Recent advances in environmental analytical chemistry have identified the presence of a large number of chemicals of emerging Arctic concern (CEACs) being transported long range to the region. There has been very limited temporal monitoring of CEACs and it is therefore unknown whether they are of increasing or decreasing concern. Likewise, information on potential biological adverse effects from CEACs on Arctic wildlife is lacking compared with legacy persistent organic pollutants (POPs) found at levels associated with health effects in marine mammals. Hence, there is a need to monitor CEACs along with POPs to support risk and regulatory CEAC assessments. We suggest pan-Arctic temporal trend studies of CEACs in wildlife including the establishment of toxicity thresholds to evaluate their potential effects on populations, biodiversity, and ecosystem services.
In this study, the role of manganese precursors in mesoporous (meso) MnOx/γ-Al2O3 catalysts was examined systematically for toluene oxidation under ozone at ambient temperature (20 °C). The meso MnOx/γ-Al2O3 catalysts developed with Mn(CH3COO)2, MnCl2, Mn(NO3)2.4H2O and MnSO4 were prepared by an innovative single step solvent-deficient method (SDM); the catalysts were labeled as MnOx/Al2O3(A), MnOx/Al2O3(C), MnOx/Al2O3(N), and MnOx/Al2O3(S), respectively. Among all, MnOx/Al2O3(C) showed superior performance both in toluene removal (95%) as well as ozone decomposition (88%) followed by acetate, nitrate and sulphated precursor MnOx/Al2O3. The superior performance of MnOx/Al2O3(C) in the oxidation of toluene to COx is associated with the ozone decomposition over highly dispersed MnOx in which extremely active oxygen radicals (O2-, O22- and O-) are generated to enhance the oxidation ability of the catalysts greatly. In addition, toluene adsorption over acid support played a vital role in this reaction. Hence, the properties such as optimum Mn3+/Mn4+ ratio, acidic sites, and smaller particle size (≤2 nm) examined by XPS, TPD of NH3, and TEM results are playing vital role in the present study. In summary, the MnOx/Al2O3 (C) catalyst has great potential in environmental applications particularly for the elimination of volatile organic compounds with low loading of manganese developed by SDM.
To valorize biomass waste, pyrolysis of orange peel was mainly investigated as a case study. In an effort to establish a more sustainable thermolytic platform for orange peel, this study particularly employed CO2 as reactive gas medium. Accordingly, this study laid great emphasis on elucidating the mechanistic role of CO2 in pyrolysis of orange peel. The thermo-gravimetric analysis (TGA) confirmed that no occurrence of the heterogeneous reactions between the solid sample and CO2. However, the gaseous effluents from pyrolysis of orange peel experimentally proved that CO2 effectively suppressed dehydrogenation of volatile matters (VMs) evolved from the thermolysis of orange peel by random bond scissions. Moreover, CO2 reacted VMs, thereby resulting in the formation of CO. Note that the formation of CO was being initiated at temperatures ≥550 °C. The two identified roles of CO2 led to the compositional modification of pyrolytic oil by means of lowering aromaticity.
The removal of antibiotics and resistance genes in wastewater treatment plants has attracted widespread attention, but the potential role of residual antibiotics in the disposal of waste activated sludge (WAS) has not been clearly understood. In this study, the effect of roxithromycin (ROX) on volatile fatty acid (VFA) recovery from WAS anaerobic fermentation was investigated. The experimental results showed that ROX made a positive contribution to the production of VFAs. With the increase of ROX dosages from 0 to 100 mg/kg TSS, the maximum accumulation of VFAs increased from 295 to 610 mg COD/L. Mechanism studies revealed that ROX promoted the solubilization of WAS by facilitating the disruption of extracellular polymeric substances. In addition, ROX enhanced the activity of acetate kinase and inhibited the activities of α-glucosidase and coenzyme F420, and showed a stronger inhibitory effect on methane production than the hydrolysis process, thus resulting in an increase in VFA accumulation. These findings provide a new insight for the role of antibiotics in anaerobic fermentation of WAS.
