Environmental Science and Pollution Research

Estimation of methane and nitrous oxide emission from wetland rice paddies with reference to global warming potential


Methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) are two important greenhouse gases (GHG) and contribute largely to global warming and climate change. The impact of physiological characteristics of rice genotypes on global warming potential (GWP) and greenhouse gas intensity (GHGI) is not well documented. A 2-year field experiment was conducted with eight summer rice varieties: Dinanath, Joymoti, Kanaklata, Swarnabh, IR 64, Tapaswami (modern varieties), Number 9, and Jagilee Boro (indigenous varieties) for two successive seasons (December–June, 2015–2016 and December–June, 2016–2017) to estimate their GWP and GHGI. The GWP of the rice varieties ranged from 841.52 to 1288.67 kg CO2-equiv. ha−1 and GHGI from 0.184 to 0.854 kg CO2-equiv. kg−1 grain yield. Significant differences (p < 0.05) in seasonal GHG emission, GWP, GHGI, CEE (carbon equivalent emission), photosynthetic efficiency, stomatal conductance, transpiration rate, and grain productivity among the rice varieties were observed during the investigation. A good correlation of GWP (p < 0.01) was recorded with rate of stomatal conductance and transpiration rate of the varieties. The present study reveals a strong relationship between plant biomass (p < 0.01) with GWP and CEE of the rice varieties. The variety IR 64 and Number 9 are identified as the most suitable variety with lowest GWP (909.85 and 876.68 kg CO2-equiv. ha−1 respectively) and GHGI (0.192 and 0.227 kg CO2-equiv. kg−1 grain yield respectively) accompanied by higher grain productivity (4839 and 3867 kg ha−1 respectively). Observations from the study suggest that agricultural productivity and GHG mitigation can be simultaneously achieved by proper selection of rice genotypes.

Optimisation of bioscrubber systems to simultaneously remove methane and purify wastewater from intensive pig farms


The use of bioscrubber is attracting increasing attention for exhaust gas treatment in intensive pig farming. However, the challenge is to improve the methane (CH4) removal efficiency as well as the possibility of pig house wastewater treatment. Three laboratory-scale bioscrubbers, each equipped with different recirculation water types, livestock wastewater (10-times-diluted pig house wastewater supernatant), a methanotroph growth medium (10-times-diluted), and tap water, were established to evaluate the performance of CH4 removal and wastewater treatment. The results showed that enhanced CH4 removal efficiency (25%) can be rapidly achieved with improved methanotrophic activity due to extra nutrient support from the wastewater. The majority of the CH4 was removed in the middle to end part of the bioscrubbers, which indicated that CH4 removal could be potentially optimised by extending the length of the reactor. Moreover, 52–86% of the ammonium (NH4+-N), total organic carbon (TOC), and phosphate (PO43−-P) removal were simultaneously achieved with CH4 removal in the present study. Based on these results, this study introduces a low-cost and simple-to-operate method to improve CH4 removal and simultaneously treat pig farm wastewater in bioscrubbers.

Ambient air pollution and risk of type 2 diabetes in the Chinese


We performed a time series analysis to investigate the potential association between exposure to ambient air pollution and type 2 diabetes (T2D) incidence in the Chinese population. Monthly time series data between 2008 and 2015 on ambient air pollutants and incident T2D (N = 25,130) were obtained from the Environment Monitoring Center of Ningbo and the Chronic Disease Surveillance System of Ningbo. Relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) of incident T2D per 10 μg/m3 increases in ambient air pollutants were estimated from Poisson generalized additive models. Exposure to particulate matter < 10 μm (PM10) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) was associated with increased T2D incidence. The relative risks (RRs) of each increment in 10 μg/m3 of PM10 and SO2 were 1.62 (95% CI, 1.16–2.28) and 1.63 (95% CI, 1.12–2.38) for overall participants, whereas for ozone (O3) exposure, the RRs were 0.78 (95% CI, 0.68–0.90) for overall participants, 0.78 (95% CI, 0.69–0.90) for males, and 0.78 (95% CI, 0.67–0.91) for females, respectively. Exposure to PM10 and SO2 is positively associated with T2D incidence, whereas O3 is negatively associated with T2D incidence.

The relief effects of organic acids on Scirpus triqueter L. under pyrene–lead stress


During phytoremediation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heavy metals, the phytoremediation plants are often stressed by pollutants, which would reduce the efficiency of phytoremediation. The addition of organic acids from root exudates could alleviate the stress. In this study, three organic acids (citric acid, succinic acid, glutaric acid) were added to investigate the effects of organic acids on the stress response of Scirpus triqueter L. at two pyrene–lead concentrations. The activities of reactive oxygen species, malondialdehyde, plasma membrane H+-ATPase, and vacuolar H+-ATPase and PPase activity, as well as the activities of antioxidant enzymes (SOD, POD, and CAT) in Scirpus triqueter L. were determined. The addition of organic acids could effectively reduce the activities of reactive oxygen species, malondialdehyde, plasma membrane H+-ATPase, and vacuolar H+-ATPase and PPase activities. Under higher pollution, the damage of plant plasma membrane is more serious, but the addition of citric acid can alleviate this situation and even more effective than the relief under low pollution. The effect of citric acid was more significant than that of succinic acid and glutaric acid. These results demonstrated that organic acids could attenuate the stress of pyrene and lead to Scirpus triqueter L.

