Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering

ISSN 2095-2201

ISSN 2095-221X(Online)

CN 10-1013/X

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REVIEW ARTICLE
Adsorption behavior of antibiotic in soil environment: a critical review
Shiliang WANG,Hui WANG
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.. 2015, 9 (4): 565-574.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-015-0801-2

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Antibiotics are used widely in human and veterinary medicine, and are ubiquitous in environment matrices worldwide. Due to their consumption, excretion, and persistence, antibiotics are disseminated mostly via direct and indirect emissions such as excrements, sewage irrigation, and sludge compost and enter the soil and impact negatively the natural ecosystem of soil. Most antibiotics are amphiphilic or amphoteric and ionize. A non-polar core combined with polar functional moieties makes up numerous antibiotic molecules. Because of various molecule structures, physicochemical properties vary widely among antibiotic compounds. Sorption is an important process for the environment behaviors and fate of antibiotics in soil environment. The adsorption process has decisive role for the environmental behaviors and the ultimate fates of antibiotics in soil. Multiply physicochemical properties of antibiotics induce the large variations of their adsorption behaviors. In addition, factors of soil environment such as the pH, ionic strength, metal ions, and organic matter content also strongly impact the adsorption processes of antibiotics. Review about adsorption of antibiotics on soil can provide a fresh insight into understanding the antibiotic-soil interactions. Therefore, literatures about the adsorption mechanisms of antibiotics in soil environment and the effects of environment factors on adsorption behaviors of antibiotics in soil are reviewed and discussed systematically in this review.

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RESEARCH ARTICLE
Photodegradation of chromophoric dissolved organic matters in the water of Lake Dianchi, China
Yuan ZHANG,Chunming HU,Tao YU
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.. 2015, 9 (4): 575-582.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-014-0664-y

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Water samples were taken from Lake Dianchi, on the Yungui Plateau of southwest China, and experiments were conducted to simulate the photochemical degradation characteristic of chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM) in the lake water. Three groups of experiments under different light conditions: ultraviolet (UV) light, visible light, and dark, were done and variations of fluorescence properties, UV absorbance, and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations during the experiments were analyzed to study the photodegradation process of CDOM with time. The result showed that light irradiation led to significant photochemical degradation of CDOM, resulting in changes in florescent properties, absorbance losses, decreases in aromaticity and average molecular weight, as well as decline in DOC concentration in the water. It was also observed that UV irradiation had greater effect than visible light did. However, various fluorophores had different sensitivities to the same irradiation condition, that is, protein-like fluorophore at the low excitation wavelengths is more sensitive to UV irradiation than the other fluorophores, and is more readily to undergo photo-degradation. In addition, visible light irradiation did not have significant impact on DOC in the water, with DOC concentration decrease by 5.57% –59.9% during the experiment time. These results may provide new knowledge on the environment behavior of CDOM in the water of Lake Dianchi.

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Kinetics and mechanisms of reactions for hydrated electron with chlorinated benzenes in aqueous solution
Haixia YUAN,Huxiang PAN,Jin SHI,Hongjing LI,Wenbo DONG
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.. 2015, 9 (4): 583-590.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-014-0691-8

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The reactions between chlorinated benzenes (CBzs) and hydrated electron (eaq-) were investigated by the electron beam (EB) and laser flash photolysis (LFP) experiments. Under the EB irradiation, the effects of irradiation dose, initial concentration and the number of Cl atoms on the removal efficiencies were further examined. At 10 kGy, the removal efficiencies of mono-CB, 1,3-diCB, 1,2-diCB and 1,4-diCB were 41.2%, 87.2%, 84.0%, and 84.1%, respectively. While irradiation dose was 50 kGy, the removal efficiencies increased to 47.4%, 95.8%, 95.0%, and 95.2%, respectively. Irradiation of CBzs solutions has shown that the higher the initial concentration, the lower the percentage of CBzs removal. In addition to this, the dechlorination efficiencies of 1,2-dichlorobenzene (1,2-diCB), 1,3-dichlorobenzene (1,3-diCB) and 1,4-dichlorobenzene (1,4-diCB) were much higher than that of chlorobenzene (mono-CB). The kinetics of the reactions was achieved with nanosecond LFP. The rate constants of second-order reaction between eaq- with mono-CB, 1,2-diCB, 1,3-diCB and 1,4-diCB were (5.3±0.4) × 108, (4.76±0.1) × 109, (1.01±0.1) × 1010 and (3.29±0.2) × 109 L·mol-1·s-1, respectively. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations were performed to determine the optical properties of unstable CBzs anion radicals, and the main absorption peaks lied in the range of 300–550 nm. The primary reaction pathway of CBzs with eaq- was gradual dechlorination, and the major products were Cl- and benzene (CBzs(-Cl-)). Furthermore, biphenyl (or chlorobiphenyl) was observed during the LFP, which was probably formed by recombination of benzene radicals.

