Provision of clean water is one of the most important issues worldwide because of continuing economic development and the steady increase in the global population. However, clean water resources are decreasing everyday, because of contamination with various pollutants including organic chemicals. Pharmaceutical and personal care products, herbicides/pesticides, dyes, phenolics, and aromatics (from sources such as spilled oil) are typical organics that should be removed from water. Because of their huge porosities, designable pore structures, and facile modification, metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are used in various adsorption, separation, storage, and delivery applications. In this review, the adsorptive purifications of contaminated water with MOFs are discussed, in order to understand possible applications of MOFs in clean water provision. More importantly, plausible adsorption or interaction mechanisms and selective adsorptions are summarized. The mechanisms of interactions such as electrostatic interaction, acid–base interaction, hydrogen bonding, π–π stacking/interaction, and hydrophobic interaction are discussed for the selective adsorption of organics over MOFs. The adsorption mechanisms will be very helpful not only for understanding adsorptions but also for applications of adsorptions in selective removal, storage, delivery and so on.
Iron-catalyzed hydrogen peroxide decomposition for generation of hydroxyl radicals (HO ) has been extensively developed as advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) for environmental applications. A variety of catalytic iron species constituting metal salts (in Fe or Fe form), metal oxides (e.g., Fe O , Fe O ), and zero-valent metal (Fe ) have been exploited for chemical (classical Fenton), photochemical (photo-Fenton) and electrochemical (electro-Fenton) degradation pathways. However, the requirement of strict acidic conditions to prevent iron precipitation still remains the bottleneck for iron-based AOPs. In this article, we present a thorough review of alternative non-iron Fenton catalysts and their reactivity towards hydrogen peroxide activation. Elements with multiple redox states (like chromium, cerium, copper, cobalt, manganese and ruthenium) all directly decompose H O into HO through conventional Fenton-like pathways. The formation of H O and decomposition into HO can be also achieved using electron transfer mechanism in zero-valent aluminum/O system. Although these Fenton systems (except aluminum) work efficiently even at neutral pH, the H O activation mechanism is very specific to the nature of the catalyst and critically depends on its composition. This review describes in detail the complex mechanisms and emphasizes on practical limitations influencing their environmental applications.
Unlike organic contaminants, metal(loid)s do not undergo microbial or chemical degradation and persist for a long time after their introduction. Bioavailability of metal(loid)s plays a vital role in the remediation of contaminated soils. In this review, the remediation of heavy metal(loid) contaminated soils through manipulating their bioavailability using a range of soil amendments will be presented. Mobilizing amendments such as chelating and desorbing agents increase the bioavailability and mobility of metal(loid)s. Immobilizing amendments such of precipitating agents and sorbent materials decrease the bioavailabilty and mobility of metal(loid)s. Mobilizing agents can be used to enhance the removal of heavy metal(loid)s though plant uptake and soil washing. Immobilizing agents can be used to reduce the transfer to metal(loid)s to food chain via plant uptake and leaching to groundwater. One of the major limitations of mobilizing technique is susceptibility to leaching of the mobilized heavy metal(loid)s in the absence of active plant uptake. Similarly, in the case of the immobilization technique the long-term stability of the immobilized heavy metal(loid)s needs to be monitored.
Recent industrial and urban activities have led to elevated concentrations of a wide range of contaminants in groundwater and wastewater, which affect the health of millions of people worldwide. In recent years, the use of zero-valent iron (ZVI) for the treatment of toxic contaminants in groundwater and wastewater has received wide attention and encouraging treatment efficiencies have been documented. This paper gives an overview of the recent advances of ZVI and progress obtained during the groundwater remediation and wastewater treatment utilizing ZVI (including nanoscale zero-valent iron (nZVI)) for the removal of: (a) chlorinated organic compounds, (b) nitroaromatic compounds, (c) arsenic, (d) heavy metals, (e) nitrate, (f) dyes, and (g) phenol. Reaction mechanisms and removal efficiencies were studied and evaluated. It was found that ZVI materials with wide availability have appreciable removal efficiency for several types of contaminants. Concerning ZVI for future research, some suggestions are proposed and conclusions have been drawn.
