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J Air Waste Manag Assoc ; 70(7): 729-738, 2020 Jul.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32223684


Toxic gaseous elemental mercury (GEM) is emitted to the atmosphere through a variety of routes at rates estimated at over 5000 tonnes per annum, a large fraction of which is Anthropogenic. It is then widely disbursed atmospherically and eventually deposited, where it is subject to further biogeochemical cycling, including re-emission. Research into capture of point source mercury emissions revolves almost exclusively around the use of activated carbons, various catalytic oxidation substrates, or as a by-product of acidic treatments of flue gas during SOx and NOx reduction methods. GEM is very non-reactive in its native state, but capture rates are greatly enhanced if GEM is first oxidized, or at least where oxidation states play a role at the substrate GEM interface. Little research has been devoted to capture of GEM directly. However, presented here is a novel adaption of coir fibers for use as a substrate in capturing GEM emissions directly. Various coir modifications were investigated, with the most effective being fibers coated with CuI crystals dispersed in a non-crosslinked poly-siloxane matrix. Scanning electron microscopy was used to view surface morphologies, and sorption characteristics were measured using atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS). These results indicate that coir fibers modified by CuI-[SiO2] n show great promise in their ability to efficiently sorb GEM, and could potentially be utilized in a variety of configurations and settings where GEM emissions need to be captured. IMPLICATIONS: Highly toxic gaseous elemental mercury (GEM) has proved very difficult to capture, requiring complex catalytic oxidation or expensive gas scrubbing technologies. The modified coir fiber described in this work can effectively capture GEM without prior catalytic oxidation or any other physicochemical treatment of the gas. The solution provided here is made from renewable resources, is low cost, and the raw materials are readily available in bulk. Further, the mercury is bound in a stable and insoluble form that can be readily isolated from the substrate. This filtration device can be adapted to suit a variety of settings for GEM capture.

Chemosphere ; 184: 694-699, 2017 Oct.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28633064


Soils contaminated with mercury (Hg) have proved expensive and logistically difficult to remediate. Research continues into finding suitable environmentally-friendly and efficient ways of achieving this end. Bioremediation is an option, which employs the strategies microorganisms have evolved to deal with Hg. One microbial strategy involves uptake and intracellular volatilisation of mercuric ions, which passively diffuse from the cell and back into the atmosphere. In this work, Pseudomonas veronii cells grown to stationary phase were immobilised in a xanthan gum-based biopolymer via encapsulation. The P. veronii-biopolymer mix was then coated onto natural zeolite granules. Zeolite immobilised cells remained viable for at least 16 weeks stored under ambient room temperature. Furthermore, the immobilised cells were shown to retain both viability and Hg volatilisation functionality after transportation from Australia to the USA, where they were applied to Hg contaminated soil. Maximum flux rates exceeded 10 µg Hg m2 h-1 from mine tailings (≈7 mg kg-1 Hg with 50% v/v water). This was 4 orders of magnitude above background flux levels. It is envisioned that emitted gaseous elemental mercury (GEM) can be readily captured, and transformed back into metallic Hg, which can then be stored appropriately or recycled. This breaks the Hg cycle, as GEM is no longer translocated back to the atmospheric compartment. The immobilising excipients used in this research overcome many logistical issues with delivery of suitable microbial loads to locations of mercury contamination and presents a facile and inexpensive method of augmenting contaminated sites with selected microbial consortia for bioremediation.

Biodegradação Ambiental , Monitoramento Ambiental , Mercúrio/análise , Poluentes do Solo/análise , Atmosfera , Austrália , Mercúrio/metabolismo , Mineração , Solo , Microbiologia do Solo , Poluentes do Solo/metabolismo , Volatilização
Sci Total Environ ; 568: 651-665, 2016 Oct 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26936663


Mercury (Hg) emission and deposition can occur to and from soils, and are an important component of the global atmospheric Hg budget. This paper focuses on synthesizing existing surface-air Hg flux data collected throughout the Western North American region and is part of a series of geographically focused Hg synthesis projects. A database of existing Hg flux data collected using the dynamic flux chamber (DFC) approach from almost a thousand locations was created for the Western North America region. Statistical analysis was performed on the data to identify the important variables controlling Hg fluxes and to allow spatiotemporal scaling. The results indicated that most of the variability in soil-air Hg fluxes could be explained by variations in soil-Hg concentrations, solar radiation, and soil moisture. This analysis also identified that variations in DFC methodological approaches were detectable among the field studies, with the chamber material and sampling flushing flow rate influencing the magnitude of calculated emissions. The spatiotemporal scaling of soil-air Hg fluxes identified that the largest emissions occurred from irrigated agricultural landscapes in California. Vegetation was shown to have a large impact on surface-air Hg fluxes due to both a reduction in solar radiation reaching the soil as well as from direct uptake of Hg in foliage. Despite high soil Hg emissions from some forested and other heavily vegetated regions, the net ecosystem flux (soil flux+vegetation uptake) was low. Conversely, sparsely vegetated regions showed larger net ecosystem emissions, which were similar in magnitude to atmospheric Hg deposition (except for the Mediterranean California region where soil emissions were higher). The net ecosystem flux results highlight the important role of landscape characteristics in effecting the balance between Hg sequestration and (re-)emission to the atmosphere.

