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Ehsan Ebrahimi, Hassan Safari, Mohammad Rezaee, Ali Rezaei,
Published: 25 January 2023
Abstract:
There has been a substantially increasing demand for Energy Critical Elements (ECEs) in recent years as energy-related technology has advanced rapidly. Spent catalysts are known as potential sources of ECCs such as Ni, Co, Mo, W, V, and rare earth elements. This study developed an environmentally friendly process for recovering cobalt and molybdenum from spent hydroprocessing catalysts using deep eutectic solvents (DESs). High metal extraction of 93% and 87% were respectively achieved for cobalt and molybdenum at optimum conditions (100°C, pulp density of 20 g/L, and 48 hours) using p-toluenesulfonic acid based DESs. FT-IR and H-NMR analyses were conducted to determine whether hydrogen bonds form between p-toluenesulfonic acid-based DES components. Leaching kinetic models were also developed for DES systems. It was found that shrinking core models fit well with the experimental results. The kinetic studies proved that the diffusion through the product layer was the leaching controlling step of DES-1 (PEG-400:PTSA) with an activation energy of 22.56, and 29.34 kJ/mol for Co and Mo, respectively. On the other hand, DES-2 (ChCl:PTSA) correlates well with the activation energies of 38.09 (cobalt) and 31.48 kJ/mol (molybdenum), indicating that reaction appears to be limited by the mixed control reaction model. This study provides an effective new approach for planning and running ionometallurgical processes in the recycling sector while paying attention to concerns for sustainable development.
Published: 10 January 2023
Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry pp 1-14; https://doi.org/10.1007/s00216-022-04497-3

Abstract:
Seven plant certified reference materials (NIST SRM1515 Apple Leaves, NIST SRM1547 Peach Leaves, BCR-129 Hay Powder, BCR-670 Aquatic Plant, GBW07603 Bush Twigs and Leaves, GBW10015 Spinach Leaves and NCS ZC73036a Green Tea) were analysed for their mass fractions of 48 elements by inductively coupled plasma tandem-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS/MS): Li, Be, Na, Mg, Al, Ca, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Ga, Ge, As, Se, Rb, Sr, Y, Nb, Mo, Ag, Cd, Sb, Te, Ba, La, Ce, Pr, Nd, Sm, Eu, Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho, Er, Tm, Yb, Lu, Ta, Tl, Pb, Bi, Th, U. Special focus was put on the determination of technology-critical elements (TCEs), to which, e.g. Li, Be, Ga, Ge, Nb, Sb, Ta, Tl, Bi, and the rare-earth elements (REEs, lanthanides and Y) are counted. Closed-vessel microwave digestion was performed using HNO3, H2O2 and HBF4. The average bias for certified values is − 1% ± 13% (SD). Limits of detection (xL) in the measured solutions lie between 13 fg g−1 (Tb) and 52 ng g−1 (Ca). This article seeks to provide an optimised measurement procedure for the determination of element mass fractions of emerging importance in environmental samples, which are challenging to analyse with more traditional techniques such as single-quad ICP-MS. In addition, it aims to improve the characterisation of commonly used plant reference materials by providing mass fraction data for rarely studied elements. Graphical abstract
L. Prazakova, , E. Martinez, D. Rouchon, N. Rochat, C. Sabbione, , D. Eichert, G. Pepponi, M. Bernard, et al.
Published: 28 November 2022
Journal of Applied Physics, Volume 132; https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0117596

Abstract:
Nitrogen doping in chalcogenide materials represents a promising way for the improvement of material properties. Indeed, N doping in GeSbTe phase-change alloys have demonstrated to greatly enhance thermal stability of their amorphous phase, necessary to ensure the data retention of the final phase-change memory device. Although it is suggested that the N doping in such alloys leads to the preferential formation of Ge-N bonds, further questions concerning the bonding, in particular, Sb-N and Te-N, and the structural arrangement remain unclear. In this paper, we present a study of as-deposited elemental Ge, Sb, and Te systems and their nitrides (i.e., GeN, SbN, and TeN alloys), using a large range of N content from 0 up to about 50 at. %. The as-deposited alloys are investigated by Fourier transform infrared and Raman spectroscopy. We identify the active vibrational modes associated with the formation of Ge-N, Sb-N, and Te-N bonds, highlighting the impact of N incorporation on the structure of these elemental systems. We further qualitatively compare the GeN, SbN, and TeN experimental spectra with the “ab initio” simulations of the related ideal nitride structures. Finally, the analysis of elemental nitride layers is extended to N-doped GeSbTe alloys, providing deeper understanding of nitrogen bonding in such ternary systems, employed in memory technology.
Susan Van Den Brink, , Benjamin Sprecher, Nabeel Mancheri, Arnold Tukker
Published: 1 November 2022
Resources, Conservation and Recycling, Volume 186; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resconrec.2022.106586

