Publications by authors named "Jörg Rinklebe"

177 Publications

Effects of microorganism-mediated inoculants on humification processes and phosphorus dynamics during the aerobic composting of swine manure.

J Hazard Mater 2021 Mar 25;416:125738. Epub 2021 Mar 25.

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China.

There is significant interest in the treatment of swine manure, which is a hazardous biowaste and a source of pathogenic contamination. This work investigated the effects of microorganism-mediated inoculants (MMIs) on nutrient flows related to humification or phosphorus (P) dynamics during the aerobic composting of swine manure. The impact of MMIs on microbe succession was also evaluated. The addition of MMIs had positive effects associated with nutrient flows, including thermal activation, decreases in certain fluorescence emissions, lower mass loss and variations in levels of certain elements and functional groups. MMIs altered the maturation behavior and kinetics of organic matter while improving microbial activity. Phosphorus was found in the compost in the forms of MgNHPO·6HO crystals and Poly-P as the IP species, and Mono-P as the OP species in compost generated from the dissolution or inter-transformation among P pools. These nutrient flows are attributed to changes in the structure of microbial communities as a consequence of introducing MMIs. Diverse microbial compositions were identified in different composting phases, although Bacillus appeared in each phase. This work provides support for the aerobic composting of hazardous biowaste as well as an improved understanding of nutrient flows, as a means of producing higher quality compost.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.125738DOI Listing
March 2021

Use of biochar to reduce mercury accumulation in Oryza sativa L: A trial for sustainable management of historically polluted farmlands.

Environ Int 2021 Mar 26;153:106527. Epub 2021 Mar 26.

State Key Laboratory of Environmental Geochemistry, Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guiyang 550081, PR China; CAS Center for Excellence in Quaternary Science and Global Change, Xi'an, 710061, China.

Mitigating the risk of mercury (Hg) contamination in rice soils using environmental friendly amendments is essential to reducing the probable daily intake (PDI) of MeHg via rice consumption. Here, we examined the impacts of different doses (0% (control), 0.6% and 3%) of rice hull-derived biochar (RHB) and mixture of wheat-rice straw-derived biochar (RWB) on the fractionation, phytoavailability, and uptake of total (THg) and methyl Hg (MeHg) by rice in Hg-polluted soil (THg = 78.3 mg kg) collected from Wanshan Hg mining area. Both biochars increased rice biomass up to 119% as compared to control. Application of RHB and RWB significantly (P ≤ 0.05) decreased bioavailable Hg (soluble and exchangeable and specifically-sorbed fractions) concentrations by 55-71% and 67-72%, respectively. The addition of RHB significantly decreased MeHg concentrations in the soil. However, RWB (particularly at 3%) increased significantly MeHg concentrations in the soil as compared to the control and RHB treatments, likely due to the increased abundance of Hg-methylation microorganisms (e.g., Geobacter spp., Nitrospira spp.) in the RWB treatments. Both RHB and RWB significantly decreased MeHg concentrations in the rice grain by 55-85%. We estimated a reduction of the PDI of MeHg from 0.26 μg kg bw dof control to below the reference dose (0.1 μg kg bw d) of two biochar treatments. Our results highlight the potentiality of RWB and RHB for mitigating MeHg accumulation in rice and reducing PDI of MeHg via rice consumption, which offers a sustainable approach for management of Hg-polluted soils.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2021.106527DOI Listing
March 2021

Bio-interaction of nano and bulk lanthanum and ytterbium oxides in soil system: Biochemical, genetic, and histopathological effects on Eisenia fetida.

J Hazard Mater 2021 Mar 6;415:125574. Epub 2021 Mar 6.

Beijing Key Laboratory of Farmland Soil Pollution Prevention and Remediation, College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China. Electronic address:

The massive application of rare earth elements (REEs) in electronic industries cause their inevitable release into the environment; however, its effects on soil biota remain largely unaddressed. We investigated the E. fetida detoxification potential of nano and bulk LaO and YbO and their potential impact on biochemical and genetic markers at 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 mg kg concentration. We found that earthworms bioremediate 3-15% LaO and YbO contaminated soil at low and medium levels, while this potential was limited at higher levels. Nano and bulk LaO and YbO treatment induced neurotoxicity in earthworm by inhibiting acetylcholinesterase by 49-65% and 22-36% at 500 and 1000 mg kg, respectively. Nano LaO proved to be highly detrimental, mainly through oxidative stress and subsequent failure of antioxidant system. Nano LaO and YbO at 100 mg kg significantly down-regulated the expression of annetocin mRNA in the parental and progeny earthworms by 50% and 20%, which is crucial for earthworm reproduction. Similarly, expression level of heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) and metallothionein was significantly upregulated in both generations at medium exposure level. Histological observations showed that nano REEs at 200 mg kg induced drastic changes in the intestinal epithelium and typhlosole of E. fetida. To date, our results enhance the understanding of interaction between REEs and earthworms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.125574DOI Listing
March 2021

Groundwater hydrochemistry, source identification and pollution assessment in intensive industrial areas, eastern Chinese loess plateau.

Environ Pollut 2021 Mar 10;278:116930. Epub 2021 Mar 10.

University of Wuppertal, School of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Institute of Foundation Engineering, Water- and Waste-Management, Soil- and Groundwater-Management, Pauluskirchstraße 7, 42285, Wuppertal, Germany; Department of Environment, Department of Environment and Energy, Sejong University, Seoul, 05006, Republic of Korea.

