Publications by authors named "Nanthi Bolan"

136 Publications

Microplastics as an emerging source of particulate air pollution: A critical review.

J Hazard Mater 2021 May 28;418:126245. Epub 2021 May 28.

Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research (AcSIR), Ghaziabad 201002, Uttar Pradesh, India; CSIR-National Institute of Oceanography, Dona Paula 403004, Goa, India. Electronic address:

Accumulation of plastic litter exerts pressure on the environment. Microplastics (MPs) pollution has become a universal challenge due to the overexploitation of plastic products and unsystematic dumping of plastic waste. Initial studies on MPs and their implications had been confined to aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, but recent research has also focused on MPs in the air. Their impacts on urban air quality and atmospheric transport to pristine habitats have emerged to be a serious concern. However, the extent and the significance of impacts of airborne particulate matter (PM) MPs on human health are not clearly understood. Further, the influence of airborne MPs on indoor and outdoor air quality remains unknown. We highlight the human health impacts of airborne PM-MPs with a special focus on the occupational safety of the industry workers, their possible influence on Air Quality Index (AQI), their potential exposure, and accumulation in the canopy/arboreal, above-canopy and atmospheric (aerial) habitats. The present review emphasizes the data limitations and knowledge gaps on the atmospheric transport and contribution of particulate plastics to the worsening of overall urban air quality and throws critical perspectives on whether atmospheric MPs pollution is trivial or an actual matter of concern.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.126245DOI Listing
May 2021

Micro (nano) plastic pollution: The ecological influence on soil-plant system and human health.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Sep 17;788:147815. Epub 2021 May 17.

Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Nottingham Malaysia, Jalan Broga, 43500 Semenyih, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia. Electronic address:

Global plastic pollution has been a serious problem since many years and micro (nano) plastics (MNPs) have gained attention from researchers around the world. This is because MNPs able to exhibit toxicology and interact with potentially toxic elements (PTEs) in the environment, causing soil toxicity. The influences of MNPs on the soil systems and plant crops have been overlooked despite that MNPs can accumulate in the plant root system and generate detrimental impacts to the terrestrial environments. The consumption of these MNPs-contaminated plants or fruits by humans and animals will eventually lead to health deterioration. The identification and measurement of MNPs in various soil samples is challenging, making the understanding of the fate, environmental and ecological of MNPs in terrestrial ecosystem is limited. Prior to sample assessment, it is necessary to isolate the plastic particles from the environment samples, concentrate the plastic particles for analysis purpose to meet detection limit for analytical instrument. The isolation and pre-concentrated steps are challenging and may cause sample loss. Herein, this article reviews MNPs, including their fate in the environment and toxic effects exhibited towards soil microorganisms, plants and humans along with the interaction of MNPs with PTEs. In addition, various analysis methods of MNPs and management of MNPs as well as the crucial challenges and future research studies in combating MNPs in soil system are also discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.147815DOI Listing
September 2021

Petroleum hydrocarbon rhizoremediation and soil microbial activity improvement via cluster root formation by wild proteaceae plant species.

Chemosphere 2021 Jul 26;275:130135. Epub 2021 Feb 26.

Global Centre for Environmental Remediation (GCER), Faculty of Science, The University of Newcastle, University Drive, Callaghan, NSW, 2308, Australia; Cooperative Research Centre for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of Environment (CRC CARE), The University of Newcastle, PO Box 18, Callaghan, NSW, 2308, Australia. Electronic address:

Rhizoremediation potential of different wild plant species for total (aliphatic) petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH)-contaminated soils was investigated. Three-week-old seedlings of Acacia inaequilatera, Acacia pyrifolia, Acacia stellaticeps, Banksia seminuda, Chloris truncata, Hakea prostrata, Hardenbergia violacea, and Triodia wiseana were transplanted in a soil contaminated with diesel and engine oil as TPH at pollution levels of 4,370 (TPH1) and 7,500 (TPH2) mg kg, and an uncontaminated control (TPH0). After 150 days, the presence of TPH negatively affected the plant growth, but the growth inhibition effect varied between the plant species. Plant growth and associated root biomass influenced the activity of rhizo-microbiome. The presence of B. seminuda, C. truncata, and H. prostrata significantly increased the TPH removal rate (up to 30% compared to the unplanted treatment) due to the stimulation of rhizosphere microorganisms. No significant difference was observed between TPH1 and TPH2 regarding the plant tolerance and rhizoremediation potentials of the three plant species. The presence of TPH stimulated cluster root formation in B. seminuda and H. prostrata which was associated with enhanced TPH remediation of these two members of Proteaceae family. These results indicated that B. seminuda, C. truncata, and H. prostrata wild plant species could be suitable candidates for the rhizoremediation of TPH-contaminated soil.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2021.130135DOI Listing
July 2021

Distribution, behaviour, bioavailability and remediation of poly- and per-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in solid biowastes and biowaste-treated soil.

Environ Int 2021 May 5;155:106600. Epub 2021 May 5.

Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA; Department of Agronomy, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA.

Aqueous film-forming foam, used in firefighting, and biowastes, including biosolids, animal and poultry manures, and composts, provide a major source of poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) input to soil. Large amounts of biowastes are added to soil as a source of nutrients and carbon. They also are added as soil amendments to improve soil health and crop productivity. Plant uptake of PFAS through soil application of biowastes is a pathway for animal and human exposure to PFAS. The complexity of PFAS mixtures, and their chemical and thermal stability, make remediation of PFAS in both solid and aqueous matrices challenging. Remediation of PFAS in biowastes, as well as soils treated with these biowastes, can be achieved through preventing and decreasing the concentration of PFAS in biowaste sources (i.e., prevention through source control), mobilization of PFAS in contaminated soil and subsequent removal through leaching (i.e., soil washing) and plant uptake (i.e., phytoremediation), sorption of PFAS, thereby decreasing their mobility and bioavailability (i.e., immobilization), and complete removal through thermal and chemical oxidation (i.e., destruction). In this review, the distribution, bioavailability, and remediation of PFAS in soil receiving solid biowastes, which include biosolids, composts, and manure, are presented.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2021.106600DOI Listing
May 2021

Are microplastics destabilizing the global network of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem services?

Environ Res 2021 07 29;198:111243. Epub 2021 Apr 29.

James Watt School of Engineering, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, G12 8QQ, UK. Electronic address:

Plastic has created a new man-made ecosystem called plastisphere. The plastic pieces including microplastics (MPs) and nanoplastics (NPs) have emerged as a global concern due to their omnipresence in ecosystems and their ability to interact with the biological systems. Nevertheless, the long-term impacts of MPs on biotic and abiotic resources are not completely understood, and existing evidence suggests that MPs are hazardous to various keystones species of the global biomes. MP-contaminated ecosystems show reduced floral and faunal biomass, productivity, nitrogen cycling, oxygen-generation and carbon sequestration, suggesting that MPs have already started affecting ecological biomes. However, not much is known about the influence of MPs towards the ecosystem services (ESs) cascade and its correlation with the biodiversity loss. MPs are perceived as a menace to the global ecosystems, but their possible impacts on the provisional, regulatory, and socio-economic ESs have not been extensively studied. This review investigates not only the potentiality of MPs to perturb the functioning of terrestrial and aquatic biomes, but also the associated social, ecological and economic repercussions. The possible long-term fluxes in the ES network of terrestrial and aquatic niches are also discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2021.111243DOI Listing
July 2021

Mitigation of petroleum-hydrocarbon-contaminated hazardous soils using organic amendments: A review.

J Hazard Mater 2021 Mar 22;416:125702. Epub 2021 Mar 22.

Global Centre for Environmental Remediation, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia. Electronic address:

The term "Total petroleum hydrocarbons" (TPH) is used to describe a complex mixture of petroleum-based hydrocarbons primarily derived from crude oil. Those compounds are considered as persistent organic pollutants in the terrestrial environment. A wide array of organic amendments is increasingly used for the remediation of TPH-contaminated soils. Organic amendments not only supply a source of carbon and nutrients but also add exogenous beneficial microorganisms to enhance the TPH degradation rate, thereby improving the soil health. Two fundamental approaches can be contemplated within the context of remediation of TPH-contaminated soils using organic amendments: (i) enhanced TPH sorption to the exogenous organic matter (immobilization) as it reduces the bioavailability of the contaminants, and (ii) increasing the solubility of the contaminants by supplying desorbing agents (mobilization) for enhancing the subsequent biodegradation. Net immobilization and mobilization of TPH have both been observed following the application of organic amendments to contaminated soils. This review examines the mechanisms for the enhanced remediation of TPH-contaminated soils by organic amendments and discusses the influencing factors in relation to sequestration, bioavailability, and subsequent biodegradation of TPH in soils. The uncertainty of mechanisms for various organic amendments in TPH remediation processes remains a critical area of future research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.125702DOI Listing
March 2021

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

Weathering of microplastics and interaction with other coexisting constituents in terrestrial and aquatic environments.

Water Res 2021 May 5;196:117011. Epub 2021 Mar 5.

Department of Agronomy, Throckmorton Plant Sciences Center, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas 66506, United States.

Weathering of microplastics (MPs, < 5 mm) in terrestrial and aquatic environments affects MP transport and distribution. This paper first summarizes the sources of MPs, including refuse in landfills, biowastes, plastic films, and wastewater discharge. Once MPs enter water and soil, they undergo different weathering processes. MPs can be converted into small molecules (e.g., oligomers and monomers), and may be completely mineralized under the action of free radicals or microorganisms. The rate and extent of weathering of MPs depend on their physicochemical properties and environmental conditions of the media to which they are exposed. In general, water dissipates heat better, and has a lower temperature, than land; thus, the weathering rate of MPs in the aquatic environment is slower than in the terrestrial environment. These weathering processes increase oxygen-containing functional groups and the specific surface area of MPs, which influence the sorption and aggregation that occur between weathered MPs and their co-existing constituents. More studies are needed to investigate the various weathering processes of diverse MPs under natural field conditions in soils, sediments, and aquatic environments, to understand the impact of weathered MPs in the environment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2021.117011DOI Listing
May 2021

Enhanced adsorption of Cu(II) and Zn(II) from aqueous solution by polyethyleneimine modified straw hydrochar.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Jul 2;778:146116. Epub 2021 Mar 2.