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Catalytic ozonation of reactive red X-3B in aqueous solution under low pressure: decolorization and OH· generation
Hong SUN,Min SUN,Yaobin ZHANG,Xie QUAN
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.. 2015, 9 (4): 591-595.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-014-0694-5

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Catalytic ozonation of Reactive Red X-3B in aqueous solution had been carried out in an ozone oxidation reactor where Mn-Fe-ceramic honeycomb was used as the catalysts. The presence of Mn-Fe-ceramic honeycomb catalyst could obviously improve the decoloration efficiency of Reactive Red X-3B and the utilization efficiency of ozone compared to the results from non-catalytic ozonation. Adsorption of Reactive Red X-3B had no obviously influence on the degradation efficiency. Addition of tert-butanol significantly decreased the degradation efficiency, indicating that the degradation of Reactive Red X-3B followed the mechanism of hydroxyl radical (OH·) oxidation. The operating variables such as reaction pressure and ozone supply had a positive influence on the degradation efficiency, mainly attributing to facilitate the ozone decomposition and OH· formation.

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Mercury source zone identification using soil vapor sampling and analysis
David WATSON,Carrie MILLER,Brian LESTER,Kenneth LOWE,George SOUTHWORTH,Mary Anna BOGLE,Liyuan LIANG,Eric PIERCE
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.. 2015, 9 (4): 596-604.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-014-0709-2

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Development and demonstration of reliable measurement techniques that can detect and help quantify the nature and extent of elemental mercury (Hg(0)) in the subsurface are needed to reduce uncertainties in the decision-making process and increase the effectiveness of remedial actions. We conducted field tests at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA, to determine if sampling and analysis of Hg(0) vapors in the shallow subsurface (<0.3 m depth) can be used to as an indicator of the location and extent of Hg(0) releases in the subsurface. We constructed a rigid polyvinyl chloride push probe assembly, which was driven into the ground. Soil gas samples were collected through a sealed inner tube of the assembly and were analyzed immediately in the field with a Lumex and/or Jerome Hg(0) analyzer. Time-series sampling showed that Hg vapor concentrations were fairly stable over time, suggesting that the vapor phase Hg(0) was not being depleted and that sampling results were not sensitive to the soil gas purge volume. Hg(0) vapor data collected at over 200 push probe locations at 3 different release sites correlated very well to areas of known Hg(0) contamination. Vertical profiling of Hg(0) vapor concentrations conducted at two locations provided information on the vertical distribution of Hg(0) contamination in the subsurface. We conclude from our studies that soil gas sampling and analysis can be conducted rapidly and inexpensively at large scales to help identify areas contaminated with Hg(0).

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Vanadium and molybdenum concentrations in particulate from Palermo (Italy): analytical methods using voltammetry
Diana AMORELLO,Santino ORECCHIO
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.. 2015, 9 (4): 605-614.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-014-0703-8

