Introducing our new Editorial Board Member – Marianne Glasius

Marianne Glasius joins the Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts team as Editorial Board Member

We are delighted to introduce Marianne Glasius as a new Editorial Board Member for Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts. Marianne joins the team as an Editorial Board Member, and will start her role as Associate Editor from January 2017.


Marianne will be joining Liang-Hong Guo, Helen Hsu-Kim, Edward Kolodziej, Matthew MacLeod and Paul Tratnyek as Associate Editors handling submissions to the journal.

Marianne Glasius is Associate Professor at the Department of Chemistry at Aarhus University, Denmark (since 2006), where she is also affiliated with the Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center and the Arctic Research Centre. She received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from University of Southern Denmark in 2000. During her studies she stayed at the European Commissions Joint Research Centre, Ispra, Italy for a year. Dr. Glasius was a scientist and senior scientist at the National Environmental Research Institute, Denmark for six years. Recently, she visited University of California, Berkeley for one year, working with Prof. A.H. Goldstein at the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management.

The research of Dr. Glasius focuses on development and application of advanced chemical analyses for identification and characterization of organic compounds in complex matrices. The aim is to obtain understanding of processes whether these involve atmospheric aerosols affecting air pollution and climate, or development of bio-fuels of the future.



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Please join us in welcoming Marianne to Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts.

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

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Major society chemistry publishers jointly commit to integration with ORCID

ORCID provides an identifier for individuals to use with their name as they engage in research, scholarship and innovation activities, ensuring authors gain full credit for their work.

Today, we signed their open letter, along with ACS Publications, committing to unambiguous identification of all authors that publish in our journals.

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The Royal Society of Chemistry and the Publications Division of the American Chemical Society (ACS) today each became signatories to the ORCID Open Letter, reasserting the commitment of both organizations to enhancing the scholarly publishing experience for researchers worldwide who are involved in chemistry and allied fields.

The commitment by these two global chemistry publishers to undertake new workflow integration with technology infrastructure provided by ORCID, a not-for-profit organization that provides unique identifiers for researchers and scholars, will enable both societies to provide unambiguous designation of author names within chemistry and across the broader sciences. This partnership with ORCID will resolve ambiguity in researcher identification caused by name changes, cultural differences in name presentation, and the inconsistent use of name abbreviations that is too often a source of confusion for those who must rely on the published scientific record.

By becoming signatories to the ORCID Open Letter, these two major chemical societies are voicing their intent to collect ORCID iDs for all submitting authors through use of the ORCID API, and to display such identifiers in the articles published in their respective society journals. The integration of such activities within the publishers’ workflows means authors will benefit from automated linkages between their ORCID record and unique identifiers embedded within their published research articles, ensuring their contributions are appropriately recognized and credited.

During the publishing process, ACS and the Royal Society of Chemistry will automatically deposit publications to Crossref, which in turn will coordinate with ORCID to link and update the publishing activity populated to authors’ respective ORCID profiles, thus attributing each published work to the correct researcher. Existing holders of an ORCID iD will encounter a one-time prompt to grant permission for the linkage. If authors do not have an ORCID iD, they can easily enroll without navigating away from the publishers’ manuscript submission site. If users wish to revoke integrated ORCID profile access at any time, they can elect to do so through their ACS, Royal Society of Chemistry or ORCID accounts.

Both ACS Publications and the Royal Society of Chemistry understand the importance of attributing accurately the scholarly contributions of research scientists in the context of their other professional activities. “ACS has supported ORCID since the outset of the initiative,” says Sarah Tegen, Ph.D., Vice President of Global Editorial & Author Services at ACS Publications. “We are pleased now to align with the Royal Society of Chemistry in this endeavor, as both societies underscore our willingness not only to encourage and assist our respective authors in establishing their unique ORCID profiles, but also to help tackle the broader challenge of researcher name disambiguation in the scholarly literature. With the integration of author ORCID iDs in our publishing workflows, we will ensure that researchers receive proper credit for their accomplishments.”