Nanosized metal oxides (NMOs), including nanosized ferric oxides, manganese oxides, aluminum oxides, titanium oxides, magnesium oxides and cerium oxides, provide high surface area and specific affinity for heavy metal adsorption from aqueous systems. To date, it has become a hot topic to develop new technologies to synthesize NMOs, to evaluate their removal of heavy metals under varying experimental conditions, to reveal the underlying mechanism responsible for metal removal based on modern analytical techniques (XAS, ATR-FT-IR, NMR, etc.) or mathematical models, and to develop metal oxide-based materials of better applicability for practical use (such as granular oxides or composite materials). The present review mainly focuses on NMOs’ preparation, their physicochemical properties, adsorption characteristics and mechanism, as well as their application in heavy metal removal. In addition, porous host supported NMOs are particularly concerned because of their great advantages for practical application as compared to the original NMOs. Also, some magnetic NMOs were included due to their unique separation performance.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) severely threaten human health and the ecological environment because most of them are toxic, mutagenic, and carcinogenic. The persistent increase of VOCs together with the stringent regulations make the reduction of VOC emissions more imperative. Up to now, numerous VOC treatment technologies have emerged, such as incineration, condensation, biological degradation, absorption, adsorption, and catalysis oxidation et al. Among them, the adsorption technology has been recognized as an efficient and economical control strategy because it has the potential to recover and reuse both adsorbent and adsorbate. Due to their large specific surface area, rich porous structure, and high adsorption capacity, carbonaceous adsorbents are widely used in gas purification, especially with respect to VOC treatment and recovery. This review discusses recent research developments of VOC adsorption onto a variety of engineered carbonaceous adsorbents, including activated carbon, biochar, activated carbon fiber, carbon nanotube, graphene and its derivatives, carbon-silica composites, ordered mesoporous carbon, etc. The key factors influence the VOC adsorption are analyzed with focuses on the physiochemical characters of adsorbents, properties of adsorbates as well as the adsorption conditions. In addition, the sources, health effect, and abatement methods of VOCs are also described.
This review focuses on the removal of emerging contaminants (ECs) by biological, chemical and hybrid technologies in effluents from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). Results showed that endocrine disruption chemicals (EDCs) were better removed by membrane bioreactor (MBR), activated sludge and aeration processes among different biological processes. Surfactants, EDCs and personal care products (PCPs) can be well removed by activated sludge process. Pesticides and pharmaceuticals showed good removal efficiencies by biological activated carbon. Microalgae treatment processes can remove almost all types of ECs to some extent. Other biological processes were found less effective in ECs removal from wastewater. Chemical oxidation processes such as ozonation/H O , UV photolysis/H O and photo-Fenton processes can successfully remove up to 100% of pesticides, beta blockers and pharmaceuticals, while EDCs can be better removed by ozonation and UV photocatalysis. Fenton process was found less effective in the removal of any types of ECs. A hybrid system based on ozonation followed by biological activated carbon was found highly efficient in the removal of pesticides, beta blockers and pharmaceuticals. A hybrid ozonation-ultrasound system can remove up to 100% of many pharmaceuticals. Future research directions to enhance the removal of ECs have been elaborated.
► Metal-organic frameworks are very effective to remove hazardous materials. ► Mechanisms for adsorptive removal with MOFs were summarized. ► MOFs are surely regarded as potential adsorbents for clean environment. Efficient removal of hazardous materials from the environment has become an important issue from a biological and environmental standpoint. Adsorptive removal of toxic components from fuel, waste-water or air is one of the most attractive approaches for cleaning technologies. Recently, porous metal-organic framework (MOF) materials have been very promising in the adsorption/separation of various liquids and gases due to their unique characteristics. This review summarizes the recent literatures on the adsorptive removal of various hazardous compounds mainly from fuel, water, and air by virgin or modified MOF materials. Possible interactions between the adsorbates and active adsorption sites of the MOFs will be also discussed to understand the adsorption mechanism. Most of the observed results can be explained with the following mechanisms: (1) adsorption onto a coordinatively unsaturated site, (2) adsorption via acid-base interaction, (3) adsorption via π-complex formation, (4) adsorption via hydrogen bonding, (5) adsorption via electrostatic interaction, and (6) adsorption based on the breathing properties of some MOFs and so on.
Over the last 60 years plastics production has increased manifold, owing to their inexpensive, multipurpose, durable and lightweight nature. These characteristics have raised the demand for plastic materials that will continue to grow over the coming years. However, with increased plastic materials production, comes increased plastic material wastage creating a number of challenges, as well as opportunities to the waste management industry. The present overview highlights the waste management and pollution challenges, emphasising on the various chemical substances (known as “additives”) contained in all plastic products for enhancing polymer properties and prolonging their life. Despite how useful these additives are in the functionality of polymer products, their potential to contaminate soil, air, water and food is widely documented in literature and described herein. These additives can potentially migrate and undesirably lead to human exposure via e.g. food contact materials, such as packaging. They can, also, be released from plastics during the various recycling and recovery processes and from the products produced from recyclates. Thus, sound recycling has to be performed in such a way as to ensure that emission of substances of high concern and contamination of recycled products is avoided, ensuring environmental and human health protection, at all times.
