Introducing our new Associate Editors

Helen, Matt and Paul join the Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts team as Associate Editors

We are delighted to introduce Helen Hsu-Kim, Matthew MacLeod and Paul Tratnyek as three new Associate Editors for Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts.

Helen, Matt and Paul join Liang-Hong Guo and Ed Kolodziej as Associate Editors handling submissions to the journal – more details about their research interests are given below.


Helen Hsu-Kim
Duke University, USA

Heileen (Helen) Hsu-Kim is the Yoh Family Associate Professor of Environmental Engineering at Duke University. Her expertise areas include aquatic geochemistry, biogeochemistry of metal pollutants in the environment, and nanogeoscience.

Ongoing research activities in Dr. Hsu-Kim’s group include studies on mercury biogeochemistry and remediation, mineral-microbe interactions, the disposal implications and reuse opportunities for coal ash, and the environmental impacts of nanotechnology. Additional details of the Hsu-Kim research group can be found online here.

Please note that Professor Hsu-Kim will start handling submissions starting on June 2016.


Matthew MacLeod
Stockholm University, Sweden

Matthew MacLeod is Professor of Environmental Chemistry at the Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry at Stockholm University. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of Victoria (British Columbia, Canada), and a PhD in Environmental Chemistry from Trent University (Ontario, Canada).

He was a post-doctoral fellow at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California, USA, and a Research Group Leader at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zürich, Switzerland.

Since 2010 he has been a faculty member at Stockholm University, Sweden.  Prof. MacLeod’s research interests include the fate, exposure and effects of persistent organic pollutants (POPs), modeling chemical pollutants, and environmental impacts of micro- and macro-plastics.


Paul Tratnyek
Oregon Health & Science University, USA

Paul G. Tratnyek is currently Professor, and Associate Head, in the Division of Environmental and Biomolecular Systems (EBS) and Institute of Environmental Health (IEH), at the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU).

He received his Ph.D. in Applied Chemistry from the Colorado School of Mines (CSM) in 1987; served as a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Laboratory in Athens, GA (ERD-Athens), during 1988; and as a Research Associate at the Swiss Federal Institute for Water Resources and Water Pollution Control (EAWAG) from 1989 to 1991.

His research concerns the physico-chemical processes that control the fate and effects of environmental substances, including minerals, metals (for remediation), organics (as contaminants), and nanoparticles (for remediation, as contaminants, and in biomedical applications).

Dr. Tratnyek is best known for his work on the degradation of groundwater contaminants with zero-valent metals, but his interests extend to all aspects of contaminant reduction and oxidation (redox) in all aquatic media. Some of his recent work emphasizes the fate/remediation of emerging contaminants (e.g., nanoparticles and 1,2,3-trichloropropane).

———-

The appointments of Helen, Matt, and Paul, illustrate the exciting future for Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts, as outlined by Editor-in-Chief Professor Kris McNeill in his recent Editorial. We are delighted to welcome them to the Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts team.

Interested in the latest news, research and events of the Environmental Science journals? Find us on Twitter: @EnvSciRSC

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Between a rock and a hard place: greenhouse gas storage and natural resource extraction

a blog article by Abha Parajulee, PhD student at the University of Toronto

Humans are continuing to release increasing amounts of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere that have been implicated as key contributors to climate change. One major greenhouse gas is CO2. It is estimated that geological storage could result in a 17% reduction in atmospheric CO2 by 2050. Such projects aim to use sedimentary basins as they are believed to be the safest option for long-term storage of CO2 and other greenhouse gases. However, sedimentary basins are also valued for a range of extractable natural resources such as groundwater, oil and gas, and geothermal energy. Thus, there is a need to understand the potential interactions between these resources and subsurface storage of CO2 when targeting a particular site for CO2 storage.

A recently published study involving researchers from various institutes in Western Australia explain the potential risks involved with geological CO2 storage. Considering all the potential interactions between basin resource use and CO2 storage, the authors outline a Framework for Basin Resource Management Strategy (FBRMS) for optimizing interactions that may occur during the management of sedimentary basins.

