Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

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Modelling of river faecal indicator bacteria dynamics as a basis for faecal contamination reduction
Majedul Islam, M.M. ; Sokolova, Ekaterina ; Hofstra, Nynke - \ 2018
Journal of Hydrology 563 (2018). - ISSN 0022-1694 - p. 1000 - 1008.
E. coli - Enterococci - Faecal contamination - MIKE 21 FM model - Wastewater - Water quality modelling

To improve microbial water quality and to prevent waterborne disease outbreaks, knowledge on the fate and transport of contaminants and on the contributions from different faecal sources to the total contamination is essential. The fate and transport of faecal indicators E. coli and enterococci within the Betna River in Bangladesh were simulated using a coupled hydrodynamic and water quality model. The hydrodynamic model for the river was set up, calibrated and validated with water level and discharge in our earlier study. In this study, the hydrodynamic model was further validated using measured water temperature and salinity and coupled with the water quality module. Bacterial load data from various faecal sources were collected and used as input in the water quality model. The model output corresponded very well with the measured E. coli and enterococci concentrations in the river; the Root Mean Square Error and the Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency for Log10-transformed concentrations were found to be 0.23 (Log10 CFU/100 ml) and 0.84 for E. coli, and 0.19 (Log10 CFU/100 ml) and 0.86 for enterococci, respectively. Then, the sensitivity of the model was tested by removing one process or forcing at a time. These simulations revealed that the microbial decay, the upstream concentrations and the discharge of untreated wastewater were the primary factors controlling the concentrations in the river, while wind and the contribution from the diffuse sources (i.e. urban and agricultural runoff) were unlikely to have a major influence. Finally, the model was applied to investigate the influence of wastewater treatment on the bacteria concentrations. This revealed that wastewater treatment would result in a considerable improvement of the microbial water quality of the Betna River. This paper demonstrates the application of a comprehensive state-of-art model in a river in a data-poor tropical area. The model can potentially be applied to other watersheds and can help in formulating solutions to improve the microbial water quality.

Enhanced pharmaceutical removal from water in a three step bio-ozone-bio process
Wilt, Arnoud de; Gijn, Koen van; Verhoek, Tom ; Vergnes, Amber ; Hoek, Mirit ; Rijnaarts, Huub ; Langenhoff, Alette - \ 2018
Water Research 138 (2018). - ISSN 0043-1354 - p. 97 - 105.
Biodegradation - Combined treatment - Ozonation - Pharmaceuticals - Toxicity - Wastewater
Individual treatment processes like biological treatment or ozonation have their limitations for the removal of pharmaceuticals from secondary clarified effluents with high organic matter concentrations (i.e. 17 mg TOC/L). These limitations can be overcome by combining these two processes for a cost-effective pharmaceutical removal. A three-step biological-ozone-biological (BO3B) treatment process was therefore designed for the enhanced pharmaceutical removal from wastewater effluent. The first biological step removed 38% of ozone scavenging TOC, thus proportionally reducing the absolute ozone input for the subsequent ozonation. Complementariness between biological and ozone treatment, i.e. targeting different pharmaceuticals, resulted in cost-effective pharmaceutical removal by the overall BO3B process. At a low ozone dose of 0.2 g O3/g TOC and an HRT of 1.46 h in the biological reactors, the removal of 8 out of 9 pharmaceuticals exceeded 85%, except for metoprolol (60%). Testing various ozone doses and HRTs revealed that pharmaceuticals were ineffectively removed at 0.1 g O3/g TOC and an HRT of 0.3 h. At HRTs of 0.47 and 1.46 h easily and moderately biodegradable pharmaceuticals such as caffeine, gemfibrozil, ibuprofen, naproxen and sulfamethoxazole were over 95% removed by biological treatment. The biorecalcitrant carbamazepine was completely ozonated at a dose of 0.4 g O3/g TOC. Ozonation products are likely biodegraded in the last biological reactor as a 17% TOC removal was found. No appreciable acute toxicity towards D. magna, P. subcapitata and V. fischeri was found after exposure to the influents and effluents of the individual BO3B reactors. The BO3B process is estimated to increase the yearly wastewater treatment tariff per population equivalent in the Netherlands by less than 10%. Overall, the BO3B process is a cost-effective treatment process for the removal of pharmaceuticals from secondary clarified effluents.
Acceptance of new sanitation : The role of end-users' pro-environmental personal norms and risk and benefit perceptions
Poortvliet, P.M. ; Sanders, Liese ; Weijma, Jan ; Vries, Jasper R. De - \ 2018
Water Research 131 (2018). - ISSN 0043-1354 - p. 90 - 99.
Decentralized sanitation - New sanitation - Pro-environmental personal norms - Risk perception - Value-belief-norm theory - Wastewater