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

Heavy metals removal from aqueous phase by adsorption technique has recently attracted a considerable interest. Although various adsorbing materials have been developed, introducing more functional groups is considered as the most efficient way to promote the adsorption capacity of the selected adsorbent. However, this approach is usually limited in costly modification precursor and unguaranteed loading efficacy. In this study, waste corn straw was converted to adsorbent precursor by hydrothermal carbonization. The obtained hydrochar (HC) was chemically activated before being modified by polyethyleneimine (PEI). Multiple analysis methods including Scanning Electron Microscopy, Fourier Transform Infrared analysis, and X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy analysis verified the alkali activated hydrochar (alkali-HC) was more efficacy to enhance PEI grafting than acid activation. Based on this, the modified HC materials obtained a better adsorption performance. The sorption process of Cu(II) and Zn(II) on the acid-PEI-HC, alkali-PEI-HC, and pristine HC fitted the pseudo second order kinetic and Freundlich model well, and was dominated by chemisorption. Among these adsorbents, the adsorption capacity of alkali-PEI-HC to metal ions was the maximum, which was 207.6 mg/g to Zn(II) and 56.1 mg/g to Cu(II) at 298 K. Regeneration tests showed a result of no less than 60% of its removal capacity was achieved after five cycles. Therefore, alkali-PEI-HC performed as a promising composite sorbent for metal ions. In addition, the study described here has provided a new basis for the utilization of hydrochar (1.08 kWh kg) derived from agricultural resources as a promising adsorbent precursor.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.146116DOI Listing
July 2021

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

J Hazard Mater 2021 07 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
July 2021

Degradation of atrazine and bromacil in two forestry waste products.

Sci Rep 2021 Feb 8;11(1):3284. Epub 2021 Feb 8.

Global Centre for Environmental Remediation, ATC Building, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW, 2308, Australia.

The persistence and degradation of two common herbicides, atrazine and bromacil in two organic media, wood pulp and sawdust were compared with two soils. The hypothesis tested was that herbicide degradation will be faster in high organic matter media compared to soil. Degradation of two herbicides was carried out in four different temperature regimes and in sterilised media. The degradation half-life (t½) was determined under above-mentioned conditions then compared to degradation in soil. The degradation as quantified by t½ of the herbicides was generally longer in both organic media. Although microbial degradation was an important factor in the mineralisation of these herbicides, overall, the pH of the media had a more profound effect on the desorption and subsequent degradation rate than the organic carbon content. The results of this study revealed that the hypothesis was only partially correct as organic matter content per se did not strongly relate to degradation rates which were mainly governed by pH and microbial activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-83052-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7870672PMC
February 2021

Carbon sequestration value of biosolids applied to soil: A global meta-analysis.

J Environ Manage 2021 Apr 30;284:112008. Epub 2021 Jan 30.

Department of Agronomy, Throckmorton Plant Sciences Center, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, 66506-5501, United States.

Biosolids produced at wastewater treatment facilities are extensively used in agricultural land and degraded mine sites to improve soil health and soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks. Many studies have reported increases in SOC due to application of biosolids to such sites. However, lack of a comprehensive quantification on overall trends and changes of magnitude in SOC remains. Here, we performed a meta-analysis to identify drivers with a relationship with SOC stocks. A meta-regression of 297 treatments found four variables with a relationship with SOC stocks: cumulative biosolids carbon (C) input rate, time after application, soil depth and type of biosolids. The cumulative biosolids C input rate was the most influencing driver. The highest mean difference for SOC% of 3.3 was observed at 0-15 cm soil depth for a cumulative C input of 100 Mg ha at one year after biosolids application. Although years after biosolids application demonstrated a negative relationship with SOC stocks, mineralization of C in biosolids-applied soils is slow, as indicated with the SOC% decrease from 4.6 to 2.8 at 0-15 cm soil depth over five years of 100 Mg ha biosolids C input. Soil depth illustrated a strong negative effect with SOC stocks decreasing by 2.7% at 0-15 cm soil depth at a cumulative biosolids C input of 100 Mg ha over a year. Overall, our model estimated an effect of 2.8 SOC% change, indicating the application of biosolids as a viable strategy for soil C sequestration on a global scale.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2021.112008DOI Listing
April 2021

Current research trends on micro- and nano-plastics as an emerging threat to global environment: A review.

J Hazard Mater 2021 05 30;409:124967. Epub 2020 Dec 30.

Swedish Centre for Resource Recovery, University of Borås, Borås 50190, Sweden.

