Summer Research Fellowship Programme of India's Science Academies

Review: A brief summary on technologies involved in waste water treatment other than the conventional methods.

Sukanya Borthakur

Department Of Life Sciences, Dibrugarh University, Dibrugarh, Assam 786004

Prof. R.S. Singh

Department Of Chemical Engineering & Technology, Centre Of Advanced Study, IIT- Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi 221005


Amongst the other global environmental issues, one of the major concerns is the contamination of water, which has various other health issues associated with it. According to UNICEF, WHO– globally, amongst three people one does not have direct access to safe potable water. Waste water contains huge amounts of contaminants which requires various treating methods depending on the nature and the quantity of contaminants. Easy and all-time access to safe, clean and readily available (potable) water is essential for the larger good. As a whole, better access to clean water and proper management of water resources along with proper sanitation can boost the overall economic growth, making a country healthy and henceforth, wealthy. Various conventional methods are used in treating waste water viz Coagulation, Precipitation, Ion-Exchange, Adsorption, Chemical Precipitation etc. Recently, focus has been given in multidisciplinary aspects for waste water treatment viz physical, chemical, biological processes. Based on the principles of the conventional methods of waste water treatment like adsorption, precipitation etc various other advanced waste water treating technologies are being studied. The advanced treating processes viz use of activated carbon (Biochar), nanotechnology, Advanced Electro-Oxidation processes, Crystallization method (Salting out method ), Bioremediation, Photocatalysis based on nanocatalyst that grabbed immense scientific attention in the recent period due to their high efficiencies and for being environmentally sound, are being tried to cover in this review along with a critical comparision among the various advanced technologies and how to overcome their shortcomings on being integrated with other real time tested processes to enhance the overall efficiency of the process. Focus is on bioremediation, how to overcome the shortcomings associated with bioremediation by integrating it with efficient real time tested processes like treating contaminants in waste water first with nanoparticles (nano TiO2), water molasses etc followed by microbes , vice versa. How the application of biofilms, integration of electrokinetics to bioremediation, application of photocatalysis, loading of biochar and nanocomposites to photosynthetic bacteria increases the overall efficiency of the treatment of waste water are discussed in this review. Depending on the nature and quantity of contaminants different suitable approaches of treatment are taken.

Keywords: Biochar: the new green in black , Nanoparticles , Bioremediation , Photocatalysis based on nanocatalyst , Advanced Electro-Oxidation process , Crystallization

Written, reviewed, revised, proofed and published with