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The main purpose of this work was to develop a reliable method for the determination of vanadium (V) and molybdenum (Mo) in atmosphere particles or aerosols because they can not be readily measured using conventional techniques. For this research, 30 particulate samples were collected from five different stations located at Palermo, Italy. We used the catalytic adsorptive stripping voltammetry and differential pulsed voltammetry to measure V and Mo in atmospheric particulate, respectively. The represented method includes advantages of high sensitivity, high selectivity, simplicity, reproducibility, speed and low costs. The quantification limits for V and Mo are, respectively, 0.57 and 0.80 ng·m-3. The precision, expressed as relative standard deviation (RSD %), was about 2% for both metals. The mean recoveries of added V and Mo were about 99.5% and ranged from 97% to 101%. Vanadium concentrations in particulate samples collected in Palermo area ranged from 0.57 to 7.7 ng·m-3, while Mo concentrations were in the range 0.8–51 ng·m-3. In many cases the concentrations of two elements in the particulate samples fall below the detection limits. The mean concentrations for V and Mo in particulate samples, collected in Palermo area, were respectively 3.1 and 5.9 ng·m-3.

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Catalytic ozonation of organic compounds in water over the catalyst of RuO2/ZrO2-CeO2
Jianbing WANG,Guoqing WANG,Chunli YANG,Shaoxia YANG,Qing HUANG
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.. 2015, 9 (4): 615-624.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-014-0706-5

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This research investigates the performances of RuO2/ZrO2-CeO2 in catalytic ozonation for water treatment. The results show that RuO2/ZrO2-CeO2 was active for the catalytic ozonation of oxalic acid and possessed higher stability than RuO2/Al2O3 and Ru/AC. In the catalytic ozonation of dimethyl phthalate (DMP), RuO2/ZrO2-CeO2 did not enhance the DMP degradation rate but significantly improved the total organic carbon (TOC) removal rate. The TOC removal in catalytic ozonation was 56% more than that in noncatalytic ozonation. However this does not mean the catalyst was very active because the contribution of catalysis to the overall TOC removal was only 30%. The adsorption of the intermediates on RuO2/ZrO2-CeO2 played an important role on the overall TOC removal while the adsorption of DMP on it was negligible. This adsorption difference was due to their different ozonation rates. In the catalytic ozonation of disinfection byproduct precursors with RuO2/ZrO2-CeO2, the reductions of the haloacetic acid and trihalomethane formation potentials (HAAFPs and THMFPs) for the natural water samples were 38%–57% and 50%–64%, respectively. The catalyst significantly promoted the reduction of HAAFPs but insignificantly improved the reduction of THMFPs as ozone reacts fast with the THMs precursors. These results illustrate the good promise of RuO2/ZrO2-CeO2 in catalytic ozonation for water treatment.

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Deposition of copper nanoparticles on multiwalled carbon nanotubes modified with poly (acrylic acid) and their antimicrobial application in water treatment
Li SHENG,Shuhang HUANG,Minghao SUI,Lingdian ZHANG,Lei SHE,Yong CHEN
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.. 2015, 9 (4): 625-633.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-014-0711-8

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A novel hybrid material, Cu-PAA/MWCNTs (copper nanoparticles deposited multiwalled carbon nanotubes with poly (acrylic acid) as dispersant, was prepared and expected to obtain a more effective and well-dispersed disinfection material for water treatment. X-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), the X-ray fluorescence (XRF), X-ray photoelectron spectra (XPS), Fourier transform infrared spectra (FT-IR), Raman spectroscopy, and thermal gravimetric analyzer (TGA) were used to characterize the Cu-PAA/MWCNTs. Escherichia coli (E. coil) was employed as the target bacteria. The cell viability determination and fluorescence imaging results demonstrated that Cu-PAA/MWCNTs possessed strong antimicrobial ability on E. coil. The deposited Cu was suggested to play an important role in the antimicrobial action of Cu-PAA/MWCNTs.

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Washing out heavy metals from contaminated soils from an iron and steel smelting site
Guangxu ZHU,Qingjun GUO,Junxing YANG,Hanzhi ZHANG,Rongfei WEI,Chunyu WANG,Marc PETERS,Xiaoyong ZHOU,Jun YANG
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.. 2015, 9 (4): 634-641.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-014-0713-6

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Washing is a promising method for separating contaminants bound to the particles of soil ex-situ by chemical mobilization. Laboratory batch washing experiments were conducted using deionized water and varying concentrations of oxalic acid, citric acid, tartaric acid, acetic acid, hydrochloric acid and ethylenediaminetetra acetic acid (EDTA) to assess the efficiency of using these chemicals as washing agents and to clean up heavy metals from two heavily polluted soils from an iron and streel smelting site. The toxicity reduction index and remediation costs were analyzed, and the results showed that the soils were polluted with Cd, Pb and Zn. Hydrochloric acid and EDTA were more efficient than the other washing agents in the remediation of the test soils. The maximum total toxicity reduction index showed that 0.5 mol·L-1 hydrochloric acid could achieve the remediation with the lowest costs.