Micro-and nano-plastics (MNPs) (size < 5 mm/<100 nm) epitomize one of the emergent environmental pollutants with its existence all around the globe. Their high persistence nature and release of chemicals/additives used in synthesis of plastics materials may pose cascading impacts on living organism across the globe. Natural connectivity of all the environmental compartments (terrestrial, aquatic, and atmospheric) leads to migration/dispersion of MNPs from one compartment to others. Nevertheless, the information on dispersion of MNPs across the environmental compartments and its possible impacts on living organisms are still missing. This review first acquaints with dispersion mechanisms of MNPs in the environment, its polymeric/oligomeric and chemical constituents and then emphasized its impacts on living organism. Based on the existing knowledge about the MNPs' constituent and its potential impacts on the viability, development, lifecycle, movements, and fertility of living organism via several potential mechanisms, such as irritation, oxidative damage, digestion impairment, tissue deposition, change in gut microbial communities' dynamics, impaired fatty acid metabolism, and molecular damage are emphasized. Finally, at the end, the review provided the challenges associated with remediation of plastics pollutions and desirable strategies, policies required along with substantial gaps in MNPs research were recommended for future studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.124967DOI Listing
May 2021

Interactions between microplastics, pharmaceuticals and personal care products: Implications for vector transport.

Environ Int 2021 04 23;149:106367. Epub 2021 Jan 23.

Korea Biochar Research Center, APRU Sustainable Waste Management Program & Division of Environmental Science and Ecological Engineering, Korea University, Seoul 02841, South Korea. Electronic address:

Microplastics are well known for vector transport of hydrophobic organic contaminants, and there are growing concerns regarding their potential adverse effects on ecosystems and human health. However, recent studies focussing on hydrophilic compounds, such as pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs), have shown that the compounds ability to be adsorbed onto plastic surfaces. The extensive use of PPCPs has led to their ubiquitous presence in the environment resulting in their cooccurrence with microplastics. The partitioning between plastics and PPCPs and their fate through vector transport are determined by various physicochemical characteristics and environmental conditions of specific matrices. Although the sorption capacities of microplastics for different PPCP compounds have been investigated extensively, these findings have not yet been synthesized and analyzed critically. The specific objectives of this review were to synthesize and critically assess the various factors that affect the adsorption of hydrophilic compounds such as PPCPs on microplastic surfaces and their fate and transport in the environment. The review also focuses on environmental factors such as pH, salinity, and dissolved organics, and properties of polymers and PPCP compounds, and the relationships with sorption dynamics and mechanisms. Furthermore, the ecotoxicological effects of PPCP-sorbed microplastics on biota and human health are also discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2020.106367DOI 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

Biomass burning-derived airborne particulate matter in Southeast Asia: A critical review.

J Hazard Mater 2021 04 3;407:124760. Epub 2020 Dec 3.

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117576, Singapore. Electronic address:

Smoke haze episodes, resulting from uncontrolled biomass burning (BB) including forest and peat fires, continue to occur in Southeast Asia (SEA), affecting air quality, atmospheric visibility, climate, ecosystems, hydrologic cycle and human health. The pollutant of major concern in smoke haze is airborne particulate matter (PM). A number of fundamental laboratory, field and modeling studies have been conducted in SEA from 2010 to 2020 to investigate potential environmental and health impacts of BB-induced PM. The goal of this review is to bring together the most recent developments in our understanding of various aspects of BB-derived PM based on 127 research articles published from 2010 to 2020, which have not been conveyed in previous reviews. Specifically, this paper discusses the physical, chemical, toxicological and radiative properties of BB-derived PM. It also provides insights into the environmental and health impacts of BB-derived PM, summarizes the approaches taken to do the source apportionment of PM during BB events and discusses the mitigation of exposure to BB-derived PM. Suggestions for future research priorities are outlined. Policies needed to prevent future BB events in the SEA region are highlighted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.124760DOI Listing
April 2021

Soil salinity under climate change: Challenges for sustainable agriculture and food security.

J Environ Manage 2021 Feb 6;280:111736. Epub 2020 Dec 6.

Global Centre for Environmental Remediation, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW, 2308, Australia; Cooperative Research Centre for High Performance Soils, Callaghan, NSW, 2308, Australia.

Soil salinity is one of the major and widespread challenges in the recent era that hinders global food security and environmental sustainability. Worsening the situation, the harmful impacts of climate change accelerate the development of soil salinity, potentially spreading the problem in the near future to currently unaffected regions. This paper aims to synthesise information from published literature about the extent, development mechanisms, and current mitigation strategies for tackling soil salinity, highlighting the opportunities and challenges under climate change situations. Mitigation approaches such as application of amendments, cultivation of tolerant genotypes, suitable irrigation, drainage and land use strategies, conservation agriculture, phytoremediation, and bioremediation techniques have successfully tackled the soil salinity issue, and offered associated benefits of soil carbon sequestration, and conservation and recycling of natural resources. These management practices further improve the socio-economic conditions of the rural farming community in salt-affected areas. We also discuss emerging reclamation strategies such as saline aquaculture integrated with sub surface drainage, tolerant microorganisms integrated with tolerant plant genotypes, integrated agro-farming systems that warrant future research attention to restore the agricultural sustainability and global food security under climate change scenarios.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2020.111736DOI Listing
February 2021

Efficient and selective removal of Se and As mixed contaminants from aqueous media by montmorillonite-nanoscale zero valent iron nanocomposite.

