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Special Issue "Heavy Metals and Potentially Toxic Elements (PTEs) in Water"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2017

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Andrew Hursthouse

1. School of Science and Sport, University of the West of Scotland, UK
2. High End Expert Scholar, Hunan Provincial Key Laboratory of Shale Gas Resource Utilization, Hunan University of Science and Technology, Xiangtan 411201, China
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +441418483213
Interests: environmental geochemistry; isotopes; risk assessment; soil sediment pollution; aquatic contamination

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The term “Heavy Metal” relates to metallic chemical elements of relatively high density and toxicity at low concentrations. The presence of elements, such as mercury, cadmium, arsenic chromium thallium, and lead in water, can lead to direct toxicity or enter the food chain and bioaccumulate. Other trace elements are essential for metabolic function but become toxic at higher concentrations. A broader definition of potentially toxic elements (PTEs) recognises that exposure leads to a range of doses of numerous elements. They can enter the water system through direct waste release from industrial or consumer discharges, deposition from the atmosphere near emission sources, the weathering of rocks and mineral constituents, naturally or enhanced through environmental disturbance such as from mining or acid rain. Their migration within the aqueous environment is controlled by many variables driven by the chemical reactivity of the element and detailed environmental conditions, such as composition of the water, and isolation from surface environments. This Special Issue will provide a forum for publications on topics related advancing our understanding of the release and transport of elements, chemical species and compounds where the aquatic system is the dominant environmental medium. This may relate to both field studies and laboratory experiments, new tools and techniques and examples of studies of leaching and transport, modeling of chemical species reactivity, bioaccumulation and effects on wider ecosystems and human health. The reports should be scientifically rigorous and hypothesis driven, providing demonstrable contributions to new knowledge and fall within the wider scope and aims of the journal.

Prof. Dr. Andrew Hursthouse
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Water is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • aqueous geochemistry;

  • metal speciation;

  • pollution discharge and transport;

  • geochemical modelling;

  • waste; mining;

  • bioaccumulation;

  • exposure;

  • deposition;

  • solubility;