Emma Wilson, Ph.D., Director of Publishing at the Royal Society of Chemistry adds, “We have been a supporter of ORCID since 2013, recognizing the benefits it brings to researchers; ORCID can and will make a huge difference to our authors’ ability to gain full credit for their work. ORCID will also help researchers meet the requirements of their research funders — for example, a number of funders have already announced that all grant applicants must now include a researcher’s ORCID iD. A unified system that integrates and links research-related information with accurate and timely linkage to the publishing output of authors has the potential to simplify and speed up their grant applications — something we know is important to researchers.”

“The ACS and the Royal Society of Chemistry have been long-standing supporters of ORCID,” says Laurel Haak, Ph.D., Executive Director, ORCID. “We are pleased to see ORCID integration into ACS and Royal Society of Chemistry Publications systems. This will be a substantial benefit to researchers in the chemistry community, both in improving search and discovery of research articles, and for attribution and recognition of researchers’ contributions to the discipline.”

About the American Chemical Society and ACS Publications

The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With nearly 157,000 members, ACS is the world’s largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

ACS Publications, a division of the American Chemical Society, is a nonprofit scholarly publisher of 50 peer-reviewed journals and a range of eBooks at the interface of chemistry and allied sciences, including physics and biology. ACS Publications journals are among the most-cited, most-trusted and most-read within the scientific literature. Respected for their editorial rigor, ACS journals offer high-quality service to authors and readers, including rapid time to publication, a range of channels for researchers to access ACS Publications’ award-winning web and mobile delivery platforms, and a comprehensive program of open access publishing options for authors and their funders. ACS Publications also publishes Chemical & Engineering News — the Society’s newsmagazine covering science and technology, business and industry, government and policy, education and employment aspects of the chemistry field.

About the Royal Society of Chemistry

The Royal Society of Chemistry is the world’s leading chemistry community, advancing excellence in the chemical sciences. With over 50,000 members and a knowledge business that spans the globe, we are the U.K.’s professional body for chemical scientists; a not-for-profit organisation with 175 years of history and an international vision for the future. We promote, support and celebrate chemistry. We work to shape the future of the chemical sciences — for the benefit of science and humanity.

About ORCID

ORCID’s vision is a world where all who participate in research, scholarship and innovation are uniquely identified and connected to their contributions across disciplines, borders and time. ORCID provides an identifier for individuals to use with their name as they engage in research, scholarship and innovation activities. It provides open tools that enable transparent and trustworthy connections between researchers, their contributions and affiliations. The organization provides this service to help people find information and to simplify reporting and analysis. ORCID is a not-for-profit organization, sustained by fees from member organizations. Its work is open, transparent and non-proprietary. The organization strives to be a trusted component of research infrastructure with the goal of providing clarity in the breadth of research contributions and the people who make them.

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What to expect from Negative Emission Technologies (NETs) in the UK

a blog article by Luiza Cruz, PhD student at Imperial College London

As the Paris climate deal takes legal effect, it is necessary to assess the technical aspects and challenges to limit the global temperature increase. Given the problems in completely eliminating greenhouse gases (GHGs) emissions from human activities, one of the possible solutions is using Negative Emission Technologies (NETs) as a way of compensating for those emissions. As the UK has recently stated a target of net zero emission, Smith and colleagues took on a preliminary assessment of land-based NETs in this country in order to estimate their potential and impact.

There are a number of ways negative emissions could compensate for CO2 emissions:

1) Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS), using crops to extract CO2 and then burning them for energy and sequestering the result emissions, thought to hold the most potential to bring down CO2 levels

2) Direct Air Capture of CO2 (DAC) from ambient air and either burying it underground or using it in chemical processes

3) Enhanced Weathering of minerals (EW), by spreading pulverised rocks onto soils to increase the natural weathering process that takes up CO2

4) Afforestation and Reforestation (AR)

5) Soil Carbon Sequestration (SCS), which uses modern farming methods to reverse past losses of soil carbon and sequester CO2

6) Biochar, that converts biomass into biochar for use as soil amendment

Smith and colleagues considered the use of UK land specifically and only technical aspects of these technologies. Other factors, e.g. of a socio-political nature, were not considered and are thought to lower the potential of the NETs considerably.