J Hazard Mater 2021 02 15;403:123639. Epub 2020 Aug 15.

Facultad de Química y Biología, Universidad de Santiago de Chile, Av. B. O'Higgins, 3363, Santiago, Chile; Center for the Development of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, CEDENNA, 9170124, Santiago, Chile. Electronic address:

Nanoscale zero-valent iron (NZVI) and NZVI supported onto montmorillonite (NZVI-Mt) were synthetized and used in this study to remove Se and As from water in mono- and binary-adsorbate systems. The adsorption kinetics and isotherm data for Se and As were adequately described by the pseudo-second-order (PSO) (r>0.94) and Freundlich (r>0.93) equations. Results from scanning electron microscopy showed that the dimension of the NZVI immobilized on the Mt was smaller than pure NZVI. Using 0.05 g of adsorbent and an initial 200 mg L As and Se concentration, the maximum adsorption capacity (q) and partition coefficient (PC) for As on NZVI-Mt in monocomponent system were 54.75 mg g and 0.065 mg g·μM, which dropped respectively to 49.91 mg g and 0.055 mg g·μM under competitive system. For Se adsorption on NZVI-Mt in monocomponent system, q and PC were 28.63 mg g and 0.024 mg g·μM, respectively. Values of q and PC were higher for NZVI-Mt than NZVI and montmorillonite, indicating that the nanocomposite contained greater adsorption sites for removing both oxyanions, but with a marked preference for As. Future research should evaluate the effect of different operational variables on the removal efficiency of both oxyanions by NZVI-Mt.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.123639DOI Listing
February 2021

Comparative removal of As(V) and Sb(V) from aqueous solution by sulfide-modified α-FeOOH.

Environ Pollut 2020 Dec 16;267:115658. Epub 2020 Sep 16.

Global Centre for Environmental Remediation, University of Newcastle, Callaghan Campus, NSW, 2308, Australia.

Efficient elimination of As(V) and Sb(V) from wastewater streams has long been a major challenge. Herein, sulfide-modified α-FeOOH adsorbent was fabricated via a simple sulfidation reaction for removing As(V) and Sb(V) from aqueous media. Compared with the pristine α-FeOOH, sulfide-modified α-FeOOH increased the adsorption of As(V) from 153.8 to 384.6 mg/g, and Sb(V) adsorption from 277.8 to 1111.1 mg/g. The enhanced adsorption of both As(V) and Sb(V) was maintained at the pH range from 2 to 11, and was not interfered by various coexisting anions such as Cl, SO, NO, SiO and PO. The adsorption affinity increased from 0.0047 to 0.0915 and 0.0053 to 0.4091 for As(V) and Sb(V), respectively. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopic investigation demonstrated a reductive conversion of As(V) to As(III) during the adsorption process with sulfide-modified α-FeOOH, but with no obvious variation of Sb(V) speciation. While the removal mechanism for As(V) was reduction followed by adsorption via hydroxyl groups, mainly surface complexation was involved in the removal of Sb(V). This study presented a simple strategy to enhance the adsorption capacity and adsorption affinity of α-FeOOH toward As(V)/Sb(V) via sulfide-modification.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2020.115658DOI Listing
December 2020

A review on the valorisation of food waste as a nutrient source and soil amendment.

Environ Pollut 2021 Mar 3;272:115985. Epub 2020 Nov 3.

Global Centre for Environmental Remediation, Faculty of Science, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW, 2308, Australia; Cooperative Research Centre for High Performance Soil, Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW, 2308, Australia. Electronic address:

Valorisation of food waste offers an economical and environmental opportunity, which can reduce the problems of its conventional disposal. Food waste is commonly disposed of in landfills or incinerated, causing many environmental, social, and economic issues. Large amounts of food waste are produced in the food supply chain of agriculture: production, post-harvest, distribution (transport), processing, and consumption. Food waste can be valorised into a range of products, including biofertilisers, bioplastics, biofuels, chemicals, and nutraceuticals. Conversion of food waste into these products can reduce the demand of fossil-derived products, which have historically contributed to large amounts of pollution. The variety of food chain suppliers offers a wide range of feedstocks that can be physically, chemically, or biologically altered to form an array of biofertilisers and soil amendments. Composting and anaerobic digestion are the main large-scale conversion methods used today to valorise food waste products to biofertilisers and soil amendments. However, emerging conversion methods such as dehydration, biochar production, and chemical hydrolysis have promising characteristics, which can be utilised in agriculture as well as for soil remediation. Valorising food waste into biofertilisers and soil amendments has great potential to combat land degradation in agricultural areas. Biofertilisers are rich in nutrients that can reduce the dependability of using conventional mineral fertilisers. Food waste products, unlike mineral fertilisers, can also be used as soil amendments to improve productivity. These characteristics of food wastes assist in the remediation of contaminated soils. This paper reviews the volume of food waste within the food chain and types of food waste feedstocks that can be valorised into various products, including the conversion methods. Unintended consequences of the utilisation of food waste as biofertilisers and soil-amendment products resulting from their relatively low concentrations of trace element nutrients and presence of potentially toxic elements are also evaluated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2020.115985DOI Listing
March 2021

