Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering

ISSN 2095-2201

ISSN 2095-221X(Online)

CN 10-1013/X

2015 Impact Factor: 1.799

Cover Story   2018, Volume 12 Issue 2
Biochar (BC) is a potential material for removal of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from soil and water, and base modification is a promising method for improving its sorption ability. In this study, we synthesized a series of base-modified biochars, and evaluated their sorption of phenanthrene. Original biochars were produced by pyrolysis of thre [Detail] ...
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RESEARCH ARTICLE
Sorption of phenanthrene to biochar modified by base
Zhengjun Feng, Lizhong Zhu
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.. 2018, 12 (2): 1-.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-017-0978-7

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Base was applied to modify biochars from different feedstocks and temperatures.

Content of base soluble carbon followed the trend of rice straw>wood>bamboo.

Base soluble carbon can be extracted from biochar pyrolyzed below 500 °C.

Base modification increased the sorption ability of biochar pyrolyzed below 500 °C.

Removal of base soluble carbon increased biochar’s surface area and hydrophobicity.

Biochar (BC) is a potential material for removal of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from soil and water, and base modification is a promising method for improving its sorption ability. In this study, we synthesized a series of base-modified biochars, and evaluated their sorption of phenanthrene. Original biochars were produced by pyrolysis of three feedstocks (rice straw, wood and bamboo) at five temperatures (300°C, 350°C, 400°C, 500°C and 700°C). Base-modified biochars were further obtained by washing of biochars with base solution. The base soluble carbon (SC) was extracted from the supernatant, which were only obtained from biochars pyrolyzed at low temperatures (<500°C) and the content was decreased with the increase of pyrolysis temperature. The SC content between different feedstocks followed the trend of rice straw>wood>bamboo when same pyrolysis conditions were applied. It was found that base modification improved the sorption of phenanthrene on biochars that SC could be extracted from (extractable-BCs). However, base treatment but had limited effects for biochars that no SC could be extracted from. It suggested that base modification improved the sorption of phenanthrene to extractable-BCs by removing the SC and thus increasing the surface area and hydrophobicity. Therefore, base modification was suggested to be used in modifying extractable-BCs.

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Novel approach to control adsorbent aggregation: iron fixed bentonite-fly ash for Lead (Pb) and Cadmium (Cd) removal from aqueous media
Teza Mwamulima, Xiaolin Zhang, Yongmei Wang, Shaoxian Song, Changsheng Peng
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.. 2018, 12 (2): 2-.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-017-0979-6

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A novel approach was used to control zero valent iron aggregation and separation problems by fixing zero valent iron (ZVI) on low cost bentonite-fly ash (BFA) pellets to produce ZVI-BFA.

ZVI-BFA pellets have good size, don’t disintegrate and can easily be separated from water when exhausted.

Removal kinetics followed the pseudo second order kinetic model.

Combined physical and chemical processes are the characteristic removal mechanisms of Pb2+ and Cd2+ by ZVI-BFA.

In the present study, a novel approach was used to control zero valent iron aggregation and separation problems by fixing zero valent iron (ZVI) on bentonite-fly ash pellets. For this purpose, porous low cost bentonite-fly ash (BFA) pellets with size of 2.00 cm in length and 0.35 cm in diameter were prepared and fixed with ZVI to manufacture zero valent iron bentonite-fly ash (ZVI-BFA) pellets. Importantly, unlike powdered adsorbents, ZVI-BFA can easily be separated from final effluents when exhausted without any disintegration. The performance of the developed novel adsorbent was investigated for the removal of Pb2+ and Cd2+ from aqueous media. At 100 mg·L1 and 1 g adsorbent, a maximum of 89.5% of Cd2+ and 95.6% of Pb2+ was removed by ZVI-BFA as compared to 56% and 95% removal by BFA. At 200 mg·L1, Cd2+ and Pb2+ removal by ZVI-BFA was 56% and 99.8% respectively as compared to only 28% and 96% by BFA. Further, the removal kinetics was best fitted for pseudo-second order model. The study provides the basis for improving the removal capacity of porous materials by iron fixation while taking separation ability into consideration.

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PVDF ultrafiltration membranes of controlled performance via blending PVDF-g-PEGMA copolymer synthesized under different reaction times
Shuai Wang, Tong Li, Chen Chen, Baicang Liu, John C. Crittenden
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.. 2018, 12 (2): 3-.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-017-0980-0

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PVDF blended different graft ratio of PVDF-g-PEGMA were systematically studied.