Current sanitation systems are inherently limited in their ability to address the new challenges for (waste)water management that arise from the rising demand to restore resource cycles. These challenges include removal of micropollutants, water (re)use, and nutrient recovery. New opportunities to address these challenges arise from new sanitation, a system innovation that combines elements of source separation, local treatment and reuse, and less use of water. New sanitation is applied, but not yet widespread, in several residential areas in Europe. Implementation is hindered by the lack of insight into the general public's willingness to engage in new sanitation, and the resulting uncertainty about this among decision makers and other stakeholders in wastewater management. Using value-belief-norm theory as a conceptual lens, this paper addresses the individual motivations (pro-environmental personal norms) and personal drivers (benefits) and barriers (risks) for acceptance of new sanitation by the Dutch general public. The results of an online survey (N = 338) indicated that both pro-environmental personal norms and risk and benefit perceptions predict consumers' willingness to accept new sanitation. More specifically, they showed that consumer acceptance is driven by perceived risks relating to the housing market and the need to change behavior, but also by environmental benefits. Overall, new sanitation was favorably evaluated by respondents: 64% indicated that they would likely use new sanitation if they were owner-occupiers. The results of this explorative study are discussed in light of the development of novel sanitation systems that are sensitive to perceptions of end-users and other key stakeholders.

Role of microbial accumulation in biological sulphate reduction using lactate as electron donor in an inversed fluidized bed bioreactor : Operation and dynamic mathematical modelling
Cassidy, J. ; Frunzo, L. ; Lubberding, H.J. ; Villa-Gomez, D.K. ; Esposito, G. ; Keesman, K.J. ; Lens, P.N.L. - \ 2017
International Biodeterioration and Biodegradation 121 (2017). - ISSN 0964-8305 - p. 1 - 10.
Bioprocess control - Modelling - Substrate accumulation - Sulfate reducing bacteria - Wastewater

This study evaluated the impact of substrate accumulation (sulphate and polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB)) on bioprocess control of a sulfate reducing inversed fluidized bed bioreactor. To investigate the impact of substrate accumulation, step feed changes were induced to an inversed fluidized bed bioreactor performing biological sulphate reduction. A first step feed change set both the chemical oxygen demand (COD) and sulphate influent concentration to zero. As hypothesised, sulphide was still being produced after 15 days of operation without electron donor and sulphate supply. This suggests that accumulated and/or sorbed COD and sulphate supported the continued biological sulphide production. PHB was indeed found present in the sludge and batch tests showed PHB can support the sulphate reduction. A second step feed change of adding solely COD (and no sulphate) to the bioreactor influent resulted in a continuous production of sulphide, suggesting that sulphate had accumulated in the inversed fluidized bed bioreactor sludge. A mathematical model that includes microbial growth, PHB and sulphate storage as well as metabolism of lactate oxidizing sulphate reducing bacteria was developed, calibrated and validated. The model was able to simulate the accumulation of both PHB and sulphate in the inversed fluidized bed bioreactor.

Microbial selenium sulfide reduction for selenium recovery from wastewater
Hageman, S.P.W. ; Weijden, R.D. van der; Stams, A.J.M. ; Cappellen, P. van; Buisman, C.J.N. - \ 2017
Journal of Hazardous Materials 329 (2017). - ISSN 0304-3894 - p. 110 - 119.
Biocrystallization - Microbial reduction - Selenium removal and recovery - Selenium sulfide - Wastewater
Microbial reduction of selenium sulfide (SeS2) is a key step in a new treatment process to recover selenium from selenate and selenite streams. In this process, selenate is first reduced to selenite, and subsequently selenite is reduced by sulfide and precipitates from the solution as SeS2. The latter is bio-reduced to elemental selenium and sulfide. Two anaerobic granular sludges (Eerbeek and Emmtec) were tested for their efficiency to reduce commercial crystalline SeS2. Emmtec sludge had the highest reducing capacity with commercial SeS2 and was therefore also used for the bioreduction of laboratory synthesized amorphous SeS2. Synthesized SeS2 was formed mixing a sulfide solution and effluent containing selenite. With both SeS2 solids (commercial and synthesized SeS2), Emmtec sludge produced sulfide and a solid consisting of hexagonal elemental selenium. The crystalline hexagonal structure suggests the absence of biomolecules, which stabilize amorphous selenium bio-particles under comparable process conditions (T = 30 °C and a pH between 6 and 7). Selenium particles were not attached to the biomass, suggesting an extracellular formation. The results support the feasibility of the bio-reduction process using sulfur for recovering selenium from water.
Joint pollution control in the Lake Tai Basin and the stabilities of the cost allocation schemes
Jiang, Yu ; Hellegers, Petra - \ 2016
Journal of Environmental Management 184 (2016). - ISSN 0301-4797 - p. 504 - 516.
Cost allocation - Game theory - Lake Tai Basin - Trans-jurisdictional - Wastewater