Regarding land availability, BECCS and AR use land that can no longer be used for food production, assumed to be 1.5 Mha. The same value is assumed for biochar, since growing feedstock for it cannot be done in the same land used for food. SCS and EW can be practised on land without changing its use, here assumed to be 8.5 Mha. Finally, DAC has no land footprint so it is not constrained by land availability.

Negative emission potential for BECCS, AR and biochar are 4.5‒18, 5.1 and 1.73‒11.25 Mt C eq. per year, respectively. SCS would deliver 0.255‒8.5 Mt C eq. per year and the combined potential for EW would be 22.5 Mt C per year. DAC is compared at the same level of BECCS, i.e. 4.5‒18 Mt C eq. per year.

In the UK, total emissions of GHGs are equal to an average of 153 Mt C eq. per year. Considering that not all NETs can be applied at the same time and assuming no interaction between practices, the maximum aggregate potential of land-based NETs is estimated to be 12‒49 Mt C eq. per year (BECCS plus SCS plus EW). This represents only 8‒32% of current UK GHGs emissions.  DAC, however, could increase this number further.

This maximum aggregate potential is limited by a number of factors, including cost, energy, environmental and socio-political constraints. More studies are needed to fully understand and hopefully overcome the barriers to implementation and reach the target of net zero emission.

To read the full article for free* click the link below:

Pete Smith, R. Stuart Haszeldine and Stephen M. Smith
Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts, 2016, 18, 1400-1405
DOI: 10.1039/C6EM00386A

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About the webwriter

Luiza Cruz is a PhD student in the Barrett Group at Imperial College London. Her work is towards the development of new medicines, using medicinal and natural products chemistry.

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*Access is free until 23/12/2016 through a registered publishing personal account.

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Top 10 Reviewers for Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts

In celebration of Peer Review Week, with the theme of Recognition for Review – we would like to highlight the top 10 reviewers for Environmental Science: Processes& Impacts in 2016, as selected by the editor for their significant contribution to the journal.

Name Institution
Dr Douglas Latch Seattle University
Dr Hans Peter Arp Norwegian Geotechnical Institute
Dr Christina Remucal University of Wisconsin
Dr Dong-Mei Zhou Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Dr Zhanyun Wang ETH Zürich
Dr Stefan Trapp Technical University of Denmark
Dr Thilo Rennert University of Hohenheim
Dr Birgit Braune Carleton University
Dr Barbara Ervens National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration
Dr Crispin Halsall Lancaster University

We would like to say a massive thank you to these reviewers as well as the Environmental Science: Processes&Impacts board and all of the environmental chemistry community for their continued support of the journal, as authors, reviewers and readers.

Keep an eye on our Environmental Science: Nano and Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology blogs where the top 10 reviewers for each journal will be revealed.

Review to win!
As a little added bonus to celebrate Peer Review Week, for the next four weeks our reviewers will be in with a chance of winning a fantastic prize! Simply submit a review for any of our journals between 19 September and 16 October 2016 and you will be automatically eligible for a chance to win one of our fantastic prizes.

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Bacteria go on a DIET

Probably not the type of diet you are thinking of. It has something to do with food, though. I am talking about the transfer mechanisms some bacteria use to share metabolites between them, and also with bacteria of different species. In this review published in Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts, two researchers from North Carolina analyse the latest discoveries in this field, specifically in mechanisms known as DIET: “direct interspecies electron transfer”.

Scientists discovered DIET not a decade ago. Before that, only conventional diffusion models were known: an organism generated an excess of certain metabolite, released it to the surrounding media and was consumed by a second organism. This is called “mediated interspecies electron transfer” (MIET).

