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Precious Egbuikwem

Project: Reclamation of mixed-wastewater by low-cost technologies for agricultural reuse
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My research project

My publications


Egbuikwem Precious N., Naz Iffat, Saroj Devendra P. (2019) Appraisal of suspended growth process for treatment of mixture of simulated petroleum, textile, domestic, agriculture and pharmaceutical wastewater, Environmental Technology pp. 1-16 Taylor & Francis
The unrestricted discharge of domestic and industrial wastewaters along with agricultural runoff water into the environment as mixed-wastewater pose serious threat to freshwater resources in many countries. Mixed-wastewater pollution is a common phenomenon in the developing countries as the technologies to treat the individual waste streams at source are lacking due to high operational and maintenance costs. Therefore, the need to explore the potential of the suspended growth process which is a well-established process technology for biological wastewater treatment is the focus of this paper. Different wastewater constituents: representing domestic, pharmaceutical, textile, petroleum, and agricultural runoff were synthesized as a representative of mixed-wastewater and treated in two semi-continuous bioreactors (R1 & R2) operated at constant operating conditions, namely MLSS (mg/L): 4640-R1, 4440-R2, SRT: 21-d, HRT: 48?72?h, and uncontrolled pH. The system attained stable condition in day 97, with average COD, BOD and TSS reduction as 84.5%, 86.2%, and 72.2% for R1; and 85.1%, 87.9%, and 75.1% for R2, respectively. Phosphate removal on average was by 74.3% in R1 and 76.6% in R2, while average nitrification achieved in systems 1 and 2 were 56.8% and 54.7%, respectively. The biological treatment system has shown potential for improving the quality of mixed-wastewater to the state where reuse may be considered and tertiary treatment can be employed to polish the effluent quality.
Egbuikwem Precious, Mierzwa Jose C., Saroj Devendra (2020) Assessment of suspended growth biological process for treatment and reuse of mixed wastewater for irrigation of edible crops under hydroponic conditions, Agricultural Water Management 231 106304 Elsevier Masson
Due to the increasing freshwater deterioration and demand for irrigation, there is pressing need to reclaim and reuse wastewater for agricultural operations. While this practice is gaining significant traction in developed world, it is quite rare in most developing countries with inadequate or no functional sewerage facilities and treatment systems at both municipal and industrial levels occasioned by high investment and operational costs. Consequently, wastewaters generated are in complex heterogenous mix of industrial, domestic, municipal and agricultural runoff wastewater. Biological technologies which utilize the expertise of microorganisms are considered robust, efficient and economically attractive for treatment of wide range of wastewaters and they have high suitability in developing countries. This work therefore assessed the potential of suspended growth biological process (SGBP) for reclamation and reuse of mixed wastewater composed a mixture of domestic effluent, pharmaceutical, textile, petroleum discharges and agricultural runoff for irrigation of edible crops (lettuce and beets) with plants phenological parameters as measuring indicators. The germination and phenological characteristics of crops were studied in a hydroponic unit under four irrigation regimes: tap water as control, mixed wastewater, SGBP treated wastewater, and tap water mixed with nutrient solution as upper control, for a duration of 45-d. The results proved that the SGBP treated wastewater had no negative impact on germination responses of the seed crops. However, residual recalcitrant compounds caused early stunted growth in plant root systems with resultant limited access to nutrients. Consequently, plant vegetative growth and phenological development as well as chlorophyll production were reduced. In comparison to nutrients supplemented solution, nutrients deficiency and imbalance in treated wastewater contributed to the poor development in irrigated plants. The outcomes of seed germination and plant growth experiments show a positive indication for reuse of mixed wastewater in agriculture. However, there is need for further research to explore the long-term benefits and limitations of reusing such treated wastewater.