Removal of rotavirus and adenovirus from artificial ground water using hydrochar derived from sewage sludge

; ; ; ; (). Removal of rotavirus and adenovirus from artificial ground water using hydrochar derived from sewage sludge: doi:10.1111/jam.12863. Applied Microbiology. Peer reviewed.

Aims: To determine the pathogenic virus removal performance of an

adsorbent produced from hydrothermal carbonization of sewage sludge.

Methods and Results: The removal of human pathogenic rotavirus and

adenovirus was investigated with columns of 10 cm saturated sand with and

without amendments of 15% (w/w) hydrochar. Virus concentrations were

determined with reverse transcription (RT) quantitative polymerase chain

reaction (qPCR). The experiments with sand showed 1 log removal, while the

columns with 15% (w/w) hydrochar amendment showed 2 to >3 log removal

for both viruses. Deionized (DI) water flushing into the virus-retaining

columns revealed that the secondary energy minimum played a larger role in

the attachment of rotavirus onto hydrochar surfaces than adenovirus.

Improved virus removal may be attributed to the introduction of hydrophobic

and/or meso-macro surface structures of the hydrochar providing favourable

attachment sites for viruses.

Conclusions: Hydrochar amended sand beds showed improved virus removal

efficiencies exceeding 996% corresponding to 24 log removal. The addition of

humic acid in the influent did not hinder the adsorptive removal of viruses.

Significance and Impact of the Study: This study suggests that hydrochar

derived from sewage sludge can be used as an adsorbent for virus removal in

water treatment.