Tuning the amphiphilic copolymer synthesis time to control membrane performance.

The PVDF membrane with PVDF-g-PEGMA at 19 h possesses most surface oxygen content.

The synthesis time of PVDF-g-PEGMA at 9 h is good for high flux UF membrane.

Polyvinylidene fluoride grafted with poly(ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate (PVDF-g-PEGMA) was synthesized using atomic transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) at different reaction times (9 h, 19 h, and 29 h). The corresponding conversion rates were 10%, 20% and 30%, respectively. PVDF was blended with the copolymer mixture containing PVDF-g-PEGMA, solvent and residual PEGMA under different reaction times. In this study, we explored the effect of the copolymer mixture additives with different synthesis times on cast membrane performance. Increasing the reaction time of PVDF-g-PEGMA causes more PVDF-g-PEGMA and less residual PEGMA to be found in the casting solution. Incremental PVDF-g-PEGMA can dramatically increase the viscosity of the casting solution. An overly high viscosity led to a delayed phase inversion, thus hindering PEGMA segments in PVDF-g-PEGMA from migrating to the membrane surface. However, more residual PEGMA contributed to helping more PEGMA segments migrate to the membrane surface. The pure water fluxes of the blended membrane with reaction times of 9 h, 19 h, and 29 h are 5445 L·m−2·h−1, 1068 L·m−2·h−1and 1179 L·m−2·h−1, respectively, at 0.07 MPa. Delayed phase inversion can form smaller surface pore size distributions, thus decreasing the water flux for the membranes with PVDF-g-PEGMA at 19 h and 29 h. Therefore, we can control the membrane pore size distribution by decreasing the reaction time of PVDF-g-PEGMA to obtain a better flux performance. The membrane with PVDF-g-PEGMA at 19 h exhibits the best foulant rejection and cleaning recovery due to its narrow pore size distribution and high surface oxygen content.

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Effect of different carbon sources on performance of an A2N-MBR process and its microbial community structure
Dongliang Du, Chuanyi Zhang, Kuixia Zhao, Guangrong Sun, Siqi Zou, Limei Yuan, Shilong He
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.. 2018, 12 (2): 4-.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-017-0981-z

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The nutrient removal was higeher with short-chain fatty acids as carbon source.

Candidatus Accumulibacter was more easily enriched in A2N-MBR process.

Short-chain fatty acids were beneficial to the growth of PAOs.

Effect of different carbon sources on purification performance and change of microbial community structure in a novel A2N-MBR process were investigated. The results showed that when fed with acetate, propionate or acetate and propionate mixed (1:1) as carbon sources, the effluent COD, NH4+-N, TN and TP were lower than 30, 5, 15 and 0.5 mg·L-1, respectively. However, taken glucose as carbon source, the TP concentration of effluent reached 2.6 mg·L-1. Process analysis found that the amount of anaerobic phosphorus release would be the key factor to determine the above effectiveness. The acetate was beneficial to the growth ofCandidatus Accumulibacter associated with biological phosphorus removal, which was the main cause of high efficiency phosphorus removal in this system. In addition, it could eliminate theCandidatus Competibacter associated with glycogen-accumulating organisms and guarantee high efficiency phosphorus uptake of phosphorus accumulating organisms in the system with acetate as carbon source.

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Transport of antibiotic resistance plasmids in porous media and the influence of surfactants
Peipei Chen, Chaoqi Chen, Xiqing Li
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.. 2018, 12 (2): 5-.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-017-0986-7

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Indigenous and engineered plasmids have similar transport behavior in porous media.

Indigenous plasmid pK5 transports similarly in quartz sand and soil.

Anionic surfactant SDS has negligible effect on plasmid transport in porous media.

Cationic surfactant CTAB affects plasmid transport at high concentrations.

Indigenous plasmids may transport over significant distances in environment.

