Modeling in Environmental Chemistry: Themed Issue

Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts (ESPI) seeks your high-impact research for our upcoming Themed Issue on Modeling in Environmental Chemistry

Edited by ESPI Associate Editor Matthew MacLeod (Stockholm University) and Guest Editors Todd Gouin (TG Environmental Research) and Tom McKone (University of California), this issue will showcase original research, perspectives, and reviews, relating to the use of modeling strategies to understand environmental systems. The scope of this issue is broad, and includes but is not limited to the following topics:

  • Global modeling of pollutants
  • Environmental fate modeling
  • Bioaccumulation modeling
  • Exposure assessment
  • Modeling in regulatory risk assessments
  • Toxicokinetic/toxicodynamic modelling

The submission window for this Themed Issue closes at the end of October 2017 – if you would like to submit to this Themed Issue, please contact the ESPI Editorial Office at espi-rsc@rsc.org to register your interest.

Guest Editors: Left to Right – Matthew MacLeod (Stockholm University) Todd Gouin (TG Environmental Research) and Tom McKone (University of California)

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Upcoming events with the Aerosol Society

On the 8th-9th November 2017 the Aerosol Society will be holding two events at the University of Birmingham.

 

A course on the “Fundamentals of Aerosol Science 2017” will be held on the 8th November – find out more here.

This established and highly recommended course provides an opportunity for both new and existing researchers to explore and understand aerosol science and improve or refresh their knowledge of some of the fundamental concepts.

Delegates are also able to choose to attend an interactive exhibitor demonstration and training workshop where our industry exhibitors will be showcasing their aerosol related instruments and technology.

 

The Annual Aerosol Science Conference will be held on the following day. This year’s theme is “Pushing the Limits in Aerosol Measurements and Simulations“.

Now celebrating its 31st year, the conference provides a forum for like-minded aerosol scientists from both academia and industry to network & share knowledge.

Aerosol processes are extremely complex, occurring over wide ranges in timescale and lengthscale, and extending to dense sprays and clouds. Refined measurement and simulation techniques are essential to adequately capture the microphysical detail while describing collective large scale effects and identifying new phenomena.

A focus of this meeting will be to explore the challenges faced in aerosol characterisation and simulation and how these challenges are being addressed.

Deadline for abstracts – 6th October 2017 

 

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IEEC 2017

We are delighted to introduce the 2017 International Environmental Engineering Conference & Annual Meeting of the Korean Society of Environmental Engineers (IEEC 2017), held on November 15 – 17, 2017 in Jeju, Korea.

The theme for this year’s meeting will be “Innovative Technologies and Climate Change Adaptation“. In recent years, researchers in environmental science and engineering associated with water, wastewater, air and soil/groundwater are more active than ever. In light of recent concerns about climate change and global environmental issues, resilient solutions for sustainable growth are urgently needed. Therefore, the theme of IEEC 2017 is to disseminate and share Innovative Technologies in environmental science and engineering with respect to climate change adaptation together with scientists, engineers, and policy makers around the world.

Important dates:

Abstract submission due: July 17, 2017
Early registration due: August 21, 2017

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Computer plastics recycled into toys

Written for Chemistry World by Harriet Brewerton

Brominated flame retardants found in toys and cup lids

Researchers in Europe have narrowed the search for bad recycling practices that are to blame for some toys and food packaging inadvertently containing banned pollutants.

Manufacturers often incorporate chemicals designed to limit household fires, such as brominated flame retardants, in soft furnishings and electronic devices. However, concerns about brominated flame retardants’, particularly polybrominated diphenyl ethers’, impact on the environment and human health means their use is heavily restricted.

infant playing with toy cars

Source: Georgijevic/iStock /Getty Images Plus

Previous studies have already indicated that brominated compounds unintentionally exist in toys and food packaging. The EU recently updated its guidance on recycling and disposal of materials containing polybrominated diphenyl ethers to combat this contamination.

Chromatography combined with mass spectrometry is the standard method to analyse plastics for brominated flame retardants, but this is expensive and time consuming. Now, Stuart Harrad, at the University of Birmingham, and colleagues have shown they can simplify the process by using a handheld x-ray fluorescence spectrometer.

 

Read the full article in Chemistry World.


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Congratulations to the Poster Awards winners at the 26th Japan Society for Environmental Chemistry Annual meeting

The 26th Japan Society for Environmental Chemistry Annual meeting was held in Shizuoka, Japan from 7 – 9th June 2017. This year’s event was attended by 700 people, with 156 oral presentations and 180 poster presentations.