  • complexation

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessFeature PaperCommunication Wheat Straw as a Bio-Sorbent for Arsenate, Chromate, Fluoride, and Nickel
Water 2017, 9(9), 690; doi:10.3390/w9090690
Received: 2 July 2017 / Revised: 5 September 2017 / Accepted: 7 September 2017 / Published: 9 September 2017
PDF Full-text (627 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Batch-type experiments were used to study As(V), Cr(VI), F, and Ni2+ sorption/desorption on wheat straw. For the lowest concentration added (0.5 mmol·L−1), the sorption sequence was F > Ni2+ > Cr(VI) >> As(V) (93%, 61%, 29%,
[...] Read more.
Batch-type experiments were used to study As(V), Cr(VI), F, and Ni2+ sorption/desorption on wheat straw. For the lowest concentration added (0.5 mmol·L−1), the sorption sequence was F > Ni2+ > Cr(VI) >> As(V) (93%, 61%, 29%, 0.3%), but changed to Ni2+ > F > Cr(VI) >> As(V) when 3.0 and 6.0 mmol·L−1 were added (with 65%, 54%, 25%, 0%, and 68%, 52%, 27%, 0% sorption, respectively). Overall, As(V) showed the lowest sorption, whereas it was 25–37% for Cr(VI), 61–68% for Ni2+, and 52–93% for F. For As(V), pH in the equilibrium solution was always above the pH of the point of zero charge (pHPZC) for wheat straw, decreasing sorption efficiency. For Cr(VI), pH was below pHPZC, but not enough to reach high sorption. For F, pH in the equilibrium was above pHPZC, which could reduce sorption. For Ni2+, pH in the equilibrium was always below pHPZC, which made sorption difficult. The satisfactory fitting of Cr(VI), F, and Ni2+ data to the Freundlich model suggests multilayer-type adsorption. Desorption was high for F, whereas Ni2+ showed the lowest desorption. This research could be especially relevant when focusing on the use of wheat straw as a bio-sorbent, and in cases where straw mulching is used. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heavy Metals and Potentially Toxic Elements (PTEs) in Water)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Aspects of Hexavalent Chromium Pollution of Thebes Plain Aquifer, Boeotia, Greece
Water 2017, 9(8), 611; doi:10.3390/w9080611
Received: 12 June 2017 / Revised: 4 August 2017 / Accepted: 8 August 2017 / Published: 16 August 2017
PDF Full-text (5650 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The present work focuses on the environmental problem of Thebes Plain—since considerable amounts of Cr (VI) have been reported—and tries to find out the reasons of such a phenomenon and the sources of the pollution. For this issue, a complete chemical analysis of
[...] Read more.
The present work focuses on the environmental problem of Thebes Plain—since considerable amounts of Cr (VI) have been reported—and tries to find out the reasons of such a phenomenon and the sources of the pollution. For this issue, a complete chemical analysis of 20 samples from the study area was conducted as well as an isotopic analysis of Cr and Sr isotopes. Hexavalent chromium pollution can be triggered by human pollutant activity or specific geological environments. Stable Cr isotopic analysis gave δ53Cr positive values in several samples which supports the second hypothesis, but the limitations of that theory do not allow safe conclusions in all cases. Nitrates and Sr ratios suggest fertilizer contamination and the presence of SiO2-leaching of silicate rocks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heavy Metals and Potentially Toxic Elements (PTEs) in Water)
Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessFeature PaperReview The Potential for the Treatment of Antimony-Containing Wastewater by Iron-Based Adsorbents
Water 2017, 9(10), 794; doi:10.3390/w9100794
Received: 1 September 2017 / Revised: 11 October 2017 / Accepted: 12 October 2017 / Published: 16 October 2017
PDF Full-text (274 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Antimony (Sb) and its compounds are considered as global priority pollutants. Elevated concentrations of antimony in natural and industrial process wastewater are of global concern, particularly given interest in the potential toxicity and harm to the environment from aquatic exposure. Iron-based materials for
[...] Read more.
Antimony (Sb) and its compounds are considered as global priority pollutants. Elevated concentrations of antimony in natural and industrial process wastewater are of global concern, particularly given interest in the potential toxicity and harm to the environment from aquatic exposure. Iron-based materials for treatment by adsorption are widely regarded to have potential merit for the removal of trace contaminants from water and especially in the search for efficient and low-cost techniques. In this paper, we review the application of iron-based materials in the sorption treatment of antimony contaminated water. The interaction of Sb is discussed in relation to adsorption performance, influencing factors, mechanism, modelling of adsorption (isotherm, kinetic and thermodynamic models), advantages, drawbacks and the recent achievements in the field. Although iron-based adsorbents show promise, the following three aspects are in need of further study. Firstly, a select number of iron based binary metal oxide adsorbents should be further explored as they show superior performance compared to other systems. Secondly, the possibility of redox reactions and conversion between Sb(III) and Sb(V) during the adsorption process is unclear and requires further investigation. Thirdly, in order to achieve optimized control of preferential adsorption sites and functional groups, the mechanism of antimony removal has to be qualitatively and quantitatively resolved by combining the advantages of advanced characterization techniques such as Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy(FTIR), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), Atomic force microscope(AFM), X-ray absorption near edge structure(XANES), and other spectroscopic methods. We provide details on the achievements and limitations of each of these stages and point to the need for further research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heavy Metals and Potentially Toxic Elements (PTEs) in Water)

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Integrated,community‐based assessment of exposure to contaminants in shallow aquifer systems: a pilot study in Holliston, Massachusetts

B. Claus Henn1, Y. Ogneva-Himmelberger2, A. Denehy3, B. Basu2, B. Caccavale2, S. Covino2, R. Hanumantha2, K. Longo2, A. Maiorano2, G. Rigutto2, K. Shields2, T. Downs2

