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Environmental Chemistry

Environmental Chemistry

Environmental Chemistry publishes papers reporting chemistry that enhances our understanding of the environment including air, water, soil, sediments, and biota. Read more about the journalMore

Editor-in-Chief: Kevin Francesconi

Current Issue

Environmental Chemistry

Volume 14 Number 3 2017


Environmental context. Boron, an essential element for human health and the growth of animals and plants, can also be harmful when intake is excessive. Herein, a simple and efficient method for determining boron species in aqueous samples has been developed based on the optical absorption of the pyridoxine or boron–pyridoxine complex. This rapid method is suitable for online analysis, with great significance to drinking water and industrial water treatment.

EN16174Vanadate complexation to ferrihydrite: X-ray absorption spectroscopy and CD-MUSIC modelling

Maja A. Larsson, Ingmar Persson, Carin Sjöstedt and Jon Petter Gustafsson
pp. 141-150

Environmental context. Vanadium, a metal pollutant from fossil fuels and slags, may be toxic, thereby necessitating an understanding of its environmental chemistry. One important factor that controls the mobility and bioavailability of vanadium is its binding to iron oxides. This study focuses on the characterization and modelling of vanadium adsorption onto ferrihydrite. The new model can be used to simulate the transport and bioavailability of vanadium in the environment.


Environmental context. Wastewater contains various substances such as sulfur-containing chemicals and heavy metals including mercury ions. Several technologies have been developed to trap mercury ions; however, mercury can undergo reactions with sulfite and change to its vapour form, which easily escapes to the atmosphere. Here, we devised a model to predict the formation of vapour-phase mercury as a function of sulfite concentration, temperature and water acidity based on coal-fired power plant wastewater.


Environmental context. Dimethylsulfide is a biogeochemically important sulfur gas emitted from the oceans that can lead to aerosol formation, thereby affecting earth albedo and climate. Studies on the biogeochemistry of dimethylsulfide and its precursors and oxidation products in coastal waters can link the atmospheric chemistry of dimethylsulfide with the bioavailable organic sulfur pool in the oceans. The ensuing information is essential for understanding the biogeochemical dynamics of sulfur and its global cycles.


Environmental context. Dissolved sulfide results in soil acidification and subsequent contaminant leaching via oxidation processes, usually involving manganese oxides. In this work, redox processes were monitored in situ by cyclic voltammetry and HS concentrations were semi-quantitatively determined. The method provides qualitative and semi-quantitative assessment for dissolved sulfide and its oxidation intermediates in aqueous systems.

EN16202Solar-driven advanced oxidation processes for full mineralisation of azo dyes in wastewater

Chunhong Nie, Pingping Sun, Lingyue Zhu, Simeng Gao, Hongjun Wu and Baohui Wang
pp. 188-197

Environmental context. Full mineralisation of synthetic azo dyes in industrial wastewater is a tough job for traditional wastewater treatment technologies. There is an urgent need for the development of both sustainable and environmentally friendly technology capable of fully mineralising these azo compounds. We show that solar-driven advanced oxidation processes are capable of completely mineralising azo compounds with high utilisation of solar energy.

Online Early

The peer-reviewed and edited version of record published online before inclusion in an issue

Published online 28 June 2017

EN17003Foam placement for soil remediation

Henri Bertin, Estefania Del Campo Estrada and Olivier Atteia
 

Environmental context. Soil pollution is an important concern and remediation techniques, especially in situ techniques, should be studied. We investigate a new technique based on foam generation and placement inside the porous soil to improve the pollutant extraction. This technique could be useful when the soils are heterogeneous because it allows a complete soil sweeping.