► Contemporary knowledge of nano-Fe synthesis, modification and toxicity is reviewed. ► Discrepancies in the literature are highlighted with regard to testing parameters. ► Compared to “real-systems” nano-Fe performance has been largely overestimated. ► A universal testing procedure and reactivity scale are suggested to effectively compare future nano-Fe materials. For the past 15 years, nanoscale metallic iron (nZVI) has been investigated as a new tool for the treatment of contaminated water and soil. The technology has reached commercial status in many countries worldwide, however is yet to gain universal acceptance. This review summarises our contemporary knowledge of nZVI aqueous corrosion, manufacture and deployment, along with methods to enhance particle reactivity, stability and subsurface mobility. Reasons for a lack of universal acceptance are also explored. Key factors include: concerns over the long-term fate, transformation and ecotoxicity of nZVI in environmental systems and, a lack of comparable studies for different nZVI materials and deployment strategies. It is highlighted that few investigations to date have examined systems directly analogous to the chemistry, biology and architecture of the terrestrial environment. Such emerging studies have highlighted new concerns, including the prospect for remobilisation of heavy metals and radionuclides over extended periods. The fundamental importance of being able to accurately predict the long-term physical, chemical and biological fate of contaminated sites following nZVI treatment is emphasised and, as part of this, a universal empirical testing framework for nZVI is suggested.
Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) have been detected as contaminants of emerging concern ubiquitously in the aquatic environment in China and worldwide. A clear picture of PPCP contamination in the Chinese aquatic environment is needed to gain insight for both research and regulatory needs (e.g. monitoring, control and management). The occurrence data of 112 PPCPs in waters and sediments in China has been reviewed. In most cases, the detected concentration of these PPCPs in waters and sediments were at ng/L and ng/g levels, which were lower than or comparable to those reported worldwide. A screening level risk assessment (SLERA) identified six priority PPCPs in surface waters, namely erythromycin, roxithromycin, diclofenac, ibuprofen, salicylic acid and sulfamethoxazole. The results of SLERA also revealed that the hot spots for PPCP pollution were those river waters affected by the megacities with high density of population, such as Beijing, Tianjin, Guangzhou and Shanghai. Limitations of current researches and implications for future research in China were discussed. Some regulatory issues were also addressed.
► Photocatalytic materials for water and air decontamination. ► Modified and nanoassembled TiO . ► Photocatalysts alternative to TiO for environmental remediation. ► Binary, ternary and quaternary photocatalysts. Heterogeneous photocatalysis is an advanced oxidation process which has been the subject of a huge amount of studies related to air cleaning and water purification. All these processes have been carried out mainly by using TiO -based materials as the photocatalysts and ca. 75% of the articles published in the last 3 years is related to them. This review illustrates the efforts in the search of alternative photocatalysts that are not based on TiO , with some exceptions concerning particularly innovative modifications as nanoassembled TiO or TiO composites with active carbon, graphite and fullerene. Papers reporting preparation, characterization and testing of binary, ternary and quaternary compounds, have been reviewed. Despite many of these photocatalysts being effective for the photodecomposition of many pollutants, most of them do not allow a complete mineralization of the starting compounds, differently from TiO .
The preparation of hierarchical porous materials as catalysts and sorbents has attracted much attention in the field of environmental pollution control. Herein, Ni/Mg/Al layered double hydroxides (NMA-LDHs) hierarchical flower-like hollow microspheres were synthesized by a hydrothermal method. After the NMA-LDHs was calcined at 600 °C, NMA-LDHs transformed into Ni/Mg/Al layered double oxides (NMA-LDOs), which maintained the hierarchical flower-like hollow structure. The crystal phase, morphology, and microstructure of the as-prepared samples were characterized by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy elemental mapping, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and nitrogen adsorption−desorption methods. Both the calcined and non-calcined NMA-LDHs were examined for their performance to remove Congo red (CR) and hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) ions in aqueous solution. The maximum monolayer adsorption capacities of CR and Cr(VI) ions over the NMA-LDOs sample were 1250 and 103.4 mg/g at 30 °C, respectively. Thermodynamic studies indicated that the adsorption process was endothermic in nature. In addition, the addition of coexisting anions negatively influenced the adsorption capacity of Cr(VI) ions, in the following order: CO > SO > H PO > Cl . This work will provide new insight into the design and fabrication of advanced adsorption materials for water pollutant removal.