Transport of engineered antibiotic resistance plasmids in porous media has been reported to potentially cause significant spreading of antibiotic resistance in the environment. In this work, transport of an indigenous resistance plasmid pK5 in porous media was investigated through packed column experiments. At identical ionic strengths in CaCl2 solutions, the breakthroughs of pK5 from soil columns were very close to those from quartz sand columns, indicating that transport of pK5 in quartz sand and soil was similar. A similarity in transport behavior was also found between pK5 and an engineered plasmid pBR322 that has approximately the same number of base pairs as pK5. The influence of surfactants, a major group of constituents in soil solutions, was examined using an engineered plasmid pcDNA3.1(+)/myc-His A. The impact of an anionic surfactant, sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS), was negligible at concentrations up to 200 mg·L1. Cetyltrimethyl ammonium bromide (CTAB), a cationic surfactant, was found to significantly enhance plasmid adsorption at high concentrations. However, at environmentally relevant concentrations (<1 mg·L1), the effect of this surfactant was also minimal. The negligible impact of surfactants and the similarity between the transport of engineered and indigenous plasmids indicate that under environmentally relevant conditions, indigenous plasmids in soil also have the potential to transport over long distances and lead to the spreading of antibiotic resistance.

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Enhanced reductive degradation of carbon tetrachloride by carbon dioxide radical anion-based sodium percarbonate/ Fe(II)/formic acid system in aqueous solution
Wenchao Jiang, Ping Tang, Shuguang Lu, Xiang Zhang, Zhaofu Qiu, Qian Sui
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.. 2018, 12 (2): 6-.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-017-0987-6

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Complete CT degradation was achieved by SPC/Fe(II)/FA system.

Formic acid established the reductive circumstance by producing CO2·.

CO2· was the dominant active species responsible for CT degradation.

CT degradation was favorable in the pH range from 3.0 to 9.0.

SPC/Fe(II)/FA system may be suitable for CT remediation in contaminated groundwater.

The performance of sodium percarbonate (SPC) activated with ferrous ion (Fe(II)) with the addition of formic acid (FA) to stimulate the degradation of carbon tetrachloride (CT) was investigated. Results showed that CT could be entirely reduced within 15 min in the system at a variety of SPC/Fe(II)/FA/CT molar ratios in experimental level. Scavenging tests indicated that carbon dioxide radical anion (CO2·) was the dominant reactive oxygen species responsible for CT degradation. CT degradation rate, to a large extent, increased with increasing dosages of chemical agents and the optimal molar ratio of SPC/Fe(II)/FA/CT was set as 60/60/60/1. The initial concentration of CT can hardly affect the CT removal, while CT degradation was favorable in the pH range of 3.0–9.0, but apparently inhibited at pH 12. Cl and HCO3 of high concentration showed negative impact on CT removal. Cl released from CT was detected and the results confirmed nearly complete mineralization of CT. CT degradation was proposed by reductive C-Cl bond splitting. This study demonstrated that SPC activated with Fe(II) with the addition of FA may be promising technique for CT remediation in contaminated groundwater.

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Field evidence of decreased extractability of copper and nickel added to soils in 6-year field experiments
Bao Jiang, Dechun Su, Xiaoqing Wang, Jifang Liu, Yibing Ma
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.. 2018, 12 (2): 7-.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-017-0990-y

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Long-term decrease in added Cu and Ni toxicity was easily identified in neutral soil.

Extractability as an aging indicator of Cu and Ni is better than phytotoxicity.

In neutral and alkaline soil Cu is extractable more than Ni.

In acidic soil extractability of Cu is similar to Ni.

The phytotoxicity of added copper (Cu) and nickel (Ni) is influenced by soil properties and field aging. However, the differences in the chemical behavior between Cu and Ni are still unclear. Therefore, this study was conducted to investigate the extractability of added Cu and Ni in 6-year field experiments, as well as the link with their phytotoxicity. The results showed that the extractability of added Cu decreased by 6.63% (5.10%–7.90%), 22.5% (20.6%–23.9%), and 6.87% (0%–17.9%) on average for acidic, neutral, and alkaline soil from 1 to 6 years, although the phytotoxicity of added Cu and Ni did not change significantly from 1 to 6 years in the long term field experiment. Because of dissolution of Cu, when the pH decreased below 7.0, the extractability of Cu in alkaline soil by EDTA at pH 4.0 could not reflect the effects of aging. For Ni, the extractability decreased by 18.1% (10.1%–33.0%), 63.0% (59.2%–68.8%), and 22.0% (12.4%–31.8%) from 1 to 6 years in acidic, neutral, and alkaline soils, respectively, indicating the effects of aging on Ni were greater than on Cu. The sum of ten sequential extractions of Cu and Ni showed that added Cu was more extractable than Ni in neutral and alkaline soil, but similar in acidic soil.

