Oct 2022, Volume 16 Issue 5

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    Xuesong Liu, Jianmin Wang, Yue-Wern Huang

    • A two-compartment model is able to quantify the effect of nano-TiO2 on Pb toxicity.

    • Nano-TiO2 reduces Pb tolerance level and increased the killing rate for C. dubia.

    • Thus, nano-TiO2 synergistically enhances Pb toxicity.

    • Algae reduce Pb transfer rate to the body tissue and the killing rate.

    Nano-TiO2 can remarkably increase lead (Pb) toxicity in aquatic organisms. However, the mechanism of this toxicity, additive or synergistic, is not well understood. To explore this mechanism, we inspected the role of nano-TiO2 in the toxicity of Pb on Ceriodaphnia dubia (C. dubia), a model water flea species typically used for ecotoxicity studies. The effect of algae, a diet for aquatic organisms, on the effect of this binary mixture was also investigated. A two-compartment toxicokinetic (TK)-toxicodynamic (TD) modeling approach was used to quantify the Pb toxicity under these complex conditions and to develop critical parameters for understanding the mechanism of toxicity. This two-compartment modeling approach adequately described the Pb accumulation in the gut and in the rest of the body tissue under different nano-TiO2 concentrations, with and without algae, and predicted the toxicity response of C. dubia. It indicated that increasing the nano-TiO2 concentration reduced the Pb tolerance level and concurrently increased the killing rate constant of C. dubia. Therefore, nano-TiO2 synergistically enhanced Pb toxicity. Algae remarkably reduced the toxicity of this binary mixture through reducing the Pb transfer rate to the body tissue and the killing rate, although it did not affect the Pb tolerance level. This two-compartment modeling approach is useful in understanding the role of nanoparticles when assessing the overall toxicity of nanoparticles and other toxic elements in the environment.

    Jinkai Xue, Seyed Hesam-Aldin Samaei, Jianfei Chen, Ariana Doucet, Kelvin Tsun Wai Ng

    • 23 available research articles on MPs in drinking water treatment are reviewed.

    • The effects of treatment conditions and MP properties on MP removal are discussed.

    • DWTPs with more steps generally are more effective in removing MPs.

    • Smaller MPs (e.g.,<10 μm) are more challenging in drinking water treatment.

    Microplastics (MPs) have been widely detected in drinking water sources and tap water, raising the concern of the effectiveness of drinking water treatment plants (DWTPs) in protecting the public from exposure to MPs through drinking water. We collected and analyzed the available research articles up to August 2021 on MPs in drinking water treatment (DWT), including laboratory- and full-scale studies. This article summarizes the major MP compositions (materials, sizes, shapes, and concentrations) in drinking water sources, and critically reviews the removal efficiency and impacts of MPs in various drinking water treatment processes. The discussed drinking water treatment processes include coagulation-flocculation (CF), membrane filtration, sand filtration, and granular activated carbon (GAC) filtration. Current DWT processes that are purposed for particle removal are generally effective in reducing MPs in water. Various influential factors to MP removal are discussed, such as coagulant type and dose, MP material, shape and size, and water quality. It is anticipated that better MP removal can be achieved by optimizing the treatment conditions. Moreover, the article framed the major challenges and future research directions on MPs and nanoplastics (NPs) in DWT.

    Feng Chen, Shihao Guo, Yihao Wang, Lulu Ma, Bing Li, Zhimin Song, Lei Huang, Wen Zhang

    • A high-efficiency N-doped porous carbon adsorbent for Cr(VI) was synthesized.

    • The maximum adsorption capacity of Cr(VI) reached up to 285.71 mg/g at 318K.

    • The potential mechanism for Cr(VI) adsorption by NHPC was put forward.

    • DFT analyzed the adsorption energy and interaction between NHPC and Cr(VI).

