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[en] The Spanish Waste Management Framework Plan (2016-2022) considers that around 5·103 tonnes of sludge are produced and according to National Sludge Register around 80% of the sludge that was produced in 2012 had agricultural application. In Navarra, location in which the research is done, 76400 tonnes of sewage sludge were produced in 2014 (Integrated waste management plan for Navarra 2017-2027), and 88% of the sewage sludge applied in land was for agricultural use. The quality and quantity of sludge varies depending on the origin, the treatment applied as well as the sludge retention time (Metcaf&Eddy, 2002; Shlästrom et al. 2004; Rajagopal et al. 2013). Also sludge can contain some substances that are potentially hazardous, such as certain metals, pathogenic microorganisms or organic pollutants.
[en] Among the priority research lines of the main organizations for the protection of environment and public health are the so-called contaminants of emerging concern (CECs). This group of pollutants are defined as contaminants previously unknown or not recognized as pollutants whose presence in the environment is not necessarily new but it is new the concern about their possible consequences . These contaminants are detected at trace level (ng/L) in wastewater and surface water, which confirms that their elimination in conventional water treatment processes is not total.
[en] Electrochemical advanced oxidation processes (EAOPs) are envisaged as promising technologies to comply with an ever-increasing legal framework and the required environmental protection, especially when it comes to deal with hardly-biodegradable effluents.
[en] Water contamination comes in many forms and types, so it is imperative to develop new technologies and processes that remove different pollutants with high effectiveness while being harmless to humans and ecologically sustainable. Water regeneration allows societies to reuse hydric resources, but the wastewaters must have been conveniently purified in Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTPs) or other similar facilities before being suitable to even regenerate. Also, water reuse is legally limited to certain specific purposes, such as irrigation or industrial processes.
[en] Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CECs), present in wastewater, have a negative impact on human health and aqueous ecosystems, even at low concentrations. Conventional wastewater treatment processes are not able to completely eliminate these pollutants, which causes their presence in the aquatic medium. Therefore, it is necessary to use alternative methods for an effcient removal of CECs in water effluents. Advanced Oxidation Processes (AOPs) are based on the generation of hidroxyl radicals, highly reactive species with a high oxidation potential, capable of reacting with organic compounds in a non-selective manner (Salimy, M. et al., 2017).
[en] Hospital activities generate multiple quantities of effluents as function of numerous factors suchas number of beds, existent of general services, number and type of wards and blocks, number of inpatients and outpatients, etc (Oliveira et al., 2018).
[en] The Mediterranean region is one of the most water-scarce regions of the world where intensive agriculture consumes more than 50 % of the water resources playing a critical role in the intensification of water stress. In this regard, industrial wastewater reuse in agriculture represents an unconventional water supply to the improvement of the water use efficiency in Mediterranean countries. Besides, the implementation of a strategy to treat and reuse WW from agro-food industries in agriculture will let a reduction of the water footprint of these types of industries (Inyibor et al., 2019).
[en] Fruit and vegetable processing (FVP) industry is one of the largest industrial sectors in Europe, and its activities include the preparation, preservation, canning, freezing and drying of fresh FV and the manufacture of juices. When fruits and vegetables are cleaned and processed, their residues are transferred to water both in solid and dissolved form. These effluents contain high organic and nutrient loads. Currently, the aerobic digestion is the pre-treatment system used in the FVP industry effluents and then it is sent to a municipal treatment plant. However, this on-site treatment generates large amounts of sludge that must be managed as waste. This dumping of sludge has clear negative environmental aspects.
[en] The importance of microalgae in wastewater treatment is growing nowadays. This is reflected by the number of publications that can be found on ScienceDirect when microalgae&wastewater terms are searched: increasing from 22 publications in 2000 to 1122 in 2018. The relevance of microalgae-based wastewater treatments resides in its applicability in the field of urban wastewater , but also in other fields like aquaculture . Mathematical models offer a great opportunity for the study of its implementation in wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) and water resource recovery facilities (WRRF). Numerous models have been developed for microalgae growth modelling, but only a lower number are integrated models . In addition, it has been suggested the integration of microalgae-based processes in plant wide models as a next step, but the development of new state variables and processes is necessary .