177 results found
Peers De Nieuwburgh C, Watson J, Weiss D, et al., 2022, Environmental screening of water associated with shale gas extraction by fluorescence excitation emission matrix, Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology, Vol: 8, Pages: 2196-2206, ISSN: 2053-1400
The shale revolution has involved the production of oil and gas from shale reservoirs enabled by modern techniques such as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. Large volumes of water-based fluids are required for hydraulic fracturing, some of which return to the surface as produced water. The recycling and effective disposal of produced water reduces water demand and avoids environmental impacts, respectively. Yet risks of water quality degradation surrounding shale oil and gas extraction operations remain highest during produced water treatment and disposal. Risk assessments related to produced water use are difficult to generate due to a lack of standard monitoring methods to characterise produced water and a lack of baseline monitoring data of surrounding water resources. We have performed a study on laboratory shale leachates using fluorescence Excitation Emission Matrix (EEM) spectra and have demonstrated the utility of this spectroscopic technique as a standard method for environmental screening in which the chemical constitution of produced water is monitored. EEM spectra recorded in this work show that dissolved organic matter (DOM) in laboratory shale leachates contains chromophores such as humic acid-like and soluble microbial-like material. Short emission wavelengths (<380 nm) EEM spectra may indicate anthropogenic contamination incidents in future operations, especially as they correspond to fluorescence signatures of some injection fluid additives. Our simple fluorescence method requires little sample preparation and could be coupled with remote sensors for real time, in-situ monitoring of contamination incidents.
Liu F, Gledhill M, Tan Q-G, et al., 2022, Phycosphere pH of unicellular nano- and micro- phytoplankton cells and consequences for iron speciation, ISME JOURNAL, Vol: 16, Pages: 2329-2336, ISSN: 1751-7362
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Barreira J, Araujo DF, Soares R, et al., 2022, Didactic Strategy for the Teaching of Isotope Mixing Models for Stable Isotopes Relevant to Biogeochemistry Based on the Analogy with Color Composition, JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL EDUCATION, ISSN: 0021-9584
Northover G, Mao Y, Blasco S, et al., 2022, Synergistic use of siderophores and weak organic ligands during zinc transport in the rhizosphere controlled by pH and ion strength gradients, Scientific Reports, Vol: 12, ISSN: 2045-2322
Citrate (Cit) and Deferoxamine B (DFOB) are two important organic ligands coexisting in soils with distinct different affinities for metal ions. It has been theorized that siderophores and weak organic ligands play a synergistic role during the transport of micronutrients in the rhizosphere, but the geochemical controls of this process remain unknown. Here we test the hypothesis that gradients in pH and ion strength regulate and enable the cooperation. To this end, first we use potentiometric titrations to identify the dominant Zn(II)–Cit and Zn(II)–DFOB complexes and to determine their ionic strength dependent stability constants between 0 and 1 mol dm−3. We parametrise the Extended Debye-Hückel (EDH) equation and determine accurate intrinsic association constants (logβ0) for the formation of the complexes present. The speciation model developed confirms the presence of [Zn(Cit)]−, [Zn(HCit)], [Zn2(Cit)2(OH)2]4−, and [Zn(Cit)2]4−, with [Zn(Cit)]− and [Zn2(Cit)2(OH)2]4− the dominant species in the pH range relevant to rhizosphere. We propose the existence of a new [Zn(Cit)(OH)3]4− complex above pH 10. We also verify the existence of two hexadentate Zn(II)–DFOB species, i.e., [Zn(DFOB)]− and [Zn(HDFOB)], and of one tetradentate species [Zn(H2DFOB)]+. Second, we identify the pH and ionic strength dependent ligand exchange points (LEP) of Zn with citrate and DFOB and the stability windows for Zn(II)–Cit and Zn(II)–DFOB complexes in NaCl and rice soil solutions. We find that the LEPs fall within the pH and ionic strength gradients expected in rhizospheres and that the stability windows for Zn(II)–citrate and Zn(II)–DFOB, i.e., low and high affinity ligands, can be distinctly set off. This suggests that pH and ion strength gradients allow for Zn(II) complexes with citrate and DFOB to dominate in different parts of the rhizosphere and this explains why mixtures of low and h
Kirby M, Weiss DJ, 2022, A pilot study on the effect of desferrioxamine B on uranium VI precipitation and dissolution in pH 11.5, 0.1 M NaCl solutions, JOURNAL OF RADIOANALYTICAL AND NUCLEAR CHEMISTRY, Vol: 331, Pages: 1779-1784, ISSN: 0236-5731
Bullen JC, Heiba HF, Kafizas A, et al., 2022, Parasitic light absorption, rate laws and heterojunctions in the photocatalytic oxidation of arsenic(III) using composite TiO2/Fe2O3, Chemistry: A European Journal, Vol: 28, ISSN: 0947-6539
Composite photocatalyst-adsorbents such as TiO2/Fe2O3 are promising materials for the one-step treatment of arsenite contaminated water. However, no previous study has investigated how coupling TiO2 with Fe2O3 influences the photocatalytic oxidation of arsenic(III). Herein, we develop new hybrid experiment/modelling approaches to study light absorption, charge carrier behaviour and changes in the rate law of the TiO2/Fe2O3 system, using UV-Vis spectroscopy, transient absorption spectroscopy (TAS), and kinetic analysis. Whilst coupling TiO2 with Fe2O3 improves total arsenic removal by adsorption, oxidation rates significantly decrease (up to a factor of 60), primarily due to the parasitic absorption of light by Fe2O3 (88% of photons at 368 nm) and secondly due to changes in the rate law from disguised zero-order kinetics to first-order kinetics. Charge transfer across this TiO2-Fe2O3 heterojunction is not observed. Our study demonstrates the first application of a multi-adsorbate surface complexation model (SCM) towards describing As(III) oxidation kinetics which, unlike Langmuir-Hinshelwood kinetics, includes the competitive adsorption of As(V), and we further highlight the importance of parasitic light absorption and catalyst fouling when designing heterogeneous photocatalysts for As(III) remediation.