The release mechanism of heavy metals from lab-scale vertical flow constructed wetlands treating road runoff


Constructed wetlands (CWs) have been applied to remediate heavy metal pollution effectively in practice. However, the heavy metal release from CWs has not been paid enough attention. In this study, a 5-month experiment was carried out with three parallel lab-scale vertical flow constructed wetlands (VFCWs) with zeolites as fillers. The artificial rainwater was pumped into VFCWs to study the release characteristic and mechanisms of heavy metals (Cu, Zn, Cr, and Pb). The results showed that significant amounts of Zn and Cu were released from the VFCWs at the end of the experiment while Pb and Cr rarely escaped. The upper layer (0–30 cm) of the VFCWs was the most effective area for heavy metal removal due to the presence of sediments, but it was also the most active area for heavy metal release. To explain this result, the sediments were analyzed before and after being leached by the tap water. The results indicated that Zn and Cu existed mainly in the exchangeable state, and they had strong leachability and bioavailability, causing its releases. Also, competitive adsorption of different metals meant that the metal ions with strong adsorption to zeolite caused the metal ions with weak adsorption to be desorbed from zeolites, and thus, a large amount of Zn escaped from VFCWs. The escape of heavy metals from CWs illustrated that it should be paid more attention in the management.

Concentration, spatiotemporal distribution, and sources of mercury in Mt. Yulong, a remote site in southeastern Tibetan Plateau


The unique geographic location of Mt. Yulong in the Tibetan Plateau (TP) makes it a favorable site for mercury (Hg) study. Various snow samples, such as surface snow, snow pit, and snowmelt water were collected from Mt. Yulong in the southeastern TP. The average concentration of Hg was found to be 37 ± 26 ng L−1 (mean ± SD), comparable to Hg concentration from other parts of TP in the same year, though it was comparatively higher than those from previous years, suggesting a possible increase of Hg concentration over the TP. The concentration of Hg was higher in the lower elevation of the glaciers possibly due to the surface melting concentration of particulates. Higher concentration of Hg was observed in the fresh snow, suggesting the possibility of long-range transportation. The average concentration of Hg from the snow pit was 1.49 ± 0.78 ng L−1, and the concentration of Hg in the vertical profile of the snow pit co-varied with calcium ion (Ca2+) supporting the fact that the portion of Hg is from the crustal origin. In addition, the principal component analysis (PCA) confirmed that the source of Hg is from the crustal origin; however, the presence of anthropogenic source in the Mt. Yulong was also observed. In surface water around Mt. Yulong, the concentration of HgT was found in the order of Lashihai Lake > Reservoirs > Rivers > Swamps > Luguhu Lake. In lake water, the concentration of HgT showed an increasing trend with depth. Overall, the increased concentration of Hg in recent years from the TP can be of concern and may have an adverse impact on the downstream ecosystem, wildlife, and human health.

Evaluation of management procedures for a length-frequency data-limited fishery


Management procedures (MPs) based on data-limited methods (DLMs) recently developed to give management advices for data-limited stocks worldwide are scarce or yet to be implemented on freshwater species. In this study, case studies (CSs) were developed using length-frequency data (LFD) of common carp species harvested from Dianshan Lake to estimate life-history parameters from existing methods. These CSs were later used to examine their influences when tested with various MPs under scenarios when operating models (OMs) were subjected to observation and estimation uncertainties. The results after management strategy evaluation (MSE) was run for various defined OMs showed that three MPs emerged best for providing managing advice. For high yield to be maintained during short-term periods, MinlenLopt1 suggested the smallest length at full retention (sLFR) to be 42.11 cm; while Slotlim and matlenlim2 suggested that to maintain biomass and stable spawning biomass (SBMSY) and also avoid overfishing from occurring in this fishery, sLFR should be 56.1 cm. Values given by these MPs allowed the removal of species that spawned at least once. Also, life-history parameters derived from CS4 presented the best results, being more reliable in presenting better inputs for effective management of the said fishery.

Remediation of cobalt-polluted soil after application of selected substances and using oat ( Avena sativa L.)