, Cleber L. Pedroso, Daniela E. Pedroso, Paulo H. B. Rolim, Rodrigo E. Catai, Karina Q. Carvalho
The International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology pp 1-13; https://doi.org/10.1007/s00170-022-09811-y

The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
Published: 11 August 2022
Frontiers in Energy Research, Volume 10; https://doi.org/10.3389/fenrg.2022.957884

Abstract:
In the era of globalization, industries of critical metals are organized through the global supply chain. However, the global supply chains have been disrupted since 2020 by the outbreak of COVID-19 and a series of geopolitical crises. To better address the supply chain challenges of critical metals, a review is needed about the sources, propagation, and responses of the supply chain risks. Firstly, this review provides an overview about the research progress in identifying the risk sources and assessing the risks and then proposes a new supply chain framework, categorizing relevant risk factors into upstream risks, middle-stream risks, downstream risks, and general risks, for risk analysis of critical metals. Secondly, this review offers a comprehensive understanding about how the risks propagate horizontally and vertically. Finally, responses such as supply diversification, stockpiling, material substitution, recycling and circular economy strategy, price volatility hedging, and supply chain traceability are reviewed. This survey features the supply chain perspective, overviews on network-based studies, and affirms the urgency and need for further studies on supply chain risks and resilience, which may contribute to a smooth clean energy transition.
, Sangeeta Bajpai
Published: 2 June 2022
Physical Sciences Reviews; https://doi.org/10.1515/psr-2021-0113

Abstract:
Tellurium is gaining technical significance because of being a vital constituent for the growth of green-energy products and technologies. Owing to its unique property of interchangeable oxidation states it has a tricky though interesting chemistry with basically unidentified environmental effects. The understanding of environmental actions of tellurium has significant gaps for instance, its existence and effects in various environmental sections related to mining, handling and removal and disposal methods. To bridge this gap it is required to assess its distinctive concentrations in the environment together with proper knowledge of its environmental chemistry. This in turn significantly requires developing systematic diagnostic schemes which are sensitive enough to present statistics in the concentrations which are environmentally relevant. The broad assessment of available statistics illustrates that tellurium is being found in a very scarce concentrations in various environmental sections. Very less information is available for the presence and effects of tellurium in air and natural water resources. Various soil and lake sediment analysis statistics indicate towards the presence of tellurium in soil owing to release of dust, ash and slag during mining and manufacturing practices. Computing the release and behavior of tellurium in environment needs a thorough assessment of its anthropogenic life cycle which in turn will facilitate information about its existing and prospective release in the environment, and will aid to handle the metal more sensibly.
A. Logemann, M. Reininghaus, M. Schmidt, A. Ebeling, T. Zimmermann, H. Wolschke, J. Friedrich, B. Brockmeyer, , G. Witt
Published: 1 June 2022
Environmental Pollution, Volume 302; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2022.119040

Ole Klein, Tristan Zimmermann, Anna Ebeling, Madita Kruse, ,
Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, Volume 82, pp 481-492; https://doi.org/10.1007/s00244-022-00929-4

Abstract:
As interest in the investigation of possible sources and environmental sinks of technology-critical elements (TCEs) continues to grow, the demand for reliable background level information of these elements in environmental matrices increases. In this study, a time series of ten years of sediment samples from two different regions of the German North Sea were analyzed for their mass fractions of Ga, Ge, Nb, In, REEs, and Ta (grain size fraction < 20 µm). Possible regional differences were investigated in order to determine preliminary reference values for these regions. Throughout the investigated time period, only minor variations in the mass fractions were observed and both regions did not show significant differences. Calculated local enrichment factors ranging from 0.6 to 2.3 for all TCEs indicate no or little pollution in the investigated areas. Consequently, reference values were calculated using two different approaches (Median + 2 median absolute deviation (M2MAD) and Tukey inner fence (TIF)). Both approaches resulted in consistent threshold values for the respective regions ranging from 158 µg kg−1 for In to 114 mg kg−1 for Ce. As none of the threshold values exceed the observed natural variation of TCEs in marine and freshwater sediments, they may be considered baseline values of the German Bight for future studies. Graphical Abstract
, Melina Abdou, Teba Gil-Díaz
Published: 10 January 2022
Current Opinion in Environmental Science & Health, Volume 26; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.coesh.2022.100329