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Can floor-area-ratio incentive promote low impact development in a highly urbanized area? —A case study in Changzhou City, China
Ming Cheng, Huapeng Qin, Kangmao He, Hongliang Xu
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.. 2018, 12 (2): 8-.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-017-1002-y

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Promoting low impact development through floor-area-ratio incentive

Transacting between surface runoff reduction and awarding FAR

Comparing different objectives of the government and developers in the trade-off

As an environmental friendly measure for surface runoff reduction, low impact development (LID) has been applied successfully in urban areas. However, due to high price of land and additional expense for LID construction in highly urbanized areas, the developers of real estate would not like to proceed LID exploitation. Floor area ratio (FAR) refers to “the ratio of a building’s total floor area to the size of the piece of land upon which it is built.” Increasing FAR indicates that the developers can construct higher buildings and earn more money. By means of awarding FAR, the developers may be willing to practice LID construction. In this study, a new residential district is selected as a case study to analyze the trade-off between the runoff reduction goal achieving by LID practices and the incentive of awarding FAR to promote LID construction. The System for Urban Stormwater Treatment and Analysis IntegratioN (SUSTAIN) model is applied to simulate the runoff reduction under various LID designs and then derive the Pareto-optimal solutions to achieve urban runoff reduction goals based on cost efficiency. The results indicates that the maximum surface runoff reduction is 20.5%. Under the extremity scenarios, the government has options to award FAR of 0.028, 0.038 and 0.047 and the net benefits developers gain are 0 CNY, one million CNY and two million CNY, respectively. The results provide a LID construction guideline related to awarding FAR, which supports incentive policy making for promoting LID practices in the highly urbanized areas.

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Influence of arsanilic acid, Cu2+, PO43 and their interaction on anaerobic digestion of pig manure
Ping He, Guangxue Wu, Rui Tang, Peilun Ji, Shoujun Yuan, Wei Wang, Zhenhu Hu
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.. 2018, 12 (2): 9-.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-017-1004-9

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The methanogenesis was severely inhibited with 0.46 mM ASA addition.

PO43 didn’t attenuate the methanogenesis inhibition in the existence of ASA.

ASA was transformed to As(III), As(V), MMA and DMA in anaerobic digestion.

Cu2+ mitigated the methanogenesis inhibition via impeding the degradation of ASA.

Arsanilic acid (ASA), copper ion (Cu2+) and phosphate (PO43) are widely used as feed additives for pigs. Most of these three supplemented feed additives were excreted in feces and urine. Anaerobic digestion is often used for the management of pig manure. However, the interaction of ASA with Cu2+ or PO43 on anaerobic digestion is still not clear. In this study, the influence of ASA, Cu2+, PO43 and their interaction on anaerobic digestion of pig manure and the possible mechanisms were investigated. The initial concentrations of ASA, Cu2+ and PO43 were 0.46 mM, 2 mM and 2 mM in the anaerobic digester, respectively. The methanogenesis was severely inhibited in the assays with only ASA addition, only Cu2+ addition and ASA+ PO43 addition with the inhibition index of 97.8%, 46.6% and 82.6%, respectively, but the methanogenesis inhibition in the assay with ASA+ Cu2+ addition was mitigated with the inhibition index of 39.4%. PO43 had no obvious impacts on the degradation of ASA. However, Cu2+ addition inhibited the degradation of ASA, mitigating the methanogenesis inhibition. The existence of ASA would inhibit methanogenesis and generate more toxic inorganic arsenic compounds during anaerobic digestion, implying the limitation of anaerobic digestion for ASA- contaminated animal manure. However, the co-existence of ASA and Cu2+ could mitigate the inhibition. These results could provide useful information for the management of anaerobic digestion of pig manure containing ASA with Cu2+.

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Phosphate-induced differences in stabilization efficiency for soils contaminated with lead, zinc, and cadmium
Jie Ren, Zhuo Zhang, Mei Wang, Guanlin Guo, Ping Du, Fasheng Li
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.. 2018, 12 (2): 10-.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-018-1006-2

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• Abilities of phosphates to stabilize heavy metal contaminated soils were studied.

• Phosphate-induced changes in soil pH affected the stabilization.