Heiba HF, Bullen JC, Kafizas A, et al., 2022, The determination of oxidation rates and quantum yields during the photocatalytic oxidation of As(III) over TiO2, Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry, Vol: 424, Pages: 113628-113628, ISSN: 1010-6030
The determination of reaction rates for the photocatalytic oxidation (PCO) of arsenite (As(III)) using TiO2 under UV radiation is challenging due to the numerous experimental processes. This includes chemical processes running simultaneously with PCO (e.g. adsorption of arsenic species, direct UV photolysis of As(III)) and the analytical approach used (e.g. whether As(III) or As(V) are measured and used in the calculation of the PCO rate). The various experimental approaches used to date have led to oxidation rates and rate constants which vary by orders of magnitude and contradicting information on rate laws. Here we present the results of a critical examination of possible controls affecting the experimental determination of PCO rates. First, we demonstrate that the choice of analytical technique is not critical, provided that the rate constants are calculated based on the depletion of As(III) after correction of the directly adsorbed As(III). Second, we show the correction of the directly adsorbed As(III) at each time interval is best done by running two parallel experiments (one under UV and the other in dark) instead of running sequential experiment (i.e. running the experiment in the dark then turning on the UV lamp). These findings are supported by XPS analysis of the oxidation state of TiO2-sorbed As. Third, we demonstrate that photolysis by the light source itself, as well as the chemical composition of the solution (i.e. the effect of HEPES and the ionic strength), can significantly increase As(III) oxidation rates and need to be corrected. Finally, to determine the quantum yield of As(III) oxidation, we measured the photon absorption by the TiO2 photocatalyst. Our results showed that the quantum yield (Ø) for this oxidation reaction was low, and in the region of 0.1 to 0.2 %.
Weiss D, Northover G, Hanif M, et al., 2021, Isotope fractionation of zinc in the paddy rice soil-water environment and the role of 2’deoxymugineic acid (DMA) as zincophore under Zn limiting conditions, Chemical Geology, Vol: 577, Pages: 1-21, ISSN: 0009-2541
Non-traditional stable isotope systems are increasingly used to study micronutrient cycling and acquisition in terrestrial ecosystems. We previously proposed for zinc (Zn) a conceptual model linking observed isotope signatures and fractionations to biogeochemical processes occurring in the rice soil environment and we suggested that 2’deoxymugineic acid (DMA) could play an important role for rice during the acquisition of Zn when grown under Zn limiting conditions. This proposition was sustained by the extent and direction of isotope fractionation observed during the complexation of Zn with DMA synthesised in our laboratory. Here we report a new set of experimental data from field and laboratory studies designed to further elucidate the mechanisms controlling Zn isotope fractionation in the rice rhizosphere and the role of DMA. First, we present acidity (pKa) and complexation (logK) constants for DMA with H+ and Zn2+, respectively, using synthetic 2’deoxymugineic acid and show that they are significantly different from previously published data using isolates from plants. Our new set of thermodynamic data allows for a more accurate calculation of the formation of ZnDMA complexes over pH ranges typically found in the rhizosphere of flooded lowland rice soils and in rice plant compartments (xylem, phloem). We show that at pH > 6.5, Zn is fully complexed by DMA and at pH <4.5 fully dissociated. This has important implications, i.e. that in alkaline paddy soils, DMA can strip Zn from soil solids (organic and inorganic) and that ZnDMA complexes are stable at the root interface if the pH is alkaline and in the phloem and xylem of the rice shoot. Second, we present a new set of Zn isotope data in rice grown in alkaline soils with low Zn availability with and without Zn addition. We used two genotypes not tested to date, i.e. A69–1, tolerant to low Zn supply, and IR26, sensitive to low Zn supply. We confirm previous findings that, in contrast to obse
Northover G, Mao Y, Ahmed H, et al., 2021, Effect of salinity on the zinc(II) binding efficiency of siderophore functional groups and implications for salinity tolerance mechanisms in barley, Scientific Reports, Vol: 11, Pages: 1-12, ISSN: 2045-2322
Bacteria, fungi and grasses use siderophores to access micronutrients. Hence, the metal binding efficiency of siderophores is directly related to ecosystem productivity. Salinization of natural solutions, linked to climate change induced sea level rise and changing precipitation patterns, is a serious ecological threat. In this study, we investigate the impact of salinization on the zinc(II) binding efficiency of the major siderophore functional groups, namely the catecholate (for bacterial siderophores), α-hydroxycarboxylate (for plant siderophores; phytosiderophores) and hydroxamate (for fungal siderophores) bidentate motifs. Our analysis suggests that the order of increasing susceptibility of siderophore classes to salinity in terms of their zinc(II) chelating ability is: hydroxamate < catecholate < α-hydroxycarboxylate. Based on this ordering, we predict that plant productivity is more sensitive to salinization than either bacterial or fungal productivity. Finally, we show that previously observed increases in phytosiderophore release by barley plants grown under salt stress in a medium without initial micronutrient deficiencies (i.e., no micronutrient limitations prior to salinization), are in line with the reduced zinc(II) binding efficiency of the α-hydroxycarboxylate ligand and hence important for the salinity tolerance of whole-plant zinc(II) status.
