung Yuan Christian University , Chungli , Taiwan.

Three saccharides (glucose, sucrose, and xylose) were used as pure precursors for synthesizing spherical biochars (GB, SB, and XB), respectively. The two-stage synthesis process comprised: (1) the hydrothermal carbonization of saccharides to produce spherical hydrochar' and (2) pyrolysis of the hydrochar at different temperatures from 300°C to 1200°C. The results demonstrated that the pyrolysis temperatures insignificantly affected the spherical morphology and surface chemistry of biochar. The biochar' isoelectric point ranged from 2.64 to 3.90 (abundant oxygen-containing functionalities). The Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET)-specific surface areas (S) and total pore volumes (V) of biochar increased with the increasing pyrolysis temperatures. The highest S and V were obtained at a pyrolysis temperature of 900°C for GB (775 m/g and 0.392 cm/g), 500°C for SB (410 m/g and 0.212 cm/g), and 600°C for XB (426 m/g and 0.225 cm/g), respectively. The spherical biochar was a microporous material with approximately 71-98% micropore volume. X-ray diffraction results indicated that the biochar' structure was predominantly amorphous. The spherical biochar possessed the graphite structure when the pyrolysis temperature was higher than 600°C. The adsorption capacity of GB depended strongly on the pyrolysis temperature. The maximum Langmuir adsorption capacities ([Formula: see text]) of 900GB exhibited the following selective order: phenol (2.332 mmol/g) > Pb (1.052 mmol/g) > Cu (0.825 mmol/g) > methylene green 5 (0.426 mmol/g) > acid red 1 (0.076 mmol/g). This study provides a simple method to prepare spherical biochar - a new and potential adsorbent for adsorbing heavy metals and aromatic contaminants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09593330.2017.1365941DOI Listing
November 2018

Adsorptive removal of five heavy metals from water using blast furnace slag and fly ash.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2018 Jul 13;25(21):20430-20438. Epub 2017 Jul 13.

Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, University of Technology, Sydney, NSW, 2007, Australia.

Heavy metals can be serious pollutants of natural water bodies causing health risks to humans and aquatic organisms. The purpose of this study was to investigate the removal of five heavy metals from water by adsorption onto an iron industry blast furnace slag waste (point of zero charge (PZC) pH 6.0; main constituents, Ca and Fe) and a coal industry fly ash waste (PZC 3.0; main constituents, Si and Al). Batch study revealed that rising pH increased the adsorption of all metals with an abrupt increase at pH 4.0-7.0. The Langmuir adsorption maximum for fly ash at pH 6.5 was 3.4-5.1 mg/g with the adsorption capacity for the metals being in the order Pb > Cu > Cd, Zn, Cr. The corresponding values for furnace slag were 4.3 to 5.2 mg/g, and the order of adsorption capacities was Pb, Cu, Cd > Cr > Zn. Fixed-bed column study on furnace slag/sand mixture (1:1 w/w) revealed that the adsorption capacities were generally less in the mixed metal system (1.1-2.1 mg/g) than in the single metal system (3.4-3.5 mg/g). The data for both systems fitted well to the Thomas model, with the adsorption capacity being the highest for Pb and Cu in the single metal system and Pb and Cd in the mixed metal system. Our study showed that fly ash and blast furnace slag are effective low-cost adsorbents for the simultaneous removal of Pb, Cu, Cd, Cr and Zn from water.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-017-9610-4DOI Listing
July 2018

Removing ammonium from water using modified corncob-biochar.

Sci Total Environ 2017 Feb 24;579:612-619. Epub 2016 Nov 24.

Faculty of Engineering and IT, University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), PO Box 123, Broadway, Sydney, Australia. Electronic address:

Ammonium pollution in groundwater and surface water is of major concern in many parts of the world due to the danger it poses to the environment and people's health. This study focuses on the development of a low cost adsorbent, specifically a modified biochar prepared from corncob. Evaluated here is the efficiency of this new material for removing ammonium from synthetic water (ammonium concentration from 10 to 100mg/L). The characteristics of the modified biochar were determined by Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) test, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and Scanning electron microscopy (SEM). It was found that ammonium adsorption on modified biochar strongly depended on pH. Adsorption kinetics of NH-N using modified biochar followed the pseudo-second order kinetic model. Both Langmuir and Sips adsorption isotherm models could simulate well the adsorption behavior of ammonium on modificated biochar. The highest adsorption capacity of 22.6mg NH-N/g modified biochar was obtained when the biochar was modified by soaking it in HNO 6M and NaOH 0.3M for 8h and 24h, respectively. The high adsorption capacity of the modified biochar suggested that it is a promising adsorbent for NH-N remediation from water.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.11.050DOI Listing
February 2017

A review on sludge dewatering indices.