1  Department of Environmental Health, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA

2 Department of International Development, Community, and Environment, Clark University, Worcester, MA

Abstract: Half of U.S. residential drinking water comes from aquifers, and shallow ones (<100 feet) are important sources. Shallow sand--‐gravel aquifers are especially vulnerable to anthropogenic and natural contaminants. We present the case of Holliston, a Boston, MA suburb in which metals and solvents have been reported in aquifer drinking water. Community concerns focus on water discolored by high levels of manganese (Mn), despite monitoring data indicating compliance. Epidemiological studies suggest the potential for adverse health effects in children exposed to drinking water Mn at levels near the current aesthetic level set by law. We designed an integrated, community--‐based approach to assess exposure: capture zones for wells were mapped, linking waste sites/contaminants with wells; and service areas for each well were estimated, allowing homes to be pegged to wells and to contaminants released within capture zones. Site profiles identified 15 contaminants of interest, with two waste sites situated in one capture zone. A plan for monitoring Mn at faucets and estimating past exposure using deciduous teeth as a biomarker is under development. This study demonstrates the vulnerability of shallow aquifer systems, highlights the need to improve assessments of exposure and health risks (especially for young children), and argues for more robust regulation and monitoring.

Keywords: shallow aquifers, manganese (Mn), integrated exposure science

 

Cadmium and lead adsorption/desorption on non-amended and byproduct-amended soil samples and pyritic material

Vanesa Santás-Miguel 2, Juan Carlos Nóvoa-Muñoz 2, Manuel Arias-Estévez 2, María J. Fernández-Sanjurjo 1, Esperanza Álvarez-Rodríguez 1 and Avelino Núñez-Delgado 1,*

1Department of Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry, Engineering Polytechnic School, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Lugo 27002, Spain

2Department of Plant Biology and Soil Science, Faculty of Sciences, Campus Ourense, Universidade de Vigo, 32004 Ourense, Spain

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed; E-Mail: avelino.nunez@usc.es; Tel: +34-982-823-140; Fax: +34-982-823-001.

Abstract: In this work, batch-type experiments were used to study cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb) adsorption and desorption on forest soil, vineyard soil and pyritic material samples, as well as on the by-products mussel shell, oak ash, pine bark and hemp waste, and on forest soil, vineyard soil and pyritic material samples amended individually with 48 t ha-1 of mussel shell, oak ash, and hemp waste. As main results, the forest soil showed higher Cd and Pb retention (higher adsorption and lower desorption) than the vineyard soil and the pyritic material. Regarding the by-products studied, adsorption was in the order: oak ash > mussel shell > hemp waste > pine bark, with desorption following an inverse sequence. pH was the parameter that most influenced Cd and Pb adsorption. Cd and Pb adsorption curves showed better fitting to the Freundlich than to the Langmuir model, indicating dominance of multilayer adsorption. Oak ash and mussel shell were the amendments causing higher increase in Cd and Pb adsorption on both soils and the pyritic material (close to 100% with the oak ash amendment), as well as more pronounced decrease in desorption. These results could be used to favor an effective management of the by-products studied, which could retain Cd and Pb in soils and degraded areas, thus preventing water pollution.

Keywords: By-products; Cd pollution; Pb pollution; retention; release

 

Considering a threshold energy for microbially mediated redox reactions in reactive transport modeling of As release and attenuation

Marco Rotiroti 1, Rasmus Jakobsen 2, Letizia Fumagalli 1 and Tullia Bonomi 1

1 Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Milano-Bicocca, Milan, Italy.

2 Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Abstract:

The reductive dissolution of Fe-oxide driven by organic matter oxidation is the primary mechanism accepted for As mobilization in several alluvial aquifers. These processes are often mediated by microorganisms that require a minimum Gibbs energy available to conduct the reaction in order to sustain their life functions. Using this threshold energy in reactive transport modeling is currently rarely used. This work presents a reactive transport modeling of As mobilization by reductive dissolution of Fe-oxide and subsequent immobilization by co-precipitation in iron sulfides considering a threshold energy for the following terminal electron accepting processes: (a) Fe-oxide reduction, (b) sulfate reduction and (c) methanogenesis. The model is then extended by implementing a threshold energy on both reaction directions for the redox reaction pair Fe(III) reduction/Fe(II) oxidation. The optimal threshold energy fitted in 3.76, 4.50 and 1.60 kJ/mol e- for Fe-oxide reduction, sulfate reduction and methanogenesis, respectively. That these threshold energy values are quite close and quite small indicates that also the simple partial equilibrium approach to modeling anaerobic redox processes is viable. It appears that the use of models implementing gaps are more relevant in 2D or 3D simulations.

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