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JournalISSN: 2050-7887

Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts

About: Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts is an academic journal. The journal publishes majorly in the area(s): Wastewater & Dissolved organic carbon. It has an ISSN identifier of 2050-7887. Over the lifetime, 1618 publication(s) have been published receiving 30229 citation(s). more


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1039/C5EM00207A
Abstract: Each year vast amounts of plastic are produced worldwide. When released to the environment, plastics accumulate, and plastic debris in the world's oceans is of particular environmental concern. More than 60% of all floating debris in the oceans is plastic and amounts are increasing each year. Plastic polymers in the marine environment are exposed to sunlight, oxidants and physical stress, and over time they weather and degrade. The degradation processes and products must be understood to detect and evaluate potential environmental hazards. Some attention has been drawn to additives and persistent organic pollutants that sorb to the plastic surface, but so far the chemicals generated by degradation of the plastic polymers themselves have not been well studied from an environmental perspective. In this paper we review available information about the degradation pathways and chemicals that are formed by degradation of the six plastic types that are most widely used in Europe. We extrapolate that information to likely pathways and possible degradation products under environmental conditions found on the oceans' surface. The potential degradation pathways and products depend on the polymer type. UV-radiation and oxygen are the most important factors that initiate degradation of polymers with a carbon-carbon backbone, leading to chain scission. Smaller polymer fragments formed by chain scission are more susceptible to biodegradation and therefore abiotic degradation is expected to precede biodegradation. When heteroatoms are present in the main chain of a polymer, degradation proceeds by photo-oxidation, hydrolysis, and biodegradation. Degradation of plastic polymers can lead to low molecular weight polymer fragments, like monomers and oligomers, and formation of new end groups, especially carboxylic acids. more

Topics: Polymer degradation (53%)

580 Citations

Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1039/C3EM00679D
Brian P. Chaplin1Institutions (1)
Abstract: Electrochemical advanced oxidation processes (EAOPs) have emerged as novel water treatment technologies for the elimination of a broad-range of organic contaminants. Considerable validation of this technology has been performed at both the bench-scale and pilot-scale, which has been facilitated by the development of stable electrode materials that efficiently generate high yields of hydroxyl radicals (OH˙) (e.g., boron-doped diamond (BDD), doped-SnO2, PbO2, and substoichiometic- and doped-TiO2). Although a promising new technology, the mechanisms involved in the oxidation of organic compounds during EAOPs and the corresponding environmental impacts of their use have not been fully addressed. In order to unify the state of knowledge, identify research gaps, and stimulate new research in these areas, this review critically analyses published research pertaining to EAOPs. Specific topics covered in this review include (1) EAOP electrode types, (2) oxidation pathways of select classes of contaminants, (3) rate limitations in applied settings, and (4) long-term sustainability. Key challenges facing EAOP technologies are related to toxic byproduct formation (e.g., ClO4− and halogenated organic compounds) and low electro-active surface areas. These challenges must be addressed in future research in order for EAOPs to realize their full potential for water treatment. more

464 Citations

Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1039/C3EM00214D
Elke Fries1, Jens H. Dekiff1, Jana Willmeyer1, Marie Theres Nuelle1  +2 moreInstitutions (2)
Abstract: Any assessment of plastic contamination in the marine environment requires knowledge of the polymer type and the additive content of microplastics. Sequential pyrolysis-gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (Pyr-GC/MS) was applied to simultaneously identify polymer types of microplastic particles and associated organic plastic additives (OPAs). In addition, a scanning electron microscope equipped with an energy-dispersive X-ray microanalyser was used to identify the inorganic plastic additives (IPAs) contained in these particles. A total of ten particles, which were optically identified as potentially being plastics, were extracted from two sediment samples collected from Norderney, a North Sea island, by density separation in sodium chloride. The weights of these blue, white and transparent fragments varied between 10 and 350 μg. Polymer types were identified by comparing the resulting pyrograms with those obtained from the pyrolysis of selected standard polymers. The particles consisted of polyethylene (PE), polypropylene, polystyrene, polyamide, chlorinated PE and chlorosulfonated PE. The polymers contained diethylhexyl phthalate, dibutyl phthalate, diethyl phthalate, diisobutyl phthalate, dimethyl phthalate, benzaldehyde and 2,4-di-tert-butylphenol. Sequential Py-GC/MS was found to be an appropriate tool for identifying marine microplastics for polymer types and OPAs. The IPAs identified were titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO2-NPs), barium, sulphur and zinc. When polymer–TiO2 composites are degraded in the marine environment, TiO2-NPs are probably released. Thus, marine microplastics may act as a TiO2-NP source, which has not yet been considered. more

Topics: Diethyl phthalate (56%), Dimethyl phthalate (55%), Microplastics (54%) more

395 Citations

Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1039/C2EM30595J
Sujuan Yu1, Yongguang Yin1, Jingfu Liu1Institutions (1)
Abstract: Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are well known for their excellent antibacterial ability and superior physical properties, and are widely used in a growing number of applications ranging from home disinfectants and medical devices to water purificants. However, with the accelerating production and introduction of AgNPs into commercial products, there is likelihood of release into the environment, which raises health and environmental concerns. This article provides a critical review of the state-of-knowledge about AgNPs, involving the history, analysis, source, fate and transport, and potential risks of AgNPs. Although great efforts have been made in each of these aspects, there are still many questions to be answered to reach a comprehensive understanding of the positive and negative effects of AgNPs. In order to fully investigate the fate and transport of AgNPs in the environment, appropriate methods for the preconcentration, separation and speciation of AgNPs should be developed, and analytical tools for the characterization and detection of AgNPs in complicated environmental samples are also urgently needed. To elucidate the environmental transformation of AgNPs, the behavior of AgNPs should be thoroughly monitored in complex environmental relevant conditions. Furthermore, additional in vivo toxicity studies should be carried out to understand the exact toxicity mechanism of AgNPs, and to predict the health effects to humans. more

302 Citations

Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1039/C2EM30691C
Abstract: Nanoscale zero-valent iron (nZVI) is one of the most extensively applied nanomaterials for groundwater and hazardous waste treatment. In the past fifteen years, progress made in several key areas has deepened our understanding of the merits and uncertainties of nZVI-based remediation applications. These areas include the materials chemistry of nZVI in its simple and modified forms, the nZVI reactivity with a wide spectrum of contaminants in addition to the well-documented chlorinated solvents, methods to enhance the colloidal stability and transport properties of nZVI in porous media, and the effects of nZVI amendment on the biogeochemical environment. This review aims to provide an up-to-date account of advancement in these areas as well as insights gained through field experience. more

291 Citations

No. of papers from the Journal in previous years

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Journal's top 5 most impactful authors

Frank Wania

15 papers, 178 citations

Martin Scheringer

10 papers, 331 citations

Kristopher McNeill

9 papers, 401 citations

Stuart Harrad

6 papers, 149 citations

Yngvar Thomassen

6 papers, 54 citations

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