Potential impacts of CO2 geological storage on other basin resources (reproduced from K. Michael
et al., EAGE Third Sustainable Earth Sciences 2015 Conference, DOI: 10.3997/2214-4609.201414262)

The initial stage of the FBRMS is an assessment of potential basins for CO2 storage based on containment potential of the subsurface. Optimal conditions include thick layers of low permeability rocks such as shales and anhydrites that can effectively cap the CO2. Lateral containment should be provided by lateral decreases in permeability, low permeability faults, or, in the absence of physical barriers, residual trapping, dissolution into water and mineral formation via reactions with the subsurface matrix. In addition to geologic characterization, modelling, monitoring and risk assessment are crucial for verifying long-term CO2 containment.

Also considered in the FBRMS are the two general means by which CO2 storage can affect other basin resources: migration and increasing basin pressure. Vertical or horizontal migration may result in contamination of natural gas or another currently used or potentially extractable resource.

Once CO2 is present in the subsurface, the future potential use of the injected area is instantly limited. An important concern associated with using shale basins is that shale may be used as an unconventional gas resource in future, and the methods for utilizing this resource negate its effectiveness as a long-term cap for CO2 storage. Though the probability is extremely low, increasing subsurface pressure from CO2 injection could also force saline water upwards along a wellbore or through existing fractures into groundwater resources, or may even cause fractures. Regardless of the likelihood, identifying all of these risks is an important facet of the FBRMS, presumably leading to relevant monitoring activities. On the other hand, increased pressure could also be beneficial in counteracting reduced pressure in mature oil or gas fields, low groundwater levels, or subsidence.

The FBRMS integrates all of these concerns to evaluate the likelihood of various basin resource-storage interactions, how beneficial or detrimental the interactions would be, and to determine how best to manage these interactions. It is intended to be used by various project stakeholders throughout the lifetime of a project, and may require intensive data collection or expert risk assessment depending on the individual project being assessed.


To read the full paper for free*, click the link below:

Framework for the assessment of interaction between CO2 geological storage and other sedimentary basin resources
K. Michael, S. Whittaker, S. Varma, E. Bekele, L. Langhi, J. Hodgkinson, and B. Harris
Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts,
2016, 18, 164-175
DOI: 10.1039/C5EM00539F

—————-

About the webwriter

Abha Parajulee is a Ph.D. student at the University of Toronto Scarborough. She is interested in water resources and the behavior of organic contaminants in urban environments.

—————-

* Access is free until 01/06/2016 through a registered RSC account.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Are we eating flame retardants?

a blog article by Fernando Gomollón-Bel, PhD student at the University of Zaragoza

Most of the materials we use nowadays are impregnated with several chemicals to make them fireproof and meet fire safety regulations. These are classically halogenated compounds such as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). Recently, the food safety authorities in the EU banned PBDEs because several studies linked them to hepatic damage and perturbations in metabolism.

Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts

Hence, chemists developed a new kind of fire retardants known as hexabromocyclododecanes (HBCDs). Manufacturers of goods such as plastics, textiles and electronic equipment, are increasingly using these compounds. However, HBCDs may not be an ideal solution: recent studies found them in dust, air, sediments, and sewage in areas surrounding electronic waste (or e-waste) processing plants. And what is worse, the presence of HBCDs has also been reported in eggs, while researchers have confirmed human exposure from eating food sourced near the e-waste treatment plants. These are concerning issues, since these chemical are potentially toxic, persistent and bioaccumulative.

In this article published in Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts, Dr. Fang Tao and co-workers investigated the presence of HBCDs and other fire retardants in fish, pigs and free-range chickens reared in areas that could have been polluted by e-waste plants in Bui Dau, Vietnam. In addition to this, the team also took samples from supposedly non-contaminated zones both in Vietnam and Japan and analysed them.

The authors reported that HBCDs, as well as other emerging fire retardants, are found in chicken, fish and pork samples collected near the e-waste processing plant in Bui Dau. According to these data, locals may be ingesting dangerous amounts of toxic, accumulative chemicals. Although the dangers of some of these compounds are not completely defined yet, the researchers suggest to keep studying this phenomenon: the quantity of these contaminants in the environment may rise soon.