• Stabilization efficiencies were different in both single and ternary metal system.

• Competitive Pb stabilization was shown in soils with ternary metals.

Phosphates can cost-effectively decrease the mobility of Pb in contaminated soils. However, Pb always coexists with other metals in soil, their competitive reactions with phosphates have not been tested. In this study, the abilities of KH2PO4, K2HPO4, and K3PO4 to stabilize Pb, Zn, and Cd in soils contaminated with a single metal or a ternary metal for different phosphorus/metal molar ratios were investigated. Results indicated that the stabilization efficiency of KH2PO4, K2HPO4, and K3PO4 for Pb, Zn, and Cd in single metal contaminated soil (P/M ratio 0.6) was 96.00%–98.74%, 33.76%–47.81%, and 9.50%–55.79%, respectively. Competitive stabilization occurred in the ternary system, Pb exhibited a strong competition, the stabilization efficiency of Zn and Cd reduced by 23.50%–31.64%, and 7.10%–39.26%, respectively. Pyromorphite and amorphous lead phosphate formed with excess KH2PO4 or K2HPO4 addition, while K3PO4 resulted in the formation of a hydroxypyromorphite precipitate. Amorphous Zn and Cd phosphates and hydroxides were the primary products. The immobilization rate of Zn and Cd depends on pH, and increased significantly in response to the excess phosphate application. This approach provides insight into phosphate-induced differences in stabilization efficiency in soils contaminated with multiple metals, which is of theoretical and engineering significance.

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research-article
New insights into mercury removal mechanism on CeO2-based catalysts: A first-principles study
Ling Li, Yu He, Xia Lu
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.. 2018, 12 (2): 11-.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-018-1007-1

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Hg0 is chemically adsorbed and fully oxidized by surface oxygen on CeO2.

HCl promotes the desorption of oxidized Hg on CeO2.

Surface oxygen is consumed by the H provided by HCl.

Desorption of oxidized Hg is a rate-determining step.

Maintenance of sufficient active surface oxygen is another rate-determining step.

First-principles calculations were performed to investigate the mechanism of Hg0 adsorption and oxidation on CeO2(111). Surface oxygen activated by the reduction of Ce4+ to Ce3+ was vital to Hg0 adsorption and oxidation processes. Hg0 was fully oxidized by the surface lattice oxygen on CeO2(111), without using any other oxidizing agents. HCl could dissociate and react with the Hg adatom on CeO2(111) to form adsorbed Hg–Cl or Cl–Hg–Cl groups, which promoted the desorption of oxidized Hg and prevented CeO2 catalyst deactivation. In contrast, O–H and H–O–H groups formed during HCl adsorption consumed the active surface oxygen and prohibited Hg oxidation. The consumed surface oxygen was replenished by adding O2 into the flue gas. We proposed that oxidized Hg desorption and maintenance of sufficient active surface oxygen were the rate-determining steps of Hg0 removal on CeO2-based catalysts. We believe that our thorough understanding and new insights into the mechanism of the Hg0 removal process will help provide guidelines for developing novel CeO2-based catalysts and enhance the Hg0 removal efficiency.

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RESEARCH ARTICLE
Effects of heavy rainfall on the composition of airborne bacterial communities
Gwang Il Jang, Chung Yeon Hwang, Byung Cheol Cho
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.. 2018, 12 (2): 12-.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-018-1008-0

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Airborne bacterial community composition changed between before and after rainfall.

Actinobacteria and Firmicutes, respectively, increased and decreased after rain.

Rainfalls might have adverse effects on human and plant health.

Wet deposition scavenges particles and particle-associated bacteria from the air column, but the impact of raindrops on various surfaces on Earth causes emission of surface-associated bacteria into the air column. Thus, after rainfall, these two mechanisms are expected to cause changes in airborne bacterial community composition (BCC). In this study, aerosol samples were collected at a suburban site in Seoul, Korea before and after three heavy rainfall events in April, May, and July 2011. BCC was investigated by pyrosequencing the 16S rRNA gene in aerosol samples. Interestingly, the relative abundance of non-spore forming Actinobacteria operational taxonomic units (OTUs) was always higher in post-rain aerosol samples. In particular, the absolute and relative abundances of airborne Propionibacteriaceae always increased after rainfall, whereas those of airborne Firmicutes, including Carnobacteriaceae and Clostridiales, consistently decreased. Marine bacterial sequences, which were temporally important in aerosol samples, also decreased after rainfall events. Further, increases in pathogen-like sequences were often observed in post-rain air samples. Rainfall events seemed to affect airborne BCCs by the combined action of the two mechanisms, with potentially adverse effects on human and plant health.

