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Abstract • Dual-reaction-center (DRC) system breaks through bottleneck of Fenton reaction. • Utilization of intrinsic electrons of pollutants is realized in DRC system. • DRC catalytic process well continues Fenton’s story. Triggered by global water quality safety issues, the research on wastewater treatment and water purification technology has been greatly developed in recent years. The Fenton technology is particularly powerful due to the rapid attack on pollutants by the generated hydroxyl radicals (•OH). However, both heterogeneous and homogeneous Fenton/Fenton-like technologies follow the classical reaction mechanism, which depends on the oxidation and reduction of the transition metal ions at single sites. So even after a century of development, this reaction still suffers from its inherent bottlenecks in practical application. In recent years, our group has been focusing on studying a novel heterogeneous Fenton catalytic process, and we developed the dual-reaction-center (DRC) system for the first time. In the DRC system, H2O2 and O2 can be efficiently reduced to reactive oxygen species (ROS) in electron-rich centers, while pollutants are captured and oxidized by the electron-deficient centers. The obtained electrons from pollutants are diverted to the electron-rich centers through bonding bridges. This process breaks through the classic Fenton mechanism, and improves the performance and efficiency of pollutant removal in a wide pH range. Here, we provide a brief overview of Fenton’s story and focus on combing the discovery and development of the DRC technology and mechanism in recent years. The construction of the DRC and its performance in the pollutant degradation and interfacial reaction process are described in detail. We look forward to bringing a new perspective to continue Fenton’s story through research and development of DRC technology.

Chao Lu ,   Kanglan Deng   et al.
• Toxicity-oriented water quality monitoring was proposed. • Toxicity-oriented water quality engineering control was proposed. • Future issues to the proposition were discussed. The fundamental goal of water quality engineering is to ensure water safety to humans and the environment. Traditional water quality engineering consists of monitoring, evaluation, and control of key water quality parameters. This approach provides some vital insights into water quality, however, most of these parameters do not account for pollutant mixtures – a reality that terminal water users face, nor do most of these parameters have a direct connection with the human health safety of waters. This puts the real health-specific effects of targeted water pollutant monitoring and engineering control in question. To focus our attention to one of the original goals of water quality engineering – human health and environmental protection, we advocate here the toxicity-oriented water quality monitoring and control. This article presents some of our efforts toward such goal. Specifically, complementary to traditional water quality parameters, we evaluated the water toxicity using high sensitivity toxicological endpoints, and subsequently investigated the performance of some of the water treatment strategies in modulating the water toxicity. Moreover, we implemented the toxicity concept into existing water treatment design theory to facilitate toxicity-oriented water quality control designs. Suggestions for the next steps are also discussed. We hope our work will intrigue water quality scientists and engineers to improve and embrace the mixture water pollutant and toxicological evaluation and engineering control.

Shengkun Dong ,   Chenyue Yin   et al.
• CWF is a sustainable POU water treatment method for developing areas. • CWF manufacturing process is critical for its filtration performance. • Simultaneous increase of flow rate and pathogen removal is a challenge. • Control of pore size distribution holds promises to improve CWF efficiency. • Novel coatings of CWFs are a promising method to improve contaminant removal. Drinking water source contamination poses a great threat to human health in developing countries. Point-of-use (POU) water treatment techniques, which improve drinking water quality at the household level, offer an affordable and convenient way to obtain safe drinking water and thus can reduce the outbreaks of waterborne diseases. Ceramic water filters (CWFs), fabricated from locally sourced materials and manufactured by local labor, are one of the most socially acceptable POU water treatment technologies because of their effectiveness, low-cost and ease of use. This review concisely summarizes the critical factors that influence the performance of CWFs, including (1) CWF manufacturing process (raw material selection, firing process, silver impregnation), and (2) source water quality. Then, an in-depth discussion is presented with emphasis on key research efforts to address two major challenges of conventional CWFs, including (1) simultaneous increase of filter flow rate and bacterial removal efficiency, and (2) removal of various concerning pollutants, such as viruses and metal(loid)s. To promote the application of CWFs, future research directions can focus on: (1) investigation of pore size distribution and pore structure to achieve higher flow rates and effective pathogen removal by elucidating pathogen transport in porous ceramic and adjusting manufacture parameters; and (2) exploration of new surface modification approaches with enhanced interaction between a variety of contaminants and ceramic surfaces.

Haiyan Yang ,   Shangping Xu   et al.
• Nanowire-assisted LEEFT is applied for water disinfection with low voltages. • LEEFT inactivates bacteria by disrupting cell membrane through electroporation. • Multiple electrodes and device configurations have been developed for LEEFT. • The LEEFT is low-cost, highly efficient, and produces no DBPs. • The LEEFT can potentially be applicable for water disinfection at all scales. Water disinfection is a critical step in water and wastewater treatment. The most widely used chlorination suffers from the formation of carcinogenic disinfection by-products (DBPs) while alternative methods (e.g., UV, O3, and membrane filtration) are limited by microbial regrowth, no residual disinfectant, and high operation cost. Here, a nanowire-enabled disinfection method, locally enhanced electric field treatment (LEEFT), is introduced with advantages of no chemical addition, no DBP formation, low energy consumption, and efficient microbial inactivation. Attributed to the lightning rod effect, the electric field near the tip area of the nanowires on the electrode is significantly enhanced to inactivate microbes, even though a small external voltage (usually<5 V) is applied. In this review, after emphasizing the significance of water disinfection, the theory of the LEEFT is explained. Subsequently, the recent development of the LEEFT technology on electrode materials and device configurations are summarized. The disinfection performance is analyzed, with respect to the operating parameters, universality against different microorganisms, electrode durability, and energy consumption. The studies on the inactivation mechanisms during the LEEFT are also reviewed. Lastly, the challenges and future research of LEEFT disinfection are discussed.

Jianfeng Zhou ,   Ting Wang   et al.

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