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.
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.
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.
As reported in Chemosphere by Colles et al. (2020), there are multiple pathways for human exposure to poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Now, a new chemical formation of C-F bonds in drug delivery lead to concerns for human exposure as these inert chemical formations are resistance to metabolic degradation and excretion.
Salinisation of soil is associated with urban pollution, industrial development and rising sea level. Understanding how high salinity is managed at the plant cellular level is vital to increase sustainable farming output. Previous studies focus on plant stress responses under salinity tolerance. Yet, there is limited knowledge about the mechanisms involved from stress state until the recovery state; our research aims to close this gap. By using the most tolerance genotype (SS1-14) and the most susceptible genotype (SS2-18), comparative physiological, metabolome and post-harvest assessments were performed to identify the underlying mechanisms for salinity stress recovery in plant cells. The up-regulation of glutamine, asparagine and malonic acid were found in recovered-tolerant genotype, suggesting a role in the regulation of panicle branching and spikelet formation for survival. Rice could survive up to 150 mM NaCl (∼15 ds/m) with declined of production rate 5-20% ranged from tolerance to susceptible genotype. This show that rice farming may still be viable on the high saline affected area with the right selection of salt-tolerant species, including glycophytes. The salt recovery biomarkers identified in this study and the adaption underlined could be empowered to address salinity problem in rice field.
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.
Synthetic adhesives in the plywood industry are usually volatile compounds such as formaldehyde-based chemical which are costly and hazardous to health and the environment. This phenomenon promotes an interest in developing bio-boards without synthetic adhesives. This study proposed a novel application of natural mycelium produced during mushroom cultivation as natural bio-adhesive material that convert spent mushroom substrate (SMS) into high-performance bio-board material. Different types of spent mushroom substrates were compressed with specific designed mould with optimal temperature at 160 °C and 10 mPa for 20 min. The bio-board made from Ganoderma lucidum SMS had the highest internal bonding strength up to 2.51 mPa. This is far above the 0.4-0.8 range of China and US national standards. In addition, the material had high water and fire resistance, high bonding and densified structures despite free of any adhesive chemicals. These properties and the low cost one step procedure show the potential as a zero-waste economy chain for sustainable agricultural practice for waste and remediation.
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.
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.
Poplar trees rapidly yield wood and are therefore suitable as a biofuel feedstock; however, the quality of poplar is modest, and the profitability of poplar cultivation depends on the efficiency of the harvesting process. This study offers a simple and sustainable technique to harvest lignocellulosic resources from poplar for bioethanol production. The proposed two-step pretreatment method increased the surface lignin content and decreased the surface polysaccharide content. The cellulose content increased to 54.9% and the xylan content decreased to 6.7% at 5% AC. The cellulose yield of poplar residues (Populus L.) reached 65.5% by this two-step acetic acid (AC) and sodium sulphite (SS) treatment method. Two-step pretreatment using 5% AC and 4% SS obtained a recovery of nearly 80% of the total available fermentable sugar. The surface characterization showed a higher porosity in treated samples, which improved their hydrolysability. This method decreased the amount of lignin in plant biomass, making it applicable for further wood resource recovery or waste recycling for biorefinery purposes at very low costs.
The deforestation and burning of the Amazon and other rainforests is having a cascade of effects on global climate, biodiversity, human health and local and regional socioeconomics. This challenging situation demands a sustainable exploitation of the region's resources in accordance with the United Nations (UNs) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in order to meet Good Environmental Status and reduce poverty. The management of forests sustainability spans across at least eight of the 17 UN SDGs mainly to combat desertification, halt biodiversity loss, and reverse land degradation. Significant changes are needed if we are to sustain the world's rainforests and thereby the global climate and biodiversity. These measures and mitigations are of global responsibility requiring both developed and developing nations such as the United States, EU, and China to change their policies and stand regarding their high demand for meat and hardwood. When possible, non-profit tree-planting internet browsers should be implemented by governments and institutions. So far, there is a lack of active use of the UN SDGs and the countries must therefore need to fully adopt the UN SDGs in order to help the situation. One way to enforce this could be through imposing economic penalties to governments and national institutions that do not adhere to for example publishing open access of data and other important information relevant for the mission of the UN SDGs.
Indoor air pollution with toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) is a threat to human health, causing cancer, leukemia, fetal malformation, and abortion. Therefore, the development of technologies to mitigate indoor air pollution is important to avoid adverse effects. Adsorption and photocatalytic oxidation are the current approaches for the removal of VOCs and PM2.5 with high efficiency. In this review we focus on the recent development of indoor air pollution mitigation materials based on adsorption and photocatalytic decomposition. First, we review on the primary indoor air pollutants including formaldehyde, benzene compounds, PM2.5, flame retardants, and plasticizer: Next, the recent advances in the use of adsorption materials including traditional biochar and MOF (metal-organic frameworks) as the new emerging porous materials for VOCs absorption is reviewed. We review the mechanism for mitigation of VOCs using biochar (noncarbonized organic matter partition and adsorption) and MOF together with parameters that affect indoor air pollution removal efficiency based on current mitigation approaches including the mitigation of VOCs using photocatalytic oxidation. Finally, we bring forward perspectives and directions for the development of indoor air mitigation technologies.
Hydrogen and gaseous fuel derived from wastes have opened up promising alternative pathways for the production of renewable and sustainable fuels to substitute classical fossil energy resources that cause global warming and pollution. Existing review articles focus mostly on gasification, reforming and pyrolysis processes, with limited information on particularly gaseous fuel production via pyrolysis of various waste products. This review provides an overview on the recent advanced pyrolysis technology used in hydrogen and gaseous fuel production. The key parameters to maximize the production of specific compounds were discussed. More studies are needed to optimize the process parameters and improve the understanding of reaction mechanisms and co-relationship between these advanced techniques. These advanced techniques provide novel environmentally sustainable and commercially procedures for waste-based production of hydrogen and gaseous fuels.