This paper provides insights into the allocation of benefits derived from joint wastewater treatment in the Lake Tai Basin of China and the acceptability and stability of different cost allocation schemes in a trans-jurisdictional water system context. First, the wastewater treatment cost function is estimated and coalition costs are compared to the cost of stand-alone wastewater treatment in each province. Second, two standard and five game theoretical cost allocation schemes are applied to the grand coalition. Results suggest that a cost savings of US $46.46 million can be obtained by forming a grand coalition. All allocation schemes were found to be acceptable. Results also suggest that both Shanghai and Jiangsu Province would prefer a proportional allocation scheme based on pollutant discharge, because it would offer them the largest cost savings. But this allocation scheme is the least stable one. Based on the criterion of stability, the Nash-Harsanyi scheme emerges as providing the optimal allocation. Finally, calculation of power and stability indexes suggests Jiangsu Province as an agent is critical to the success of grand coalition formation.

Electricity generation from an inorganic sulfur compound containing mining wastewater by acidophilic microorganisms
Ni, Gaofeng ; Christel, Stephan ; Roman, Pawel ; Wong, Zhen Lim ; Bijmans, Martijn F.M. ; Dopson, Mark - \ 2016
Research in Microbiology 167 (2016)7. - ISSN 0923-2508 - p. 568 - 575.
Acidophile - Electricity generation - Microbial fuel cell - Mining - Wastewater

Sulfide mineral processing often produces large quantities of wastewaters containing acid-generating inorganic sulfur compounds. If released untreated, these wastewaters can cause catastrophic environmental damage. In this study, microbial fuel cells were inoculated with acidophilic microorganisms to investigate whether inorganic sulfur compound oxidation can generate an electrical current. Cyclic voltammetry suggested that acidophilic microorganisms mediated electron transfer to the anode, and that electricity generation was catalyzed by microorganisms. A cation exchange membrane microbial fuel cell, fed with artificial wastewater containing tetrathionate as electron donor, reached a maximum whole cell voltage of 72 ± 9 mV. Stepwise replacement of the artificial anolyte with real mining process wastewater had no adverse effect on bioelectrochemical performance and generated a maximum voltage of 105 ± 42 mV. 16S rRNA gene sequencing of the microbial consortia resulted in sequences that aligned within the genera Thermoplasma, Ferroplasma, Leptospirillum, Sulfobacillus and Acidithiobacillus. This study opens up possibilities to bioremediate mining wastewater using microbial fuel cell technology.

Soil amendment using poplar woodchips to enhance the treatment of wastewater-originated nutrients
Meffe, Raffaella ; Miguel Garcia, Angel de; Martínez Hernández, Virtudes ; Lillo, Javier ; Bustamante, Irene de - \ 2016
Journal of Environmental Management 180 (2016). - ISSN 0301-4797 - p. 517 - 525.
Column experiment - Nutrients - Soil amendments - Vegetation filter - Wastewater - Woodchips

Vegetation filters, a nature based wastewater regeneration technology, have been reported as a feasible solution for small municipalities and scattered populations with limited access to sewage networks. However even when such a treatment is properly planned, the leaching of contaminants through the unsaturated zone may occur. The amendment of soil with a readily-labile source of carbon is supposed to ameliorate the removal of contaminants by stimulating microbial activity and enhancing sorption processes. In this study, lab-scale leaching column experiments were carried out to explore if the addition of woodchips to the soil could be a feasible strategy to be integrated in a vegetation filter. Two different types of arrangement of soil and woodchips layers were tested. The soil was collected from an operating vegetation filter treating wastewater of an office building characterised by a high nutrient load. Daily pulse of synthetic wastewater were applied into the columns and effluent samples were collected and analyzed for major ions, total nitrogen (NT), total phosphorous (PT) and chemical oxygen demand (COD). By the end of the experiment, NT, NO3-N and PT soil contents were also measured. Results indicate that amendments with woodchips enhance the elimination of wastewater-originated contaminants. NT removal in the columns with woodchips reaches a value of 99.4%. The main processes responsible for this elimination are NH4-N sorption and nitrification/denitrification. This latter fostered by the reduced redox conditions due to the enhanced microbial activity. High removal of PT (99%) is achieved independently of the woodchips presence due to retention and/or precipitation phenomena. The COD removal efficiency is not affected by the presence of the woodchips. The leaching of organic carbon occurs only during the experimental start-up period.