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Immobilization of Cu2+, Zn2+, Pb2+, and Cd2+ during geopolymerization
Lei ZHENG,Wei WANG,Wei QIAO,Yunchun SHI,Xiao LIU
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.. 2015, 9 (4): 642-648.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-014-0707-4

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The present research explored the application of geopolymerization for the immobilization and solidification of heavy metal added into metakaolinte. The compressive strength of geopolymers was controlled by the dosage of heavy metal cations, and geopolymers have a toleration limit for heavy metals. The influence of alkaline activator dosage and type on the heavy metal ion immobilization efficiency of metakaolinte-based geopolymer was investigated. A geopolymer with the highest heavy metal immobilization efficiency was identified to occur at an intermediate Na2SiO3 dosage and the metal immobilization efficiency showed an orderly increase with the increasing Na+ dosage. Geopolymers with and without heavy metals were analyzed by the X-ray powder diffraction (XRD) and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. No crystalline phase containing heavy metals was detected in geopolymers with heavy metal, suggesting that the crystalline phase containing heavy metals is not produced or most of the phases incorporating heavy metals are amorphous. FTIR spectroscopy showed that, with increasing heavy metal addition, an increase in NO3- peak intensity was observed, which was accompanied by a decrease in the CO32- peak.

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Spatio-temporal variations of water quality in Yuqiao Reservoir Basin, North China
Yuan XU,Ruqin XIE,Yuqiu WANG,Jian SHA
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.. 2015, 9 (4): 649-664.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-014-0702-9

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Fuzzy comprehensive assessment and multivariate statistical techniques including cluster analysis, discriminant analysis, principal component analysis, and factor analysis were applied to analyze the water quality status of Yuqiao Reservoir Basin, North China, for assessing its spatio-temporal variations and identifying potential pollution sources. In this paper, we considered data for 14 water quality parameters collected during 1990–2004 at 7 water quality monitoring sites. The results of fuzzy comprehensive assessment revealed that water quality in Yuqiao Reservoir Basin showed a downtrend from 1990 to 2001 with fluctuation, and a slowly upward trend after 2001. The major water quality belonged to Class III and IV. Besides, hierarchical cluster analysis divided 7 monitoring sites into two groups (Group A and B), and 12 months into three periods (low-flow (LF), normal-flow (NF), and high-flow (HF) period). Temp, pH, SS, T-har, DO, NO3-N and TP were identified as significant variables affecting spatial variations, and Temp, pH and NO2-N were identified as significant variables affecting temporal variations by discriminant analysis. Factor analysis identified four latent pollution sources for water quality variations: nutrient pollution, organic pollution, inorganic pollution, and natural pollution. Moreover, for Group A regions, pollution inputs mainly came from domestic wastewater and industrial sewage. For Group B regions, it is more likely that water pollution resulted from the combined effects of domestic wastewater, hospital wastewater, agriculture runoff, and fishpond discharge, as well as the incoming water from upstream.

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Assessment on contaminations in sediments of an intake and the inflow canals in Taihu Lake, China
Xiaolong WANG,Shiming DING,Qi ZHANG,Weiping HU
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.. 2015, 9 (4): 665-674.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-014-0701-x