Groundwater is essential for regional ecological-economic system and is an important resource of drinking water, especially in the Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP), where is a typical water-limited ecosystem. Groundwater quality deterioration will affect water security and exacerbate the water shortages. Groundwater hydrochemistry, pollution source apportionment, quality and health risks were evaluated based on analysis of major ions and selected trace elements in seasonal samples of the Fen River Basin (FRB) in the eastern CLP. Groundwaters in the FRB were mainly HCO-Ca-Na water type with low dissolved solutes in upstream samples, high values in midstream samples and medium values in downstream samples. Solutes in upstream samples were mainly derived from carbonate weathering, while those in midstream and downstream samples came from silicate weathering, evaporites dissolution and anthropogenic sources. Self-organizing map (SOM) showed the hydrochemistry remained unchanged from dry to wet season for most sampling points. The seasonal variations of Ag, Cd, Ni, Pb, and Tl were significant due to anthropogenic input. High NO in upstream and downstream samples resulted primarily from sewage discharge, and high SO in midstream and downstream samples was from gypsum- and coal-related industries. In addition, anthropogenic input related to coal industries significantly aggravates pollution of As, Ni, Ag, Fe, and Mn. Influenced by evaporites and anthropogenic input, midstream samples had high salinity, total hardness and water quality indices (WQIs) and were unsuitable for irrigation or drinking purposes. Seasonal variation of WQI in the FRB was unsignificant except Jiaokou River sub-basin, where groundwater quality was worse in the wet season than the dry season due to coal mining. Great attention should be paid to the high non-carcinogenic risks of exposure to F, V, Mn, and Cr via dermal absorption, particularly for children. Overall, groundwater quality in the FRB was best in upstream, medium in midstream and worst in midstream based on different index. Groundwater quality is deteriorated by anthropogenic input and the sewage discharge in the FRB should be strictly controlled. Our report provides a reference for groundwater pollution evaluation and source identification in similar areas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2021.116930DOI Listing
March 2021

Pedogeochemical distribution of gallium, indium and thallium, their potential availability and associated risk in highly-weathered soil profiles of Taiwan.

Environ Res 2021 Mar 10;197:110994. Epub 2021 Mar 10.

Department of Agricultural Chemistry, National Taiwan University, Taipei, 10617, Taiwan. Electronic address:

Gallium (Ga), indium (In), and thallium (Tl) are emerging soil contaminants. Profile distribution of total content and available form as well as assessing the contamination degree of these elements in highly-weathered soils have not been studied. Consequently, the aim of this study was to determine the distribution of total (HF-digestion) and available (EDTA-extracted form) content of Ga, In, and Tl in eleven soil profiles collected from aged fluvial materials on the Quaternary terraces representing highly-weathered soils (Ultisols and Oxisols) in Taiwan as affected by soil properties. We also assessed the soils contamination degree using indices including enrichment factor (EF), geo-accumulation index (I), and pollution loading index (PLI). The total element content varied from 9460 to 2340 μg kg for Ga, 4.77-37.1 μg kg for In, and from 55.7 to 206 μg kg for Tl. The elements showed different profile distribution in the soils. Soil contamination degree was low in all profiles according to the I and PLI values, but the contamination degree according to the EF was severe for Ga and minor or moderate for In in selected horizons of some profiles. The median content of EDTA-extracted Ga, In, and Tl accounted for 24.0, 8.70, and 5.1% of the total content, respectively. The available Ga and Tl can be predicted by a function of total element and clay using multivariate linear regression analysis. The available In was not able to be predicted by a significant fit of the regression with total In and the studied soil properties, and thus we require more assessment approaches of In availability for the soils in the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2021.110994DOI Listing
March 2021

Bone-derived biochar improved soil quality and reduced Cd and Zn phytoavailability in a multi-metal contaminated mining soil.

Environ Pollut 2021 May 22;277:116800. Epub 2021 Feb 22.

College of Natural Resources and Environment, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi, 712100, China. Electronic address:

Reusing by-products such as cow bones in agriculture can be achieved thorough pyrolysis. The potential of bone-derived biochar as a promising material for metals immobilization in contaminated mining soils has not yet been sufficiently explored. Therefore, cow bones were used as biochar feedstock were pyrolyzed at 500 °C (CBL) and 800 °C (CBH) and. The two biochars were applied to a mine contaminated soil at 0 (control), 2.5, 5 and 10%, w/w, dosages; then, the soils were incubated and cultivated by maize in the greenhouse. Cadmium (Cd) and zinc (Zn) bioavailability and their sequentially extracted fractions (acid soluble, reducible, oxidizable, and residual fraction), soil microbial function, and plant health attributes were analyzed after maize harvesting. Bone-derived biochar enhanced the content of dissolved organic carbon (up to 74%), total nitrogen (up to 26%), and total phosphorus (up to 27%) in the soil and improved the plant growth up to 55%, as compared to the control. The addition of CBL altered the acid soluble fraction of both metals to the residual fraction and, thus, reduced the content of Zn (55 and 40%) and Cd (57 and 67%) in the maize roots and shoots, respectively as compared to the control. The CBL enhanced the β-glucosidase (51%) and alkaline phosphatase activities (71%) at the lower doses (2.5-5%) as compared to control, while the activities of these enzymes decreased with the higher application doses. Also, CBL improved the antioxidants activity and maize growth at the 2.5-5% application rate. However, the activity of the dehydrogenase significantly decreased (77%), particularly with CBH. We conclude that CBL, applied at 2.5-5% dose, can be utilized as a potential low cost and environmental friendly amendment for stabilization of toxic metals in contaminated mining soils and producing food/feed/biofuel crops with lower metal content.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2021.116800DOI Listing
May 2021

A critical review on performance indicators for evaluating soil biota and soil health of biochar-amended soils.

J Hazard Mater 2021 Feb 17;414:125378. Epub 2021 Feb 17.

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China. Electronic address:

Amendment of soil with biochar has been widely investigated for soil quality improvement in terms of biotic and abiotic functionalities. The performance of biochar-based amendment varies according to the site characteristics, biochar properties, and soil management targets. There is no existing review that summarizes a broad range of performance indicators to evaluate the health of biochar-amended soil. Based on the latest studies on soil amendment with biochar, this review critically analyzes the soil health indicators that reveal the potential impact of biochar amendment with respect to physicochemical properties, biological properties, and overall soil quality. It is found that soil pH, soil aggregate stability, and soil organic matter are the basic indicators that could influence most of the soil functions, which should be prioritized for measurement. Relevant functional indicators (e.g., erosion rate, crop productivity, and ecotoxicity) should be selected based on the soil management targets of biochar application in agricultural soils. With this review, it is expected that target-oriented performance indicators can be selected in future studies for field-relevant evaluation of soil amendment by biochar under different situations. Therefore, a more cost-effective and purpose-driven assessment protocol for biochar-amended soils can be devised by using relevant measurable attributes suggested in this review.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.125378DOI Listing
February 2021

Insights into upstream processing of microalgae: A review.

Bioresour Technol 2021 Jun 18;329:124870. Epub 2021 Feb 18.