The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
Prigya Rawat, Vinay Singh
Published: 31 December 2021
Abstract:
The circular bio-economy journey is determined exceedingly from the industrial ecological lens, with brief intake from the management field studies. The present research embarks to contemplate the circular bio-economy applying managerial approach by splitting the complicated abstraction into a more straightforward structure using VOS Viewer software. Nine determining elements backed by organizational vantage point are extracted - industrial symbiosis, sustainable transitions, multilevel perspective, bio-economic regions, governance, innovations, challenges, sustainability and regional value chains. All nine elements retrieved from the literature are ranked based on expert opinion. Eventually, variable CER6 (challenges) ranked first in the order, followed by CER1 (sustainable transitions); the least relevant variable ranked by the experts is CER9 (industrial symbiosis). For better validation, the TISM technique is used. These pressing issues demand immediate attention from practitioners, entrepreneurs, policy-makers, academicians, and management scholars.
Irina Blinova, Aljona Lukjanova, Janek Reinik, Anne Kahru
Published: 1 December 2021
Journal of Hazardous Materials Advances, Volume 4; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hazadv.2021.100034

, Nick Martin, Gara Villalba Méndez, Cristina Madrid-López
Published: 9 November 2021
Journal: Applied Energy
The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
Published: 3 November 2021
by MDPI
Journal: Chemosensors
Abstract:
This work reports the fabrication of a new environmentally friendly three-electrode electrochemical sensor suitable for on-site voltammetric determination of two toxic emerging ‘technology-critical elements’ (TCEs), namely indium and thallium. The sensor is fully fabricated by injection-moulding and features three conductive polymer electrodes encased in a plastic holder; the reference electrode is further coated with AgCl or AgBr. The sensor is applied to the determination of trace In(III) and Tl(I) by anodic stripping voltammetry using a portable electrochemical set-up featuring a miniature smartphone-based potentiostat and a vibrating device for agitation. For the analysis, the sample containing the target metal ions is spiked with Bi(III) and a bismuth film is electroplated in situ forming an alloy with the accumulated target metals on the working electrode of the sensor; the metals are stripped off by applying a square-wave anodic voltametric scan. Potential interferences in the determination of In(III) and Tl(I) were alleviated by judicious selection of the solution chemistry. Limits of quantification for the target ions were in the low μg L−1 range and the sensors were applied to the analysis of lake water samples spiked with In(III) and Tl(I) with recoveries in the range of 95–103%.
Published: 29 October 2021
by MDPI
Journal: Resources
Abstract:
A sustainable raw materials (RMs) recovery from waste requires a comprehensive generation and communication of knowledge on project potentials and barriers. However, a standardised procedure to capture sustainability aspects in early project development phases is currently missing. Thus, studies on different RM sources are not directly comparable. In this article, an approach is presented which guides its user through a practical interpretation of on-site exploration data on tailings compliant with the United Nations Framework Classification for Resources (UNFC). The development status of the overall project and the recovery of individual RMs are differentiated. To make the assessment results quickly comparable across different studies, they are summarised in a heat-map-like categorisation matrix. In Part I of this study, it is demonstrated with the case study tailings storage facility Bollrich (Germany) how a tailings mining project can be assessed by means of remote screening. In Part II, it is shown how to develop a project from first on-site exploration to a decision whether to intensify costly on-site exploration. It is concluded that with a UNFC-compliant assessment and classification approach, local sustainability aspects can be identified, and a commonly acceptable solution for different stakeholder perspectives can be derived.
Published: 3 August 2021
by MDPI
Journal: Energies
Energies, Volume 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14154710

Abstract:
Strategically critical elements are becoming significant for the rising demand of emerging energy-efficient technologies and high-tech applications. These critical elements are mostly geologically dispersed, and mainly recovered from recycled materials. Coal with high concentrations of critical elements is supposed to stable alternative sources. The abundances of critical elements in coal varies widely among different deposits and regions. The high concentrations of critical elements are found in many Chinese and Russian coal ores. The global mining potential ratio (MPR) is applied and suggests scandium, hafnium, cesium, yttrium, germanium, gallium, thallium, strontium and rare-earth elements could be potential recovery from coal. A number of benefits are expected with the extraction of critical elements during coal utilization.
Raphaël Danino‐Perraud, Maïté Legleuher, Dominique Guyonnet
Published: 2 August 2021
The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
, Jiao Du, Yulin Zhang, Jinke Sun, Wentao Wu, Guijian Liu
Published: 28 July 2021
Journal: Fuel
The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
Environmental Science & Technology, Volume 55, pp 14342-14346; https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.1c01983