DIET, however, is more efficient. Instead of releasing the metabolites around, bacteria use structures that allow them to transfer chemical substances directly to other cells. These structures, usually filamentous pili full of conductive cytochromes, act as nanowires that connect bacteria to one another. However, because DIET is a form of electron transfer, sometimes proteins are not needed at all and actual electric cables may be used. When pili and cytochromes are removed in genetically engineered bacteria, they can use metal, metal oxides (such as magnetite) or activated carbon as connections. Sometimes bacteria prefer this cables to their own traditional methods: in some experiments, scientists showed that bacteria will rather connect to carbon than to other cells, probably due to the higher electric conductivity.

Nowadays we use multicellular bacterial communities in a wide variety of industrial systems from sewage treatment to energy production. Understanding how DIET interactions work is key to improve the effectiveness of these processes and will allow us to have a better control. Who knows, maybe some day DIET will lead into building intelligent bacterial circuits, the same way years ago silicon allowed us to create microchips.

Read the Critical Review for free* today:

Hardwiring microbes via direct interspecies electron transfer: mechanisms and applications
Qiwen Cheng and Douglas F. Call
Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts, 2016,18, 968-980
DOI: 10.1039/C6EM00219F

*Access is free until 23/09/2016 through a registered publishing personal account.

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Closing the window on air pollution

Written by Emma Turner for Chemistry World

Graphical abstractSwitching off fans and closing car windows can minimise drivers’ exposure to harmful particles.

Sitting in traffic is bad for your lungs, but closing your car windows and switching off the fans can minimise the amount of micro-size pollution particles you breathe, scientists from the UK found.
Air pollution is a major health risk. The World Health Organization estimates that it caused 3.7 million premature deaths in 2012. Last year, a group led by Prashant Kumar from the University of Surrey, UK, showed that drivers stuck at traffic lights are exposed to 29 times more harmful pollution particles than those driving in free flowing traffic.

Switching off fans and closing car windows can minimise drivers’ exposure to harmful particles
Sitting in traffic is bad for your lungs, but closing your car windows and switching off the fans can minimise the amount of micro-size pollution particles you breathe, scientists from the UK found.
Air pollution is a major health risk. The World Health Organization estimates that it caused 3.7 million premature deaths in 2012. Last year, a group led by Prashant Kumar from the University of Surrey, UK, showed that drivers stuck at traffic lights are exposed to 29 times more harmful pollution particles than those driving in free flowing traffic.

Read the full article in Chemistry World.


Concentration dynamics of coarse and fine particulate matter at and around signalised traffic intersections
Prashant Kumar and Anju Goel
Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts, 2016, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C6EM00215C, Paper

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Ideas towards the eradication of diarrheal diseases in poor countries

a blog article by Luiza Cruz, PhD student at Imperial College London

Diarrheal disease is the second leading cause of death in children under five years, killing almost 800,000 children every year. A combination of different causes, such as poor hygiene conditions and malnutrition, make low and middle income countries more susceptible to the disease. In recent years, there has been a successful campaign to decrease this high mortality rate, from almost 2.5 million deaths in the year 2000, representing a decrease of 70 to 80%. However, the amount of diarrheal episodes, or morbidity, is still very high. Taking into consideration the problems in decreasing the morbidity, Timothy R. Julian brings a perspective emphasizing the interventions that would be most effective at reducing the burden of diarrheal disease.

The vast majority of diarrheal episodes is caused by pathogens, notably rotavirus, norovirus, E. coli, Shighella spp and Cryptosporidium spp. These present different dose-response relationship, with some being more likely to infect a child after exposure (Figure 1).  According to these estimates, a great decrease in exposure is often need to reduce the probability of infection and therefore interventions should focus on minimising children exposure to the pathogens.

Figure 1. Median estimates for dose-relationship for common diarrheal pathogens.

As data regarding quantitative pathogen and human-environment interaction data is sparse, scientists often use proxy measures, like human feces equivalents, to estimate exposure risks. For example, probability of infection is calculated using the HID50 (the pathogen dose at which there is a 50% likelihood of infection) and the shedding rate (eq. 1). Estimates for environmental contamination is also presented (eq. 2).