Weiss D, Resongle E, harrison R, et al., 2021, Strong evidence for the continued contribution of lead deposited during the 20th century to the atmospheric environment of today, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of USA, Vol: 118, ISSN: 0027-8424
Although leaded gasoline was banned at the end of the last century, lead (Pb) remains significantly enriched in airborne particles in large cities. The remobilization of historical Pb deposited in soils from atmospheric removal has been suggested as an important source providing evidence for the hypothetical long-term persistency of lead, and possibly other pollutants, in the urban environment. Here, we present data on Pb isotopic composition in airborne particles collected in London (2014 to 2018), which provide strong support that lead deposited via gasoline combustion still contributes significantly to the lead burden in present-day London. Lead concentration and isotopic signature of airborne particles collected at a heavily trafficked site did not vary significantly over the last decade, suggesting that sources remained unchanged. Lead isotopic composition of airborne particles matches that of road dust and topsoils and can only be explained with a significant contribution (estimate of 32 ± 10 to 43 ± 9% based on a binary mixing model) of Pb from leaded gasoline. The lead isotopes furthermore suggest significant contributions from nonexhaust traffic emissions, even though isotopic signatures of anthropogenic sources are increasingly overlapping. Lead isotopic composition of airborne particles collected at building height shows a similar signature to that collected at street level, suggesting effective mixing of lead within the urban street canyon. Our results have important implications on the persistence of Pb in urban environments and suggest that atmospheric Pb reached a baseline in London that is difficult to decrease further with present policy measures.
Wang L, Jin Y, Weiss DJ, et al., 2021, Possible application of stable isotope compositions for the identification of metal sources in soil, Journal of Hazardous Materials, Vol: 407, ISSN: 0304-3894
Metals in soil are potentially harmful to humans and ecosystems. Stable isotope measurement may provide "fingerprint" information on the sources of metals. In light of the rapid progress in this emerging field, we present a state-of-the-art overview of how useful stable isotopes are in soil metal source identification. Distinct isotope signals in different sources are the key prerequisites for source apportionment. In this context, Zn and Cd isotopes are particularly helpful for the identification of combustion-related industrial sources, since high-temperature evaporation-condensation would largely fractionate the isotopes of both elements. The mass-independent fractionation of Hg isotopes during photochemical reactions allows for the identification of atmospheric sources. However, compared with traditionally used Sr and Pb isotopes for source tracking whose variations are due to the radiogenic processes, the biogeochemical low-temperature fractionation of Cr, Cu, Zn, Cd, Hg and Tl isotopes renders much uncertainty, since large intra-source variations may overlap the distinct signatures of inter-source variations (i.e., blur the source signals). Stable isotope signatures of non-metallic elements can also aid in source identification in an indirect way. In fact, the soils are often contaminated with different elements. In this case, a combination of stable isotope analysis with mineralogical or statistical approaches would provide more accurate results. Furthermore, isotope-based source identification will also be helpful for comprehending the temporal changes of metal accumulation in soil systems.