Department of Separation Science, LUT School of Engineering Science, LUT University, Sammonkatu 12, FI-50130 Mikkeli, Finland. Electronic address:

The aim of this review is to provide insights into the upstream processing of microalgae, and to highlight the advantages of each step. This review discusses the most important steps of the upstream processing in microalgae research such as cultivation modes, photobioreactors design, preparation of culture medium, control of environmental factors, supply of microalgae seeds and monitoring of microalgal growth. An extensive list of bioreactors and their working volumes used, elemental composition of some well-known formulated cultivation media, different types of wastewater used for microalgal cultivation and environmental variables studied in microalgae research has been compiled in this review from the vast literature. This review also highlights existing challenges and knowledge gaps in upstream processing of microalgae and future research needs are suggested.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2021.124870DOI Listing
June 2021

Green remediation of toxic metals contaminated mining soil using bacterial consortium and Brassica juncea.

Environ Pollut 2021 May 19;277:116789. Epub 2021 Feb 19.

College of Natural Resources & Environment, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi, 712100, China. Electronic address:

Microorganism-assisted phytoremediation is being developed as an efficient green approach for management of toxic metals contaminated soils and mitigating the potential human health risk. The capability of plant growth promoting Actinobacteria (Streptomyces pactum Act12 - ACT) and Firmicutes (Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus licheniformis - BC) in mono- and co-applications (consortium) to improve soil properties and enhance phytoextraction of Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn by Brassica juncea (L.) Czern. was studied here for the first time in both incubation and pot experiments. The predominant microbial taxa were Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria and Bacteroidetes, which are important lineages for maintaining soil ecological activities. The consortium improved the levels of alkaline phosphatase, β-D glucosidase, dehydrogenase, sucrase and urease (up to 33%) as compared to the control. The bacterial inoculum also triggered increases in plant fresh weight, pigments and antioxidants. The consortium application enhanced significantly the metals bioavailability (DTPA extractable) and mobilization (acid soluble fraction), relative to those in the unamended soil; therefore, significantly improved the metals uptake by roots and shoots. The phytoextraction indices indicated that B. juncea is an efficient accumulator of Cd and Zn. Overall, co-application of ACT and BC can be an effective solution for enhancing phytoremediation potential and thus reducing the potential human health risk from smelter-contaminated soil. Field studies may further credit the understanding of consortium interactions with soil and different plant systems in remediating multi-metal contaminated environments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2021.116789DOI Listing
May 2021

Redox-induced mobilization of phosphorus in groundwater affected arable soil profiles.

Chemosphere 2021 Feb 11;275:129928. Epub 2021 Feb 11.

University of Wuppertal, School of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Institute of Foundation Engineering, Water- and Waste-Management, Laboratory of Soil- and Groundwater-Management, Pauluskirchstraße 7, 42285, Wuppertal, Germany; University of Sejong, Department of Environment, Energy and Geoinformatics, Guangjin-Gu, Seoul, 05006, Republic of Korea. Electronic address:

Mobilization of phosphorus (P) in arable soils might be affected by groundwater fluctuations and the associated changes in redox potential (E). However, the impact of systematic changes of E on P mobilization in redoximorphic arable soils along a catena has not been studied so far. Therefore, we investigated P mobilization under different redox conditions in top- and sub-soil horizons of three groundwater affected arable soils along a slight slope (toe-, mid-, and upper-slope position) in Northern Germany using an automated biogeochemical microcosm system. The impact of pH, Al, Fe, Mn, and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) on P mobilization was also studied. The initial E (+351 to +431 mV) and pH (6.5-7.0) decreased in all soil samples (E = -280 mV; pH = 4.4) when creating a slurry. Thereafter, the pH increased to 7.1 and 6.4 with increasing E in the mid-and toe-slope soil, respectively. Concentrations of dissolved P ranged between 20.8 mg L under low E in the toe slope topsoil and 0.69 mg L under high E in the toe- and mid-slop subsoil. Concentrations (mg L) of dissolved Fe (0.31-13.3) and DOC (92-2651) increased under low E and decreased under high E. The increase of P mobilization under low E and pH in the soils might be due to the release of P via the reductive and acidic dissolution of Fe-(oxhydr)oxides and/or due to soil organic matter mineralization. The high mobilization of P under reducing conditions may increase its bioavailability; however, it may increase its loss in the soils, particularly in the toe slope profile.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2021.129928DOI Listing
February 2021

CO-assisted catalytic pyrolysis of cellulose acetate using Ni-based catalysts.

Environ Pollut 2021 Apr 5;275:116667. Epub 2021 Feb 5.

Department of Environment and Energy, Sejong University, Seoul, 05006, Republic of Korea. Electronic address:

Cellulose acetate (CA) is one of widely used polymers for chemical and medical applications due to its versatile physico-chemical functionalities. Although its recycle is available after a deacetylation process, the recycle process releases a huge amount of wastewater. Thus, this study investigated a direct disposal process of CA with its valorization to syngas (H and CO) through pyrolysis. To construct more environmentally benign process, CO was used as a co-feedstock with CA to simultaneously convert them into syngas. Pyrolysis of CA in N was performed as a reference study to examine the effectiveness of CO on valorization of CA. Acetic acid and methyl acetate were main volatile pyrolysates (VPs) from CA pyrolysis, and the further thermal cracking of VPs resulted in syngas and CH formations under both N and CO conditions. To expedite syngas formations, multi-stage pyrolysis (two-stage pyrolysis) and catalytic pyrolysis were employed. With the increased thermal energy through two-stage pyrolysis, four times more production of syngas was shown, comparing to the result of a single-stage pyrolysis. With Ni catalysts, the syngas formation was the two orders of magnitude higher than the single-stage pyrolysis, and the significant enhancement of CO formation was shown in the presence of CO due to combined effects of CO and the Ni-based catalysts. This CO enhancement resulted from catalytically expedited gas phase reactions between CO and VPs evolved from CA. In addition, the CO contributed to the suppression of coke deposition on the catalyst, thereby suggesting more technical and environmental benefits of CO as a reactive co-feedstock of pyrolysis in reference to N. Therefore, this study proved the direct and versatile technical platform to convert CA and CO into syngas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2021.116667DOI Listing
April 2021

Streptomyces pactum addition to contaminated mining soils improved soil quality and enhanced metals phytoextraction by wheat in a green remediation trial.

Chemosphere 2021 Jan 21;273:129692. Epub 2021 Jan 21.