Water Sci Technol 2016 ;74(1):1-16

Faculty of Engineering and IT, University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), PO Box 123, Broadway, NSW 2007, Australia E-mail:

Dewatering of sludge from sewage treatment plants is proving to be a significant challenge due to the large amounts of residual sludges generated annually. In recent years, research and development have focused on improving the dewatering process in order to reduce subsequent costs of sludge management and transport. To achieve this goal, it is necessary to establish reliable indices that reflect the efficiency of sludge dewatering. However, the evaluation of sludge dewaterability is not an easy task due to the highly complex nature of sewage sludge and variations in solid-liquid separation methods. Most traditional dewatering indices fail to predict the maximum cake solids content achievable during full-scale dewatering. This paper reviews the difficulties in assessing sludge dewatering performance, and the main techniques used to evaluate dewatering performance are compared and discussed in detail. Finally, the paper suggests a new dewatering index, namely the modified centrifugal index, which is demonstrated to be an appropriate indicator for estimating the final cake solids content as well as simulating the prototype dewatering process.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2166/wst.2016.102DOI Listing
February 2017

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in road-deposited sediments, water sediments, and soils in Sydney, Australia: Comparisons of concentration distribution, sources and potential toxicity.

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2014 Jun 15;104:339-48. Epub 2014 Apr 15.

CERAR and CRC CARE, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA 5095, Australia.

Sixteen polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) considered as priority environmental pollutants were analysed in surface natural soils (NS), road-deposited sediments (RDS), and water sediments (WS) at Kogarah in Sydney, Australia. Comparisons were made of their concentration distributions, likely sources and potential toxicities. The concentrations (mg/kg) in NS, RDS, and WS ranged from 0.40 to 7.49 (mean 2.80), 1.65 to 4.00 (mean 2.91), and 0.49 to 5.19 (mean 1.76), respectively. PAHs were dominated by relatively high molecular weight compounds with more than three fused benzene rings, indicating that high temperature combustion processes were their predominant sources. The proportions of high molecular weight PAHs with five or six fused benzene rings were higher in NS than in RDS, whereas the low molecular weight PAHs were higher in RDS. Concentrations of all PAHs compounds were observed to be the lowest in WS. The concentrations of most of the high molecular weight PAHs significantly correlated with each other in RDS and WS. All PAHs (except naphthalene) were significantly correlated in NS suggesting a common PAH source. Ratios for individual diagnostic PAHs demonstrated that the primary source of PAHs in WS and NS was of pyrogenic origin (combustion of petroleum (vehicle exhaust), grass, and wood) while in RDS it was petrogenic (i.e. unburned or leaked fuel and oil, road asphalt, and tyre particles) as well as pyrogenic. The potential toxicities of PAHs calculated using a toxicity equivalent quotient (TEQ) were all low but higher for NS compared to WS and RDS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2014.03.010DOI Listing
June 2014

Biofouling potential reductions using a membrane hybrid system as a pre-treatment to seawater reverse osmosis.

Appl Biochem Biotechnol 2012 Jul 12;167(6):1716-27. Epub 2012 Jan 12.

Faculty of Engineering and IT, University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), P.O. Box 123, Broadway, NSW 2007, Sydney, Australia.

Biofouling on reverse osmosis (RO) membranes is the most serious problem which affects desalination process efficiency and increases operation cost. The biofouling cannot be effectively removed by the conventional pre-treatment traditionally used in desalination plants. Hybrid membrane systems coupling the adsorption and/or coagulation with low-pressure membranes can be a sustainable pre-treatment in reducing membrane fouling and at the same time improving the feed water quality to the seawater reverse osmosis. The addition of powder activated carbon (PAC) of 1.5 g/L into submerged membrane system could help to remove significant amount of both hydrophobic compounds (81.4%) and hydrophilic compounds (73.3%). When this submerged membrane adsorption hybrid system (SMAHS) was combined with FeCl(3) coagulation of 0.5 mg of Fe(3+)/L, dissolved organic carbon removal efficiency was excellent even with lower dose of PAC (0.5 g/L). Detailed microbial studies conducted with the SMAHS and the submerged membrane coagulation-adsorption hybrid system (SMCAHS) showed that these hybrid systems can significantly remove the total bacteria which contain also live cells. As a result, microbial adenosine triphosphate (ATP) as well as total ATP concentrations in treated seawater and foulants was considerably decreased. The bacteria number in feed water prior to RO reduced from 5.10E(+06) cells/mL to 3.10E(+03) cells/mL and 9.30E(+03) cells/mL after SMAHS and SMCAHS were applied as pre-treatment, respectively. These led to a significant reduction of assimilable organic carbon (AOC) by 10.1 μg/L acetate-C when SMCAHS was used as a pre-treatment after 45-h RO operation. In this study, AOC method was modified to measure the growth of bacteria in seawater by using the Pseudomonas P.60 strain.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12010-011-9514-6DOI Listing
July 2012