A continuous increase in the amount of greenhouse gases (GHGs) is causing serious threats to the environment and life on the earth, and CO2 is one of the major candidates. Reducing the excess CO2 by converting into industrial products could be beneficial for the environment and also boost up industrial growth. In particular, the conversion of CO2 into methanol is very beneficial as it is cheaper to produce from biomass, less inflammable, and advantageous to many industries. Application of various plants, algae, and microbial enzymes to recycle the CO2 and using these enzymes separately along with CO2-phillic materials and chemicals can be a sustainable solution to reduce the global carbon footprint. Materials such as MOFs, porphyrins, and nanomaterials are also used widely for CO2 absorption and conversion into methanol. Thus, a combination of enzymes and materials which convert the CO2 into methanol could energize the CO2 utilization. The CO2 to methanol conversion utilizes carbon better than the conventional syngas and the reaction yields fewer by-products. The methanol produced can further be utilized as a clean-burning fuel, in pharmaceuticals, automobiles and as a general solvent in various industries etc. This makes methanol an ideal fuel in comparison to the conventional petroleum-based ones and it is advantageous for a safer and cleaner environment. In this review article, various aspects of the circular economy with the present scenario of environmental crisis will also be considered for large-scale sustainable biorefinery of methanol production from atmospheric CO2.
Polyelectrolyte composite nanospheres are relatively new adsorbents which have attracted much attention for their efficient pollutant removal and reuse performance. A novel polyelectrolyte nanosphere with magnetic function (SA@AM) was synthesized via the electrostatic reaction between the polyanionic sodium alginate (SA) and the surface of a prepared terminal amino-based magnetic nanoparticles (AMs). SA@AM showed a size of 15-22 nm with 6.85 emu·g-1 of magnetization value, exhibiting a high adsorption capacity on Pb(II) ions representing a common heavy metal pollutant, with a maximum adsorption capacity of 105.8 mg g-1. The Langmuir isotherm adsorption fits the adsorption curve, indicating uniform adsorption of Pb(II) on the SA@AM surfaces. Repeated adsorption desorption experiments showed that the removal ratio of Pb(II) by SA@AM was more than 76%, illustrating improved regeneration performance. These results provide useful information for the production of bio-based green magnetic nano scale adsorption materials for environmental remediation applications.
The escalating loads of municipal solid waste (MSW) end up in open dumps and landfills, producing continuous flows of landfill leachate. The risk of incorporating highly toxic landfill leachate into environment is important to be evaluated and measured in order to facilitate decision making for landfill leachate management and treatment. Leachate pollution index (LPI) provides quantitative measures of the potential environmental pollution by landfill leachate and information about the environmental quality adjacent to a particular landfill. According to LPI values, most developing countries show high pollution potentials from leachate, mainly due to high organic waste composition and low level of waste management techniques. A special focus on leachate characterization studies with LPI and its integration to treatment, which has not been focused in previous reviews on landfill leachate, is given here. Further, the current review provides a summary related to leachate generation, composition, characterization, risk assessment and treatment together with challenges and perspectives in the sector with its focus to developing nations. Potential commercial and industrial applications of landfill leachate is discussed in the study to provide insights into its sustainable management which is original for the study.
Biochar was produced by the pyrolysis of Kraft lignin at 600 °C followed by modification with CO2 at 700 and 800 °C and impregnation with FeOx. The physicochemical properties and arsenic (V) adsorption performance of biochar were evaluated. The characteristics of the lignin biochar before and after CO2 modification and FeOx impregnation were analyzed using the following methods: proximate and ultimate analysis, specific surface area (Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) surface area), porosity, scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive spectroscopy mapping, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The specific surface area and porosity of biochar were improved significantly after CO2 modification. However, impregnation of FeOx in CO2-modified biochar showed a 50%-60% decrease of BET surface area and porosity due to pore blocking of FeOx. The batch adsorption of arsenic (V) showed that FeOx-LC-800 (FeOx impregnation lignin char modified with CO2 at 800 °C) had the highest adsorption efficiency among the biochars tested because of its highest Fe-O intensity and large surface area. The Langmuir adsorption model was suitable for the curve fitting arsenic (V) adsorption. The theoretical equilibrium adsorption amount (qe) was calculated to be 6.8 mg/g using a pseudo-second-order kinetic model.