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As the second largest freshwater lake in China, Taihu Lake provides water supply to approximately 32 million inhabitants around the lake. However, dramatically increased pollution has threatened the safety of drinking water supply in recent years. In the present study, we investigated the contaminations of nutrients and heavy metals in the sediments of an intake and inflow canals in Gonghu Bay, Taihu Lake. Moreover, we also examined the impact of human activities on spatial distribution characteristics of contaminations. Our results showed that the intake presented relatively lower concentrations of phosphorus and nitrogen compared with inflow canals. However, the concentrations of Cr, Ni, Cu, Zn and Pb in the sediments of the intake exceeded the lowest effect level (LEL) values, indicating a potential risk to drinking water resource. In addition, the concentrations of Ni in the sediments of Tianji Canal and Jinshu Canal exceeded the severe effect level (SEL) value. More importantly, the concentrations of Cu in the sediments of Tianji Canal exceeded three times of the SEL value. Multivariate statistical analysis confirmed that the domestic sewage primarily contributed to the nutrient accumulation, and the leakage of electronic trash dominated the enrichment of metals in the sediments. Taken together, more effort should be made to ensure the security of water resources in Taihu Lake, especially for the treatment of domestic sewage and industrial wastewater.

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Mass concentrations and temporal profiles of PM10, PM2.5 and PM1 near major urban roads in Beijing
Liu YANG,Ye WU,Jiaqi LI,Shaojie SONG,Xuan ZHENG,Jiming HAO
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.. 2015, 9 (4): 675-684.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-014-0731-4

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Mass concentrations of PM10, PM2.5 and PM1 were measured near major roads in Beijing during six periods: summer and winter of 2001, winter of 2007, and periods before, during and after the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Since the control efforts for motor vehicles helped offset the increase of emissions from the rapid growth of vehicles, the averaged PM2.5 concentrations at roadsides during the sampling period between 2001 and 2008 fluctuated over a relatively small range. With the implementation of temporary traffic control measures during the Olympics, a clear “V” shaped curve showing the concentrations of particulate matter and other gaseous air pollutants at roadsides over time was identified. The average concentrations of PM10, PM2.5, CO and NO decreased by 31.2%, 46.3%, 32.3% and 35.4%, respectively, from June to August; this was followed by a rebound of all air pollutants in December 2008. Daily PM10 concentrations near major roads exceeded the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (Grade II) for 61.2% of the days in the non-Olympic periods, while only for 12.5% during the Olympics. The mean ratio of PM2.5/PM10 near major roads remained relatively stable at 0.55 (±0.108) on non-Olympic days. The ratio decreased to 0.48 (±0.099) during the Olympics due to a greater decline in fine particles than in coarse-mode PM. The ratios PM1/PM2.5 fluctuated over a wide range and were statistically different from each other during the sampling periods. The average ratios of PM1/PM2.5 on non-Olympic days were 0.71.

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Ecotoxicity assessment of soil irrigated with domestic wastewater using different extractions
Wenyan LIANG,Lili SUI,Yuan ZHAO,Feizhen LI,Lijun LIU,Di XIE
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.. 2015, 9 (4): 685-693.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-014-0752-z

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The toxicity of soil irrigated with treated domestic wastewater (site A) and untreated gray wastewater (site B) were investigated. Soil extracts were prepared using distilled water, acid solvent (0.1 mol·L-1 HCl), and organic solvent (acetone:petroleum ether:cyclohexane= 1:1:1) to understand the type of pollutants responsible for the ecotoxicity associated with wastewater irrigation. The soil toxicity was assessed using a luminescence inhibition assay with Vibrio fischeri for acute toxicity, a micronucleus assay with Vicia faba root tips and a single cell gel electrophoresis assay of mice lymphocytes for genotoxicity. The physicochemical properties and the heavy metal (HM) contents of the irrigated soil were also analyzed. The results indicated that the wastewater irrigation at site A had no effects on the soil properties. With the exception of Pb, Zn, Fe, and Mn, the accumulation of HMs (Cu, Ni, and Cr) occurred. However, the irrigation at site A did not result in obvious acute toxicity or genotoxicity in the soil. The soil properties changed greatly, and HMs (Cu, Ni, and Cr) accumulated in site B. There were significant increases in the acute toxic and genotoxic effects in the soils from site B. The ecotoxicity in site B came primarily from organic-extractable pollutants.