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PM2.5-related health impacts of utilizing ammonia-hydrogen energy in Kanto Region, Japan
Mengqian Lu, Bin-Le Lin, Kazuya Inoue, Zhongfang Lei, Zhenya Zhang, Kiyotaka Tsunemi
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.. 2018, 12 (2): 13-.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-018-1005-3

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Health impacts of utilizing ammonia as chemical carrier were investigated.

Influenced by ammonia emissions, PM2.5 increased 11.7% in winter and 3.5% in summer.

PM2.5-related premature deaths turned to be 351 per year.

Ammonia has emerged as a promising hydrogen carrier with applications as an energy source in recent years. However, in addition to being toxic, gaseous ammonia is a precursor of secondary inorganic aerosols. The concentration of ambient fine particulate matter (PM2.5) is intrinsically connected to public health. In this study, PM2.5-related health impacts of utilizing ammonia-hydrogen energy in Kanto Region, Japan, were investigated. It was assumed that 20% of the electricity consumption in Kanto Region, the most populated area in Japan, was supplied by ammonia-hydrogen energy. The PM2.5 resulted from incomplete ammonia decomposition was simulated by a chemical transport model: ADMER-PRO (modified version). Based on the incremental PM2.5 concentration, health impacts on the elderly (individuals over 65 years old) were quantitatively evaluated. The ammonia emission in this scenario increased PM2.5 by 11.7% (0.16 μg·m–3·y–1) in winter and 3.5% (0.08 μg·m–3·y–1) in summer, resulting in 351 premature deaths per year. This study suggests that cost-effective emissions control or treatment and appropriate land planning should be considered to reduce the associated health impacts of this type of energy generation. In addition, further in-depth research, including cost-benefit analysis and security standards, is needed.

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Pollution characteristics of particulate matters emitted from outdoor barbecue cooking in urban Jinan in eastern China
Yifei Song, Lei Sun, Xinfeng Wang, Yating Zhang, Hui Wang, Rui Li, Likun Xue, Jianmin Chen, Wenxing Wang
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.. 2018, 12 (2): 14-.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-018-1024-0

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Extremely high levels of particles were emitted from outdoor barbecue cooking.

Barbecue particle numbers exhibited very large increase in super-micro particles.

Barbecue cooking had influence on particle concentrations in surrounding areas.

Range hood efficiently removed cooking particles and thus was recommended.

To understand the pollution characteristics of particulate matter emitted from outdoor barbecue cooking in eastern China, measurements of the PM2.5 mass concentration, the number concentration of particles with a diameter of 0.01 to 1.0 mm, and the particle size distribution from 0.3 to 25 mm were carried out at seven barbecue restaurants in urban Jinan. The average PM2.5 mass concentration and sub-micron particle number concentrations at a distance of 1 m from the grills were 250 to 1083 mg/m3 and 0.90 × 105 to 2.23 × 105 cm3, respectively, which were much higher than those in the ambient air of the urban area. Compared to the ambient atmosphere, barbecue cooking emitted very high levels of particles with a larger increase in the concentrations of super-micron particles than that of sub-micron particles. The super-micron particle number concentrations at the barbecue restaurants were 10 to 100 times higher than those observed in the ambient urban atmosphere. The barbecue smoke had a significant effect on the particle concentrations in the surrounding region. Both mass and number concentrations of particles exhibited maximum values immediately near the barbecue grills and often reached a peak at a distance of 10 to 15 m. The removal efficiency of a range hood for the cooking particles was tested in an indoor kitchen. The range hood effectively cleaned the particulate matter pollution caused by cooking with a removal efficiency larger than 80%. Therefore, the use of a range hood is recommended for outdoor barbecue restaurants coupled with a smoke purifier to clean the emitted high concentrations of particles.To understand the pollution characteristics of particulate matter emitted from outdoor barbecue cooking in eastern China, measurements of the PM2.5 mass concentration, the number concentration of particles with a diameter of 0.01 to 1.0 mm, and the particle size distribution from 0.3 to 25 mm were carried out at seven barbecue restaurants in urban Jinan. The average PM2.5 mass concentration and sub-micron particle number concentrations at a distance of 1 m from the grills were 250 to 1083 mg/m3 and 0.90 × 105 to 2.23 × 105 cm3, respectively, which were much higher than those in the ambient air of the urban area. Compared to the ambient atmosphere, barbecue cooking emitted very high levels of particles with a larger increase in the concentrations of super-micron particles than that of sub-micron particles. The super-micron particle number concentrations at the barbecue restaurants were 10 to 100 times higher than those observed in the ambient urban atmosphere. The barbecue smoke had a significant effect on the particle concentrations in the surrounding region. Both mass and number concentrations of particles exhibited maximum values immediately near the barbecue grills and often reached a peak at a distance of 10 to 15 m. The removal efficiency of a range hood for the cooking particles was tested in an indoor kitchen. The range hood effectively cleaned the particulate matter pollution caused by cooking with a removal efficiency larger than 80%. Therefore, the use of a range hood is recommended for outdoor barbecue restaurants coupled with a smoke purifier to clean the emitted high concentrations of particles.