Interested in this research? Click on the link below to read the full article for free*

Emerging halogenated flame retardants and hexabromocyclododecanes in food samples from an e-waste processing area in Vietnam
Fang Tao, Hidenori Matsukami, Go Suzuki, Nguyen Minh Tue, Pham Hung Viet, Hidetaka Takigami and Stuart Harrad.
Environmental Science: Processes and Impacts, 2016, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C5EM00593K

—————-

About the webwriter

Fernando Gomollón-Bel is a PhD Student at the ISQCH (CSIC-University of Zaragoza). His research focuses on asymmetric organic synthesis using sugars as chiral-pool starting materials towards the production of fungical transglycosidase inhibitors.

—————-

* Access is free until 11/04/2016 through a registered RSC account.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

The dangers of mercury in solid waste landfills

a blog article by Fernando Gomollón-Bel, PhD student at the University of Zaragoza

The (Mad) Hatter from Carroll's Alice in Wonderland (Illustration by John Tenniel - Public Domain)

The Hatter in Alice in Wonderland may not have been mad after all. He might have suffered from mercury poisoning! Thankfully, nowadays we know mercury is a dangerous element in almost all its forms. Organomercury compounds such as monomethylmercury (MMHg) and dimethylmercury (DMHg) are especially hazardous: not only because of their extreme toxicity but also because they can be bio-magnified in the food web. Moreover, mercury can travel the biosphere through air, water and soil, increasing the danger.

Even if we have stopped using mercury thermometers, a big number of household and industrial products still use this liquid metal. A lot of these products end up in landfills where they are treated as conventional waste, and may liberate dangerous amounts of this toxic metal to the atmosphere and soil.

In this critical review published in Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts, scientists analyze solid waste management in landfills and the chemistry of mercury, as well as the release of this metal into the environment and the possible bio and geological transformations it may suffer. As a conclusion, researchers review a series of studies that should be considered in depth in order to understand the problem of mercury release and to, eventually, find a solution.

As described in this work, landfills –mainly when they undergo the so-called anaerobic phase– present the ideal conditions (pH, redox, organic matter) for mercury to be speciated and transformed, then dissolved, mobilized and disseminated within the biosphere. It is mostly released as Hg(0) in gas form, but other species like MMHg and DMHg may also be produced and incorporated to soil and water reservoirs.

Whether you are a specialist in mercury or not, this review will surely captivate you. Landfills may seem boring, but the chemistry underneath is fascinating, like the liquid metal that fascinated alchemists for centuries. Remember, mercury was the prima materia from which all metals were formed!


Interested in this research? Click on the link below to read the full article for free*:

Biogeochemical transformations of mercury in solid waste landfills and pathways for release
Sung-Woo Lee, Gregory V. Lowry and Heileen Hsu-Kim.
Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts 2016, 18, 176-189
DOI: 10.139/C5EM00561B

—————-

About the webwriter

Fernando Gomollón-Bel is a PhD Student at the ISQCH (CSIC-University of Zaragoza). His research focuses on asymmetric organic synthesis using sugars as chiral-pool starting materials towards the production of fungical transglycosidase inhibitors.

—————-

* Access is free until 18/03/2016 through a registered RSC account.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Sun, wind, and a crowd: Tough days in the life of a passive sampler?

a blog article by Abha Parajulee, PhD student at the University of Toronto

Passive air samplers (PAS) have found great utility in monitoring environmental concentrations of semivolatile organic contaminants (SVOCs) all over the world. They provide a picture of longer-term average air concentrations of SVOCs while being relatively portable, low-cost and extremely low-maintenance. Knowing the deployment time, the amount of chemical accumulated in the passive sampling medium (PSM), and the sampling rate derived when a PAS is first calibrated before widespread use, a time-averaged volumetric air concentration can be calculated.

Graphical Abstract

A key assumption underlying the calculation of PAS-derived air concentrations is that the passive sampling medium takes up chemicals uniformly. But this assumption has not been thoroughly tested so far and studies to date have indicated that the sampling rates of some commonly used PSM can differ with position inside a sampler housing. For example, sampling rates decreased with increasing distance from the opening at the bottom of a cylindrical sampler housing for the commonly used styrene-divinylbenzene copolymer or “XAD” resin.

In a study recently published in Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts, Zhang and co-workers at the University of Toronto Scarborough have put their XAD PAS to the test once more to determine if exposure to sunlight, wind, and the presence of multiple units of XAD-filled mesh cylinders in one PAS housing caused differential chemical uptake across the length of a single cylinder.