Abstract:
There has been significant advancement in understanding of element cycles over the past 50 years, and the contributions of the three editions of Aquatic Chemistry by Stumm and Morgan on the critical role of reactions in the aqueous phase on the global cycles of elements have been substantial. The primary focus of investigation of biogeochemical element cycles has been on the “grand nutrients” carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur. The basic chemistry and chemical systems perspective of Aquatic Chemistry helped elucidate the cycles of these elements. Most of the element cycling research beyond the grand nutrients has occurred in the past 20 years and has focused on commodity metals in widespread use, that is, the “technological nutrients”. Focus in Aquatic Chemistry on metal chemistry has contributed to understanding of metal cycles. Development of integrated anthropogenic-biogeochemical cycles of metals, led by Graedel and collaborators, has revealed that anthropogenic mobilization of metals dominates the cycles. Integrated “anthrobiogeochemical” element cycles provide for more detailed understanding of sources and their cascading impacts, and enable identification of priorities for source control and/or element recovery. The fundamentals of water chemistry and their application in engineered and natural systems, as presented so effectively in Aquatic Chemistry, have contributed to advancement of anthrobiogeochemical cycle development and analysis and, directly or indirectly, to the scholars who will continue to evolve the understanding and use of element cycles in the years ahead.
, Javier I. Ordóñez, Ricardo I. Jeldres, Rodrigo Serna-Guerrero
Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy Review, Volume 43, pp 775-797; https://doi.org/10.1080/08827508.2021.1946690

Abstract:
Mining resources have played a leading role in the development of humanity, and the demand for these raw materials is expected to increase in the foreseeable future. In addition, new technologies also require the extraction of new critical materials. These trends pose various challenges as there is a limited supply of natural resources, and standard mining and mineral processing practices are associated with significant environmental impacts, such as waste generation, energy and water consumption, and CO2 emissions. The circular economy (CE) has recently gained attention as a model to address such a complex scenario. This work analyzes the current efforts toward the application of CE in mineral processing. Although advances have been made, this review shows that the most significant material flows and environmental impacts occur near the production sites, which currently limits the closure of loops. Besides, mining industries are conservative regarding the adoption of new technologies or processing strategies, which is another hindrance to the implementation of the CE. Thus, and with few exceptions, while some sectors are already facing advanced stages of CE (namely, CE 3.0), the mineral processing field struggles to advance from the basic CE requirements (i.e, CE 1.0 to CE 2.0).
Published: 2 July 2021
by MDPI
Journal: Materials
Materials, Volume 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14133722

Abstract:
The article draws attention to the problem of the presence of metals: germanium (Ge), tellurium (Te), thallium (Tl), and others (Cd, Ba, Co, Mn, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, Sr, and Zn) in selected waste of electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). As a result of the growing demand for new technologies, the global consumption of TECs has also been increasing. Thus, the amount of metals in circulation, of which the impacts on the environment have not yet been fully understood, is constantly increasing. Due to the low content of these metals in WEEE, they are usually ignored during e-waste analyses. The main aim of this study was to determine the distribution of Ge, Te, and Tl (and other elements) in ground sieve fractions (1.0, 0.5, 0.2, and 0.1 mm) of selected electronic components (solar lamps, solar cell, LED TV screens, LCD screens, photoresistors, photodiodes, phototransistors) and to determine the possible tendency of the concentrations of these metals in fractions. This problem is particularly important because WEEE recycling processes (crushing, grinding, and even collection and transport operations) can lead to dispersion and migration of TCE pollutants into the environment. The quantitative composition of e-waste was identified and confirmed by ICP-MS, ICP-OES and SEM-EDS, and XRD analyses. It was found that Ge, Te, and Tl are concentrated in the finest fractions of ground e-waste, together with Cd and Cr, which may favor the migration of these pollutants in the form of dust during storage and processing of e-waste.
Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, Volume 81, pp 574-588; https://doi.org/10.1007/s00244-021-00863-x

Abstract:
The occurrence and vertical distribution of ten technology critical elements (TCEs) (Li, Nb, Sc, Ga, Y, La, Sb, Ge, Te, and W) were studied in sediment cores collected from remote freshwater and marine lakes (Plitvice, Visovac and Mir Lakes) in three protected areas of Croatia. These environmental archives were used to assess natural TCE levels in lake sediments and temporal trends in historical anthropogenic atmospheric deposition. TCE was determined after complete sediment digestion using high-resolution inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (HR ICP-MS). The measured TCE concentrations spanned a wide range, which can be attributed to the varying input of terrigenous material into the studied lake systems. All obtained TCE concentrations were close to natural conditions and therefore could be used as a reference for other equivalent sediment systems in the coming years. The evaluation of anthropogenic influence on TCE concentrations showed a slight anthropogenic enrichment with Sb and Te in the upper sediment layers of some lakes (Plitvice and Mir Lakes), indicating a widespread atmospheric deposition, which, however, cannot be related to the recent increase in the use of TCE in modern technology.
Ole Klein, Tristan Zimmermann,
Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry, Volume 36, pp 1524-1532; https://doi.org/10.1039/d1ja00088h