    To develop highly effective adsorbents for chromium removal, a nitrogen-doped biomass-derived carbon (NHPC) was synthesized via direct carbonation of loofah sponge followed by alkali activation and doping modification. NHPC possessed a hierarchical micro-/mesoporous lamellar structure with nitrogen-containing functional groups (1.33 at%), specific surface area (1792.47 m2/g), and pore volume (1.18 cm3/g). NHPC exhibited a higher Cr(VI) adsorption affinity than the HPC (without nitrogen doping) or the pristine loofah sponge carbon (LSC) did. The influence of process parameters, including pH, dosage, time, temperature, and Cr(VI) concentration, on Cr(VI) adsorption by NHPC were evaluated. The Cr(VI) adsorption kinetics matched with the pseudo-second-order model (R2≥0.9983). The Cr(VI) adsorption isotherm was fitted with the Langmuir isotherm model, which indicated the maximum Cr(VI) adsorption capacities: 227.27, 238.10, and 285.71 mg/g at 298K, 308K, and 318K, respectively. The model analysis also indicated that adsorption of Cr(VI) on NHPC was a spontaneous, endothermal, and entropy-increasing process. The Cr(VI) adsorption process potentially involved mixed reductive and adsorbed mechanism. Furthermore, computational chemistry calculations revealed that the adsorption energy between NHPC and Cr(VI) (−0.84 eV) was lower than that of HPC (−0.51 eV), suggesting that nitrogen doping could greatly enhance the interaction between NHPC and Cr(VI).

    Jiuli Yang, Mingyang Liu, Qu Cheng, Lingyue Yang, Xiaohui Sun, Haidong Kan, Yang Liu, Michelle L. Bell, Rohini Dasan, Huiwang Gao, Xiaohong Yao, Yang Gao

    • The impact of air pollution on AMI/COPD hospital admissions were examined.

    • Significant connection was found between air pollutants and AMI/COPD in Qingdao.

    • Nonlinearity exists between air pollution and AMI/COPD hospital admissions.

    Air pollution has been widely associated with adverse effects on the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. We investigated the relationship between acute myocardial infarction (AMI), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and air pollution exposure in the coastal city of Qingdao, China. Air pollution in this region is characterized by inland and oceanic transportation sources in addition to local emission. We examined the influence of PM2.5, PM10, NO2, SO2, CO and O3 concentrations on hospital admissions for AMI and COPD from October 1, 2014, to September 30, 2018, in Qingdao using a Poisson generalized additive model (GAM). We found that PM2.5, PM10, NO2, SO2 and CO exhibited a significant short-term (lag 1 day) association with AMI in the single-pollutant model among older adults (>65 years old) and females, especially during the cold season (October to March). In contrast, only NO2 and SO2 had clear cumulative lag associations with COPD admission for females and those over 65 years old at lag 01 and lag 03, respectively. In the two-pollutant model, the exposure-response relationship fitted by the two-pollutant model did not change significantly. Our findings indicated that there is an inflection point between the concentration of certain air pollutants and the hospital admissions of AMI and COPD even under the linear assumption, indicative of the benefits of reducing air pollution vary with pollution levels. This study has important implications for the development of policy for air pollution control in Qingdao and the public health benefits of reducing air pollution levels.

    Yang Yang, Qi Zhang, Baiyang Chen, Liangchen Long, Guan Zhang

    • UV/VUV/I induces substantial H2O2 and IO3 formation, but UV/I does not.

    • Increasing DO level in water enhances H2O2 and iodate productions.

    • Increasing pH decreases H2O2 and iodate formation and also photo-oxidation.

    • The redox potentials of UV/VUV/I and UV/VUV changes with pH changes.

    • The treatability of the UV/VUV/I process was stronger than UV/VUV at pH 11.0.

    Recently, a photochemical process induced by ultraviolet (UV), vacuum UV (VUV), and iodide (I) has gained attention for its robust potential for contaminant degradation. However, the mechanisms behind this process remain unclear because both oxidizing and reducing reactants are likely generated. To better understand this process, this study examined the evolutions of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and iodine species (i.e., iodide, iodate, and triiodide) during the UV/VUV/I process under varying pH and dissolved oxygen (DO) conditions. Results show that increasing DO in water enhanced H2O2 and iodate production, suggesting that high DO favors the formation of oxidizing species. In contrast, increasing pH (from 6.0 to 11.0) resulted in lower H2O2 and iodate formation, indicating that there was a decrease of oxidative capacity for the UV/VUV/I process. In addition, difluoroacetic acid (DFAA) was used as an exemplar contaminant to verify above observations. Although its degradation kinetics did not follow a constant trend as pH increases, the relative importance of mineralization appeared declining, suggesting that there was a redox transition from an oxidizing environment to a reducing environment as pH rises. The treatability of the UV/VUV/I process was stronger than UV/VUV under pH of 11.0, while UV/VUV process presented a better performance at pH lower than 11.0.