The chemicals of interest in this series of experiments, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), were chosen because their environmental partitioning properties are inclusive of a range of SVOCs commonly measured in the environment. One indoor experiment included axially segmented PAS at four indoor locations, one of which also used fans to simulate the effect of wind. At one of the indoor locations, a similar experiment was conducted outdoors, where the effect of heat conduction resulting from sunshine was also tested. This involved using PAS with regular housings, housings painted black to enhance heat absorption, and housings shaded by a steel cover.

Two additional experiments varied the number of mesh cylinders inside each housing. One experiment deployed a pair of PAS containing one and four mesh cylinders at one outdoor and one indoor location. A final outdoor experiment attempted to incorporate a variety of temperatures and wind speeds by deploying PAS at nine locations on the Big Island of Hawaii. Each site had one PAS containing one XAD-filled mesh cylinder and another containing two.

Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts front cover image highlighting the article

In the first indoor experiment, the total amount of PCBs accumulated in all segments was not significantly different from the amount accumulated in a mesh cylinder that had not been segmented. In those cylinders that were axially segmented, the amount of PCBs accumulated in the bottom segments was significantly higher than in the upper two segments in office and storage areas, and assumed to have little activity and therefore air turbulence. But this difference was not significant in the mesh cylinder placed in a cargo-loading area, presumably because of the relatively higher level of activity and therefore air turbulence. Similarly, gradients within PAS deployed outdoors were also not as strong, and the samplers exposed to fans indoors showed no significant gradients – strong indications that increased air turbulence allows for more uniform uptake across the length of the sampler.

The effect of heat convection on total accumulation and axial distribution of PCBs was determined to be minor, as was the presence of multiple mesh cylinders within one housing, but only outdoors. Indoors, the amount of PCB accumulated per sampler was significantly lower in those PAS with four mesh cylinders, and the gradient was also steeper.

The final outdoor deployment across varying temperature and wind conditions in Hawaii, which measured accumulation of PCBs, pesticides, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and polybrominated diphenyl ethers, showed no significant difference in chemical accumulation in PAS with one versus two XAD-filled mesh cylinders. The finding that uptake of SVOCs by XAD PAS is affected very little by the presence of multiple mesh cylinders in one housing in a variety of outdoor conditions means that fewer housings can be used during a given sampling campaign that uses XAD PAS. This augments the low-maintenance nature of this monitoring method, and thus the value of this particular PAS as a tool for monitoring SVOCs in the environment.


To read the full Open Access article, click the link below:

Exploring the role of the sampler housing in limiting uptake of semivolatile organic compounds in passive air sampler
Xianming Zhang, Michelle Hoang, Ying D. Lei, and Frank Wania
Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts,
2015, 17, 2006-2012
DOI: 10.1039/C5EM00447K

—————-

About the webwriter

Abha Parajulee is a Ph.D. student at the University of Toronto Scarborough. She is interested in water resources and the behavior of organic contaminants in urban environments.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Naphthalene-eating bacteria

a blog article by Fernando Gomollón-Bel, PhD student at the University of Zaragoza

Most petroleum hydrocarbons are dangerous for the environment and are known to be toxic. These chemicals can cause severe respiratory problems, mutations and cancer. A very particular type of hydrocarbons, known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), represents a serious environmental threat. PAHs can obviously be dangerous when directly inhaled, but they are especially harmful since they can accumulate in water, sediments and soil, taking decades to decompose and thus polluting ecosystems for generations.

A few years ago, some scientists observed that certain species of bacteria had developed, by the means of natural selection, the ability to degrade molecules like hydrocarbons or polymers. Some of these species have evolved to degrade PAHs such as naphthalene, phenanthrene or pyrene, which means that they can be used to treat the waste of certain chemical plants, lowering the amount of these dangerous products released in to the environment.

Using tools like artificial selection or genetic engineering could enhance the efficacy of these bacteria. Moreover, the influence of some external factors may be optimized to improve the conversion of pollutants to non-toxic substances. In this article, recently published in Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts, Professor Mutai Bao and his team studied the effects of supporting bacteria on biodegradable, porous, low-cost materials like semi-coke, walnut shells and activated carbon. Immobilization methods are widely used and accepted by the scientific community because they are versatile and straightforward. Moreover, these systems can be easily cleaned and reused.