The deposition phenomenon of microparticle and SAR-CoV-2 laced bioaerosol in human airways is studied by Taguchi methods and response surface methodology (RSM). The data used herein is obtained from simulations of airflow dynamics and deposition fractions of drug particle aerosols in the downstream airways of asthma patients using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and discrete particle motion (DPM). Three main parameters, including airflow rate, drug dose, and particle size, affecting aerosol deposition in the lungs of asthma patients are examined. The highest deposition fraction (DF) is obtained at the flow rate of 45 L min-1, the drug dose of 200 μg·puff-1, and the particle diameter of 5 μm. The optimized combination of levels for the three parameters for maximum drug deposition is performed via the Taguchi method. The importance of the influencing factors rank as particle size > drug dose > flow rate. RSM reveals that the combination of 30 L min-1, 5 μm, 200 μg·puff- has the highest deposition fraction. In part, this research also studied the deposition of bioaerosols contaminated with the SAR-CoV-2 virus, and their lowest DF is 1.15%. The low DF of bioaerosols reduces the probability of the SAR-CoV-2 virus transmission.
Phosphate solubilizing bacteria (PSBs) shows high potential to be used for lead passivation in sediments due to the abilities of releasing phosphate and the subsequent formation of insoluble Pb-phosphate compounds. In this research, microbial capsules implemented with sodium alginate and CaCl2, containing Leclercia adecarboxylata L15 (a lead resistant PSB) and Ca3(PO4)2, were developed and the performance on lead passivation under different conditions was examined. The optimal concentrations of sodium alginate and CaCl2 for formulating the capsules were determined to be 0.3% and 10%, respectively. The removal efficiency of Pb2+ by capsules containing L15 and Ca3(PO4)2 was up to 98% with a capsule dosage of 2%, initial Pb2+ concentration of 1mM and pH of 3.0, which was better than that of free L15 (18%) and capsules containing only L15 (34%). Lead was immobilized via the formation of Pb5(PO4)3Cl on the surface and Pb3(PO4)2 in the interior of the capsules. The simulated sediment remediation experiments showed that the acid soluble fraction of lead reduced from 28% to 14% and transformed into more stable fractions after 10 days. The experiment results indicated that PSBs capsules coupled with phosphate materials have a great promise for application in remediation of lead contaminated sediments.
There is a global need to use plants to restore the ecological environment. There is no systematic review of phytoremediation mechanisms and the parameters for environmental pollution. Here, we review this situation and describe the purification rate of different plants for different pollutants, as well as methods to improve the purification rate of plants. This is needed to promote the use of plants to restore the ecosystems and the environment. We found that plants mainly use their own metabolism including the interaction with microorganisms to repair their ecological environment. In the process of remediation, the purification factors of plants are affected by many conditions such as light intensity, stomatal conductance, temperature and microbial species. In addition the efficiency of phytoremediation is depending on the plants species-specific metabolism including air absorption and photosynthesis, diversity of soil microorganisms and heavy metal uptake. Although the use of nanomaterials and compost promote the restoration of plants to the environment, a high dose may have negative impacts on the plants. In order to improve the practicability of the phytoremediation on environmental restoration, further research is needed to study the effects of different kinds of catalysts on the efficiency of phytoremediation. Thus, the present review provides a recent update for development and applications of phytoremediation in different environments including air, water, and soil.
The increase in global population size over the past 100 decades has doubled the requirements for energy resources. To mitigate the limited fossil fuel available, new clean energy sources being environmental sustainable for replacement of traditional energy sources are explored to supplement the current scarcity. Biomass containing lignin and cellulose is the main raw material to replace fossil energy given its abundance and lower emission of greenhouse gases and NOx when transformed into energy. Bacteria, fungi and algae decompose lignocellulose leading to generation of hydrogen, methane, bioethanol and biodiesel being the clean energy used for heating, power generation and the automobile industry. Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC) uses microorganisms to decompose biomass in wastewater to generate electricity and remove heavy metals in wastewater. Biomass contains cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin and other biomacromolecules which need hydrolyzation for conversion into small molecules by corresponding enzymes in order to be utilized by microorganisms. This paper discusses microbial decomposition of biomass into clean energy and the five major ways of clean energy production, and its economic benefits for future renewable energy security.