► Cr(VI) is of particular environmental concern due to its toxicity and mobility. ► Cr(VI) is very mobile and toxic in the environment, Cr(III) is not. ► Reducing Cr(VI) to Cr(III) reduces its toxicity and mobility. ► Cr(VI) is challenging to remove from wastewater since does not precipitate. ► We describe the technologies available to efficiently reduce hexavalent chromium. Hexavalent chromium is of particular environmental concern due to its toxicity and mobility and is challenging to remove from industrial wastewater. It is a strong oxidizing agent that is carcinogenic and mutagenic and diffuses quickly through soil and aquatic environments. It does not form insoluble compounds in aqueous solutions, so separation by precipitation is not feasible. While Cr(VI) oxyanions are very mobile and toxic in the environment, Cr(III) cations are not. Like many metal cations, Cr(III) forms insoluble precipitates. Thus, reducing Cr(VI) to Cr(III) simplifies its removal from effluent and also reduces its toxicity and mobility. In this review, we describe the environmental implications of Cr(VI) presence in aqueous solutions, the chemical species that could be present and then we describe the technologies available to efficiently reduce hexavalent chromium.
Due to the great harm caused by soil contamination, there is an increasing interest to apply surfactants to the remediation of a variety of contaminated soils worldwide. This review article summarizes the findings of recent literatures regarding remediation of contaminated soils/sites using surfactants as an enhancing agent. For the surfactant-based remedial technologies, the adsorption behaviors of surfactants onto soil, the solubilizing capability of surfactants, and the toxicity and biocompatibility of surfactants are important considerations. Surfactants can enhance desorption of pollutants from soil, and promote bioremediation of organics by increasing bioavailability of pollutants. The removal of heavy metals and radionuclides from soils involves the mechanisms of dissolution, surfactant-associated complexation, and ionic exchange. In addition to the conventional ionic and nonionic surfactants, gemini surfactants and biosurfactants are also applied to soil remediation due to their benign features like lower critical micelle concentration (CMC) values and better biocompatibility. Mixed surfactant systems and combined use of surfactants with other additives are often adopted to improve the overall performance of soil washing solution for decontamination. Worldwide the field studies and full-scale remediation using surfactant-based technologies are yet limited, however, the already known cases reveal the good prospect of applying surfactant-based technologies to soil remediation.
Porous metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) have been arousing a great interest in exploring the application of MOFs as photocatalyst in environment remediation. In this work, two different MOFs, Ti-benzenedicarboxylate (MIL-125(Ti)) and amino-functionalized Ti-benzenedicarboxylate (NH -MIL-125(Ti)) were successfully synthesized a facile solvothermal method. The MIL-125(Ti) and NH -MIL-125(Ti) were well characterized by XRD, SEM, XPS, N adsorption–desorption measurements, thermogravimetric analysis and UV–vis diffuse reflectance spectra (DRS). It is revealed that the NH -MIL-125(Ti) has well crystalline lattice, large surface area and mesoporous structure, chemical and thermal stability, and enhanced visible-light absorption up to 520 nm, which was associated with the chromophore (amino group) in the organic linker. Compared with MIL-125(Ti), NH -MIL-125(Ti) exhibited more efficient photocatalytic activity for Cr(VI) reduction from aqueous solution under visible-light irradiation. The addition of hole scavenger, the hole scavenger concentration and the pH value of the reaction solution played important roles in the photo-catalytic reduction of Cr(VI). The presence of Ti –Ti intervalence electron transfer was the main reason for photo-excited electrons transportation from titanium-oxo clusters to Cr(VI), facilitating the Cr(VI) reduction under the acid condition. It was demonstrated that amino-functionalized Ti(IV)-based MOFs could be promising visible-light photocatalysts for the treatment of Cr(VI)-contained wastewater.