The aim of the study was to determine the effectiveness of soil application of manure, clay, charcoal, zeolite, and calcium oxide in remediation of soil polluted with cobalt (0, 20, 40, 80, 160, 320 mg Co kg−1 of soil). The following were determined: weight of harvested plants as well as the content of cobalt in grain, straw, and roots of oat. In addition, tolerance index (Ti), cobalt bioconcentration (BCF), translocation (TF), and transfer (TFr) coefficients were derived. In the series without amendments, the increasing doses of cobalt had a significant effect by decreasing the yields of oat grain and straw and the mass of its roots. Also, lower tolerance index values were noted in the objects polluted with cobalt, especially with its highest dose. The application of manure had the strongest effect on increasing the mass of particular organs of the test plant, while the application of charcoal led to a significant decrease in this respect. The application of all substances to the soil, and especially manure and calcium oxide, resulted in higher tolerance index Ti values. The growing contamination of soil with cobalt caused a significant increase in the content of this element in oat and in the values of the translocation coefficient, in contrast to the effects noted with respect to the bioconcentration and transfer coefficients. All the substances applied to soil reduced the content of cobalt and its bioconcentration in oat straw, in opposition to grain and roots, limited its translocation, but elevated the transfer of this element from soil to plants. Soil contamination with cobalt promoted the accumulation of lead and copper in grain, cadmium, lead, nickel, zinc, manganese, and iron in straw, as well as cadmium, nickel, zinc, and manganese in oat roots. As the cobalt dose increased, the content of other trace elements in oat organs either decreased or did not show any unambiguous changes. Of all the tested substances, the strongest influence on the content of trace elements was produced by calcium oxide in straw and roots and by zeolite in roots, whereas the weakest effect was generated by manure in oat grain. Oat is not the best plant for phytoremediation of soils contaminated with cobalt.

Target and non-target botanical pesticides effect of Trichodesma indicum (Linn) R. Br. and their chemical derivatives against the dengue vector, Aedes aegypti L.


The effects of crude ethanol derived leaf extract Trichodesma indicum (Linn) (Ex-Ti) and their chief derivatives were accessed on the survival and development of the dengue mosquito Ae. aegypti also their non-toxic activity against mosquito predator. T. indicum is recognized to be the vital weed plant and a promising herb in the traditional ayurvedic medicine. In this study, the GC-MS chromatogram of Ex-Ti showed higher peak area percentage for cis-10-Heptadecenoic acid (21.83%) followed by cycloheptadecanone (14.32%). The Ex-Ti displayed predominant mortality in larvae with 96.45 and 93.31% at the prominent dosage (200 ppm) against III and IV instar. Correspondingly, sub-lethal dosage against the enzymatic profile of III and IV instar showed downregulation of α,β-carboxylesterase and SOD protein profiles at the maximum concentration of 100 ppm. However, enzyme level of GST as well as CYP450 increased significantly dependent on sub-lethal concentration. Likewise, fecundity and hatchability of egg rate of dengue mosquito decreased to the sub-lethal concentration of Ex-Ti. Repellent assay illustrates that Ex-Ti concentration had greater protection time up to 210 min at 100 ppm. Also, activity of Ex-Ti on adult mosquito displayed 100% mortality at the maximum dosage of 600, 500 and 400 ppm within the period of 50, 60 and 70 min, respectively. Photomicrography screening showed that lethal dosage of Ex-Ti (100 ppm) produced severe morphological changes with dysregulation in their body parts as matched to the control. Effects of Ex-Ti on the Toxorhynchites splendens IV instar larvae showed less mortality (43.47%) even at the maximum dosage of 1500 ppm as matched to the chemical pesticide Temephos. Overall, the present research adds a toxicological valuation on the Ex-Ti and their active constituents as a larvicidal, repellent and adulticidal agents against the global burdening dengue mosquito.

Integrated lipid production, CO 2 fixation, and removal of SO 2 and NO from simulated flue gas by oleaginous Chlorella pyrenoidosa


CO2, SO2, and NO are the main components of flue gas and can cause serious environmental issues. Utilization of these compounds in oleaginous microalgae cultivation not only could reduce air pollution but could also produce feedstock for biodiesel production. However, the continuous input of SO2 and NO inhibits microalgal growth. In this study, the toxicity of simulated flue gas (15% CO2, 0.03% SO2, and 0.03% NO, balanced with N2) was reduced through automatic pH feedback control. Integrated lipid production and CO2 fixation with the removal of SO2 and NO was achieved. Using this technique, a lipid content of 38.0% DW was achieved in Chlorella pyrenoidosa XQ-20044. The lipid composition and fatty acid profile indicated that lipid production by C. pyrenoidosa XQ-20044 cultured with flue gas is suitable as a biodiesel feedstock; 81.2% of the total lipids were neutral lipids and 99.5% of the total fatty acids were C16 and C18. The ratio of saturated fatty acids to monounsaturated fatty acids in the microalgal lipid content was 74.5%. In addition, CO2, SO2, and NO from the simulated flue gas were fixed and converted to biomass and lipids with a removal efficiency of 95.9%, 100%, and 84.2%, respectively. Furthermore, the utilization efficiencies of CO2, SO2, and NO were equal to or very close to their removal efficiencies. These results provide a novel strategy for combining biodiesel production with biofixation of flue gas.

Alexandros Sfakianakis
Anapafseos 5 . Agios Nikolaos


Environmental Science and Pollution Research


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