Since 1990, the JEC has been working for the sound management of environmental chemicals through development of analytical techniques and waste treatment, understanding geochemical cycling of elements and molecules, and risk assessment. In order to facilitate communication between researchers and stakeholders in different countries, the JEC has held international conferences for exchanging knowledge related to environmental pollution by micro-pollutants by cooperating with societies in foreign countries.

Presentation of the Poster Awards. From left: Minori Furukawa, Kenichi Kitahara, Prof. Masahiro Sakata (conference chair, University of Shizuoka), Hashimoto, Kohki Takaguchi, Hiromitsu Urakami (RSC Manager for Japan)

The Environmental Science journals were proud to sponsor four Poster Awards at the meeting. We would like to congratulate the following winners:

 

Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts Poster Award

Kohki Takaguchi

”Effects of PCB-exposure on thyroid hormone homeostasis of dogs and cats”

 

Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts Poster Award

Minori Furukawa

“Alternative Flame Retardants in House Dust Collected from Residential Houses and Kindergartens”

 

Environmental Science: Nano Poster Award

Fumi Hashimoto

“A Structural Elucidation Method of Constitutional Isomer by Collision Cross Section Analysis”

 

Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology Poster Award

Kenichi Kitahara

“Plastics in Commercial Products, Sewage Sludge and Environmental Samples Collected from Coastal and Deep-Sea Waters: Possible Transfer of Plastics from Terrestrial to Marine Environments”

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23rd International Symposium on Environmental Biogeochemistry

23rd International Symposium on Environmental Biogeochemistry (ISEB23), Palm Cove, Australia on 25-29th September 2017, hosted by the International Society for Environmental Biogeochemistry.

The Symposium brings together environmental scientists with a diverse range of interests in an intimate setting which encourages close interactions and exchange of information. A major attraction of the ISEB Symposia are their broad, cross-disciplinary coverage and single theme format. Attendance is typically 150 people.

The theme of this years symposium is “From cells to Earth scale processes: traversing the breadth of temporal and spatial scales in biogeochemistry” and includes sessions on:

  • Biogeochemistry of mined/industrial environments and impacts of resource extraction
  • Frontier techniques in environmental biogeochemistry and microbiology (e.g. –omics)
  • Aquatic and terrestrial microbiology including studies on extreme environments
  • Impacts of pollutants on ecosystems and their remediation
  • Biological interactions and transformations of metallic and organic contaminants in the environment
  • Soil, water and landscape processes (including atmospheric fluxes/interactions)
  • Microbe-mineral-organic matter interactions
  • Marine and coastal biogeochemistry (special focus on tropical coastal systems e.g. reefs)
  • Biogeochemical cycling of major (C, N, P, S) and minor elements – methods, applications, fundamental and applied studies

Key Dates:

Abstract deadline: 31st May 2017

Early Bird Registration: 28th July 2017

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DOXIN 2017

International Symposium on Halogenated Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) – DIOXIN 2017 will be held on 20-25th August in Vancouver, Canada at the Sheraton Wall Centre.

The year 2017 marks the 37th anniversary of the Dioxin Symposia. In 1980, Otto Hutzinger organized the first symposium in Rome, Italy. Since then, annual symposia (except 1983) have been held in cities around the world. Over the past 37 years, there have been major advances in the analytical determination, and the understanding of the transport, fate and toxic behavior of these compounds. The year 2017 also marks the 150th anniversary of Canada. We will have numerous activities and celebrations showcasing Vancouver and Canada

This years conference will have over 60 sessions covering all expects of POPs and will include numerous special sessions, including new and emerging persistent organic pollutants (POPs) such as halogenated flame retardants and perflourinted chemicals.  Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts Advisory Board member, Stuart Harrad, will be presenting at the event.

Key Dates:

Abstract Deadline: 21st April 2017

Early Bird Registration: 30th June 2017

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Call for Input: Grand Challenges and Opportunities for Environmental Engineering and Science for the 21st Century

To help guide the next generation of environmental engineers and scientists, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has appointed a committee of experts to conduct a study on Grand Challenges and Opportunities in Environmental Engineering and Science for the 21st Century.

Environmental challenges continue to multiply as the global population expands and as demands for clean water, food, and energy rise, all in the context of global climate change.  With expertise in a wide range of fields and with input from the scientific community, the committee will identify the biggest environmental challenges to be solved over the next several decades and comment on how education and training might be better aligned to address those challenges.