► The review focuses on the Cr speciation, uses, toxicity and remediation aspects. ► Assessed amount of hexavalent Cr in soils/metallurgical/other wastes and sites. ► Chemical and bioremediation processes for Cr(VI) are summarised in detail. ► Strategy for bio-remediation of Cr(VI) in different solid wastes is suggested. ► Capability of microbes for reducing Cr(VI) contamination described. ► Mechanism of microbial reduction of Cr(VI) to Cr(III) is included. Chromium is a highly toxic non-essential metal for microorganisms and plants, and its occurrence is rare in nature. Lower to higher chromium containing effluents and solid wastes released by activities such as mining, metal plating, wood preservation, ink manufacture, dyes, pigments, glass and ceramics, tanning and textile industries, and corrosion inhibitors in cooling water, induce pollution and may cause major health hazards. Besides, natural processes (weathering and biochemical) also contribute to the mobility of chromium which enters in to the soil affecting the plant growth and metabolic functions of the living species. Generally, chemical processes are used for Cr- remediation. However, with the inference derived from the diverse Cr-resistance mechanism displayed by microorganisms and the plants including biosorption, diminished accumulation, precipitation, reduction of Cr(VI) to Cr(III), and chromate efflux, bioremediation is emerging as a potential tool to address the problem of Cr(VI) pollution. This review focuses on the chemistry of chromium, its use, and toxicity and mobility in soil, while assessing its concentration in effluents/wastes which becomes the source of pollution. In order to conserve the environment and resources, the chemical/biological remediation processes for Cr(VI) and their efficiency have been summarised in some detail. The interaction of chromium with various microbial/bacterial strains isolated and their reduction capacity towards Cr(VI) are also discussed.
In this article, the use of low-cost adsorbents for the removal of methylene blue (MB) from solution has been reviewed. Adsorption techniques are widely used to remove certain classes of pollutants from waters, especially those which are not easily biodegradable. The removal of MB, as a pollutant, from waste waters of textile, paper, printing and other industries has been addressed by the researchers. Currently, a combination of biological treatment and adsorption on activated carbon is becoming more common for removal of dyes from wastewater. Although commercial activated carbon is a preferred adsorbent for color removal, its widespread use is restricted due to its relatively high cost which led to the researches on alternative non-conventional and low-cost adsorbents. The purpose of this review article is to organize the scattered available information on various aspects on a wide range of potentially low-cost adsorbents for MB removal. These include agricultural wastes, industrial solid wastes, biomass, clays minerals and zeolites. Agricultural waste materials being highly efficient, low cost and renewable source of biomass can be exploited for MB remediation. It is evident from a literature survey of about 185 recently published papers that low-cost adsorbents have demonstrated outstanding removal capabilities for MB.
Oily sludge is one of the most significant solid wastes generated in the petroleum industry. It is a complex emulsion of various petroleum hydrocarbons (PHCs), water, heavy metals, and solid particles. Due to its hazardous nature and increased generation quantities around the world, the effective treatment of oily sludge has attracted widespread attention. In this review, the origin, characteristics, and environmental impacts of oily sludge were introduced. Many methods have been investigated for dealing with PHCs in oily sludge either through oil recovery or sludge disposal, but little attention has been paid to handle its various heavy metals. These methods were discussed by dividing them into oil recovery and sludge disposal approaches. It was recognized that no single specific process can be considered as a panacea since each method is associated with different advantages and limitations. Future efforts should focus on the improvement of current technologies and the combination of oil recovery with sludge disposal in order to comply with both resource reuse recommendations and environmental regulations. The comprehensive examination of oily sludge treatment methods will help researchers and practitioners to have a good understanding of both recent developments and future research directions.
Anthropologic activities have transformed global biogeochemical cycling of heavy metals by emitting considerable quantities of these metals into the atmosphere from diverse sources. In spite of substantial and progressive developments in industrial processes and techniques to reduce environmental emissions, atmospheric contamination by toxic heavy metals and associated ecological and health risks are still newsworthy. Atmospheric heavy metals may be absorbed via foliar organs of plants after wet or dry deposition of atmospheric fallouts on plant canopy. Unlike root metal transfer, which has been largely studied, little is known about heavy metal uptake by plant leaves from the atmosphere. To the best of our understanding, significant research gaps exist regarding foliar heavy metal uptake. This is the first review regarding biogeochemical behaviour of heavy metals in atmosphere-plant system. The review summarizes the mechanisms involved in foliar heavy metal uptake, transfer, compartmentation, toxicity and in plant detoxification. We have described the biological and environmental factors that affect foliar uptake of heavy metals and compared the biogeochemical behaviour (uptake, translocation, compartmentation, toxicity and detoxification) of heavy metals for root and foliar uptake. The possible health risks associated with the consumption of heavy metal-laced food are also discussed.