Published online 27 June 2017

EN17068Characterisation of extracellular polymeric substances from different cyanobacterial species and their influence on biocalcification processes

Xiaomin Li, Kemeng Luo, Jinqian Ren, Xiangrui Wang, Qian Mu and Wenhong Fan
 

Environmental context. Extracellular polymeric substances provide a nucleation site for calcium carbonate and hence are important for bio-calcification processes, with implications for sediment formation and the global carbon cycle. We investigate the calcification potential of polymeric substances produced by five species of cyanobacteria. The results indicate that the protein content and alkaline functional groups of the extracellular polymeric substances may have a significant effect on cyanobacterial calcification.


Environmental context. The chemical speciation of mercury (Hg) largely controls its biogeochemical cycling and exposure to biota. Here, we investigate the thermodynamic stabilities of complexes formed between inorganic divalent Hg (HgII) and 15 biogeochemically relevant low-molecular-mass (LMM) thiol ligands. This information is critical for accurate modelling of the chemical speciation of HgII and to clarify the role of HgII–LMM thiol complexes in the cycling of Hg in the environment.

Published online 22 June 2017

EN17102Adsorptive removal of ammonium ion from aqueous solution using surfactant-modified alumina

Tien Duc Pham, Thi Trang Do, Van Lau Ha, Thi Hai Yen Doan, Thi Anh Huong Nguyen, Thanh Duc Mai, Motoyoshi Kobayashi and Yasuhisa Adachi
 

Environmental context. Ammonium ion, an inorganic pollutant in agricultural land, can induce eutrophication, impacting on water quality. We investigate the adsorption of ammonium ion on surfactant-modified alumina and demonstrate highly efficient removal of ammonium ions by the alumina from two agricultural water samples. Adsorption mechanisms are also proposed based on adsorption isotherms, surface modification and the change in surface charge.

Published online 16 June 2017

EN16213Assessing the optimal conditions for surface-mediated disinfection of Influenza A virus solutions

Ilaria Mannelli, Davide Janner, Francesc Sagués and Ramon Reigada
 

Environmental context. Transmission of viruses is related to their survival while being outside the host body. By means of experimental and computational simulations we assess the optimal conditions for virus deactivation upon contact with particularly functionalised substrates. These results constitute the basis for the design of new surfaces with high antiviral activity that can be important in public or sensitive environments such as in hospitals where the contamination and spreading of viruses are a critical issue.

Published online 23 May 2017

EN17028Metal removal by pine bark compost using a permeable reactive barrier device at laboratory scale

Javier Cancelo-González, Diego Martiñá-Prieto, Daniel Hernández-Huerta and María T. Barral
 

Environmental context. Permeable reactive barriers are a developing technology to clean up contaminated groundwater. The contaminant plume moves through a reactive material placed below ground that retains or degrades the pollutants. This study shows that pine bark compost strongly adsorbs and retains metals, mostly by interaction with the organic matter of the compost, and thereby serves as a suitable reactive filler material to clean up contaminated groundwater.

Published online 16 May 2017

EN17076Solubility of the nadorite group minerals: implications for mobility of Sb and Bi in oxidised settings

Adam J. Roper, Peter Leverett, Timothy D. Murphy and Peter A. Williams
 

The dispersion of antimony in the environment has been misunderstood over the last few decades. Investigating the solubility of naturally forming mineral phases such as nadorite resulted in determination of its limited role in Sb dispersion, providing evidence that nadorite can only limit antimony dispersion in mildly oxidising conditions. Nadorite can only play a significant role in Sb immobilisation in a particular redox window, which forms only a minor part of the framework of Sb dispersion.

Published online 08 May 2017

EN16190Occurrence of fluorotelomer alcohols at two Alpine summits: sources, transport and temporal trends

Zhenlan Xu, Lingxiangyu Li, Bernhard Henkelmann and Karl-Werner Schramm
 

Environmental context. The transport and fate of organic pollutants such as fluorotelomer alcohols (FTOHs) in the atmosphere affect their risks to the environment and human health. On the basis of hourly trajectory predictions, we found that, from 2007 to 2010, individual levels of 6:2, 8:2 and 10:2 FTOH were from non-detectable to 72.4 pg m–3 at two Alpine summits. Air mass origin was an important factor determining the Alpine atmospheric FTOH levels.