Arsenic removal by iron oxide coated sponge: experimental performance and mathematical models.

J Hazard Mater 2010 Oct 26;182(1-3):723-9. Epub 2010 Jun 26.

Faculty of Engineering and IT, University of Technology, Sydney, PO Box 123, Broadway, Sydney, NSW 2007, Australia.

Millions of people worldwide are at risk from the presence of arsenic in groundwater. In this study, adsorption equilibrium and long term experiments were carried out to evaluate the performance of iron oxide coated sponge (IOCSp) in arsenic removal. It was found that maximum adsorption capacity of IOCSp for As(III) and As(V) calculated by Sips isotherm was 4.2 and 4.6 mg/g of IOCSp, respectively. A filter packed with small amount of 25 g IOCSp maintained a consistent arsenic removal efficiency of 95% from synthetic solution containing arsenic concentration of as high as 1000 microg/L. This produced a throughput volume of 153 and 178 L of water containing As(III) and As(V), respectively before any need for regeneration or disposal of IOCSp. IOCSp could be regenerated by washing it with NaOH solution. The dynamic (column) adsorption kinetics were successfully predicted by the Thomas and Nikolaidis modified models.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2010.06.094DOI Listing
October 2010

Adsorption and removal of arsenic from water by iron ore mining waste.

Water Sci Technol 2009 ;60(9):2301-8

Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, University of Technology, Sydney, P.O. Box 123, Broadway NSW, 2007, Australia.

There is a global need to develop low-cost technologies to remove arsenic from water for individual household water supply. In this study, a purified and enriched waste material (treated magnetite waste, TMW) from the Trai Cau's iron ore mine in the Thai Nguyen Province in Vietnam was examined for its capacity to remove arsenic. The treatment system was packed with TMW that consisted of 75% of ferrous-ferric oxide (Fe(3)O(4)) and had a large surface area of 89.7 m(2)/g. The experiments were conducted at a filtration rate of 0.05 m/h to treat groundwater with an arsenic concentration of 380 microg/L and iron, manganese and phosphate concentrations of 2.07 mg/L, 0.093 mg/L and 1.6 mg/L respectively. The batch experimental results show that this new material was able to absorb up to 0.74 mg arsenic/g. The results also indicated that the treatment system removed more than 90% arsenic giving an effluent with an arsenic concentration of less than 30 microg/L while achieving a removal efficiency of about 80% for Mn(2 + ) and PO(4) (3-). This could be a promising and cost-effective new material for capturing arsenic as well as other metals from groundwater.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2166/wst.2009.667DOI Listing
January 2010

Arsenic removal by iron oxide coated sponge: treatment and waste management.

Water Sci Technol 2009 ;60(6):1489-95

Faculty of Engineering, University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), PO Box 123, Broadway, Sydney NSW 2007, Australia.

One of the problems in drinking water that raises concern over the world is that millions of people still have to use arsenic-contaminated water. There is a worldwide need to develop appropriate technologies to remove arsenic from water for household and community water supply systems. In this study, a new material namely iron oxide coated sponge (IOCSp) was developed and used to remove arsenic (As) from contaminated groundwater in Vietnam. The results indicated that IOCSp has a high capacity in removing both As (V) and As (III). The adsorption capacity of IOCSp was up to 4.6 mg As/g IOCSp, showing better than many other materials. It was observed from a pilot study that a small quantity of IOCSp (180 g) could reduce As concentration of 480 microg/L in 1.5 m3 of contaminated natural water to below 40 microg/L. In addition, an exhausted IOCSp, containing a large amount of arsenic (up to 0.42 wt %) could safely be disposed through the solidification/stabilization with cement. Addition of fly ash also reduced the amount of arsenic in the leachate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2166/wst.2009.477DOI Listing
December 2009