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Modification of the activated sludge model for chemical dosage
Shuai MA,Siyu ZENG,Xin DONG,Jining CHEN,Gustaf OLSSON
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.. 2015, 9 (4): 694-701.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-014-0732-3

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Full-scale experiments have been carried out to adapt the activated sludge model ASM2d to include the influence of metal dosage (Fe3+ and Al3+) for phosphorus removal. Phosphorus removal rates, nitrification rates, as well as pH and sludge settling performance, were evaluated as functions of the metal dosages. Furthermore, models relating certain parameters to the dosage of chemicals have been derived. Corresponding parameters in the ASM2d and the secondary settler models, included in the Benchmark Simulation Model No 1 (BSM1), have been modified to take the metal influence into consideration. Based on the effluent limits and penalty policy of China, an equivalent evaluation method was derived for the total cost assessment. A large number of 300-day steady-state and 14-day open-loop dynamic simulations were performed to demonstrate the difference in behavior between the original and the modified BSM1. The results show that 1) both in low and high mole concentrations, Fe3+ addition results in a higher phosphorus removal rate than Al3+; 2) the sludge settling velocity will increase due to the metal addition; 3) the respiration rate of the activated sludge is decreased more by the dosage of Al3+ than Fe3+; 4) the inhibition of Al3+ on the nitrification rate is stronger than that of Fe3+; 5) the total operating cost will reach the minimum point for smaller dosages of Fe3+, but always increase with Al3+ addition.

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Fuel type preference of taxi driver and its implications for air emissions
Feng WANG,Beibei LIU,Bing ZHANG,Jun BI
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.. 2015, 9 (4): 702-711.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-014-0665-x

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Natural gas became an available fuel for taxis in 2005 and had occupied a market share of 43.6% in taxi industry till 2010 in Nanjing, China. To investigate the energy replacement pattern as well as the pollutants reduction potential of the taxi industry, first, the fuel preference determinants of taxi drivers for their next taxis are analyzed. Results show that as an important alternative for the traditional gasoline, natural gas is widely accepted (75%) by taxi drivers. Different from the previous studies which focused on the early stage of cleaner fuel replacement, taxi drivers with various characteristics (such as age, working experience, and education level) are consistent with their fuel preference when they choose their next taxis. Result suggests that policies that concern consumers with specific characteristics may have little effects on the change of the market share, when the alternative fuel market has been developed well. In addition, the increased share of gas in the fuel market achieves a 7.2% reduction of energy consumption. Considering life cycle emissions, the following air pollutants, namely Greenhouse Gases (GHGs), carbonic oxide (CO), nitrogen oxide (NOx), particulate matters (PM) and hydrocarbons (CxHy), gain 10.0%, 3.5%, 20.5%, 36.1%, and 26.4% of reduction respectively. Assuming all taxi fleets powered by natural gas with local policy intervention, the energy conservation and the five major air pollutant emissions could achieve the maximum reductions with 12.2%, 16.0%, 8.8%, 22.5%, 44.2%, and 49.4% correspondingly.

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Post-evaluation of a water pollution control plan: methodology and case study
Lin ZENG,Xin DONG,Siyu ZENG,Tianzhu ZHANG,Jing LI,Jining CHEN
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.. 2015, 9 (4): 712-724.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-015-0773-2

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China has developed more than 20 water pollution control plans for river basins (RBWPs) since 1996. However, the implementation has generally lagged. This paper proposes a three-step, post-evaluation methodology to analyze the implementation result of a RBWP and its influential factors. First, a multi-attribute evaluation method based on an index system is established to score the enforcement results of a RBWP. Indicators measure how well a RBWP has achieved its objectives, which include water quality compliance, pollution load control, project construction, financial inputs, and related management requirements. Second, an interpretive structural model is used to detect the significant factors that affect RBWP implementation. This model can effectively analyze the cause-effect chain and hierarchical relationship among variables. Five groups of factors were identified, namely, plan preparation, water resource endowment, policy, institution, and management. Both qualitative and quantitative methods are employed in the third step to evaluate the extent to which these factors have influenced the execution result of a RBWP, including pre-post contrast, scenario analysis, and correlation analysis. This research then post-evaluated the implementation of the Huai River Basin water pollution control plans (H-RBWPs) over a period of 10 years as a case study. Results showed that the implementation of the H-RBWPs was unsatisfactory during 2001–2005, although it improved during 2006–2010. The poor execution of these plans was partially caused by the underestimation of regional economic development in combination with ineffective industrial structure adjustment policies. Therefore, this case study demonstrates the feasibility and flexibility of the proposed post-evaluation methodology.