Productivity and biochemical composition of Tetradesmus obliquus and Phaeodactylum tricornutum : effects of different cultivation approaches
Buono, Silvia ; Colucci, Antonella ; Angelini, Antonella ; Langellotti, Antonio Luca ; Massa, Marina ; Martello, Anna ; Fogliano, Vincenzo ; Dibenedetto, Angela - \ 2016
Journal of Applied Phycology 28 (2016)6. - ISSN 0921-8971 - p. 3179 - 3192.
Biomass productivity - CO fixation - Microalgae - Photobioreactor - Pond - Wastewater

The present work evaluated biomass productivity, carbon dioxide fixation rate, and biochemical composition of two microalgal species, Phaeodactylum tricornutum (Bacillariophyta) and Tetradesmus obliquus (Chlorophyta), cultivated indoors in high-technology photobioreactors (HT-PBR) and outdoors both in pilot ponds and low-technology photobioreactors in a greenhouse in southern Italy. Microalgae were grown in standard media, under nitrogen starvation, and in two liquid digestates obtained from anaerobic digestion of agro-zootechnical and vegetable biomass. P. tricornutum, cultivated in semi-continuous mode in indoor HT-PBRs with standard medium, showed a biomass productivity of 21.0 ± 2.3 g m−2 d−1. Applying nitrogen starvation, the lipid productivity increased from 2.3 up to 4.5 ± 0.5 g m−2 d−1, with a 24 % decrease of biomass productivity. For T. obliquus, a biomass productivity of 9.1 ± 0.9 g m−2 d−1 in indoor HT-PBR was obtained using standard medium. Applying liquid digestates as fertilizers in open ponds, T. obliquus gave a biomass productivity (10.8 ± 2.0 g m−2 d−1) not statistically different from complete medium such as P. tricornutum (6.5 ± 2.2 g m−2 d−1). The biochemical data showed that the fatty acid composition of the microalgal biomass was affected by the different cultivation conditions for both microalgae. In conclusion, it was found that the microalgal productivity in standard medium was about doubled in HT-PBR compared to open ponds for P. tricornutum and was about 20 % higher for T. obliquus.

Potential demand for recoverable resources from Indonesian wastewater and solid waste
Kerstens, S.M. ; Priyanka, A. ; Dijk, K.C. Van; Ruijter, F.J. De; Leusbrock, I. ; Zeeman, G. - \ 2016
Resources, Conservation and Recycling 110 (2016). - ISSN 0921-3449 - p. 16 - 29.
Agriculture - Demand analysis - Phosphorus - Resource recovery - Solid waste - Wastewater

Projected population growth and urbanization will become a challenge for finite natural resources, their distribution and local availability. At the same time, 2.5 billion people do not have access to sanitation facilities. Indonesia is one of these rapidly growing countries with a poorly developed municipal wastewater and solid waste sector. Without an integrating concept to recover and reuse resources, "waste flows" are discarded and their potential value is ignored. Therefore, the Indonesian backlog may be an opportunity, since it allows for direct introduction of a circular resource approach. To foster a sustainable municipal wastewater and solid waste management, the 20 years' demand forecast of recoverable resources (phosphorus, compost, duckweed, plastic and paper) was analyzed. Phosphorus, compost and duckweed analysis was based on nutritional demand and not on market demand. Demand for recoverable plastic and paper related to the potential substitution of conventionally manufactured products. Phosphorus and compost demand analysis was based on (1) fertilizer requirements of 68 crops (staple food, horticulture and plantation), and (2) anticipated increase in production area of these crops. Duckweed demand as a protein-rich fish feed was analyzed based on the forecasted demand from aquaculture (tilapia and carp). The potentially recoverable (waste) plastic and paper to substitute conventional manufactured products were based on extrapolation of past trends in plastic and paper production in Indonesia. The potential contribution of recoverable products to the forecasted demand for 2035 was assessed for phosphorus (15%), compost (35%), duckweed (7%), plastic (66%) and paper (18%). A geographical discrepancy between potential recovery and demand location for phosphorus and compost was found. Therefore, the locations of potential markets should be considered in the planning and selection of wastewater and solid waste facilities. The presented methodology to assess the potential demand for recoverable resources from wastewater and solid waste may be applied in other countries as well.

