Abstract

Municipal wastewaters are abundant low-strength streams that require adequate treatment and disposal to ensure public and environmental health. This study aims to provide a comprehensive summary of municipal wastewater research in Europe in the 2010s in the form of bibliometric analysis. The work was based on the Science Citation Index Expanded (Web of Science) and carried out using the R-package bibliometrix for bibliometric data analysis and the software VOSviewer for science mapping. Analysing a dataset of 5645 publications, we identified the most influential journals, countries, authors, institutions, and publications, and mapped the co-authorship and keyword co-occurrence networks. Spain had produced the most publications while Switzerland had the highest average citations per publication. China was the most collaborative country from outside of Europe. Analysis of the most cited articles revealed the popularity of micropollutant removal in European municipal wastewater research. The keyword analysis visualized a paradigm shift from pollutant removal towards resource recovery and circular economy. We found that current challenges of resource recovery from municipal wastewater come from both technical and non-technical (e.g., environmental, economic, and social) aspects. We also discussed future research opportunities that can tackle these challenges.

Original languageEnglish
Article number131267
JournalChemosphere
Volume284
Early online date21 Jun 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The high research output from Spain could be attributed to several laws and grants from the Spanish government imposed to aid Spain in meeting targets set out by the EU. Specifically, a budget of around ?20 million was allocated in 2007 to achieve complete compliance with the WFD and other EU laws. However, in 2014 the European Commission denounced Spain to the European Court of Justice for not ensuring correct treatment of urban wastewaters in several municipalities, which eventually led to a fine of ?12 million (Jodar-Abellan et al., 2019). As a result of this, Spain enacted the Spanish Plan of Measures for Growth, Competitiveness and Efficiency. The plan had an initial goal of achieving water purity in surface waters in line with the WFD by 2020, and issued a grant of around ?1 billion to be invested in over 400 WWTPs (Jodar-Abellan et al., 2019). These arguments provide potential evidence to explain why Spain has been the largest contributor to wastewater research over the past decade.Juliana Marcal is supported by a PhD studentship from the Water Informatics Science and Engineering (WISE) Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT), funded by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Grant No. EP/L016214/1. The authors acknowledge Prof. Mark van Loosdrecht (Delft University of Technology) for providing valuable comments. This project was supported by the Royal Academy of Engineering under the Research Fellowship scheme (RF_201718_17145).

Funding Information:
Juliana Marcal is supported by a PhD studentship from the Water Informatics Science and Engineering ( WISE ) Centre for Doctoral Training ( CDT ), funded by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Grant No. EP/L016214/1. The authors acknowledge Prof. Mark van Loosdrecht (Delft University of Technology) for providing valuable comments. This project was supported by the Royal Academy of Engineering under the Research Fellowship scheme ( RF_201718_17145 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • Bibliometric analysis
  • Circular economy
  • Europe
  • Micropollutant
  • Municipal wastewater
  • Resource recovery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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