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Occurrence and behavior of pharmaceuticals in sewage treatment plants in eastern China
Juan DU,Yu FAN,Xin QIAN
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.. 2015, 9 (4): 725-730.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-014-0661-1

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The occurrence and removal efficiency of seven pharmaceuticals (norfloxacin, trimethoprim, roxithromycin, sulfamethoxazole, ibuprofen, diclofenac and carbamazepine) were determined in three sewage treatment plants (STPs) with anaerobic/anoxic/oxic, anoxic/oxic and oxidation ditches processes in Xuzhou City, Eastern China. The results showed that seven pharmaceuticals were detected in the influent samples with concentrations ranging from 93 to 2540 ng·L-1. The removal of these substances among the three different STPs varied from 36 to 84%, with the highest performance obtained by the wastewater treatment works with tertiary treatment (sand filtration). Most of the compounds were removed effectively during biologic treatment while sand filtration treatment also made a contribution to the total elimination of most pharmaceuticals. The efficiency comparison of the three sewage treatment processes showed that the STP which employed anaerobic/anoxic/oxic was more effective to remove pharmaceuticals than the oxidation ditches and anoxic/oxic.

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Industrial waste utilization method: producing poly-ferric sulfate (PFS) from sodium-jarosite residue
Zhongguo LI,Wenyi YUAN
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.. 2015, 9 (4): 731-737.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-014-0687-4

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Sodium-jarosite is a type of industrial waste that results from hydrometallurgy and inorganic chemical production. The iron content of jarosite residue may be utilized to produce theoretically the ferrous materials. The difficulty in production of high quality poly-ferric sulfate (PFS) is how to remove impurities contained in jarosite residue. This paper proposes a novel method for disposing sodium-jarosite which can be used to synthesize PFS, a very important reagent for treating waste water. The method consists of a two-step leaching experimental procedures. The first step, pre-leaching process, is to remove impurity metals by strictly controlling the leaching conditions. The acid concentration of acidic water was adjusted according to the content of impurity metals in sodium-jarosite and the leaching temperature was controlled at 25°C. The second step is to decompose sodium-jarosite to provide enough ferric ions for synthesizing PFS, the concentrated sulfuric acid consumption was 0.8 mL·g-1 sodium-jarosite and the leaching temperature was above 60°C. In the experiment, decomposing iron from sulfate sodium-jarosite can take the place of ferric martials for synthesizing PFS. Results show that the PFS synthesized from sodium-jarosite had a high poly-iron complex Fe4.67(SO4)6(OH)2·20H2O. Further, the PFS product’s specifications satisfied the national standard of China.

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Coupled aerobic and anoxic biodegradation for quinoline and nitrogen removals
Ning YAN,Lu WANG,Ling CHANG,Cuiyi ZHANG,Yang ZHOU,Yongming ZHANG,Bruce E. RITTMANN
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.. 2015, 9 (4): 738-744.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-014-0666-9

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Quinoline (C9H7N) commonly occurs in wastewaters from the chemical, pharmaceutical, and dyeing industries. As quinoline is biodegraded, nitrogen is released as ammonium. Total-N removal requires that the ammonium-N be nitrified and then denitrified. The objective of this study was to couple quinoline biodegradation with total-N removal. In a proof-of-concept step, activated sludge was sequenced from aerobic to anoxic stages. The ammonium nitrogen released from quinoline biodegradation in the aerobic stage was nitrified to nitrate in parallel. Anoxic biodegradation of the aerobic effluent then brought about nitrogen and COD removals through denitrification. Then, simultaneous quinoline biodegradation and total-N removal were demonstrated in a novel airlift internal loop biofilm reactor (AILBR) having aerobic and anoxic zones. Experimental results showed that the AILBR could achieve complete removal of quinoline, 91% COD removal, and 85% total-N removal when glucose added as a supplemental electron donor once nitrate was formed.

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