Published online 03 May 2017

EN16216The relationship between inner surface potential and electrokinetic potential from an experimental and theoretical point of view

Tajana Preočanin, Danijel Namjesnik, Matthew A. Brown and Johannes Lützenkirchen
 

Environmental context. Interfacial properties of colloid and nanoparticles are directly related to the reactivity and surface densities of existing surface sites. Surface characterisation of particles provides only some kind of average surface properties. Analysis of well-defined monocrystal surfaces, which form the surface of the single particle, leads to a better understanding of surface reactions and mutual interactions of adjacent crystal planes on average surface properties.

Published online 01 May 2017

EN17026Sorption of selected radionuclides on different MnO2 phases

Matthew T. Athon, Glen E. Fryxell, Chia-Ying Chuang and Peter H. Santschi
 

Environmental context. Releases to the aquatic environment from radiological dispersal devices, accidents or leaking waste disposal sites require close monitoring for radionuclide identification. A novel in situ gamma spectrometer deployable on platforms in coastal waters can provide detailed radioisotopic, however, only after the radionuclides are pre-concentrated on efficient sorbents. Here, we report results of particle–water distribution coefficients, KD, on three novel MnO2 sorbents using a set of artificial and natural radionuclides in small batch experiments.

Published online 24 April 2017

EN17004Desorption rate of glyphosate from goethite as affected by different entering ligands: hints on the desorption mechanism

Jeison M. Arroyave, Carolina C. Waiman, Graciela P. Zanini, Wenfeng Tan and Marcelo J. Avena
 

Environmental context. Glyphosate is a heavily used herbicide that is mobilised in soil and sediments through adsorption–desorption processes from the surface of mineral particles. We demonstrate that the desorption rate of glyphosate from goethite, a ubiquitous mineral, is nearly independent of the concentration and nature of the substance that is used to desorb it. The results elucidate the desorption mechanism and are relevant to understand and predict the environmental mobility of glyphosate.

Published online 12 April 2017

EN16210Geometrical properties of materials for energy production by salinity exchange

A. V. Delgado, S. Ahualli, M. M. Fernández, M. A. González, G. R. Iglesias, J. F. Vivo-Vilches and M. L. Jiménez
 

Environmental context. Oceans and seas have the potential to play a significant role in providing renewable and clean energy. In particular, salinity difference energy aims to extract the enormous amount of energy that is released when fresh water rivers flow into the oceans. Capmix methods are focused on this challenge by using capacitive carbon electrodes whose optimisation will certainly help in developing salinity difference energy.

Published online 05 April 2017

EN16184Studying selenium and sulfur volatilisation by marine algae Emiliania huxleyi and Thalassiosira oceanica in culture

Katja E. Luxem, Bas Vriens, Renata Behra and Lenny H. E. Winkel
 

Environmental context. Volatile selenium compounds from the oceans may ultimately be an important selenium source for agricultural soils. It has been hypothesised that marine algae are responsible for volatile selenium emissions, but in laboratory experiments, we observed minimal volatile selenium production by two marine algae known to produce large amounts of volatile sulfur. Instead, we found hints that bacterial processes may be important in the production of volatile selenium in the oceans.

Published online 09 March 2017

EN16192Doped Ti-pillared clays as effective adsorbents – Application to methylene blue and trimethoprim removal

Beatriz González, Raquel Trujillano, Miguel A. Vicente, Vicente Rives, Emerson H. de Faria, Katia J. Ciuffi, Sophia A. Korili and Antonio Gil
 

Environmental context. Water is an essential compound for life; however, several factors limit the amount available for human consumption. Every day, thousands of pollutants are discharged into drinking water. Here, new materials that are efficient as adsorbents and photocatalysts for pollutants are reported.

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