Identifying potential strategies in the key sectors of China’s food chain to implement sustainable phosphorus management : a review
Li, Guohua ; Huang, Gaoqiang ; Li, Haigang ; Ittersum, M.K. van; Leffelaar, P.A. ; Zhang, Fusuo - \ 2016
Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems 104 (2016)3. - ISSN 1385-1314 - p. 341 - 359.
Management strategies - Manure - Phosphate reserves - Phosphorus surplus - Wastewater

High extraction of phosphate reserves and low phosphorus utilization efficiency in the food chain in China result in large P losses and serious environmental pollution. The P fertilizer industry, soil P surplus, livestock manure P and wastewater P recycling have been identified as the priority sectors based on summarizing several systemic and in-depth reviews of P flows analysis. Mineral P fertilizer production has reached 7.4 Mt P in 2012, which is more than seven times the value in 1980. The large P surpluses in arable land resulted in soil P accumulation of up to 64 Mt during the period 1951–2010. Livestock numbers have increased dramatically (more than ten times) during the period 1949–2012 in China, especially pigs and poultry, and so has the quantity of manure that they produce. The average loading of manure P on arable land in China has increased significantly from 9.5 kg P ha−1 in 1980 to 20.4 kg P ha−1 in 2010. Up to 0.49 Mt of wastewater P discharged without treatment also exerted great pressure on the environment in 2012. Based on an understanding of P interactions in these key sectors, an integrated set of policy options and technical measures is proposed. Taking P flows in China in 2010 as an example, if all of the strategies recommended in this study are adopted in P management, about 4.3, 2.5, 1.6 and 0.3 Mt of P resources, respectively, will be saved in the P fertilizer industry, arable land production, livestock manure and wastewater sectors.

A new approach to nationwide sanitation planning for developing countries : Case study of Indonesia
Kerstens, S.M. ; Spiller, M. ; Leusbrock, I. ; Zeeman, G. - \ 2016
Science of the Total Environment 550 (2016). - ISSN 0048-9697 - p. 676 - 689.
GIS - Investment and operational costs - Nationwide planning - Solid waste - Wastewater

Many developing countries struggle to provide wastewater and solid waste services. The backlog in access has been partly attributed to the absence of a functional sanitation planning framework. Various planning tools are available; however a comprehensive framework that directly links a government policy to nationwide planning is missing. Therefore, we propose a framework to facilitate the nationwide planning process for the implementation of wastewater and solid waste services. The framework requires inputs from government planners and experts in the formulation of starting points and targets. Based on a limited number of indicators (population density, urban functions) three outputs are generated. The first output is a visualization of the spatial distribution of wastewater and solid waste systems to support regional priority setting in planning and create awareness. Secondly, the total number of people served, budget requirements and distribution of systems is determined. Thirdly, the required budget is allocated to the responsible institution to assure effective implementation. The determined budgets are specified by their beneficiaries, distinguishing urban, rural, poor and non-poor households. The framework was applied for Indonesia and outputs were adopted in the National Development Plan. The required budget to reach the Indonesian government's 2019 target was determined to be 25 billion US$ over 5 years. The contribution from the national budget required a more than fivefold increase compared to the current budget allocation in Indonesia, corresponding to an increase from 0.5 to 2.7 billion US$ per year. The budget for campaigning, advocacy and institutional strengthening to enable implementation was determined to be 10% of the total budget. The proposed framework is not only suitable for Indonesia, but could also be applied to any developing country that aims to increase access to wastewater and solid waste facilities.

Calidad de agua de la bahía interior de Puno, lago Titicaca durante el verano del 2011
Farfán, Diana Beltrán F. ; Calli, Rocio Palomino P. ; Terrazas, Edmundo Moreno G. ; Peralta, Cesar G. ; Montesinos, Daniel - \ 2015
Revista Peruana de Biología 22 (2015)3. - ISSN 1561-0837 - p. 335 - 340.
Eutrophication - Titicaca lake - Wastewater - Water quality

Water quality of the inner Puno Bay was evaluated; we established 12 stations, and were assessed monthly from December 2010 to April 2011. Physicochemical water parameters were determined with EPA and APHA standard methods. Nutrients were determined spectrophotometrically. The parameters of temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, phosphates, nitrates and nitrites of water show that the outlet of the stabilization lagoon of Puno City (Espinar Island) is a critical area of contamination at the inner Puno Bay. Transparency values were low. The electrical conductivity of water showed high values. Alkalinity values were high (75 - 150 mg/L) and very high (> 150 mg/L), indicating a high content of carbonates and bicarbonates. Water hardness were high (121- 180 mg/L) and very high (> 180 mg/L). High levels of fecal coliform in waters near the island Espinar would be the result of wastewater discharges from the Puno city, without proper treatment.

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