College of Natural Resources and Environment, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, 712100, China. Electronic address:

Streptomyces pactum (Act12), an agent of a gentle in situ remediation approach, has been recently used in few works in phytoextraction trials; however, the impact of Act12 on soil quality and metal phytoavailability has not been assessed in multi-metal contaminated soils. Consequently, here we assessed the potential impact of Act12 on the wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) growth, antioxidants activity, and the metal bioavailability in three industrial and mining soils collected from China and contained up to 118, 141, 339, and 6625 mg Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn kg soil, respectively. The Act12 was applied at 0 (control), 0.75 (Act-0.75), 1.50 (Act-1.5), and 2.25 (Act-2.25) g kg (dry weight base) to the three soils; thereafter, the soils were cultivated with wheat (bio-indicator plant) in a pot experiment. The addition of Act12 (at Act-1.5 and Act-2.25) promoted wheat growth in the three soils and significantly increased the content of Cd, Cu, and Zn in the roots and shoots and Pb only in the roots (up to 121%). The Act12-induced increase in metals uptake by wheat might be attributed to the associated decrease in soil pH and/or the increase of metal chelation and production of indole acetic acid and siderophores. The Act12 significantly decreased the antioxidant activities and lipid peroxidation in wheat, which indicates that Act12 may mitigate metals stress in contaminated soils. Enhancing metals phytoextraction using Act12 is a promising ecofriendly approach for phytoremediation of metal-contaminated mining soils that can be safely utilized with non-edible plants and/or bioenergy crops.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2021.129692DOI Listing
January 2021

Supercritical carbon dioxide extraction of plant phytochemicals for biological and environmental applications - A review.

Chemosphere 2021 May 2;271:129525. Epub 2021 Jan 2.

Department of Chemical Engineering, Khalifa University, 127788, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Electronic address:

Recently, supercritical fluid CO extraction (SFE) has emerged as a promising and pervasive technology over conventional extraction techniques for various applications, especially for bioactive compounds extraction and environmental pollutants removal. In this context, temperature and pressure regulate the solvent density and thereby effects the yield, selectivity, and biological/therapeutic properties of the extracted components. However, the nature of plant matrices primarily determines the extraction mechanism based on either density or vapor pressure. The present review aims to cover the recent research and developments of SFE technique in the extraction of bioactive plant phytochemicals with high antioxidant, antibacterial, antimalarial, and anti-inflammatory activities, influencing parameters, process conditions, the investigations for improving the yield and selectivity. In another portion of this review focuses on the ecotoxicology and toxic metal recovery applications. Nonpolar properties of Sc-CO create strong solvent strength via distinct intermolecular interaction forces with micro-pollutants and toxic metal complexes. This results in efficient removal of these contaminants and makes SFE technology as a superior alternative for conventional solvent-based treatment methods. Moreover, a compelling assessment on the therapeutic, functional, and solvent properties of SFE is rarely focused, and hence this review would add significant value to the SFE based research studies. Furthermore, we mention the limitations and potential of future perspectives related to SFE applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.129525DOI Listing
May 2021

Comparative study on carbon dioxide-cofed catalytic pyrolysis of grass and woody biomass.

Bioresour Technol 2021 Mar 30;323:124633. Epub 2020 Dec 30.

Department of Environment and Energy, Sejong University, Seoul 05006, Republic of Korea. Electronic address:

This study investigated the mechanistic functions of CO on the pyrolysis of two different biomasses to elucidate the effect of CO on syngas formations during pyrolysis. To this end, CO-assisted pyrolysis of cellulosic biomass (barnyard grass, Echinochloa) and lignin-rich woody biomass (retinispora, Chamaecyparis obtusa) were compared. The confirmed mechanistic effectiveness of CO on pyrolysis of biomass was gas phase reactions between CO and volatile matters from biomass pyrolysis. Lignin-rich biomass had more CO susceptibility, resulting in more enhanced CO formation via the gas phase reactions. To expedite the slow reaction rate of the gas phase reactions during biomass pyrolysis, earth-abundant catalysts (Co/SiO and Ni/SiO) were employed for pyrolysis of two biomass substrates. With Co and Ni catalysts, the syngas formations were 2 and 3 times higher comparing to the pyrolysis of without catalyst. The cumulative formations of syngas from lignin-rich biomass was nearly doubled than that from cellulosic biomass.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2020.124633DOI Listing
March 2021

Effect of biochar aging and co-existence of diethyl phthalate on the mono-sorption of cadmium and zinc to biochar-treated soils.

J Hazard Mater 2021 Apr 15;408:124850. Epub 2020 Dec 15.

Biochar Engineering Technology Research Center of Guangdong Province, School of Environmental and Chemical Engineering, Foshan University, Foshan, Guangdong 528000, China; Key Laboratory of Soil Contamination Bioremediation of Zhejiang Province, School of Environmental and Resource Sciences, Zhejiang A&F University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 311300, China. Electronic address:

In this study, the influence of the aging process of pig-(PB) and P. orientalis-(POB) derived biochars on the sorption capacity of the biochar-treated soils for cadmium (Cd) and zinc (Zn) with and without the co-existence of diethyl phthalate (DEP) was investigated. Additionally, the surface and internal characteristics of biochars were determined before and after their aging in soils. The PB-treated soil had a higher sorption capacity for Cd and Zn than the POB-treated soil. The sorption capacity of the biochar-treated soils for Cd and Zn increased with biochar application rates. After aging, the abundance of oxygen-containing functional groups on the biochar surface, and the pH and organic carbon content of the biochar-treated soils significantly increased, thereby improving the sorption capacity for Cd and Zn. The sorption capacities of biochar-treated soils for Cd and Zn followed the order of 1-month aging > 6-month aging > fresh. The co-existence of DEP enhanced the sorption capacity of the fresh biochar-treated soils for Cd and Zn, whereas this enhancing effect disappeared for the aged biochar treatments. Our findings provide insights into the interactions between mixed contaminants in biochar-amended soils and the long-term efficacy of biochar treatments on metal sorption to soils.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.124850DOI Listing
April 2021

Pristine and iron-engineered animal- and plant-derived biochars enhanced bacterial abundance and immobilized arsenic and lead in a contaminated soil.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Apr 25;763:144218. Epub 2020 Dec 25.