Diarrheal disease pathogens – E. coli organisms are usually divided into two categories: enterotoxigenic (ETEC) and enteropathogenic (EPEC). Infectivity is usually strain specific and it is in general relatively low, with HID50s ranging from 105 to 108 cells for ETEC and 105 to 107 cells for EPEC, corresponding to 0.001 to 10 g and 0.01 to 1 g of feces of an infected person, respectively. Despite being similar to E. Coli, Shigella spp are more infective, presenting an HID50 of around 103 cells, which corresponds to 0.01 to 1 g of infected feces. The protozoal pathogens Cryptosporidium spp are highly infective, with an HID50 as low as 9 oocysts (10-1 to 10-5 of the amount of feces shed in a day during infection). With high shedding and high infectivity rates, rotavirus is arguably the most important enteric pathogen: the HID50 is 6 focus-forming units (FFU), equivalent to only 10-3 to 10-9 g feces of an infected person. Different from rotavirus (endemic), norovirus is characterised by its role in epidemic outbreaks. Its HID50 is 1320 genome equivalents for susceptible people (some people are naturally resistant), which corresponds to 10-4 to 10-5 g of infected feces.

Environmental transmission – The routes of transmission can be explained using the F-diagram (Figure 2). The diagram connects six environmental reservoirs for the pathogens. Interactions between infected feces and these reservoirs (through human, animal and natural processes) and subsequent interactions between the reservoirs and susceptible people result in infections.

Figure 2. The F-diagram showing the complex transmission pathways of diarrheal diseases.

With 23% of the global population using unsafe water, this reservoir is arguably the most important route of exposure to the most important pathogens (all of them have been detected in stored drinking water in LMICs), especially for rotavirus, norovirus and Cryptosporidium spp, due to the high infectivity of these.

Food is also an efficient transmission pathway, especially for bacterial pathogens that can grow in these environments. Fecal bacterial is frequently detected on hands on LMICs, posing both a direct and indirect route of transmission. Flies are important due to their interactions with both feces and food. Fields (referring to crops and soil) are primarily an intermediate reservoir, but also play a role in copraphagy and geophagy in some regions. Finally, fomites are extensively contaminated with infected feces in LMICs, contributing to the ubiquity of the pathogens throughout a household and other environments.

Perspective – Having in mind the multiple factors involved in the transmission of diarrheal pathogens (for example, etiology, infectivity, fecal shedding rate, reservoirs, human-reservoirs-nature interactions and sanitation) and that these are most likely region/site/country specific, it is important to combine interventions to interrupt simultaneously all the relevant transmission routes. For bacterial agents, reducing geophagy, prevention of growth in food and fly control could be effective in reducing exposure and therefore infection. Cryptosporidium spp and norovirus are more difficult to control due to high shedding and infectivity rates. A combination of fecal management, water and hygiene control and limited contact with infected people would be necessary. Unfortunately, rotavirus is almost impossible to control, with vaccination, nutrition and health care being the current focus to delay infection until after the first year of the child, when the mortality is reduced.

With multiple and specific interventions is therefore possible to successfully achieve great reductions in the burden of diarrheal diseases in LMICs and maybe reach eradication in the future.

To read the full Open Access article, click the link below:
Environmental transmission of diarrheal pathogens in low and middle income countries
Timothy R. Julian
Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts, 2016,18, 944-955
DOI: 10.1039/C6EM00222F

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About the webwriter

Luiza Cruz is a PhD student in the Barrett Group at Imperial College London. Her work is towards the development of new medicines, using medicinal and natural products chemistry.

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Emerging Investigator Series for Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts

Desiree Plata takes on the role of Emerging Investigator Series Editor

Desiree Plata (Yale University) will be overseeing this series and reviewing applications.

Some of the best work in the field of Environmental Science being conducted by early-career researchers was showcased in the Emerging Investigators Issue of Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts. As highlighted in the Editorial introducing this issue, starting in 2017, we will be running an Emerging Investigator Series, similar to the successful series of our sister journal Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology (http://rsc.li/emerging-series). This continuous format is designed to allow more flexibility for contributors to participate in the venture without the restriction of submission deadlines and benefit the Environmental Science community through continued exposure to the exciting work being done by its early-career members.

