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Hotspots and trends of biological water treatment based on bibliometric review and patents analysis

Lili Jin, Xiangzhou Sun, Hongqiang Ren, Hui Huang
Journal of environmental sciences (China) 2023 v.125 pp. 774-785
Japan, activated sludge, biodegradation, biological treatment, biotransformation, databases, metrology, nitrogen, phosphorus, toxicity, wastewater, water reuse, water treatment, China
In order to reveal the hotspots and trends of biological water treatment from the perspectives of scientific and technological innovation, both of the bibliometric review and patents analysis were performed in this study. The Web of Science Core Collection database and Derwent Innovation Index database recorded 30023 SCI papers and 50326 patents, respectively were analyzed via information visualization technology. The results showed that China ranked the first in both papers and patents, while the United States and Japan had advantages in papers and patents, respectively. It was concluded through literature metrology analysis that microbial population characteristics, biodegradation mechanism, toxicity analysis, nitrogen and phosphorus removal and biological treatment of micro-polluted wastewater were the research hotspots of SCI papers. Activated sludge process and anaerobic-aerobic combined process were the two mainstream technologies on the basis of patent technology classification analysis. Technology evolution path of biological water treatment was also elucidated in three stages based on the citation network analysis. Furthermore, the future directions including research on the law of interaction and regulation of biological phases and pollutants and the technology innovations towards the targeted biotransformation or selective biodegradation of pollutants and resource reuse of wastewater were prospected.