Key Laboratory of Soil Contamination Bioremediation of Zhejiang Province, School of Environmental and Resource Sciences, Zhejiang A&F University, Hangzhou 311300, China; Biochar Engineering Technology Research Center of Guangdong Province, School of Environmental and Chemical Engineering, Foshan University, Foshan 528000, China. Electronic address:

In this study, typical animal- and plant-derived biochars derived from pig carcass (PB) and green waste (GWB), and their iron-engineered products (Fe-PB and Fe-GWB) were added at the dose of 3% (w/w) to an acidic (pH = 5.8) soil, and incubated to test their efficacy in improving soil quality and immobilizing arsenic (As = 141.3 mg kg) and lead (Pb = 736.2 mg kg). Soil properties, microbial activities, and the geochemical fractions and potential availabilities of As and Pb were determined in the non-treated (control) and biochar-treated soil. Modification of PB (pH = 10.6) and GWB (pH = 9.3) with Fe caused a decrease in their pH to 4.4 and 3.4, respectively. The application of PB and GWB significantly increased soil pH, while Fe-PB and Fe-GWB decreased soil pH, as compared to the control. Application of Fe-GWB and Fe-PB decreased the NHHPO-extractable As by 32.8 and 35.9%, which was more effective than addition of GWB and PB. However, PB and GWB were more effective than Fe-PB and Fe-GWB in Pb immobilization. Compared to the control, the DTPA-extractable Pb decreased by 20.6 and 21.7%, respectively, following PB and GWB application. Both biochars, particularly PB significantly increased the 16S rRNA bacterial gene copy numbers, indicating that biochar amendments enhanced the bacterial abundance, implying an alleviation of As and Pb bio-toxicity to soil bacteria. The results demonstrated that pristine pig carcass and green waste biochars were more effective in immobilizing Pb, while their Fe-engineered biochars were more effective in As immobilization in co-contaminated soils.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.144218DOI Listing
April 2021

Nitric oxide donor, sodium nitroprusside, mitigates mercury toxicity in different cultivars of soybean.

J Hazard Mater 2021 Apr 14;408:124852. Epub 2020 Dec 14.

University of Wuppertal, School of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Institute of Foundation Engineering, Water, and Waste-Management, Laboratory of Soil, and Groundwater-Management, Pauluskirchstraße 7, 42285 Wuppertal, Germany; Department of Environment, Energy, and Geoinformatics, Sejong University, Seoul 05006, Republic of Korea.

The present study reveals the effect of mercury (Hg) and sodium nitroprusside (SNP) on plant growth and metabolism in soybean cultivars (Pusa-24, Pusa-37and Pusa-40). Mercury stress decreased growth and biomass yield, and gas exchange attributes in all soybean cultivars. External supplementation of SNP mitigated Hg toxicity by improving growth and gas exchange parameters. Electrolyte leakage (EL) increased accompanied with elevated levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) and HO under Hg stress, however, they were found to be reduced in all cultivars upon the exogenous application of SNP. The activities of anti-oxidative enzymes, superoxide dismutase and catalase (SOD and CAT) and those enzymes involved in the ascorbate-glutathione pathway were impaired by Hg stress, but they were regulated by the application of SNP. Accumulation of Hg and NO in the shoots and roots were also regulated by the application of NO. Although, all three cultivars were affected by Hg stress, Pusa-37 was relatively less affected. Mercury stress affected the growth and development of different soybean cultivars, but Pusa-37 being tolerant was less affected. Pusa-37 was found to be more responsive to SNP than Pusa-24, Pusa-40 under Hg toxicity. The external supplementation of SNP could be a sustainable approach to economically utilize Hg affected soils.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.124852DOI Listing
April 2021

Biochar-mediated transformation of titanium dioxide nanoparticles concerning TiONPs-biochar interactions, plant traits and tissue accumulation to cell translocation.

Environ Pollut 2021 Feb 1;270:116077. Epub 2020 Dec 1.

University of Wuppertal, School of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Institute of Foundation Engineering, Water- and Waste-Management, Soil- and Groundwater-Management, Pauluskirchstraße 7, 42285, Wuppertal, Germany; Department of Environment, Energy and Geoinformatics, Sejong University, 98 Gunja-Dong, Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiONPs) application in variety of commercial products would likely release these NPs into the environment. The interaction of TiONPs with terrestrial plants upon uptake can disturb plants functional traits and can also transfer to the food chain members. In this study, we investigated the impact of TiONPs on wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) plants functional traits, primary macronutrients assimilation, and change in the profile of bio-macromolecule. Moreover, the mechanism of biochar-TiONPs interaction, immobilization, and tissue accumulation to cell translocation of NPs in plants was also explored. The results indicated that the contents of Ti in wheat tissues was reduced about 3-fold and the Ti transfer rate (per day) was reduced about 2 fold at the 1000 mg L exposure level of TiONPs in biochar amended exposure medium. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) with elemental mapping confirmed that Ti concentrated in plant tissues in nano-form. The interactive effect of TiONPs + biochar amendment on photosynthesis related and gas exchange traits was observed at relatively low TiONPs exposure level (200 mg L), which induced the positive impact on wheat plants proliferation. TiONPs alone exposure to wheat also modified the plant's bio-macromolecules profile with the reduction in the assimilation of primary macronutrients, which could affect the food crop nutritional value and quality. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) chemical analysis of biochar + TiONPs showed an additional peak, which indicated the binding interaction of NPs with biochar. Moreover, Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy confirmed that the biochar carboxyl group is the main functionality involved in the bonding process with TiONPs. These findings will help for a mechanistic understanding of the role of biochar in the reduction of NPs bioavailability to primary producers of the terrestrial environment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2020.116077DOI Listing
February 2021

Sorption of diethyl phthalate and cadmium by pig carcass and green waste-derived biochars under single and binary systems.

Environ Res 2021 Feb 8;193:110594. Epub 2020 Dec 8.