Bullen JC, Saleesongsom S, Gallagher K, et al., 2021, A revised pseudo-second-order kinetic model for adsorption, sensitive to changes in adsorbate and adsorbent concentrations, Langmuir: the ACS journal of surfaces and colloids, Vol: 37, Pages: 3189-3201, ISSN: 0743-7463
The development of new adsorbent materials for the removal of toxic contaminants from drinking water is crucial toward achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 6 (clean water and sanitation). The characterization of these materials includes fitting models of adsorption kinetics to experimental data, most commonly the pseudo-second-order (PSO) model. The PSO model, however, is not sensitive to parameters such as adsorbate and adsorbent concentrations (C0 and Cs) and consequently is not able to predict changes in performance as a function of operating conditions. Furthermore, the experimental conditionality of the PSO rate constant, k2, can lead to erroneous conclusions when comparing literature results. In this study, we analyze 103 kinetic experiments from 47 literature sources to develop a relatively simple modification of the PSO rate equation, yielding . Unlike the original PSO model, this revised rate equation (rPSO) provides the first-order and zero-order dependencies upon C0 and Cs that we observe empirically. Our new model reduces the residual sum of squares by 66% when using a single rate constant to model multiple adsorption experiments with varying initial conditions. Furthermore, we demonstrate how the rPSO rate constant k’ is more appropriate for comparing literature studies, highlighting faster kinetics in the adsorption of arsenic onto alumina versus iron oxides. This revised rate equation should find applications in engineering studies, especially since the rPSO rate constant k’ does not show a counter-intuitive inverse relationship with increasing reaction rates when C0 is increased, unlike the PSO rate constant k2.
Northover GHR, Garcia-España E, Weiss DJ, 2021, Unravelling the modus operandi of phytosiderophores during zinc uptake in rice: the importance of geochemical gradients and accurate stability constants, Journal of Experimental Botany, Vol: 72, Pages: 1517-1526, ISSN: 0022-0957
Micronutrient deficiencies threaten global food production. Attempts to biofortify crops rely on a clear understanding of micronutrient uptake processes. Zinc deficiency in rice is a serious problem. One of the pathways proposed for the transfer of zinc from soils into rice plants involves deoxymugineic acid (DMA), a phytosiderophore. The idea that phytosiderophores play a wider role in nutrition of Poaceae beyond iron is well established. However, key mechanistic details of the DMA-assisted zinc uptake pathway in rice remain uncertain. In particular, questions surround the form in which zinc from DMA is taken up [i.e. as free aqueous Zn(II) or as Zn(II)-DMA complexes] and the role of competitive behaviour of other metals with DMA. We propose that an accurate description of the effect of changes in pH, ligand concentration, and ionic strength on the stability of Zn(II)-DMA complexes in the presence of other metals in the microenvironment around root cells is critical for understanding the modus operandi of DMA during zinc uptake. To that end, we reveal the importance of geochemical changes in the microenvironment around root cells and demonstrate the effect of inaccurate stability constants on speciation models.
Araujo DF, Ponzevera E, Weiss DJ, et al., 2021, Application of Zn isotope compositions in oysters to monitor and quantify anthropogenic Zn bioaccumulation in marine environments over four decades: A "Mussel Watch Program" upgrade, ACS ES&T Water, Vol: 1, Pages: 1035-1046, ISSN: 2690-0637
The application of zinc (Zn) isotope compositions in bivalve organisms to quantify anthropogenic Zn bioaccumulation in marine biota is of great interest to environmental marine management programs such as the “Mussel Watch Program”. Field studies, however, are urgently needed to test its practical value. To this end, we investigated Zn isotope variations in the oyster Crassostrea gigas collected over four decades near the Loire estuary (France), where previous geochemical studies provided evidence for a regionally uniform but temporally variable metal contamination. We show that the Zn temporal isotope profile of oysters matches that of the sedimentary records with an isotope offset of approximately +0.5–0.7‰, tentatively attributed to compromised estuarine processes and trophic transfer. A Zn isotope model for quantifying anthropogenic Zn bioaccumulation suggests an overall decrease in anthropogenic estuarine Zn levels over the past 40 years. This first successful application of Zn isotope ratios in a bivalve species to quantify anthropogenic Zn bioaccumulation confirms their utility for supporting environmental management strategies in marine biomonitoring programs.
Bullen J, Kenney J, Fearn S, et al., 2020, Improved accuracy in multicomponent surface complexation models using surface-sensitive analytical techniques: adsorption of arsenic onto a TiO2/Fe2O3 multifunctional sorbent, Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, Vol: 580, Pages: 834-849, ISSN: 0021-9797
Many novel composite materials have been recently developed for water treatment applications, with the aim of achieving multifunctional behaviour, e.g. combining adsorption with light-driven remediation. The application of surface complexation models (SCM) is important to understand how adsorption changes as a function of pH, ionic strength and the presence of competitor ions. Component additive (CA) models describe composite sorbents using a combination of single-phase reference materials. However, predictive adsorption modelling using the CA-SCM approach remains unreliable, due to challenges in the quantitative determination of surface composition. In this study, we test the hypothesis that characterisation of the outermost surface using low energy ion scattering (LEIS) improves CA-SCM accuracy. We consider the TiO2/Fe2O3 photocatalyst-sorbents that are increasingly investigated for arsenic remediation. Due to an iron oxide surface coating that was not captured by bulk analysis, LEIS significantly improves the accuracy of our component additive predictions for monolayer surface processes: adsorption of arsenic(V) and surface acidity. We also demonstrate non-component additivity in multilayer arsenic(III) adsorption, due to changes in surface morphology/porosity. Our results demonstrate how surface-sensitive analytical techniques will improve adsorption modelling for the next generation of composite sorbents.