Abstract:
The multi element ICP-MS/MS method to analyze technologically critical elements (TCEs) in sediment digests using N2O as a reaction gas.
Published: 30 April 2021
by MDPI
Journal: Molecules
Abstract:
The optimization and validation of a methodology for determining and extracting inorganic ionic Te(VI) and Te(IV) forms in easily-leached fractions of soil by Ion Chromatography-Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry (IC-ICP-MS) were studied. In this paper, the total concentration of Te, pH, and red-ox potential were determined. Ions were successfully separated in 4 min on a Hamilton PRPX100 column with 0.002 mg/kg and 0.004 mg/kg limits of detection for Te(VI) and Te(IV), respectively. Soil samples were collected from areas subjected to the influence of an electrowaste processing and sorting plant. Sequential chemical extraction of soils showed that tellurium was bound mainly with sulphides, organic matter, and silicates. Optimization of soil extraction allowed 20% average extraction efficiency to be obtained, using 100 mM citric acid as the extractant. In the tested soil samples, both tellurium species were present. In most cases, the soils contained a reduced Te form, or the concentrations of both species were similar.
Otilia Ana Culicov, , Roman Balvanović, Anđelka Petković, Slavica Ražić
Environmental Science and Pollution Research, Volume 28, pp 44877-44889; https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-13752-6

Abstract:
Recent studies show that lanthanides (Ln) are becoming emerging pollutants due to their wide application in new technologies, but their environmental fate, transport, and possible accumulation are still relatively unknown. This study aims to determine major and trace elements including Ln in the Danube River sediment which either belong or close to the Iron Gate Reservoir. The Iron Gate Reservoir is characterized by accumulation of sediments as an effect of building hydropower dam Iron Gate I. The surface sediments were collected on the Danube River—1141 to 864 km and three tributaries along this waterway. Two samples of deep sediments were used for comparison. The results indicate the significant upward enrichment of Zn, Sb, Cr, Nd, and Dy in sediments belongs to the Iron Gate Reservoir. The sample 4-Smed is labelled as a hot spot of contamination with Zn, Cr, As, Sb, Nd, and Dy. Also, a trend of increasing concentration in the time period from 1995 to 2016 was found for elements Zn, Cr, and Ni in sediment samples in the Iron Gate Reservoir. Chemometric analysis shows the grouping of sample sites into clusters characterized by the following properties: (i) increased concentration of all measured elements (samples within the Iron Gate Reservoir); (ii) increased Cu concentration (11-Pek); and (iii) lower concentrations of the measured elements (deep sediments). The data presented hereby contribute to the monitoring of pollution of the River Danube sediments and give the first view of Ln profile in the studied sediments.
, Pauline Le Monier, Sandrine Bruzac, Teddy Sireau, Daniel F. Araújo, Anne Grouhel
Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, Volume 81, pp 600-611; https://doi.org/10.1007/s00244-021-00821-7

Abstract:
Rare earth elements (REE) are becoming an environmental pollutant of emerging concern, linked to their use in various anthropic processes. Because REE bioconcentrate in marine organisms throughout their food webs, a better understanding of biogeochemical processes leading to REE concentrations found in coastal species is necessary. This study was designed to assess REEs concentrations in various common bivalves from the French coastline to identify possible geographic, taxonomic, or temporal variations of concentrations. Based on the French Mussel Watch program, three species of bivalves (oyster Crassostrea gigas and mussels Mytilus edulis and Mytilus galloprovincialis) were collected all along the French metropolitan coast and soft tissues were analyzed for REE concentrations. Results have shown higher REE concentrations in bivalve soft tissues near estuaries without taxonomic nor national geographic differences. The highest levels have been observed in the Gironde estuary with total REE concentrations (∑REE) in oysters up to 10.94 µg g−1 d.w. The REE distribution pattern in both mussel species described a particle-like (inverse V-shape) pattern, whereas C. gigas REE distribution pattern changes from a particle-like to a dissolved-like pattern with a heavy REE (HREE) enrichment. However, no environmental parameter could be linked to these pattern changes. Finally, neither Gd anomalies nor an evolution of REE concentrations over a 30-year period have been detected in bivalves’ soft tissues.
, Montserrat Filella, Tomáš Matoušek
Published: 9 December 2020
Journal: Talanta
Abstract:
A method for the speciation analysis of the three main species of germanium in environmental waters, namely inorganic germanium (iGe), monomethyl germanium (MMGe) and dimethyl germanium (DMGe), has been developed. Germanium species were volatilized by hydride generation (HG) prior to their preconcentration/separation in a semi-automated cryogenic trap (cryotrapping, CT) and detection by ICP-MS/MS. A procedure to minimize the iGe blanks from the chemicals and water is reported. One mL of water can be analyzed without any pretreatment. After application of this procedure, and the careful optimization of all experimental variables, limits of detection (LOD) of 0.015, 0.005 and 0.003 ng L−1 have been obtained for iGe, MMGe and DMGe, respectively. Standard addition experiments did not show any significant matrix effect, and, therefore, external calibration was used for sample analysis. In the Tris-HCl + L-Cysteine reaction media, additional experiments did not reveal any significant demethylation of MMGe to iGe in the process of HG-CT, which could affect the accuracy of the analysis in seawater. The method has been applied to the analysis of iGe, MMGe and DMGe in certified reference materials of unspiked natural waters: CASS-4, CASS-5 and CASS-6 (nearshore seawater); NASS-5 and NASS-7 (seawater); SLRS-4, SLRS-5 and SLRS-6 (river water).
Tristan Zimmermann, Marcus von der Au, Anna Reese, Ole Klein, Lars Hildebrandt,
Published: 24 July 2020
Analytical Methods, Volume 12, pp 3778-3787; https://doi.org/10.1039/d0ay01049a