Biochar Engineering Technology Research Center of Guangdong Province, School of Environmental and Chemical Engineering, Foshan University, Foshan, Guangdong, 528000, China; Key Laboratory of Soil Contamination Bioremediation of Zhejiang Province, School of Environmental and Resource Sciences, Zhejiang A&F University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, 311300, China. Electronic address:

Potentially toxic elements (PTEs) and phthalic acid esters (PAEs) often coexist in contaminated soils. Their co-existence may affect the mutual sorption behavior, and thereby influence their bioavailability and fate in soils. To our best knowledge, the impacts of plant-and animal-derived biochar on the competitive sorption-desorption of PTEs and PAEs in soils with different organic carbon content have not been studied up to date. Therefore, in this study, batch sorption-desorption experiments were conducted to investigate the influence of biochars derived from pig carcass and Platanus orientalis branches on the mono- and competitive sorption of cadmium (Cd) and diethyl phthalate (DEP) in soils with high (HS) and low (LS) organic carbon content. The DEP sorption was well described by Freundlich isotherm model, while Cd sorption fitted better with the Langmuir isotherm model. Application of both biochars enhanced soil sorption of DEP, which increased as the application doses increased. The HS showed a stronger affinity to both DEP and Cd than the LS. In the LS, the pig carcass biochar (PB) addition was more effective to increase the sorption capacity of Cd and DEP and to reduce their desorption than woody biochar (WB) treatments. Moreover, the co-existing of Cd could reduce the sorption of DEP, especially in the LS. The presence of DEP enhanced Cd sorption in LS treated by both biochars, but the sorption of Cd was suppressed with DEP addition in the PB-amended HS. In conclusion, the soil sorption capacity of DEP and Cd was affected by biochar type, application dose and soil organic carbon content. The reciprocal effect between DEP and Cd was also a crucial factor influencing their sorption/desorption by biochar. Therefore, PB and WB, especially PB, can be used for metal/DEP immobilization due to enhanced sorption. This approach is applicable for future remediation of soils contaminated by PTEs and PAEs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2020.110594DOI Listing
February 2021

A chronicle of SARS-CoV-2: Seasonality, environmental fate, transport, inactivation, and antiviral drug resistance.

J Hazard Mater 2021 03 6;405:124043. Epub 2020 Oct 6.

Department of Environmental and Civil Engineering, Toyama Prefectural University, Toyama 9390398, Japan.

In this review, we present the environmental perspectives of the viruses and antiviral drugs related to SARS-CoV-2. The present review paper discusses occurrence, fate, transport, susceptibility, and inactivation mechanisms of viruses in the environment as well as environmental occurrence and fate of antiviral drugs, and prospects (prevalence and occurrence) of antiviral drug resistance (both antiviral drug resistant viruses and antiviral resistance in the human). During winter, the number of viral disease cases and environmental occurrence of antiviral drug surge due to various biotic and abiotic factors such as transmission pathways, human behaviour, susceptibility, and immunity as well as cold climatic conditions. Adsorption and persistence critically determine the fate and transport of viruses in the environment. Inactivation and disinfection of virus include UV, alcohol, and other chemical-base methods but the susceptibility of virus against these methods varies. Wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are major reserviors of antiviral drugs and their metabolites and transformation products. Ecotoxicity of antiviral drug residues against aquatic organisms have been reported, however more threatening is the development of antiviral resistance, both in humans and in wild animal reservoirs. In particular, emergence of antiviral drug-resistant viruses via exposure of wild animals to high loads of antiviral residues during the current pandemic needs further evaluation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.124043DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7536132PMC
March 2021

Arsenic speciation and biotransformation pathways in the aquatic ecosystem: The significance of algae.

J Hazard Mater 2021 02 18;403:124027. Epub 2020 Sep 18.

University of Wuppertal, School of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Institute of Foundation Engineering, Water, and Waste-Management, Laboratory of Soil- and Groundwater-Management, Pauluskirchstraße 7, Wuppertal 42285, Germany; Department of Environment, Energy and Geoinformatics, Sejong University, Seoul 05006, South Korea.

The contamination of aquatic systems with arsenic (As) is considered to be an internationally-important health and environmental issue, affecting over 115 countries globally. Arsenic contamination of aquatic ecosystems is a global threat as it can enter the food chain from As-rich water and cause harmful impacts on the humans and other living organisms. Although different factors (e.g., pH, redox potential, iron/manganese oxides, and microbes) control As biogeochemical cycling and speciation in water systems, the significance of algal species in biotransformation of As is poorly understood. The overarching attribute of this review is to briefly elaborate various As sources and its distribution in water bodies and factors affecting As biogeochemical behavior in aqueous ecosystems. This review elucidates the intriguing role of algae in biotransformation/volatilization of As in water bodies under environmentally-relevant conditions. Also, we critically delineate As sorption, uptake, oxidation and reduction pathways of As by algae and their possible role in bioremediation of As-contaminated water (e.g., drinking water, wastewater). The current review provides the updated and useful framework for government and water treatment agencies to implement algae in As remediation programs globally.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.124027DOI Listing
February 2021

Hydrogeochemical and health risk evaluation of arsenic in shallow and deep aquifers along the different floodplains of Punjab, Pakistan.

J Hazard Mater 2021 01 23;402:124074. Epub 2020 Sep 23.

University of Wuppertal, School of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Institute of Foundation Engineering, Water, and Waste-Management, Laboratory of Soil- and Groundwater-Management, Pauluskirchstraße 7, 42285 Wuppertal, Germany; Department of Environment, Energy and Geoinformatics, Sejong University, Seoul 05006, Republic of Korea.

The current study delineated the distribution, (hydro)geochemical behavior and health risk of arsenic (As) in shallow (depth < 35 m; handpumps and electric pumps) and deep (depth > 35 m; tube wells) aquifers in five areas along the Indus River (Bhakar, Kallur Kot), Jhelum River (Jhelum) and Chenab River (Hafizabad, Gujranwala) floodplains of Punjab, Pakistan. Relatively, greater As concentration was observed in deep wells (mean: 24.3 µg L) compared to shallow wells (19.4 µg L), with groundwater As spanning 0.1-121.7 µg L (n = 133) in three floodplains. Groundwater from Hafizabad (Chenab River floodplain) possessed the highest As (121.7 µg L), Na (180 mg L), Ca (95 mg L), Cl (101 mg L) and SO (1353 mg L) concentrations. Arsenic health risk modeling indicated the potential carcinogenic (value > 10) and non-carcinogenic (hazard quotient > 1.0) risks for groundwater of all areas, with the utmost risk estimated for Chenab floodplain and deep aquifers. Positive saturation index values for Fe oxide mineral phases may suggest their potential role in As mobilization/release in these aquifer environments. This study provides critically-important and baseline knowledge for a widespread groundwater As examination along these three floodplains, which is vital for launching suitable As mitigation and remediation programs to reduce the potential health risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.124074DOI Listing
January 2021

Flooding variations affect soil bacterial communities at the spatial and inter-annual scales.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Mar 10;759:143471. Epub 2020 Nov 10.