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

Evaluation of hydroxyapatite derived from flue gas desulphurization gypsum on simultaneous immobilization of lead and cadmium in contaminated soil.

J Hazard Mater 2020 12 15;400:123038. Epub 2020 Jun 15.

Global Centre for Environmental Remediation, University of Newcastle, Callaghan Campus, NSW, 2308, Australia; Cooperative Research Centre for High Performance Soil (Soil CRC), Callaghan, NSW, 2308, Australia.

Flue gas desulphurization gypsum (FGD) is a major solid waste in coal-fired energy plants, and the appropriate reuse of this resources is still a major challenge. In this study, the feasibility of FGD as a calcium source to produce hydroxyapatite (FGD-HAP) for the immobilization of lead (Pb) and cadmium (Cd) in spiked soil was investigated. The effects of FGD and FGD-HAP on soil properties and redistribution, bioaccessibility and plant uptake of Pb and Cd were examined. Results showed that application of FGD and FGD-HAP could significantly improve the enzymes activities of contaminated soils, but the effectiveness was more pronounced with FGD-HAP. Addition of only 1% FGD-HAP could effectively reduce bioavailable Pb and Cd concentration in soil as measured by CaCl extraction by 60.6% and 65.4%, respectively. On the other hand, plant available Pb and Cd could significantly decrease by 93.8% and 73.2% after amendment of 5% FGD-HAP. Significant changes in the micro-scale distribution of heavy metals before and after FGD-HAP treatment demonstrated that while heavy metals were predominantly associated with iron/manganese oxides in untreated soil, high correlation between heavy metals and phosphorus/sulfur was observed in FGD-HAP treated soil. In addition, results of the leaching tests showed that incorporation of FGD-HAP enhanced the retention capacity of heavy metals in soil, indicating that application of FGD-HAP could diminish the environmental risk of leachable heavy metals to groundwater. Overall, this study highlighted the potential value of FGD-HAP as a low-cost and high-efficient amendment for remediation of Pb and Cd contaminated soils.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.123038DOI Listing
December 2020

Geochemical fractionation and mineralogy of metal(loid)s in abandoned mine soils: Insights into arsenic behaviour and implications to remediation.

J Hazard Mater 2020 11 30;399:123029. Epub 2020 May 30.

Global Centre for Environmental Remediation (GCER), Faculty of Science, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW, 2308, Australia; Cooperative Research Centre for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment (CRC-CARE), The University of Newcastle, University Drive, Callaghan, NSW, 2308, Australia. Electronic address:

Trace element contamination from abandoned mine sites is a major threat to the environment. The distribution of trace elements in various particle size fractions of soils from abandoned mine sites plays a critical role in designing remediation approaches. This study investigated the geochemical distribution of trace element enrichment and mineralogical composition in various particle size fractions from contrasting abandoned mine sites (Webbs Consols, Halls Peak and Mole River, Australia). Results revealed that arsenic and other element concentrations increased with decreasing particle size for samples from Webbs Consols and Halls Peak. The highest arsenic (3.05%), lead (3.23%) and zinc (1110 mg/kg) were found in the finest fraction (<0.053 mm). In Mole River, the highest concentration of arsenic (10.8%), lead (209 mg/kg) and zinc (351 mg/kg) were observed in coarse fractions. Arsenic fractionation by sequential extraction showed that arsenic was strongly associated with the amorphous and crystalline iron phases. X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) studies revealed that tooeleite (a ferric arsenite mineral, also confirmed by Transmission electron microscopy (TEM)), arsenopyrite, scorodite and arsenolite were the dominant arsenic minerals. The study showed elevated levels of arsenic bearing minerals across particle sizes which has significant implications for remediation approaches at abandoned mine sites.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.123029DOI Listing
November 2020

Fe/Mn- and P-modified drinking water treatment residuals reduced Cu and Pb phytoavailability and uptake in a mining soil.

J Hazard Mater 2021 02 9;403:123628. Epub 2020 Aug 9.