Bullen J, Lapinee C, Salaün P, et al., 2020, On the application of photocatalyst-sorbent composite materials for arsenic(III) remediation: Insights from kinetic adsorption modelling, Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering, Vol: 8, ISSN: 2213-3437
TiO2-Fe2O3 composites show great promise for the removal of arsenic(III) from drinking water: this single material combines the photocatalytic capabilities of TiO2 for the oxidation of arsenite (i.e. As(III)) with the high adsorption capacity of iron oxides towards the arsenate (i.e. As(V)) subsequently produced. To design an effective treatment, it is necessary to balance high sorbent concentrations, providing long filter lifetimes, with low photocatalyst concentrations, to achieve effective penetration of light into the system. In this work, we construct a predictive model using experimentally determined As(III) adsorption isotherms and kinetics to estimate arsenic treatment plant lifetimes. We considered sorbent loading, treatment time, and batch treatment versus continuous-flow. Our model indicated that batch treatment is more efficient than continuous-flow at low sorbent concentrations (<100 g L-1), and therefore more appropriate for the photocatalyst-sorbent system. However, with <100 g L-1 sorbent, media should be replaced several times per year to maintain effective treatment. In contrast, slurries of >100 g L-1 sorbent could operate for an entire year without media replacement. This work highlights the important implications of sorbent concentration when we consider the multifunctional photocatalysts-sorbent system, and highlights the need for further experimental work to design efficient arsenic treatment plants.
Kirby M, Sonnenberg JL, Watson JS, et al., 2020, Prevention of UVI precipitation in alkaline aqueous solutions by the siderophore desferrioxamine B, Publisher: American Chemical Society (ACS)
In alkaline and saline solutions, uranium VI (UVI) forms uranyl salts, limiting its mobility in leachates released from nuclear waste repositories into groundwater. However, recent experimental and computational work suggested that natural organic molecules widely present in groundwater such as siderophores could potentially prevent solid precipitation because of the formation of stable UVI-siderophore complexes. It is important we assess the impact of siderophores on aqueous UVI chemistry as they could mobilise UVI from contaminated land and radioactive waste storage and disposal sites. Here we test this hypothesis by combining for the first time experimental studies on uranium precipitation in alkaline pH in the presence of desferrioxamine B (DFOB) and electron structure method calculation of uranyl – hydroxamate complexes to assess their stability. Stirred batch experiments containing 0 to 420 µM DFOB, 42 µM UVI and 0.1 M NaCl were conducted at pH 11.5. DFT was employed to explore the relative stability of different UVI-hydroxamate complexes, representative of the local binding mode of DFOB. During the stirred batch experiments, 5%, 11-12%, 41-53%, 95-96% and 100% of UVI passes through the filter membranes (0.2-1 µm pore diameter) after 24 hours when 0, 4.2, 42, 130 and 420 µM DFOB was added to solution. The DFT results suggest one hydroxamate functional group is most likely to complex with UVI with ∆rG calculated as +3 kJ/mol and -9 kJ/mol for [UO2(OH)3(Lmono)]2- and [UO2(OH)2(L)]- respectively. Conversion of the experimentally derived log β (-1.2 ± 0.3) through the equation ∆rG = -2.303RTlogβ provides ∆rG of +7 kJ/mol, similar to the ∆rG of these two complexes. The results of our study confirm that UVI precipitation could be hindered by the formation of a DFOB complex with UVI complexation through a single hydroxamate functional group as a likely mechanism. These results highlight the mobilising effect siderophores
De Vleeschouwer F, Baron S, Cloy JM, et al., 2020, Comment on: "A novel approach to peatlands as archives of total cumulative spatial pollution loads from atmospheric deposition of airborne elements complementary to EMEP data: Priority pollutants (Pb, Cd, Hg)" by Ewa Miszczak, Sebastian Stefaniak, Adam Michczyński, Eiliv Steinnes and Irena Twardowska, Science of the Total Environment, Vol: 737, ISSN: 0048-9697
A recent paper by Miszczak et al. (2020) examines metal contamination of mires in Poland and Norway. The authors conclude that lead (Pb) records in ombrotrophic peatlands cannot be used to reconstruct the chronological history of anthropogenic activities due to post-depositional mobility of the metal. We contest this general conclusion which stands in contrast with a significant body of literature demonstrating that Pb is largely immobile in the vast majority of ombrotrophic peatlands. Our aim is to reaffirm the crucial contribution that peat records have made to our knowledge of atmospheric Pb contamination. In addition, we reiterate the necessity of following established protocols to produce reliable records of anthropogenic Pb contamination in environmental archives.