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Abatement of mixed volatile organic compounds in a catalytic hybrid surface/packed-bed discharge plasma reactor
Lianjie Guo, Nan Jiang, Jie Li, Kefeng Shang, Na Lu, Yan Wu
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.. 2018, 12 (2): 15-.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-018-1017-z

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• Mixed VOCs were successfully degraded by HSPBD reactor with Ag-Ce/γ-Al2O3 catalyst at room temperature.

• The removal performance of single-component and mixed VOCs were compared in both NTP and PPC processes.

• The single-component and mixed VOCs decomposition products after plasma-catalysis treatment were analyzed.

• There existed an optimal gas humid to achieve the highest mixed VOCs removal efficiency.

In this study, post plasma-catalysis degradation of mixed volatile organic compounds (benzene, toluene, and xylene) has been performed in a hybrid surface/packed-bed discharge plasma reactor with Ag-Ce/ g-Al2O3 catalyst at room temperature. The effect of relative air humidity on mixed VOCs degradation has also been investigated in both plasma-only and PPC systems. In comparison to the plasma-only system, a significant improvement can be observed in the degradation performance of mixed VOCs in PPC system with Ag-Ce/ g-Al2O3 catalyst. In PPC system, 68% benzene, 89% toluene, and 94% xylene were degraded at 800 J·L-1, respectively, which were 25%, 11%, and 9% higher than those in plasma-only system. This result can be attributed to the high catalytic activity of Ag-Ce/ g-Al2O3 catalyst to effectively decompose O3 and lead to generating more reactive species which are capable of destructing the VOCs molecules completely. Moreover, the presence of Ag-Ce/ g-Al2O3 catalyst in plasma significantly decreased the emission of discharge byproducts (NOx and O3) and promoted the mineralization of mixed VOCs towards CO2. Adding a small amount of water vapor into PPC system enhanced the degradation efficiencies of mixed VOCs, however, further increasing water vapor had a negative impact on the degradation efficiencies, which was primarily attributed to the quenching of energetic electrons by water vapor in plasma and the competitive adsorption of water vapor on the catalyst surface. Meanwhile, the catalysts before and after discharge were characterized by the Brunauer-Emment-Teller and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy.

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VIEWS & COMMENTS
Stabilization-based soil remediation should consider long-term challenges
Zhengtao Shen, Zhen Li, Daniel S. Alessi
Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.. 2018, 12 (2): 16-.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-018-1028-9

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Soil remediation is of increasing importance globally, especially in developing countries. Among available remediation options, stabilization, which aims to immobilize contaminants within soil, has considerable advantages, including that it is cost-effective, versatile, sustainable, rapid, and often results in less secondary pollution. However, there are emerging challenges regarding the long-term performance of the technology, which may be affected by a range of environmental factors. These challenges stem from a research gap regarding the development of accurate, quantitative laboratory simulations of long-term conditions, whereby laboratory accelerated aging methods could be normalized to real field conditions. Therefore, field trials coupled with long-term monitoring are critical to further verify conditions under which stabilization is effective. Sustainability is also an important factor affecting the long-term stability of site remediation. It is hence important to consider these challenges to develop an optimized application of stabilization technology in soil remediation.

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