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

Management of industrial hazardous waste is of great concern. Recently, aluminum rich drinking water treatment residuals (Al-WTR) received considerable attention as a low-cost immobilizing agent for toxic elements in soils. However, the suitability and effectiveness of modified Al-WTR as stabilizing agent for toxic metals such as Cu and Pb in mining soil is not assessed yet. We examined the impact of different doses (0, 0.5, 1.5, and 2.5%) of raw and Fe/Mn- and P- modified Al-WTR on the bioavailability and uptake of Cu and Pb by ryegrass in Cu and Pb contaminated mining soil. The addition of Fe/Mn-and P- modified Al-WTR to the soil reduced significantly the concentrations of Pb (up to 60% by Fe/Mn-Al-WTR and 32% by P-Al-WTR) and Cu (up to 45% by Fe/Mn-Al-WTR and 18% by P-Al-WTR) in the shoots and roots of ryegrass as compared to raw Al-WTRs and untreated soil. Our results demonstrate that modification of the raw Al-WTR increased its pH, CEC, specific surface area, active functional groups (Fe-O and Mn-O), and thus increased its immobilization efficiency. Our results highlight the potential of the modified Al-WTR, particularly the Fe/Mn-Al-WTR, for the remediation of Cu and Pb contaminated soils and recommend field scale verification.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.123628DOI Listing
February 2021

Mechanistic insights into simultaneous removal of copper, cadmium and arsenic from water by iron oxide-functionalized magnetic imogolite nanocomposites.

J Hazard Mater 2020 11 31;398:122940. Epub 2020 May 31.

Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Lancaster, LA1 4YQ, UK. Electronic address:

Imogolite and magnetic imogolite-Fe oxide nanocomposites (Imo-Fe and Imo-Fe, at 50 and 25 % Fe loading (w/w), respectively) were synthesized and tested for the removal of aqueous copper (Cu), cadmium (Cd), and arsenic (As) pollutants. The materials were characterized by transmission electron microscopy, and specific surface area and isoelectric point measurements. The Fe-containing samples were additionally characterized by Mössbauer spectroscopy and vibrating-sample magnetometry. Significant differences were found in the morphological, electrophoretic, and magnetic characteristics between imogolite and the nanocomposites. The in-situ Fe-oxide precipitation process modified the active surface sites of the imogolite. The Fe-oxide, mainly magnetite, favored the contaminants' adsorption over the pristine imogolite. The adsorption kinetics of these pollutants were adequately described by the pseudo-second order and intraparticle diffusion models. The kinetic models showed that surface adsorption was more important than intraparticle diffusion in the removal of the pollutants by all the adsorbents. The Langmuir-Freundlich model described the experimental adsorption data, and both nanocomposites showed greater adsorption capacity than the imogolite. The adsorption of Cu and Cd was sensitive to cationic competition, showing a decrease of the adsorption capacity when the two cations coexisted, while their adsorption increased in the presence of arsenate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.122940DOI Listing
November 2020

Environmental fate, toxicity and risk management strategies of nanoplastics in the environment: Current status and future perspectives.

J Hazard Mater 2021 01 8;401:123415. Epub 2020 Jul 8.

School of Environment, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China. Electronic address:

Tiny plastic particles considered as emerging contaminants have attracted considerable interest in the last few years. Mechanical abrasion, photochemical oxidation and biological degradation of larger plastic debris result in the formation of microplastics (MPs, 1 μm to 5 mm) and nanoplastics (NPs, 1 nm to 1000 nm). Compared with MPs, the environmental fate, ecosystem toxicity and potential risks associated with NPs have so far been less explored. This review provides a state-of-the-art overview of current research on NPs with focus on currently less-investigated fields, such as the environmental fate in agroecosystems, migration in porous media, weathering, and toxic effects on plants. The co-transport of NPs with organic contaminants and heavy metals threaten human health and ecosystems. Furthermore, NPs may serve as a novel habitat for microbial colonization, and may act as carriers for pathogens (i.e., bacteria and viruses). An integrated framework is proposed to better understand the interrelationships between NPs, ecosystems and the human society. In order to fully understand the sources and sinks of NPs, more studies should focus on the total environment, including freshwater, ocean, groundwater, soil and air, and more attempts should be made to explore the aging and aggregation of NPs in environmentally relevant conditions. Considering the fact that naturally-weathered plastic debris may have distinct physicochemical characteristics, future studies should explore the environmental behavior of naturally-aged NPs rather than synthetic polystyrene nanobeads.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.123415DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7345412PMC
January 2021

A review of microplastics aggregation in aquatic environment: Influence factors, analytical methods, and environmental implications.

J Hazard Mater 2021 01 16;402:123496. Epub 2020 Jul 16.

