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Bacterial Cellulose in Wastewater Treatment
Bacterial cellulose membranes have been shown to be efficient as filters for the removal of various contaminants, including biological and chemical agents or heavy metals. Therefore, their use could make an important contribution to bio-based technological development in the circular economy. Moreover, they can be used to produce new materials for industry, taking into consideration current environmental preservation policies aimed at a more efficient use of energy.
Water resources are essential for industrial activities, energy production, agriculture, and life on earth . In particular, the access to potable water and efficient treatment methods are essential for the prevention of various types of pollution and waterborne diseases . It is possible to reduce the load of pollutants through the interconnection of different industrial sectors, so that their by-products are treated and reused, and waste production is minimized, with the perspective of becoming raw material in a new production cycle .
Industrial pollutants such as dyes, synthetic chemicals, heavy metals, oils, microplastics and others can have different origins and properties, and many of them accumulate in the environment over time, causing increasing damage . According to Rajasulochana and Preethy , the methods of industrial wastewater treatment vary according to several factors, including volume, constitution of the effluent and limits imposed by environmental legislations. Increased research on renewable energy and energy saving technologies has favored the development of new processes and materials as alternatives to treat complex wastewater .
2. Water Resources and Energy Management
3. Water Contamination
4. Filtration Membranes
|Classification||Application||Pore Size (nm)||Reference|
|Microfiltration (MF)||Removal of suspended solids, protozoa, and bacteria||100–5000|||
|Ultrafiltration (UF)||Removal of viruses and colloids||2–100|||
|Nanofiltration (NF)||Removal of water hardness, heavy metals, and dissolved organic matter||0.5–2|||
|Reverse osmosis||Desalination, water reuse and ultra-pure water production||0.2–1|||
5. Bacterial Cellulose Membranes
Cellulose, composed of glucose monomers, is the main structural biopolymer of plants, but it can be also produced by other life forms such as bacteria, fungi and even protozoa. Such a natural bioproduct, whose great technological importance is justified by its wide variety of applications , is the most abundant in the world, with an estimated annual production of 1011 tons, most of which is of vegetable origin .
According to Donini et al. , bacterial cellulose (BC) differs from vegetable cellulose (VC) in that it has nanometric rather than micrometric size, better mechanical properties such as higher tensile strength and flexibility, higher purity given that VC is naturally linked to hemicellulose and pectin, higher crystallinity, water retention capacity, biocompatibility, biodegradability and biological adaptability . These peculiar properties (Figure 3), attributable to the inter and intramolecular hydrogen bonds that hold the polymer chains together , make BC an extremely versatile biopolymer that can be used in various sectors of economic importance.
6. Bacterial Cellulose in Wastewater Treatment
|Surface modification of bacterial cellulose aerogels’ web-like skeleton for oil/water separation||Nanofibers of BC aerogels were modified on their surfaces by trimethylsilylation derivatization followed by freeze-drying. The resulting hydrophobic and oleophilic aerogels were shown to remove a wide range of organic solvents and oils, with potential use in cleaning up oil spills in the marine environment.|||
|Polyethyleneimine-bacterial cellulose bioadsorbent for effective removal of copper and lead ions from aqueous solution||Reductive amination with polyethyleneimine allowed to transform the BC membrane into a bioadsorbent for the removal of heavy metal ions [Cu (II) and Pb (II)] from wastewater.|||
|Facile fabrication of flexible bacterial cellulose/silica composite aerogel for oil/water separation||A silica aerogel composite was prepared by BC modification with methylene diphenyl diisocyanate to increase its hydrophobicity and flexibility, thus making it a promising oil sorbent.|||
|Preparation and characterization of a bi-layered nanofiltration membrane from a chitosan hydrogel and bacterial cellulose nanofiber for dye removal||A membrane was developed by grafting multi-walled carbon nanotubes into BC molecular chains. The BC powder was dissolved in a solution of LiCl and N,N-dimethylacetamide, and stannous octoate was used as a reaction catalyst. The membrane exhibited greater tensile strength, Young’s modulus and pressure resistance, which practically tripled its flow rate and allowed for a yield of dye removal above 90%.|||
|Design of reusable novel membranes based on bacterial cellulose and chitosan for the filtration of copper in wastewaters||Chitosan-modified BC membranes were developed by ex situ (BC immersed in solutions with different chitosan concentrations) or in situ (addition of chitosan solutions to BC production medium) techniques for Cu (II) ions adsorption. The membrane produced by the ex situ technique showed greater efficiency in removing ions.|||
|Removal of U(VI) from aqueous solution using phosphate functionalized bacterial cellulose as efficient adsorbent||BC membranes were modified by grafting phosphate functional groups soaking them in dimethylacetamide and urea. Membrane characterization confirmed the successful incorporation of phosphate groups. Due to the presence of polar hydroxyl groups and electrostatic attraction, the membranes at pH between 4 and 8 were able to adsorb 9 mg/g of U (IV) ions.|||
|Bacterial cellulose membranes for environmental water remediation and industrial wastewater treatment||BC was produced and cleaned with NaOH to be used as a filter membrane for the treatment of microbiologically contaminated effluents (Escherichia coli) and dyes from the textile industry. BC membranes showed better results than the commercial ones, removing 100% of cells present in the effluent and being able to be reused for 10 cycles without loss of efficiency.|||
|Impact of incubation conditions and post-treatment on the properties of bacterial cellulose membranes for pressure-driven filtration||Studies on the permeation properties of BC derivatized with poly-oxyethylene were carried out to determine the filtration efficiency of both dry and wet membranes at different pressures and water flow rates.|||
|Film-like bacterial cellulose/cyclodextrin oligomer composites with controllable structure for the removal of various persistent organic pollutants from water||A film-like water purifier, prepared by loading cyclodextrin oligomer onto ultrafine BC, was described. The system showed high and stable adsorption capacity toward various target pollutants such as phenol, bisphenol A, glyphosate and 2,4-dichlorophenol.|||
|Bacterial cellulose-polyaniline porous mat for removal of methyl orange and bacterial pathogens from potable water||BC membranes were modified with polyaniline by in situ oxidative polymerization and posterior lyophilization. BC was applied to remove methyl orange dye and bacterial cells present in drinking water. Membranes showed an absorption capacity of approximately 300 mg/g and antimicrobial activity, reducing the microbial load present in the effluent by up to four times.|||
7. Conclusions and Perspectives
This entry is adapted from 10.3390/en14165066
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