Environ Sci Technol ; 50(2): 507-24, 2016 Jan 19.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26599393


Despite 30 years of study, gaseous elemental mercury (Hg(0)) exchange magnitude and controls between terrestrial surfaces and the atmosphere still remain uncertain. We compiled data from 132 studies, including 1290 reported fluxes from more than 200,000 individual measurements, into a database to statistically examine flux magnitudes and controls. We found that fluxes were unevenly distributed, both spatially and temporally, with strong biases toward Hg-enriched sites, daytime and summertime measurements. Fluxes at Hg-enriched sites were positively correlated with substrate concentrations, but this was absent at background sites. Median fluxes over litter- and snow-covered soils were lower than over bare soils, and chamber measurements showed higher emission compared to micrometeorological measurements. Due to low spatial extent, estimated emissions from Hg-enriched areas (217 Mg·a(-1)) were lower than previous estimates. Globally, areas with enhanced atmospheric Hg(0) levels (particularly East Asia) showed an emerging importance of Hg(0) emissions accounting for half of the total global emissions estimated at 607 Mg·a(-1), although with a large uncertainty range (-513 to 1353 Mg·a(-1) [range of 37.5th and 62.5th percentiles]). The largest uncertainties in Hg(0) fluxes stem from forests (-513 to 1353 Mg·a(-1) [range of 37.5th and 62.5th percentiles]), largely driven by a shortage of whole-ecosystem fluxes and uncertain contributions of leaf-atmosphere exchanges, questioning to what degree ecosystems are net sinks or sources of atmospheric Hg(0).

Poluentes Ambientais/análise , Mercúrio/análise , Poluentes do Solo/análise , Bases de Dados Factuais , Monitoramento Ambiental
J Environ Qual ; 32(1): 8-22, 2003.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-12549537


Trace gas emissions from refinery and bioremediation landfarms were investigated in a mesocosm-scale simulator facility. Five simulators were constructed and integrated with a data acquisition system and trace gas analyzers, allowing automated real-time sampling and calculation of total hydrocarbon (THC), CO2, and water vapor fluxes. Experiments evaluating the influence of simulated cultivation and rainfall on trace gas fluxes from the soil surfaces were conducted. Results were compared with published field results. Results showed that cultivating dry or moderately wet soil resulted in brief enhancements of THC fluxes, up to a factor of 10, followed by a sharp decline. Cultivating dry soil did not enhance respiration. Cultivating wet soil did result in sustained elevated levels of respiration. Total hydrocarbon emissions were also briefly enhanced in wet soils, but to a lesser magnitude than in dry soil. Hydrocarbon fluxes from refinery landfarm soil were very low for the duration of the experiments. This lead to the conclusion that elevated THC fluxes would only be expected during waste application. An evaluation of the influence of simultaneous water vapor fluxes on other trace gas fluxes highlighted the importance in lab-scale experiments of correcting trace gas fluxes from soils. The results from this research can be used to guide management practices at landfarms and to provide data to aid in assessing the effect of landfarms.

Dióxido de Carbono/análise , Hidrocarbonetos/análise , Eliminação de Resíduos , Bactérias/metabolismo , Biodegradação Ambiental , Monitoramento Ambiental , Gases/análise , Solo
J Air Waste Manag Assoc ; 52(7): 769-80, 2002 Jul.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-12139341


Concerns have been expressed that emissions of volatile hydrocarbons (HCs) from bioremediation facilities containing soils contaminated with petroleum HCs may negatively impact regional air quality or human health. Little information is available regarding the emission of HCs from bioremediation sites, and few field studies have been performed during which the flux of HCs has been directly measured during bioremediation. To aid in answering questions about the impact of bioremediation facilities on the atmospheric environment, a two-part field study was conducted over summer 1996 at a remote landfarm in northern Ontario where diesel fuel-contaminated soil was undergoing bioremediation. Volatile total hydrocarbon (THC) atmospheric flux measurements were successfully taken over 18 days using a flux gradient micrometeorological technique incorporating a THC detector constructed in-house. Peak THC emissions reached 131 microg C/m2/sec shortly after implementation and tilling of the landfarm soil. The influence of soil temperature and tillage on THC emissions was examined. Off-site inhalation exposure was considered with the aid of an areal source model and results from speciated air samples collected on sorbent tubes and analyzed via gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GCMS) techniques.

Gasolina , Hidrocarbonetos/análise , Exposição Ocupacional , Poluentes do Solo/metabolismo , Biodegradação Ambiental , Monitoramento Ambiental , Cromatografia Gasosa-Espectrometria de Massas , Humanos , Volatilização