Abstract:
Determination of elemental mass fractions in sediments plays a major role in evaluating the environmental status of aquatic ecosystems. Herewith, the optimization of a new total digestion protocol and the subsequent analysis of 48 elements in different sediment reference materials (NIST SRM 2702, GBW 07313, GBW 07311 and JMC-2) based on ICP-MS/MS detection is presented. The developed method applies microwave acid digestion and utilizes HBF4 as fluoride source for silicate decomposition. Similar to established protocols based on HF, HBF4 ensures the dissolution of the silicate matrix, as well as other refractory oxides. As HBF4 is not acutely toxic; no special precautions have to be made and digests can be directly measured via ICP-MS without specific sample inlet systems, evaporation steps or the addition of e.g. H3BO3, in order to mask excess HF. Different acid mixtures with and without HBF4 were evaluated in terms of digestion efficiency based on the trace metal recovery. The optimized protocol (5 mL HNO3, 2 mL HCL, 1 mL HBF4) allows a complete dissolution of the analyzed reference materials, as well as quantitative recoveries for a wide variety of certified analytes. Low recoveries for e.g. Sr, Ba and rare earth elements due to fluoride precipitation of HF-based digestions protocols, can be avoided by the usage of HBF4 instead. Based on the usage of high purity HBF4 all relevant trace, as well as matrix elements can be analyzed with sufficiently low LOQs (0.002 μg L−1 for U up to 6.7 μg L−1 for Al). In total, 34 elements were within a recovery range of 80%–120% for all three analyzed reference materials GBW 07313, GBW 07311 and JMC-2. 14 elements were outside a recovery range of 80%–120% for at least one of the analyzed reference materials.
, Musah Salifu, Lena Alakangas, Olof Martinsson
Published: 11 July 2020
Journal of Geochemical Exploration, Volume 218; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gexplo.2020.106610

The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
Published: 15 May 2020
by MDPI
Journal: Energies
Energies, Volume 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13102513

Abstract:
Sustainable and smart mobility and associated energy systems are key to decarbonise the EU and develop a clean, resource efficient, circular and carbon-neutral future. To achieve the 2030 and 2050 targets, technological and societal changes are needed. This transition will inevitably change the composition of the future EU fleet, with an increasing share of electric vehicles (xEVs). To assess the potential contribution of lithium-ion traction batteries (LIBs) in decreasing the environmental burdens of EU mobility, several aspects should be included. Even though environmental assessments of batteries along their life-cycle have been already conducted using life-cycle assessment, a single tool does not likely provide a complete overview of such a complex system. Complementary information is provided by material flow analysis and criticality assessment, with emphasis on supply risk. Bridging complementary aspects can better support decision-making, especially when different strategies are simultaneously tackled. The results point out that the future life-cycle GWP of traction LIBs will likely improve, mainly due to more environmental-friendly energy mix and improved recycling. Even though second-use will postpone available materials for recycling, both these end-of-life strategies allow keeping the values of materials in the circular economy, with recycling also contributing to mitigate the supply risk of Lithium and Nickel.
Elanor James,
Published: 1 May 2020
Environmental Pollution, Volume 264; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2020.114696

The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
, Nicolas Grosjean, , Damien Blaudez,
Published: 17 December 2019
Environmental Science and Pollution Research, Volume 27, pp 5640-5649; https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-019-07002-z