Liu F, Tan Q-G, Weiss D, et al., 2020, Unravelling metal speciation in the microenvironment surrounding phytoplankton cells to improve predictions of metal bioavailability., Environmental Science and Technology (Washington), Vol: 54, Pages: 8177-8185, ISSN: 0013-936X
A lack of knowledge on metal speciation in the microenvironment surrounding phytoplankton cells (i.e., the phycosphere) represents an impediment to accurately predicting metal bioavailability. Phycosphere pH and O2 concentrations from a diversity of algae species were compiled. For marine algae in the light, the average increases were 0.32 pH units and 0.17 mM O2 in the phycosphere, whereas in the dark the average decreases were 0.10 pH units and 0.03 mM O2, in comparison to bulk seawater. In freshwater algae, the phycosphere pH increased by 1.28 units, whereas O2 increased by 0.38 mM in the light. Equilibrium modeling showed that the pH alteration influenced the chemical species distribution (i.e., free ion, inorganic complexes, and organic complexes) of Al, Cd, Co, Cu, Fe, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb, Sc, Sm, and Zn in the phycosphere, and the O2 fluctuation increased oxidation rates of Cu(I), Fe(II) and Mn(II) from 2 to 938-fold. The pH/O2-induced changes in phycosphere metal chemistry were larger for freshwater algae than for marine species. Reanalyses of algal metal uptake data in the literature showed that uptake of the trivalent metals (Sc, Sm and Fe), in addition to divalent metals, can be better predicted after considering the phycosphere chemistry.
Schleicher NJ, Dong S, Packman H, et al., 2020, A global assessment of copper, zinc, and lead isotopes in mineral dust sources and aerosols, Frontiers in Earth Science, Vol: 8, Pages: 1-20, ISSN: 2296-6463
The stable isotope compositions of Cu and Zn in major geochemical reservoirs are increasingly studied with the aim to develop these isotope systems as tools to investigate the global biogeochemical cycles of these trace metals. The objectives of the present study were (i) to expand the range of Cu, Zn, and Pb isotope compositions of mineral dust by analyzing samples from major mineral dust sources in Asia and Africa (Chinese Loess Plateau, Chinese deserts, Thar desert, Sahel region) and (ii) to assess the potential impact of human activities on the isotope composition of aerosols by synthesizing published Cu and Zn isotope compositions in aerosols and natural and anthropogenic sources. For the newly analyzed mineral dust areas in Asia and Africa, δ65CuNIST−976 values range from −0.54 to +0.52‰, δ66ZnJMC−Lyon values from −0.07 to +0.57‰, and 206Pb/204Pb values from 18.522 to 19.696. We find a significant geographic control with samples from the Thar Desert having the heaviest isotopic compositions (δ65CuNIST−976 = +0.48 ± 0.06‰, δ66ZnJMC−Lyon = +0.49 ± 0.11‰) and samples from the Sahel and the Badain Jaran desert having the lightest Zn isotope composition (δ66ZnJMC−Lyon = +0.19 ± 0.15‰ and +0.07 ± 0.07‰, respectively). We find important variations in the isotope signatures between particle size fractions with heavier isotopic compositions in the smallest and largest particle size fractions and lighter isotopic compositions in the mid particle size fractions. Associations with the mineralogical composition are less clear. Newly analyzed aerosol samples for Beijing and Xi'an show δ65CuNIST−976 values of +0.29 ± 0.19‰ and +0.16 ± 0.04‰, δ66ZnJMC−Lyon values of −0.36 ± 0.04‰ and +0.02 ± 0.06‰, and 206Pb/204Pb values of 18.129 ± 0.003 and 18
Bullen JC, Torres-Huerta A, Salaün P, et al., 2020, Portable and rapid arsenic speciation in synthetic and natural waters by an As(V)-selective chemisorbent, validated against anodic stripping voltammetry, Water Research, Vol: 175, Pages: 1-11, ISSN: 0043-1354
Inorganic arsenic speciation, i.e. the differentiation between arsenite and arsenate, is an important step for any program aiming to address the global issue of arsenic contaminated groundwater, whether for monitoring purposes or the development of new water treatment regimes. Reliable speciation by easy-to-use, portable and cost-effective analytical techniques is still challenging for both synthetic and natural waters. Here we demonstrate the first application of an As(V)-selective chemisorbent material for simple and portable speciation of arsenic using handheld syringes, enabling high sample throughput with minimal set-up costs. We first show that ImpAs efficiently removes As(V) from a variety of synthetic groundwaters with a single treatment, whilst As(III) is not retained. We then exemplify the potential of ImpAs for simple and fast speciation by determining rate constants for the photooxidation of As(III) in presence of a TiO2 photocatalyst. Finally, we successfully speciate natural waters spiked with a mix of As(III) and As(V) in both Indian and UK groundwaters with less than 5 mg L−1 dissolved iron. Experimental results using ImpAs agreed with anodic stripping voltammetry (ASV), a benchmark portable technique, with analysis conditions optimised here for the groundwaters of South Asia. This new analytical tool is simple, portable and fast and should find applications within the overall multi-disciplinary remediation effort that is taking place to tackle this worldwide arsenic problem.