Key Laboratory of Water and Sediment Sciences of Ministry of Education, State Key Laboratory of Water Environment Simulation, School of Environment, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, PR China. Electronic address:

A large amount of plastic waste released into natural waters and their demonstrated toxicity have made the transformation of microplastics (MPs; < 5 mm) and nanoplastics (NPs; < 100 nm) an emerging environmental concern. Aggregation is one of the most important environmental behaviors of MPs, especially in aquatic environments, which determines the mobility, distribution and bioavailability of MPs. In this paper, the sources and inputs of MPs in aquatic environments were first summarized followed by the analytical methods for investigating MP aggregation, including the sampling, visualization, and quantification procedures of MP' particle sizes. We critically evaluated the sampling methods that still remains a methodological gap. Identification and quantification of MPs were mostly carried out by visual, spectroscopic and spectrometric techniques, and modeling analysis. Important factors affecting MP aggregation in natural waters and environmental implications of the aggregation process were also reviewed. Finally, recommendations for future research were discussed, including (1) conducting more field studies; (2) using MPs in laboratory works representing those in the environment; and (3) standardizing methods of identification and quantification. The review gives a comprehensive overview of current knowledge for MP aggregation in natural waters, identifies knowledge gaps, and provides suggestions for future research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.123496DOI Listing
January 2021

Phosphorus-rich biochar produced through bean-worm skin waste pyrolysis enhances the adsorption of aqueous lead.

Environ Pollut 2020 Nov 8;266(Pt 3):115177. Epub 2020 Jul 8.

Global Centre for Environmental Remediation, University of Newcastle, Callaghan Campus, NSW, 2308, Australia; Cooperative Research Centre for High Performance Soil (Soil CRC), Callaghan, NSW, 2308, Australia.

In China, more than 10,000 tons of bean-worm, which is rich in protein (68.5%) and essential amino acids (52.8%), is consumed annually. Thus, a large amount of bean-worm skin waste is generated, and is often indiscriminately disposed of, potentially causing environment problems. In this study, bean-worm skin (BWS) waste was pyrolyzed at 500 °C to produce biochar (BWS-BC), and the surface properties of BWS and BWS-BC were characterized using various spectroscopic techniques. Pb(II) adsorption properties of BWS and the corresponding biochar as a function of solution pH, contact time, and equilibrium concentration of Pb(II) were examined using adsorption isotherm, kinetics and thermodynamics studies. The maximum Pb(II) adsorption capacities based on the Langmuir isotherm model were calculated as 45 and 62 mg g for BWS and BWS-BC, respectively, which were comparable to the values obtained for biochars derived from other agro-wastes. The adsorption feasibility, favorability and spontaneity of Pb(II), as derived from the thermodynamic parameters, indicated that chemisorption and precipitation (e.g., hydroxypyromorphite) were the main adsorption mechanism in case of BWS and BWS-BC, respectively. Thus, conversion of BWS to biochar for Pb(II) adsorption can be considered as a feasible, promising and high value-added approach for BWS recycling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2020.115177DOI Listing
November 2020

Rhizoremediation as a green technology for the remediation of petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated soils.

J Hazard Mater 2021 01 22;401:123282. Epub 2020 Jun 22.

Global Centre for Environmental Remediation (GCER), Advanced Technology Centre (ATC) Building, Faculty of Science, The University of Newcastle, University Drive, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia. Electronic address:

Rhizoremediation is increasingly becoming a green and sustainable alternative to physico-chemical methods for remediation of contaminated environments through the utilization of symbiotic relationship between plants and their associated soil microorganisms in the root zone. The overall efficiency can be enhanced by identifying suitable plant-microbe combinations for specific contaminants and supporting the process with the application of appropriate soil amendments. This approach not only involves promoting the existing activity of plants and soil microbes, but also introduces an adequate number of microorganisms with specific catabolic activity. Here, we reviewed recent literature on the main mechanisms and key factors in the rhizoremediation process with a particular focus on soils contaminated with total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH). We then discuss the potential of different soil amendments to accelerate the remediation efficiency based on biostimulation and bioaugmentation processes. Notwithstanding some successes in well-controlled environments, rhizoremediation of TPH under field conditions is still not widespread and considered less attractive than physico-chemical methods. We catalogued the major pitfalls of this remediation approach at the field scale in TPH-contaminated sites and, provide some applicable situations for the future successful use of in situ rhizoremediation of TPH-contaminated soils.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.123282DOI Listing
January 2021

Microplastics as pollutants in agricultural soils.

Environ Pollut 2020 Oct 9;265(Pt A):114980. Epub 2020 Jun 9.

Global Centre for Environmental Remediation, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW, 2308, Australia.

Microplastics (MPs) as emerging persistent pollutants have been a growing global concern. Although MPs are extensively studied in aquatic systems, their presence and fate in agricultural systems are not fully understood. In the agricultural soils, major causes of MPs pollution include application of biosolids and compost, wastewater irrigation, mulching film, polymer-based fertilizers and pesticides, and atmospheric deposition. The fate and dispersion of MPs in the soil environment are mainly associated with the soil characteristics, cultivation practices, and diversity of soil biota. Although there is emerging pollution of MPs in the soil environment, no standardized detection and quantification techniques are available. This study comprehensively reviews the sources, fate, and dispersion of MPs in the soil environment, discusses the interactions and effects of MPs on soil biota, and highlights the recent advancements in detection and quantification methods of MPs. The prospects for future research include biomagnification potency, cytotoxic effects on human/animals, nonlinear behavior in the soil environment, standardized analytical methods, best management practices, and global policies in the agricultural industry for the sake of sustainable development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2020.114980DOI Listing
October 2020