Institute of Biodiversity Science, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China.

Hydrological variations have substantial effects on the diversity and composition of soil bacterial communities in wetlands. At the spatial scale, the responses of soil bacterial diversity and composition to hydrological variations in wetlands have been extensively investigated. However, at the temporal scale, especially at the inter-annual scale, the corresponding bacterial responses are rarely reported. Therefore, we explored the effects of flooding variations on the diversity and composition of soil bacterial communities at a lakeshore wetland in two hydrological contrasting years. Three flooding variables, i.e. flooding duration (FD), total duration of the growing season (TGD), and exposure duration of the growing season (EGD), were used to characterize flooding regime. Soil bacterial communities were determined using 16S rRNA gene sequencing method. We found a very high soil bacterial diversity at the lakeshore wetland. The Shannon's indexes of soil bacterial communities varied from 5.61 to 7.11 in two years. Soil bacterial α-diversity followed a unimodal curve along the elevation gradient, and was significantly lower in the flooding year than in the drought year. Principal coordinate analysis demonstrated that the compositions of soil bacterial communities were separated in order of elevation and year along the first and second axes, respectively. The apparent habitat preferences of soil bacterial families were closely connected with their respiratory traits, and this trend was stronger at the inter-annual scale than at the spatial scale. Soil bacterial compositions were predominantly determined by the direct (by changing respiratory traits) and indirect (by changing soil pH) effects of TGD at the spatial scale, while they were simultaneously regulated by the direct effects of three flooding variables at the inter-annual scale. Our results enhance the understanding of soil microbial communities in wetlands and have large implications for developing general theories to predicting soil microbial functions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.143471DOI Listing
March 2021

Phytoremediation potential of twelve wild plant species for toxic elements in a contaminated soil.

Environ Int 2021 Jan 12;146:106233. Epub 2020 Nov 12.

University of Wuppertal, School of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Institute of Foundation Engineering, Water- and Waste Management, Laboratory of Soil- and Groundwater-Management, Pauluskirchstraße 7, 42285 Wuppertal, Germany; Department of Environment, Energy and Geoinformatics, Sejong University, Seoul 05006, Republic of Korea. Electronic address:

Green remediation of soils highly contaminated with potentially toxic elements (PTEs) can be achieved using suitable plants. Such phytoremediation procedure often takes into consideration PTE concentrations in plants only, but not produced biomass. Phytoremediation potential of certain species of wild plants for PTEs in contaminated floodplain soils has not been assessed yet. Therefore, in this work 12 native species were tested, 3 of which (Poa angustifolia, Galium mollugo, and Stellaria holostea) to our knowledge have never been used before, in a two-year pot experiment and assessed their potential as phytoremediation species. The results showed that plant PTE concentrations were dramatically elevated for Cd and Zn in Alopecurus pratensis, Arrhenatherum elatius, Bromus inermis, Artemisia vulgaris, Achillea millefolium, Galium mollugo, Stellaria holostea, and Silene vulgaris. A. vulgaris was by far the most highly PTE absorbing plant among the 12 tested in this work, especially concerning Zn, Cd, and to a lesser degree Cu and Ni. Also, among species non-studied-before, G. mollugo and S. holostea were characterized by high Zn and Cd uptake, while P. angustifolia did not. Assessing the number of harvests necessary to decrease soil PTE to half of the initial concentrations, it was found that for Cd plants would achieve site phytoremediation within 8 (A. vulgaris) to 28 (S. holostea) and 51 (G. mollugo) harvests, while for Zn, harvests ranged from 104 (A. vulgaris) to 209 (S. holostea), and 251 (A. millefolium). A clear grouping of the tested species according to their functional type was evident. Herbaceous species were collectively more efficient than grasses in PTE uptake combined by high biomass accumulation; thus, they may act as key-species in a phytoremediation-related concept. Our approach puts phytoremediation into a practical perspective as to whether the process can be achieved within a measureable amount of time. In conclusion, A. vulgaris behaved as a hyperaccumulator plant species in our heavily contaminated soil, while never-studied-before G. mollugo and S. holostea also had a hyperaccumulator behavior, especially for Cd and Zn. Although more research is necessary for conclusive results, our study is pivotal in that it would help in assessing plant species as potential phytoremediation species in heavily contaminated soils.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2020.106233DOI Listing
January 2021

Heavy metals in different moss species in alpine ecosystems of Mountain Gongga, China: Geochemical characteristics and controlling factors.

Environ Pollut 2021 Mar 5;272:115991. Epub 2020 Nov 5.

University of Wuppertal, School of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Institute of Foundation Engineering, Water- and Waste-Management, Soil- and Groundwater-Management, Pauluskirchstraße 7, 42285, Wuppertal, Germany; Department of Environment, Department of Environment and Energy, Sejong University, Seoul, 05006, Republic of Korea.

Terrestrial mosses are promising tracers for research concerning metal atmospheric deposition and pollution. Concentrations of Cr, Co, Ni, Zn, Sr, Cd, Ba, and Pb in different moss species from Mountain Gongga, China were analyzed to investigate the effects of growth substrates, geographic elevation, and type of moss species on the accumulation characteristics of heavy metals, as well as to identify heavy metal sources. The ability of heavy metals to accumulate in moss varied significantly, with low concentrations of Cd and Co; medium concentrations of Cr, Ni, and Pb; and high concentrations of Zn, Sr, and Ba. Elevation significantly influenced the accumulation characteristics of heavy metals, with high concentrations found at lower elevations due to proximal pollution. Growth substrate and moss species were found to have certain influence on the bioconcentration capacities of heavy metals in moss in this study. Correlation analysis showed similar sources for Sr, Zn, and Ba, as well as for Ni, Co, and Cr. The positive matrix factorization (PMF) model was consistent with atmospheric deposition of Pb and Cd; substrate sources of Cr, Co, and Ni; and anthropogenic sources of Ba, Sr, and Zn. This research characterized the accumulation characteristics of heavy metals and their influence factors in different mosses found in alpine ecosystems and provides a reference for future studies in similar areas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2020.115991DOI Listing
March 2021

Deforestation of rainforests requires active use of UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

Sci Total Environ 2020 Nov 3;742:140681. Epub 2020 Jul 3.