Kirby ME, Watson JS, Najorka J, et al., 2020, Experimental study of pH effect on uranium (UVI) particle formation and transport through quartz sand in alkaline 0.1 M sodium chloride solutions, Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects, Vol: 592, Pages: 1-11, ISSN: 0927-7757
A thorough understanding of the aqueous uranium VI (UVI) chemistry in alkaline, sodium containing solutions is imperative to address a wide range of critical challenges in environmental engineering, including nuclear waste management. The aim of the present study was to characterise experimentally in more detail the control of pH on the removal of UVI from aqueous alkaline solutions through particle formation and on subsequent transport through porous media. We conducted first static batch experiments in the pH range between 10.5 and 12.5 containing 10 ppm UVI in 0.1 M NaCl solutions and examined the particles formed using filtration, dynamic light scattering, transition electron microscopy and X-ray powder diffraction. We found that at pH 10.5 and 11.5, between 75 and 96 % of UVI was removed from the solutions as clarkeite and studtite over a period of 48 h, forming particles with hydrodynamic diameters of 640 ± 111 nm and 837 ± 142 nm, respectively and representing aggregates of 10′s nm sized crystals randomly orientated. At pH 12.5, the formation of particles >0.2 μm became insignificant and no UVI was removed from solution. The mobility of UVI in these solutions was further studied using column experiments through quartz sand. We found that at pH 10.5 and 11.5, UVI containing particles were immobilised near the column inlet, likely due physical immobilisation of the particles (particle straining). At pH 12.5, however, UVI quantitatively eluted from the columns in the filter fraction <0.2 μm. The findings of our study reinforce a strong control of solution pH on particle size and U removal in alkaline solutions and subsequently on mobility of U through quartz porous media.
Kirby ME, Sonnenberg JL, Simperler A, et al., 2020, Stability series for the complexation of six key siderophore functional Groups with uranyl using density functional theory, The Journal of Physical Chemistry A, Vol: 124, Pages: 2460-2472, ISSN: 1089-5639
Determining stability constants of uranyl complexes with the principal functional groups in siderophores and identifying stability series is of great importance to predict which siderophore classes preferentially bind to UVI and hence impact uranium speciation in the environment. It also helps to develop resins for scavenging UVI from aqueous solutions. Here, we apply a recently developed computational approach to calculate log β values for a set of geochemically relevant uranium organometallic complexes using Density Functional Theory (DFT). We determined the stability series for catecholate, hydroxamate, α-hydroxycarboxylate, α-aminocarboxylate, hydroxy-phenyloxazolonate, and α-hydroxyimidazole with the uranyl cation. In this work, the stability constants (log β110) of α-hydroxyimidazolate and hydroxy-phenyloxazolonate are calculated for the first time. Our approach employed the B3LYP density functional approximation, aug-cc-pVDZ basis set for ligand atoms, MDF60 ECP for UVI, and the IEFPCM solvation model. DFT calculated log β110 were corrected using a previously established fitting equation. We find that the siderophore functional groups stability decreases in the order: α-hydroxycarboxylate bound via the α-hydroxy and carboxylate groups (log β110 = 17.08), α-hydroxyimidazolate (log β110 = 16.55), catecholate (log β110 = 16.43), hydroxamate (log β110 = 9.00), hydroxy-phenyloxazolonate (log β110 = 8.43), α-hydroxycarboxylate bound via the carboxylate group (log β110 = 7.51) and α-aminocarboxylate (log β110 = 4.73). We confirm that the stability for the binding mode of the functional groups decrease in the order: bidentate, monodentate via ligand O atoms and monodentate via ligand N atoms. The stability series strongly suggests that α-hydroxyimidazolate is an important functional group that needs to be included when assessing uranyl mobility and removal fr
Zhang Y, Takahashi Y, Hong SP, et al., 2019, High-resolution label-free 3D mapping of extracellular pH of single living cells, Nature Communications, Vol: 10, Pages: 1-9, ISSN: 2041-1723
Dynamic mapping of extracellular pH (pHe) at the single-cell level is critical for understanding the role of H+ in cellular and subcellular processes, with particular importance in cancer. While several pHe sensing techniques have been developed, accessing this information at the single-cell level requires improvement in sensitivity, spatial and temporal resolution. We report on a zwitterionic label-free pH nanoprobe that addresses these long-standing challenges. The probe has a sensitivity >0.01 units, 2 ms response time, and 50 nm spatial resolution. The technology was incorporated into a double-barrel nanoprobe integrating pH sensing with feedback-controlled distance sensing via Scanning Ion Conductance Microscopy. This allows for the simultaneous 3D topographical imaging and pHe monitoring of living cancer cells. These classes of nanoprobes were used for real-time high spatiotemporal resolution pHe mapping at the subcellular level and revealed tumour heterogeneity of the peri-cellular environments of melanoma and breast cancer cells.