Inhalation of aerosols such as pharmaceutical aerosols or virus aerosol uptake is of great concern to the human population. To elucidate the underlying aerosol dynamics, the deposition fractions (DFs) of aerosols in healthy and asthmatic human airways of generations 13-15 are predicted. The Navier-stokes equations governing the gaseous phase and the discrete phase model for particles' motion are solved using numerical methods. The main forces responsible for deposition are inertial impaction forces and complex secondary flow velocities. The curvatures and sinusoidal folds in the asthmatic geometry lead to the formation of complex secondary flows and hence higher DFs. The intensities of complex secondary flows are strongest at the generations affected by asthma. The DF in the healthy airways is 0%, and it ranges from 1.69% to 52.93% in the asthmatic ones. From this study, the effects of the pharmaceutical aerosol particle diameters in the treatment of asthma patients can be established, which is conducive to inhibiting the inflammation of asthma airways. Furthermore, with the recent development of COVID-19 which causes pneumonia, the predicted physics and effective simulation methods of bioaerosols delivery to asthma patients are vital to prevent the exacerbation of the chronic ailment and the epidemic.
In recent years, visualization and characterization of lignocellulose at different scales elucidate the modifications of its ultrastructural and chemical features during hydrothermal pretreatment which include degradation and dissolving of hemicelluloses, swelling and partial hydrolysis of cellulose, melting and redepositing a part of lignin in the surface. As a result, cell walls are swollen, deformed and de-laminated from the adjacent layer, lead to a range of revealed droplets that appear on and within cell walls. Moreover, the certain extent morphological changes significantly promote the downstream processing steps, especially for enzymatic hydrolysis and anaerobic fermentation to bioethanol by increasing the contact area with enzymes. However, the formation of pseudo-lignin hinders the accessibility of cellulase to cellulose, which decreases the efficiency of enzymatic hydrolysis. This review is intended to bridge the gap between the microstructure studies and value-added applications of lignocellulose while inspiring more research prospects to enhance the hydrothermal pretreatment process.
Nitrate is required to maintain the growth and metabolism of plant and animals. Nevertheless, in excess amount such as polluted water, its concentration can be harmful to living organisms such as microalgae. Recently, studies on microalgae response towards nutrient fluctuation are usually limited to lipid accumulation for the production of biofuels, disregarding the other potential of microalgae to be used in wastewater treatments and as source of important metabolites. Our study therefore captures the need to investigate overall metabolite changes via NMR spectroscopy approach coupled with multivariate data to understand the complex molecular process under high (4X) and low (1/4X) concentrations of nitrate ([Formula: see text]). NMR spectra with the aid of chemometric analysis revealed contrasting metabolites makeup under abundance and limited nitrate treatment. By using NMR technique, 43 types of metabolites and 8 types of fatty acid chains were detected. Nevertheless, only 20 key changes were observed and 16 were down regulated in limited nitrate condition. This paper has demonstrated the feasibility of NMR-based metabolomics approach to study the physiological impact of changing environment such as pollution to the implications for growth and productivity of microalgae population.
The Amazon rainforest has sustained human existence for more than 10,000 years. Part of this has been the way that the forest controls regional climate including precipitation important for the ecosystem as well as agroforestry and farming. In addition, the Amazon also affects the global weather systems, so cutting down the rainforest significantly increases the effects of climate change, threatening the world's biodiversity and causing local desertification and soil erosion. The current fire activities and deforestation in the Amazon rainforest therefore have consequences for global sustainability. In the light of this, the current decisions made in Brazil regarding an increase in Amazon deforestation require policy changes if the global ecosystems and biodiversity are not to be set to collapse. There is only one way to move forward and that is to increase efforts in sustainable development of the region including limitation in deforestation and to continuously measure and monitor the development. The G7 countries have offered Brazil financial support for at least 20 million euros for fighting the forest fires but the president denies receiving such financial support and says that it is more relevant to raise new forests in Europe. In fact, this is exactly what is happening in Denmark and China in order to reduce climate change. Such activities should be global and include South America, Europe, Africa and Asia where deforestation is important issue. Forest restoration reduces climate change, desertification, and preserves both the regional tropical and global environment if the wood is not burned at a later stage but instead used in e.g. roads as filling material. Changes are therefore needed through improved international understanding and agreements to better avoid the global climate changes, from cutting down the precious rainforest before it is too late as rainforest cannot be re-planted.