Before performing the experiment, scientists had to choose the right species of bacteria. They also had to let them adapt until they were able to properly digest PAHs. To facilitate this, bacteria were fed small amounts of classic carbon sources: glucose, lactose, starch or urea. The ones that received the combination of lactose and PAHs gave the best biodegradation results and were used for the optimization.

After a series of experiments, the authors concluded that immobilized bacteria degrade up to 47% more PAHs than free microbes. Semi-coke was the best support for these microorganisms, followed by walnut shell and activated carbon. In addition to this, they found bacteria to be adaptable to a broad range of pH and salinity. These biodegradation systems could be used in real-life situations such as oil spills in the ocean, where usually other techniques are less productive.

Interested in this research? Click on the link below to read the full article for free*

Biodegradation of different petroleum hydrocarbons by free and immobilized microbial consortia
Tiantian Shen, Yongrui Pi, Mutai Bao, Nana Xu, Yiming Li and Jinren Lu
Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts, 2015, 17, 2022-2033
DOI: 10.1039/C5EM00318K

—————-

About the webwriter

Fernando Gomollón-Bel is a PhD Student at the ISQCH (CSIC-University of Zaragoza). His research focuses on asymmetric organic synthesis using sugars as chiral-pool starting materials towards the production of fungical transglycosidase inhibitors.

—————-

* Access is free until 18/02/2016 through a registered RSC account.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Snow soaks up pollutants from engine exhausts

An Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts article highlighted in Chemistry World by Florence Greatrix

Scientists in Canada have shown that snow acts as a sink for nanosized particles and certain organic constituents from car exhausts.

Snow for the experiment was collected from a park in Montreal, where it snows for around 5 months of the year

Air pollution is recognised as a leading environmental driver of cancer deaths, which makes the fate of these toxic and carcinogenic aerosols from car exhausts important for informing changes in emissions and air quality regulations, and technologies, in countries with cold winters.

Anna Lea Rantalainen, an environmental chemist at the University of Helsinki, Finland, says the work raises further questions: ‘It seems that snow is efficient at removing aerosol particles from the air, but what happens after the snow has melted?’ If the sink is temporary, pollutant emissions could increase rapidly in industrialised areas when snow melts. ‘This is not just important for Canada, but other industrial regions like China that emit very diverse compounds, which are subject to transport around the globe,’ cautions Ariya.

Please visit Chemistry World to read the full article.

Role of snow and cold environment in the fate and effects of nanoparticles and select organic pollutants from gasoline engine exhaust*
Yevgen Nazarenko, Uday Kurien, Oleg Nepotchatykh, Rodrigo B. Rangel-Alvarado and   Parisa A. Ariya
Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts, 2016, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C5EM00616C

*Access is free through a registered RSC account until 25 February 2016 – click here to register

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

New Editor-in-Chief for Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts

We are pleased to announce that Professor Kris McNeill (ETH Zürich) will be taking on the role of Editor-in-Chief for Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts from 2016. Professor McNeill has been an active member of the Editorial Board of Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts for several years.

His research focuses on environmental chemistry in aquatic systems, particularly regarding reaction mechanisms. Kris takes over from Professor Frank Wania, who finished his term as Chair of the Editorial Board at the end of 2015.

Read Kris’ most recent work in Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts below:

Aquatic photochemical kinetics of benzotriazole and structurally related compounds, Elisabeth M. L. Janssen, Emily Marron and Kristopher McNeill, Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts, 2015, 17, 939–946, DOI:  10.1039/C5EM00045A

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Charcoal from summer barbecuing to soil remediation?

a blog article by Abha Parajulee, PhD student at the University of Toronto

Well, not quite. But in recent years researchers have been exploring the potential of using “biochar” to remediate soil contaminated with organic chemicals. Similar to but definitely not the charcoal commonly used during barbecue season, biochar is made by heating biomass such as fruit peels in oxygen-limited conditions. Its physical and chemical characteristics impart an exceptional ability to sorb chemicals, especially organic chemicals, and reduce their bioavailability in soil.