The committee slate is provisional, pending a 20-day comment period ending on March 29, 2017 and final approval.

 

                                                    Call for Input: What are the biggest challenges?

The committee invites the scientific community and the public to submit ideas about ambitious but achievable goals that harness science, technology, and innovation from environmental engineering and science to solve important national or global problems.  Submit your ideas here.

 

                                      First Public Meeting on May 4: Register Today!

The first public meeting will be held in Washington, DC and also on the web on Thursday, May 4, 2017 (agenda TBA).  Attendees will hear from committee chair Domenico Grasso of the University of Delaware and from the National Science Foundation and other sponsors about the goals of this effort.  The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) will also share insights into its highly successful Grand Challenges for Engineering study and campaign, upon which this new study is modeled. Register to attend today!

If you are interested in following the activities of this study, sign up for email updates on the study website and discuss the study on Twitter using #GrandChallenges.

 

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Unexpected levels of monoterpenes found in UK homes

Written for Chemistry World by Rebecca Campbell

Overusing household cleaners may reduce indoor air quality

Domestic indoor air

Source: (c) iStock

The air in some UK homes contains potentially harmful levels of volatile compounds due to residents overusing household chemicals without proper ventilation, new research shows.

Air quality research tends to focus on the outdoors. However, with homes becoming more insulated and energy efficient, and with people spending more time indoors, it’s worthwhile studying this air too.

Alastair Lewis’ team at the University of York and colleagues at King’s College London have measured the concentration of gaseous organic compounds in 25 UK homes to see how occupants’ activity can affect indoor air quality.

 

Read the full article in Chemistry World.


Unexpectedly high concentrations of monoterpenes in a study of UK homes
Chunting Michelle Wang, Benjamin Barratt, Nicola Carslaw, Artemis Doutsi, Rachel E. Dunmore, Martyn W. Ward and Alastair C. Lewis
Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts, 2017
DOI: 10.1039/C6EM00569A
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Emerging Investigators Series: Yu (Frank) Yang

 

Yu (Frank) Yang is an Assistant Professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, working in the Civil and Engineering Department. Prior to this, he completed both his undergraduate studies and PhD at Peking University, China. His current research interests include: the impact of global climate change on the fate of critical pollutants; the response of organic matter geochemistry to the temperature increases; and the colloid-facilitated reactive transport of insoluble radionuclides.

Read his Emerging Investigators article “Dual role of organic matter in the anaerobic degradation of triclosan” and find ourmore about Frank and his research in the interview below:

Are you within 10 years of receiving your PhD? Do you have an independent research career? Then you could be eligible for our Emerging Investigator Series! find out more at rsc.li/emerging-espi

 

Your recent Emerging Investigator Series paper focuses on the role of organic matter in the anaerobic degradation of triclosan. How has your research evolved from your first article to this most recent article?

My first research paper is about the human exposure to legacy pesticides (e.g. DDT) and their health risk. My Ph.D. studies and postdoctoral projects are mainly focused on the organic matter-mediated fate and transport of organic and inorganic pollutants. In this paper, we have found an interesting novel dual role of organic matter in the degradation of an emerging organohalide compound.

What aspect of your work are you most excited about at the moment?

In my research group, we are mainly working on the important environmental redox reactions, focusing on the degradation of organohalides, microbial assimilation and plant uptake of carbon nanomaterials, and stability of soil organic carbon. We are currently using lots of state-of-the-art technologies to study the transformation of organohalides and natural organic carbon, which is really exciting to us.

In your opinion, what is the biggest impact to the environment presented by antimicrobial agents?

Release of antimicrobial agents can induce the development of antimicrobial resistance, which is one of the biggest environmental problems.

What do you find most challenging about your research?

I would like to fully understand the degradation pathways of emerging organohalides and work out cost-effective removal strategies. Both are challenging tasks.

In which upcoming conferences or events may our readers meet you?

My group and I will present our work (6 talks and 3 posters) at American Chemical Society 2017 Spring Meeting (April 2-6, 2017, San Francisco). I am also chairing two symposia with my colleagues, with one for redox reactions and the other for nanomaterials.

How do you spend your spare time?

When I have spare time, I enjoy watching movies, playing chess, and spending time with my family.

Which profession would you choose if you were not a scientist?

Without science, probably I would become a high-school teacher.

Can you share one piece of career-related advice or wisdom with other early career scientists?

Have a good balance and be persistent. Balance between the crazy ideas and relatively “low-risk” projects, balance between pursuing grants and publishing papers, balance between research and teaching, and many others

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