Developing cost-effective technology for treatment of sewage and nitrogen-containing groundwater is one of the crucial challenges of global water industries. Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) oxidize organics from sewage by exoelectrogens on anode to produce electricity while denitrifiers on cathode utilize the generated electricity to reduce nitrogen from contaminated groundwater. As the exoelectrogens are incapable of oxidizing insoluble, polymeric, and complex organics, a novel integration of an anaerobic sequencing batch reactor (ASBR) prior to the MFC simultaneously achieve hydrolytic-acidogenic conversion of complex organics, boost power recovery, and remove Carbon/Nitrogen (C/N) from the sewage and groundwater. The results obtained revealed increases in the fractions of soluble organics and volatile fatty acids in pretreated sewage by 52 ± 19% and 120 ± 40%, respectively. The optimum power and current generation with the pretreated sewage were 7.1 W m-3 and 45.88 A m-3, respectively, corresponding to 8% and 10% improvements compared to untreated sewage. Moreover, the integration of the ASBR with the biocathode MFC led to 217% higher carbon and 136% higher nitrogen removal efficiencies compared to the similar system without ASBR. The outcomes of the present study represent the promising prospects of using ASBR pretreatment and successive utilization of solubilized organics in denitrifying biocathode MFCs for simultaneous energy recovery and C/N removal from both sewage and nitrate nitrogen-contaminated groundwater.
The valorization of lignin to replace phenol is significant in the production of phenolic resins. However, a great challenge is to produce lignin-based resin (LR) with a suitable viscosity and high substitution rate of lignin to phenol. In this study, LRs were produced using hardwood technical lignin derived from the pulping industry. Structural analysis of the LRs indicated that the unsubstituted para and ortho carbon atoms of the aromatic ring influenced the curing temperature and activation energy of the resins. The curing kinetics and thermal decomposition study implied that urea and methylene groups in cured LRs were significant factors that affected the thermal stability negatively. The prepared LRs showed desirable features if used as adhesives to make plywood. This is the first approach in which a substitution rate of up to 65 % is achieved for low-reactive-site hardwood lignin, which provides a solution to the challenge of the simultaneous realization of the high addition of lignin and the adaptive viscosity of resins.
Microwave assisted hydrothermal treatment (MHTC) was compared with torrefaction in terms of carbonization efficiency and physicochemical characteristics of char products. The utilization of produced char was optimized for composite solid biofuel production. The results show that MHTC significantly improved the binding capability of the microwave hydrochar (MHC) particles during co-densification with unprocessed biomass and coal. One possible contributor to the improved binding is the pseudo lignin formed during the MHTC, which led to a better interlocking of the feedstock particles and promoted the solid bridge formation. Composite pellet prepared with 80 wt% of torrefaction char (TC-120), 10 wt% of microwave hydrochar (MHC-30), and 10 wt% of Coal-04 showed a higher heating value of 24.54 MJ/kg and energy density of 26.43 GJ/m3, which is significantly higher than that of the raw cotton stalk pellet (16.77 MJ/kg and 18.76 GJ/m3, respectively), showing great promise as a solid biofuel. The moisture resistance and oxidation reactivity are also significantly improved. The results demonstrate that MHCs provides dual functionalities in acting as binder and fuel promoter in the production of composite biofuel. This study can provide new insight into the unique functions of MHC during fuel application, which demonstrates the great potential of applying MHTC in energy recovery from lignocellulosic biomass.
Science of the Total Environment recently discussed how open access and predatory journals affect the flow of scientific knowledge in an unfortunate way. Now, South Korea's Ministry of Education is intervening to establish a system that will help its researchers avoid the growing global number of fake conferences of low academic and scientific merit. Here, we discuss solutions to this problem with respect to what is needed. Particularly, a list similar to that of Beall's for predatory conferences, without restricting researchers' academic freedom.