Abstract:
Progressive rare earth element (REE) enrichment in aquatic environments worldwide and their resulting anthropogenic anomalies have highlighted the need for a better understanding of their biological effects, with a special emphasis on microbial cells since they play a crucial role in good ecosystem functioning. Therefore, the primary aim of this work was to achieve simultaneous characterization of the 16 REE toxicity effects on the growth kinetics of the commonly found Gram-negative bacterium E. coli (BW25113 strain). Bacterial growth curve modelling showed hormetic effects in the presence of REEs, while EC50 determination (in the mid-log phase) indicated that the four HREEs from Er to Lu in addition to Y were the most toxic metals (EC50 in the range of 8.3 to 3 μM), just after Sc (EC50 of 1.1 μM). Additional subcellular parameter assessment revealed cell membrane lipid peroxidation as well as enhanced membrane depolarization and permeability in the presence of La, Gd, or Yb as representatives of LREEs and HREEs. These subcellular effects appeared to be more intense with Gd and Yb compared with La-exposed cells, in relation to the overall higher toxicity potential reported for HREEs on bacterial growth. Also, the cellular ATP production decreased after REE exposure at their EC50. Finally, these results emphasize the importance of growth kinetic consideration as well as the complexity of REE biological effect mechanisms towards bacteria.
, Arnaud Diemer
Published: 14 November 2019
Resources, Conservation and Recycling, Volume 153; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resconrec.2019.104517

The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
Published: 23 July 2019
by MDPI
Journal: Water
Abstract:
The emission of platinum group metals from different sources has caused elevated concentrations of platinum and palladium in samples of airborne particulate matter, soil, surface waters and sewage sludge. The ability of biomass of Aspergillus sp. and yeast Saccharomyces sp. for removal of Pt(IV) and Pd(II) from environmental samples was studied in this work. The pH of the solution, the mass of biosorbent, and contact time were optimized. The Langmuir and Freundlich adsorption isotherms and kinetic results were used for interpretation of the process equilibrium of Pt(IV) and Pd(II) on both microorganisms. The maximal efficiency of retention of Pt(IV) on yeast and fungi was obtained at acidic solutions (pH 2.0 for Pt(IV) and pH 2.5–3.5 for Pd(II)). The equilibrium of the biosorption process was attained within 45 min. The best interpretation for the experimental data was given by the Langmuir isotherm. Kinetics of the Pt and Pd adsorption process suit well the pseudo-second-order kinetics model. Fungi Aspergillus sp. shows higher adsorption capacity for both metals than yeast Saccharomyces sp. The maximum adsorption capacity of fungi was 5.49 mg g−1 for Pt(IV) and 4.28 mg g−1 for Pd(II). The fungi possess the ability for efficient removal of studied ions from different wastewater samples (sewage and road run-off water). It was also demonstrated, that quantitative recovery of Pd from industrial wastes could be obtained by biosorption using Aspergillus sp.
, Jiansu Mao,
Published: 21 May 2019
Science of the Total Environment, Volume 683, pp 659-667; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.05.293

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, Harald U. Sverdrup, Arnaud Diemer
Published: 11 May 2019
Environmental Systems Research, Volume 8; https://doi.org/10.1186/s40068-019-0144-2

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Published: 1 January 2019
Environmental Chemistry, Volume 16; https://doi.org/10.1071/en18282

Abstract:
Environmental contextStudies involving modelling are increasingly being performed to better understand how technology-critical elements such as tellurium are transported and accumulated in man-made technological systems. The resulting ‘anthropogenic cycles’ provide estimates of current and anticipated future material releases to the environment, and their associated environmental implications. This information complements data on natural cycles in which the subsequent transport and fate of tellurium in the environment can be examined. AbstractGlobal demand for tellurium has greatly increased owing to its use in solar photovoltaics. Elevated levels of tellurium in the environment are now observed. Quantifying the losses from human usage into the environment requires a life-cycle wide examination of the anthropogenic tellurium cycle (in analogy to natural element cycles). Reviewing the current literature shows that tellurium losses to the environment might occur predominantly as mine tailings, in gas and dust and slag during processing, manufacturing losses, and in-use dissipation (situation in around 2010). Large amounts of cadmium telluride will become available by 2040 as photovoltaic modules currently in-use reach their end-of-life. This requires proper end-of-life management approaches to avoid dissipation to the environment. Because tellurium occurs together with other toxic metals, e.g. in the anode slime collected during copper production, examining the life-cycle wide environmental implication of tellurium production requires consideration of the various substances present in the feedstock as well as the energy and material requirements during production. Understanding the flows and stock dynamics of tellurium in the anthroposphere can inform environmental chemistry about current and future tellurium releases to the environment, and help to manage the element more wisely.
, Somayeh Kazemi Kia, Mahdi Erfanian,
Published: 28 December 2018
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, Volume 191; https://doi.org/10.1007/s10661-018-7147-8