Aarhus University, Department of Bioscience, Arctic Research Centre (ARC), Frederiksborgvej 399, PO Box 358, DK-4000 Roskilde, Denmark; Henan Province Engineering Research Center for Biomass Value-added Products, Henan Agricultural University, Zhengzhou 450002, China. Electronic address:

The deforestation and burning of the Amazon and other rainforests is having a cascade of effects on global climate, biodiversity, human health and local and regional socioeconomics. This challenging situation demands a sustainable exploitation of the region's resources in accordance with the United Nations (UNs) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in order to meet Good Environmental Status and reduce poverty. The management of forests sustainability spans across at least eight of the 17 UN SDGs mainly to combat desertification, halt biodiversity loss, and reverse land degradation. Significant changes are needed if we are to sustain the world's rainforests and thereby the global climate and biodiversity. These measures and mitigations are of global responsibility requiring both developed and developing nations such as the United States, EU, and China to change their policies and stand regarding their high demand for meat and hardwood. When possible, non-profit tree-planting internet browsers should be implemented by governments and institutions. So far, there is a lack of active use of the UN SDGs and the countries must therefore need to fully adopt the UN SDGs in order to help the situation. One way to enforce this could be through imposing economic penalties to governments and national institutions that do not adhere to for example publishing open access of data and other important information relevant for the mission of the UN SDGs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.140681DOI Listing
November 2020

Iron-modified biochar and water management regime-induced changes in plant growth, enzyme activities, and phytoavailability of arsenic, cadmium and lead in a paddy soil.

J Hazard Mater 2021 Apr 22;407:124344. Epub 2020 Oct 22.

Biochar Engineering Technology Research Center of Guangdong Province, School of Environmental and Chemical Engineering, Foshan University, Guangdong, Foshan 528000, China; Key Laboratory of Soil Contamination Bioremediation of Zhejiang Province, Zhejiang A&F University, Zhejiang, Hangzhou 311300, China. Electronic address:

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of raw (RawBC) and iron (Fe)-modified biochar (FeBC) derived from Platanus orientalis Linn branches on the plant growth, enzyme activity, and bioavailability and uptake of As, Cd, and Pb by rice in a paddy soil with continuously flooded (CF) or alternately wet and dry (AWD) irrigation in a pot experiment. Application of RawBC (3%, w/w) significantly increased soil pH, while FeBC decreased it. The FeBC was more effective in reducing As and Pb bioavailability, particularly under the AWD water regime, while RawBC was more conducive in reducing Cd bioavailability under the CF water regime. The FeBC decreased As concentration, but increased concentrations of Cd and Pb in the straw and brown rice, as compared to the untreated soil. Soil catalase and urease activities were enhanced by RawBC, but decreased by FeBC treatment. The FeBC increased the grain yield by 60% and 32% in CF and AWD treatments, respectively. The FeBC can be recommended for immobilization of As in paddy soils, but a potential human health risk from Cd and Pb in FeBC-treated soils should be considered due to increased uptake and translocation of the metals to brown rice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.124344DOI Listing
April 2021

Biochar Aging: Mechanisms, Physicochemical Changes, Assessment, And Implications for Field Applications.

Environ Sci Technol 2020 12 2;54(23):14797-14814. Epub 2020 Nov 2.

School of Environment, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China.

Biochar has triggered a black gold rush in environmental studies as a carbon-rich material with well-developed porous structure and tunable functionality. While much attention has been placed on its apparent ability to store carbon in the ground, immobilize soil pollutants, and improve soil fertility, its temporally evolving in situ performance in these roles must not be overlooked. After field application, various environmental factors, such as temperature variations, precipitation events and microbial activities, can lead to its fragmentation, dissolution, and oxidation, thus causing drastic changes to the physicochemical properties. Direct monitoring of biochar-amended soils can provide good evidence of its temporal evolution, but this requires long-term field trials. Various artificial aging methods, such as chemical oxidation, wet-dry cycling and mineral modification, have therefore been designed to mimic natural aging mechanisms. Here we evaluate the science of biochar aging, critically summarize aging-induced changes to biochar properties, and offer a state-of-the-art for artificial aging simulation approaches. In addition, the implications of biochar aging are also considered regarding its potential development and deployment as a soil amendment. We suggest that for improved simulation and prediction, artificial aging methods must shift from qualitative to quantitative approaches. Furthermore, artificial preaging may serve to synthesize engineered biochars for green and sustainable environmental applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.0c04033DOI Listing
December 2020

Remediation of poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contaminated soils - To mobilize or to immobilize or to degrade?

J Hazard Mater 2021 01 9;401:123892. Epub 2020 Sep 9.

Soil- and Groundwater-Management, Institute of Soil Engineering, Waste- and Water-Management, Faculty of Architecture und Civil Engineering, University of Wuppertal, Germany; Department of Environment, Energy and Geoinformatics, Sejong University, Seoul 05006, South Korea.

Poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are synthetic chemicals, which are introduced to the environment through anthropogenic activities. Aqueous film forming foam used in firefighting, wastewater effluent, landfill leachate, and biosolids are major sources of PFAS input to soil and groundwater. Remediation of PFAS contaminated solid and aqueous media is challenging, which is attributed to the chemical and thermal stability of PFAS and the complexity of PFAS mixtures. In this review, remediation of PFAS contaminated soils through manipulation of their bioavailability and destruction is presented. While the mobilizing amendments (e.g., surfactants) enhance the mobility and bioavailability of PFAS, the immobilizing amendments (e.g., activated carbon) decrease their bioavailability and mobility. Mobilizing amendments can be applied to facilitate the removal of PFAS though soil washing, phytoremediation, and complete destruction through thermal and chemical redox reactions. Immobilizing amendments are likely to reduce the transfer of PFAS to food chain through plant and biota (e.g., earthworm) uptake, and leaching to potable water sources. Future studies should focus on quantifying the potential leaching of the mobilized PFAS in the absence of removal by plant and biota uptake or soil washing, and regular monitoring of the long-term stability of the immobilized PFAS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.123892DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8025151PMC
January 2021

Mitigation of indoor air pollution: A review of recent advances in adsorption materials and catalytic oxidation.

J Hazard Mater 2021 Mar 10;405:124138. Epub 2020 Oct 10.

Henan Province Engineering Research Center for Biomass Value-added Products, School of Forestry, Henan Agricultural University, Zhengzhou 450002, China. Electronic address:

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.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.124138DOI Listing
March 2021