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  1. Wei Z, Van Le Q, Peng W, Yang Y, Yang H, Gu H, et al.
    J Hazard Mater, 2021 02 05;403:123658.
    PMID: 33264867 DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.123658
    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.
  2. Wang Y, Van Le Q, Yang H, Lam SS, Yang Y, Gu H, et al.
    Chemosphere, 2021 Oct;281:130835.
    PMID: 33992848 DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2021.130835
    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.
  3. Yue X, Ma NL, Sonne C, Guan R, Lam SS, Van Le Q, et al.
    J Hazard Mater, 2021 03 05;405:124138.
    PMID: 33092884 DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.124138
    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.
  4. Gao M, Lin Y, Wang P, Jin Y, Wang Q, Ma H, et al.
    J Hazard Mater, 2021 Sep 05;417:126037.
    PMID: 33992013 DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.126037
    Chinese liquor distillers' grain (CLDG) is an abundant industrial organic waste showing high potential as feedstock for biofuel conversion. In this study, CLDG was used as substrate by microbial community in pit mud to produce medium-chain fatty acids (especially caproate). Simulated and real fermentation were used to evaluate the effect of ethanol and lactic acid being the electronic donors (EDs) during the anaerobic chain elongation (CE). The caproate concentration was achieved at 449 mg COD/g VS, with the corresponding high carbon selectivity at 37.1%. Microbial analysis revealed that the domestication of pit mud increased the abundance of Caproiciproducens (converting lactic acid into caproate) and Lactobacillus (producing lactic acid), leading to enhanced caproate production. The lactic acid conversion facilitated in full utilization of ethanol through CE consumption. The coexistence of EDs benefited the CE system and that this green energy production can be a promising high-performance biofuel donor for sustainable industrial production development.
  5. Guan R, Van Le Q, Yang H, Zhang D, Gu H, Yang Y, et al.
    Chemosphere, 2021 May;271:129499.
    PMID: 33445014 DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.129499
    Phytochemicals refer to active substances in plant-based diets. Phytochemicals found in for example fruits, vegetables, grains and seed oils are considered relatively safe for consumption due to mammal-plant co-evolution and adaptation. A number of human diseases are related to oxidative stress caused by for example chemical environmental contaminants in air, water and food; while also lifestyle including smoking and lack of exercise and dietary preferences are important factors for disease development in humans. Here we explore the dietary sources of antioxidant phytochemicals that have beneficial effects on oxidative stress, cardiovascular and neurological diseases as well as cancer. Plant-based diets usually contain phenolic acids, flavonoids and carotenoids, which have strong antioxidant properties, and therefore remove the excess of active oxygen in the body, and protect cells from damage, reducing the risk of cardiovascular and Alzheimer's disease. In most cases, obesity is related to diet and inactivity and plant-based diets change lipid composition and metabolism, which reduce obesity related hazards. Cruciferous and Allium vegetables are rich in organic sulphides that can act on the metabolism of carcinogens and therefore used as anti-cancer and suppressing agents while dietary fibres and plant sterols may improve intestinal health and prevent intestinal diseases. Thus, we recommend a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and grains as its content of phytochemicals may have the potential to prevent or improve a broad sweep of various diseases.
  6. Sajeev A, Paul AM, Nivetha R, Gothandapani K, Gopal TS, Jacob G, et al.
    Sci Rep, 2022 Feb 07;12(1):2004.
    PMID: 35132114 DOI: 10.1038/s41598-022-05953-x
    A wide variety of electrocatalysts has been evolved for hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) and it is reasonable to carry out HER with low cost electrocatalyst and a good efficiency. In this study, Cu3N was synthesized by nitridation of Cu2O and further utilized as an electrocatalyst towards HER. The developed Cu3N electrocatalyst was tested and results showed a low overpotential and moderate Tafel slope value (overpotential: 149.18 mV and Tafel slope 63.28 mV/dec at 10 mA/cm2) in alkaline medium with a charge transfer resistance value as calculated from electrochemical impendence spectroscopy being 1.44 Ω. Further from the experimental results, it was observed that the reaction kinetics was governed by Volmer-Heyrovsky mechanism. Moreover, Cu3N has shown an improved rate of electron transfer and enhanced accessible active sites, due to its structural properties and electrical conductivity. Thus the overall results show an excellent electrochemical performance, leading to a new pathway for the synthesis of low cost electrocatalyst for energy conversion and storage.
  7. Wan Mahari WA, Peng W, Nam WL, Yang H, Lee XY, Lee YK, et al.
    J Hazard Mater, 2020 12 05;400:123156.
    PMID: 32574879 DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.123156
    A review of valorization of oyster mushroom species and waste generated in the mushroom cultivation is presented, with a focus on the cultivation and valorization techniques, conditions, current research status and particularly the hazard mitigation and value-added recovery of the waste mushroom substrate (WMS) - an abundant waste in mushroom cultivation industry. Based on the studies reviewed, the production rate of the present mushroom industry is inadequate to meet market demands. There is a need for the development of new mushroom cultivation methods that can guarantee an increase in mushroom productivity and quality (nutritional and medicinal properties). This review shows that the cylindrical baglog cultivation method is more advantageous compared with the wood tray cultivation method to improve the mushroom yield and cost efficiency. Approximately 5 kg of potentially hazardous WMS (spreading diseases in mushroom farm) is generated for production of 1 kg of mushroom. This encourages various valorization of WMS for use in agricultural and energy conversion applications, mainly as biocompost, plant growing media, and bioenergy. The use of WMS as biofertilizer has shown desirable performance compared to conventional chemical fertilizer, whilst the use of WMS as energy feedstock could produce cleaner bioenergy sources compared to conventional fuels.
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