With the introduction of this new Series, we are delighted to announce that Desiree Plata will be taking on the role of Emerging Investigator Series Editor. Desiree has been an active member of the Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts Editorial Board for over a year and will be overseeing this Series and reviewing applications going forward.

Desiree adds: “I am looking forward to working with my colleagues to build a rigorous series that highlights the most exciting advances in their research. In addition, I hope that the Series will inspire future research directions by identifying needs and synergies in the cross-cutting intellectual spaces we are defining as a community.”

To be eligible for the new Emerging Investigator Series you will need to have completed your PhD (or equivalent degree) within the last 10 years and have an independent career. If you are interested in contributing to the Series please contact the Editorial Office (espi-rsc@rsc.org) and provide the following information:

  • Your up-to-date CV (no longer than 2 pages), which should include a summary of education and career, a list of relevant publications, any notable awards, honours or professional activities in the field, and a website URL if relevant;
  • A synopsis of the article intended to be submitted to the Series, including a tentative submission date. This can be an original research or review article. Please visit the journal website for more details on article types.All articles published as part of the Emerging Investigator Series will be widely promoted and will be collated together on the Journal website. Please note that articles submitted to the journal for the Series will undergo the usual peer-review process.

We hope you enjoy reading the final Emerging Investigators issue in its current form; please contact the Editorial Office (espi-rsc@rsc.org) if you are interested to contribute to the Emerging Investigators Series.

Keep up to date with the latest papers added to this Series on our twitter feed (@EnvSciRSC) with the hashtags #EmergingInvestigators #ESPI

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Prediction and control models for algal blooms towards the safety of drinking water

a blog article by Luiza Cruz, PhD student at Imperial College London

An algal bloom is a rapid increase or accumulation in the population of algae in a water system. It can break the balance of an aquatic ecosystem and hence threaten the quality of drinking water. Therefore it’s really important that we are able to develop reliable models to predict algae growth and the effects this would have on access to safe drinking water. Having that in mind, Nie and co-workers suggest new prediction and control models for algal blooms in the urban section of the Jialing River, one of the tributaries of the reservoir and home of more than 8 million people.

Fig. 1 – Comparison between CAA and related parameters.

Enzyme activity has been shown to be useful as early indicator in algal blooms. Algae growth is usually accompanied by a high nutrient concentration, carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus being the most abundant elements. Whereas there are a number of studies relating N and P to algal blooms, studies with C are far outnumbered. The enzyme responsible for taking inorganic carbon sources into the algae cells is the carbonic anhydrase (CA). It catalyses the transformation of aqueous HCO3- into CO2, which is then transferred into the cells by diffusion to be transformed back into HCO3- that will later be used in the process of carbon fixation. Measuring the carbonic anhydrase activity (CAA) is cheaper, faster and more accurate than other techniques used to predict algal blooms. However, as such a complex process, it is necessary to link CAA to other micro parameters, which then should give a good starting point for predicting and controlling algal blooms.

This study, based on the urban section of the Jialing River, investigated the different form of carbons, water temperature, flow velocity (V), pH, CO2 concentration, CAA and algal cell density and the relations between these factors. The data was collected in four different sites alongside the river from December 2013 to October 2014.

After analysing all these parameters, Nie and colleagues found the following correlations between them, CAA and algal cell density (Fig. 1 and 2).

Fig. 2 – Comparison and fitting between algal cell density and related parameters.

Nie and colleagues could determine whether an algal bloom would occur based on the conditions of algal cell density. The threshold for algal blooms was set in 0.2 x 106 cells per L. Considering the positive correlation between the density of algae and CAA, the threshold for algal blooms was set in 0.650 EU per 106 cells and 0.864 EU per 106 cells. This means that when algal density is increasing and CAA is higher than 0.650 EU per 106 cells, an algal bloom will occur. On the other side, if CAA is lower than 0.864 EU per 106 cells and algal density is decreasing, the algal bloom will disappear.