Abstract:
Designation of representative watersheds (RWs) as a reference area representing key behavior of the whole region is an essential tool to provide a time and cost-effective basis for monitoring watershed performance against different driving forces. It is more important in developing countries facing lack of necessary investments in one hand and ever-increasing human interventions and need to assess the outcome behavior of the system in another hand. However, this serious affair has been less considered worldwide, in general, and in developing countries, in particular. Therefore, in the present study, a quantitative-based method of Representative Watershed Index (RWI) with potential range from 0 to 100 has been formulated using four important criteria and available national-wide raster data of elevation (meter), slope (%), rainfall erosivity factor (t m ha−1 cm h−1), and land use. The approach was then applied to the data prepared for the unique and invaluable global water ecosystem of the Urmia Lake Basin (ULB), north-western Iran, as a case study. The input raster was overlaid via matrices programming in the MATrix LABoratory (MATLAB) 2016 and Geographic Information System (GIS) 9.3 software environments. The RWIs were accordingly computed for 61 sub-watersheds of the ULB. The RWIs resulted from quadri-partite dimensional matrices that varied from 5.54 to 53.46 with respective maximum dissimilarity and resemblance with the entire 61 study sub-watersheds in the region. However, the sub-watershed with RWI of 40.65 (No. 57) was proposed as the final RW for the whole ULB due to hydrological independency, appropriate locality, and existence of functioning meteorological and hydrometric stations. The identified RW would be suggested to be considered as the basis for future insight monitoring and assessing environmental issues for the region eventually leading to an appropriate adaptive watershed management.
Published: 25 September 2018
Journal of Industrial Ecology, Volume 23, pp 62-76; https://doi.org/10.1111/jiec.12809

Abstract:
The concept of a circular economy (CE) is gaining increasing attention from policy makers, industry, and academia. There is a rapidly evolving debate on definitions, limitations, the contribution to a wider sustainability agenda, and a need for indicators to assess the effectiveness of circular economy measures at larger scales. Herein, we present a framework for a comprehensive and economy‐wide biophysical assessment of a CE, utilizing and systematically linking official statistics on resource extraction and use and waste flows in a mass‐balanced approach. This framework builds on the widely applied framework of economy‐wide material flow accounting and expands it by integrating waste flows, recycling, and downcycled materials. We propose a comprehensive set of indicators that measure the scale and circularity of total material and waste flows and their socioeconomic and ecological loop closing. We applied this framework in the context of monitoring efforts for a CE in the European Union (EU28) for the year 2014. We found that 7.4 gigatons (Gt) of materials were processed in the EU and only 0.71 Gt of them were secondary materials. The derived input socioeconomic cycling rate of materials was therefore 9.6%. Further, of the 4.8 Gt of interim output flows, 14.8% were recycled or downcycled. Based on these findings and our first efforts in assessing sensitivity of the framework, a number of improvements are deemed necessary: improved reporting of wastes, explicit modeling of societal in‐use stocks, introduction of criteria for ecological cycling, and disaggregated mass‐based indicators to evaluate environmental impacts of different materials and circularity initiatives.
, Hirokazu Sato, Yasuhiro Fukushima
Environmental Science & Technology, Volume 52, pp 3899-3907; https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.7b06412

Abstract:
To achieve the goals of Paris Agreement, global society is directing much effort in substantially reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In addition to energy-related efforts, prevention of carbon release into the atmosphere with carbon capture and storage (CCS) and/or utilization of biomass resources is considered indispensable to achieving the global objective. In this study, considering carbon-containing goods as carbon reservoirs in our society similar to forests and reservoirs enabling CCS, the flow of materially utilized carbon was quantified by input-output-based material flow analysis (IO-MFA). Consequently, in 2011, 6.3 Mt-C of petroleum-derived carbon and 7.9 Mt-C of wood-derived carbon were introduced to the Japanese society as end-use products (e.g., automobiles and constructions) in various forms (e.g., plastics and synthetic rubbers). The total amount (14.2 Mt-C) corresponded to 4.1% (52.1 Mt-CO2) of annual CO2 emission in Japan in 2011. Subsequently, by referring to the technology that can treat carbon in the target forms in end-of-life products, the recoverability of carbon as a material has been discussed with respect to each form and end-use of carbon. By numerically showing the necessity and potential of implementing appropriate technologies, this study provides scientific direction for policymakers to establish a quality carbon cycle in our society.
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