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Remediation of TNT-contaminated water by using industrial low-cost residue pine bark
Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In the process of demilitarization of explosives, army ammunition plants generate a waste stream known as pink water. The principal component of the wastewater is the nitro-aromatic compound 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT). Although the persistence of TNT when dissolved in surface water is very limited due to its susceptibility to photo- and biotransformation, discharge of pink water to the environment has been prohibited in Sweden, the U.S. and many other countries for decades because of the toxicity of the compound and its metabolites to various ecological receptors.

The most frequently used method for treatment of pink water in Sweden today is adsorption on activated carbon, which as well as being costly, creates a sludge that must be incinerated off site.

In many countries, the timber industry residue pine bark is discarded and has no high value application. The overall aim of this thesis was to investigate the potential of pine bark for the removal of TNT from contaminated water such as pink water. Several batch studies and a column experiment were conducted. Acetonitrile extraction of pine bark and 16S rRNA sequencing for analysis of the indigenous bacterial community of pine bark were used to investigate its performance in the treatment of pink water.

The results show that pine bark has great potential as an adsorbent medium for TNT from contaminated pink water. Simultaneous use of biotransformation and adsorption methods was shown to be an improvement over adsorption alone for the removal of TNT from contaminated water bodies. Pine bark showed higher affinity towards the amino metabolites of TNT than for TNT itself. Molecular analysis of the indigenous microbial community of pine bark and chemical analysis of its acetonitrile extracts provided evidence for its ability to biotransform TNT and its metabolites. The efficiency of the transformation was enhanced by the addition of glucose and/or inoculum.

Overall, this work demonstrates the versatility of this organic industrial residue with respect to pink water treatment. Not only does it have a high affinity towards TNT and its amino metabolites, but its native microbial community even in the absence of external inoculation can also be taken advantage of, opening new possibilities for remediation of pink water.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Mälardalen University , 2015.
Series
Mälardalen University Press Dissertations, ISSN 1651-4238 ; 183
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Energy- and Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-28839ISBN: 978-91-7485-226-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-28839DiVA: diva2:851197
Public defence
2015-09-29, Gamma, Mälardalens högskola, Västerås, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Knowledge Foundation
Available from: 2015-09-04 Created: 2015-09-03 Last updated: 2015-09-22Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Adsorption of trinitrotoluene (TNT) by pine bark
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Adsorption of trinitrotoluene (TNT) by pine bark
2015 (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Natural Sciences Energy Engineering
Research subject
Energy- and Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-28838 (URN)
Funder
Knowledge Foundation
Available from: 2015-09-03 Created: 2015-09-03 Last updated: 2016-02-25Bibliographically approved
2. Biotransformation of pink water TNT on the surface of a low-cost adsorbent pine bark
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Biotransformation of pink water TNT on the surface of a low-cost adsorbent pine bark
Show others...
2015 (English)In: Biodegradation, ISSN 0923-9820, E-ISSN 1572-9729, Vol. 26, no 5, 375-386 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This two-week anaerobic batch study evaluated 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) removal efficiency from industrial pink water by (1) adsorption on low-cost adsorbent pine bark, and (2) adsorption coupled with TNT biotransformation by specialised microbial communities. Samples of the supernatant and acetonitrile extracts of pine bark were analysed by HPLC, while the composition of the bacterial community of the experimental batches, inocula and pine bark were profiled by high-throughput sequencing the V6 region of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene. Integrated adsorption and biotransformation proved to be the most efficient method for TNT removal from pink water. The type of applied inoculum had a profound effect on TNT removal efficiencies and microbial community structures, which were dominated by phylotypes belonging to the Enterobacteriaceae family. The analysis of acetonitrile extracts of pine bark supported the hypothesis that the microbial community indigenous to pine bark has the ability to degrade TNT.

Keyword
Microbial community structure, Next-generation sequencing, Pine bark, Pink water treatment, TNT adsorption, TNT biotransformation, Acetonitrile, Adsorption, Bioconversion, Microorganisms, Removal, RNA, Social sciences, 2, 4, 6-trinitrotoluene, High-throughput sequencing, Microbial communities, Microbial community structures, Removal efficiencies, Water treatment, Bacteria (microorganisms), Enterobacteriaceae
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-28715 (URN)10.1007/s10532-015-9740-7 (DOI)000359264500003 ()2-s2.0-84938961387 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2015-08-21 Created: 2015-08-21 Last updated: 2015-09-07Bibliographically approved
3. Application of FT-IR Spectroscopy for Investigation of Pink Water Remediation by Pine Bark
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Application of FT-IR Spectroscopy for Investigation of Pink Water Remediation by Pine Bark
Show others...
2015 (English)In: Open Biotechnology Journal, ISSN 1874-0707, Vol. 9Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study demonstrates the application of FT-IR spectroscopy for investigating the remediation of pink water with the low cost adsorbent pine bark. The removal of 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) from pink water by adsorption to pine bark was accompanied by a reduction in intensities of peaks at 1544 and 1347 cm-1 in the spectra of acetonitrile extracts of the pine bark. Hierarchial cluster analysis differentiated samples with high (30-180 mg/L) and low (0-4 mg/L) TNT concentrations, demonstrating the potential of this approach as a quick screening method for the control of the removal of TNT from pink water. The amount of lignin in pine bark was inversely proportional to the size of the pine bark particles, while the concentration of phenolic hydroxyl groups increases with increasing size of pine bark particles. FT-IR spectra showed that as well as TNT, pine bark can also adsorb nitramine explosives such as RDX and HMX.

National Category
Natural Sciences
Research subject
Energy- and Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-28835 (URN)10.2174/1874070720150430E007 (DOI)
Projects
BIOEX
Funder
Knowledge Foundation
Available from: 2015-09-03 Created: 2015-09-03 Last updated: 2016-02-25Bibliographically approved
4. Effect of pine bark on the biotransformation of trinitrotoluene and on the bacterial community structure in a batch experiment
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Effect of pine bark on the biotransformation of trinitrotoluene and on the bacterial community structure in a batch experiment
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2014 (English)In: Environmental technology, ISSN 0959-3330, E-ISSN 1479-487X, Vol. 35, no 19, 2456-2465 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Pine bark, a low-cost industrial residue, has been suggested as a promising substitute for granular activated carbon in the on-site treatment of water contaminated with 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT). However, the complex organic structure and indigenous microbial community of pine bark have thus far not been thoroughly described in the context of TNT-contaminated water treatment. This two-week batch study examined the removal efficiency of TNT from water by (1) adsorption on pine bark and (2) simultaneous adsorption on pine bark and biotransformation by specialized TNT-biotransforming microbial inocula. The bacterial community composition of experimental batches, inocula and pine bark, was profiled by Illumina sequencing of the V6 region ofthe 16S rRNA gene. The results revealed that the inocula and experimental batches were dominated by phylotypes belonging to the Enterobacteriaceae family and that the tested inocula had good potential for TNT biotransformation. The type of applied inocula had the most profound effect on the TNT-transforming bacterial community structure in the experimental batches. The indigenous microbial community of pine bark harboured phylotypes that also have a potential to degrade TNT. Altogether, the combination of a specialized inoculum and pine bark proved to be the most efficient treatment option for TNT-contaminated water.

National Category
Natural Sciences Water Treatment
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-25024 (URN)10.1080/09593330.2014.909888 (DOI)000337615000007 ()2-s2.0-84902785939 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2014-05-22 Created: 2014-05-22 Last updated: 2016-03-10Bibliographically approved

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