Algal blooms are caused by multiple factors thus the combination of multiple parameters is necessary for a reliable and efficient model. To improve the method credibility, the following equation was identified as the monitoring model for the whole year:

cells = 23.278CAA – 42.666POC + 139.547pH – 1057.106

The identification of a control period is paramount to prevent an algal bloom. These researchershave also identified a model based on CAA that is able to predict algal cell density during the key control period, February to March:

cells = -45.895CAA + 776.103V – 29.523DOC + 14.219PIC + 35.060POC + 19.181 (2 weeks in advance)

cells = 69.200CAA + 203.213V + 4.184CO2 + 38.911DOC + 40.770POC – 189.567 (4 weeks in advance)

With these models, algal blooms can be predicted and controlled in the Jialing river.

To read the full article for free* click the link below:

Significance of different carbon forms and carbonic anhydrase activity in monitoring and prediction of algal blooms in the urban section of Jialing River, Chongqing, China
Yudong Nie, Zhi Zhang, Qian Shen, Wenjin Gao and Yingfan Li
Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts
, 2016,18, 600-612
DOI:
10.1039/C6EM00039H

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About the webwriter

Luiza Cruz is a PhD student in the Barrett Group at Imperial College London. Her work is towards the development of new medicines, using medicinal and natural products chemistry.

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*Access is free until 16/08/2016 through a registered publishing personal account.

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DGT: using hydrogels to determine antimony

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

A photo of a disassembled DGT device, showing piston and cap. The device in this picture has been fitted with activated carbon for assimilating gold and/or bisphenols.

Researchers at Griffith University in Australia have developed a new diffusive gradients in thin films (DGT) method to determine the concentration of antimony in polluted waters. This new technique also allows them to measure in situ the speciation of this metalloid in its different oxidation states. Speciation could be carried out before using solid phase extraction (SPE) cartridges, but these present some limitations when it comes to analysing some complex mixtures like seawater.

On the other hand, DGT is a sampling technique that can be used to measure a myriad of analytes in different mixtures. DGT uses a combination of hydrogel-based layers to extract and retain the analyte, that can be eluted and determined later on. This technique has been used to measure trace metals, metalloids, sulphides, phosphates and ammonium. In this case, to enhance the affinity of DGT membranes to antimony, researchers have used thiol-based silica gel layers.

In this paper, the authors present a combination of methods that, ultimately, allows them to calculate the speciation of Sb(III) and Sb(V). The first method is used to determine the total amount of antimony in solution. This method, based on a Metsorb-DGT technique, was originally described in the literature for measuring Sb(V). The team demonstrated that it was equally effective absorbing Sb(III), which allows to determine the total amount of this metalloid. The second method presents a high selectivity of Sb(III) over Sb(V) using a new binding layer featuring a 3-mercaptopropyl functionalized silica gel. Subtracting both measurements, researchers can easily determine amounts of the different oxidation states.

World production trend of antimony (US Geological Survey, Wikimedia).

Antimony is a dangerous and toxic pollutant listed as a priority by the US Environmental Protection Agency. The production of this metalloid, mostly used in flame retardants and lead-acid batteries has grown over the last century, inevitably leading to pollution of the environment. Developing new methods to quantify antimony is always interesting to understand its behaviour and the biogeochemical processes it follows. The DGT method presented in this paper can measure antimony in situ, avoiding common issues (mostly speciation changes) of off-site analyses. Moreover, it has been proven to have an appropriate capacity to measure antimony even in highly polluted areas. Finally, these new methods have been tested in a wide range of pH, ionic strengths, and also in artificial seawater, proving the superiority of DGT over SPE in the determination of antimony in complex samples.

To read the full article for free* click the link below:

In situ speciation of dissolved inorganic antimony in surface waters and sediment porewaters: development of a thiol-based diffusive gradients in thin films technique for Sb(III).
W. W. Bennett, M. Arsic, D. T. Welsh, and P. R. Teasdale.
Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts, 2016, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C6EM00189K

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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.

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*Access is free until 29/07/2016 through a registered publishing personal account.

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