A new study by Xu and co-workers at Peking University and the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences focuses on two widespread organic chemicals: bisphenol A (BPA) and 17α-ethylyneestradiol (EE2). BPA is used for manufacturing polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. Thus, it is found in a multitude of commonly used products such as cars, food storage containers, and electronic equipment. EE2 is a synthetic estrogen most commonly used as an ingredient in birth control pills.

Both of these chemicals have been found to be endocrine disrupters, and can be transported to soils via wastewater irrigation, sludge fertilizers and landfill leachates. As both chemicals are quite hydrophobic, Xu et al. hypothesized that biochar added to soil would significantly sorb BPA and EE2, and as a result would also affect leaching and dissipation of the chemicals.

The researchers tested this hypothesis by adding biochar derived from corn stalks to soil in a series of lab experiments. First, sorption studies involved adding biochar at a level of 4 wt% to soils spiked with 0.01 or 0.1 mg/L of both BPA and EE2, and measuring the amount of the chemicals in both the soil solids and the soil water after equilibrium was established in about 7 days.

They found that the soils containing biochar increased the solid-water distribution coefficients by at least 200% for BPA and EE2 respectively, relative to the soils with no biochar. Next, leaching experiments meant to simulate repeated rainfall events compared biochar-free soils to those with 1, 2 and 4 wt% of biochar, all of which were spiked with BPA and EE2 at levels reflective of environmentally contaminated soils. Biochar-amended soils decreased the amount of leached BPA by 19 to 53% and EE2 by 42 to 77%.

Biochar created by pyrolysis. Image: Wikipedia.org

A final set of incubation experiments used soils spiked in a similar manner to those used in the leaching experiments. All soils, including a biochar-free control, were left outdoors at ambient temperatures for three months. Portions of the soils were sampled at 1, 30 and 90 days, and analyzed for their total and bioavailable BPA and EE2 content. The results showed no significant effect on the dissipation of the two chemicals in soil, but large reductions in the bioavailable fractions of BPA and EE2 in soil.

In addition to holding much promise for removing various organic residues from soil, other benefits of biochar in soil include carbon sequestration, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and improving crop production. The long-term stability of biochar in soil further highlights the multi-faceted potential of biochar as a soil amendment.



To read more about Xu and co-workers’ investigation into biochar’s ability to reduce the mobility of two widespread organic contaminants, download a copy of the full article for free*:

Influence of biochar on sorption, leaching and dissipation of bisphenol A and 17α-ethynylestradiol in soil
N Xu, B Zhang, G Tan, J Li and H Wang
Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts, 2015, 17, 1722-1730
DOI: 10.1039/C5EM00190K

—————-

About the webwriter

Abha Parajulee is a Ph.D. student at the University of Toronto Scarborough. She is interested in water resources and the behavior of organic contaminants in urban environments.

—————-

* Access is free until 01/12/2016 through a registered RSC account.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

8th National Conference on Environmental Chemistry

Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts oral prizes

The 8th National Conference on Environmental Chemistry (NCEC) was held in Guangzhou, China, 5th – 8th November 2015. The topic of this conference was Innovation and Development in Environmental Chemistry, based on the latest progress on the discipline.

The conference was a success with many events taking place during the conference, including environmental protection and analytical instrument exhibitions, academic posters, and graduate student symposiums.

Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts was proud to sponsor 5 oral prizes during this event. The winners were:

- Haichao Wang (Peking University)
Simulation of NO3 free radicals in North China Plain and the research of measurement instrument

- Aruo Nan (Guangzhou Medical University)
The functional and mechanism of non encoding RNA in nerve injury induced by environmental lead exposure

- Rong Jin (Research Center for Eco-environmental Sciences, CAS)
The characteristics of polychlorinated naphthalenes generated in the process of waste derived fuel in cement kilns

- Xiang Wu (Zhejiang University)
Speciation of tipical organic pollutants in soil

- Fengzhen Zhang (South China University of Technology)
Study on degradation of organic pollutants in water by ozone catalytic zinc ferrite



The picture shows the winners of the Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts oral prizes during the 8th NCEC


Congratulations! The judges of the prize thought the quality of the presentations were really high and, from the Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts team, we would like to thank all the students that attended or presented at the meeting.

Many congratulations from the Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts team

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)