Duerr-Auster T, Wiggenhauser M, Zeder C, et al., 2019, The use of Q-ICPMS to apply enriched Zinc stable isotope source tracing for organic fertilizers, Frontiers in Plant Science, Vol: 10, Pages: 1-12, ISSN: 1664-462X
Organic fertilizer applications can contribute to Zinc (Zn) biofortification of crops. An enriched stable isotope source tracing approach is a central tool to further determine the potential of this biofortification measure. Here, we assessed the use of the widely available quadrupole single-collector ICPMS (Q-ICPMS, analytical error = 1% relative standard deviation) and the less accessible but more precise multicollector ICPMS as reference instrument (MC-ICPMS, analytical error = 0.01% relative standard deviation) to measure enriched Zn stable isotope ratios in soil–fertilizer–plant systems. The isotope label was either applied to the fertilizer (direct method) or to the soil available Zn pool that was determined by isotope ratios measurements of the shoots that grew on labeled soils without fertilizer addition (indirect method). The latter approach is used to trace Zn that was added to soils with complex insoluble organic fertilizers that are difficult to label homogeneously. To reduce isobaric interferences during Zn isotope measurements, ion exchange chromatography was used to separate the Zn from the sample matrix. The 67Zn:66Zn isotope ratios altered from 0.148 at natural abundance to 1.561 in the fertilizer of the direct method and 0.218 to 0.305 in soil available Zn of the indirect method. Analysis of the difference (Bland–Altman) between the two analytical instruments revealed that the variation between 67Zn:66Zn isotope ratios measured with Q-ICPMS and MC-ICPMS were on average 0.08% [95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.68%]. The fractions of Zn derived from the fertilizer in the plant were on average 0.16% higher (CI = 0.49%) when analyzed with Q- compared to MC-ICPMS. The sample matrix had a larger impact on isotope measurements than the choice of analytical instrument, as non-purified samples resulted on average 5.79% (CI = 9.47%) higher isotope ratios than purified samples. Furthermore, the gain in analytical precision using MC-ICPMS inst
Kirby ME, Bullen JC, Hanif MD, et al., 2019, Determining the effect of pH on iron oxidation kinetics in aquatic environments: exploring a fundamental chemical reaction to grasp the significant ecosystem implications of iron bioavailability, Journal of Chemical Education, Vol: 97, Pages: 215-220, ISSN: 0021-9584
Understanding the controls of the oxidation rate of iron (Fe) in oxygenated aquatic systems is fundamental for students of the Earth and Environmental Sciences as it defines the bioavailability of Fe, a trace metal essential for life. The laboratory experiment presented here was successfully developed and used during a third-year undergraduate lab course at Imperial College London for several years. It employs ultraviolet–visible (UV–vis) spectroscopy calibrated externally with 0 to 50 μM Fe2+ standards created in a 492 μM ferrozine and 0.43 M acetate matrix. The students conducted the oxidation experiments in stirred batch reactors at equilibrium with atmospheric oxygen. The solution contained 40.5 μM initial Fe2+ concentration and a 5.1 mM imidazole buffer. The pH was adjusted to values between 7.22 and 7.77. The students observed a pseudo-first-order reaction with respect to Fe2+ concentration. Plotting the logarithms of the apparent rate constants (k′) at different pH values leads to a gradient of 2.2 ± 0.2 min–1 pH–1, indicating a second-order reaction with respect to OH– concentration, in agreement with published literature. The oxidation reaction occurred rapidly (tens of seconds to tens of minutes) indicating that in oxygenated aquatic systems, Fe3+ will be the dominant oxidation state, significantly reducing the bioavailability of Fe. The simple laboratory experiment presented here allows the students to learn about kinetic parameters for a fundamental chemical reaction. It allows the students to explore the significant implications this has for aquatic ecosystems.
Le Roux G, De Vleeschouwer F, Weiss D, et al., 2019, Learning from the past: fires, architecture, and environmental lead emissions, Environmental Science and Technology (Washington), Vol: 53, Pages: 8482-8484, ISSN: 0013-936X
Mondillo N, Wilkinson JJ, Boni M, et al., 2018, A global assessment of Zn isotope fractionation in secondary Zn minerals from sulfide and non-sulfide ore deposits and model for fractionation control, Chemical Geology, Vol: 500, Pages: 182-193, ISSN: 0009-2541
We investigated extent and direction of Zn isotope fractionation in secondary zinc minerals formed during low temperature hydrothermal and/or supergene oxidation of primary sulfide deposits. Zinc isotope data have been obtained from non-sulfide zinc mineral separates (willemite - Zn2SiO4, smithsonite - ZnCO3, hemimorphite - Zn4(Si2O7)(OH)2·H2O, hydrozincite - Zn5(CO3)2(OH)6, and sauconite - Na0.3Zn3(Si,Al)4O10(OH)2·4H2O) collected from several Zn deposits in Ireland, Belgium, Poland, Namibia, Peru, Yemen and Zambia. The data are compared with Zn isotope compositions measured on Zn sulfides collected in the same areas and/or derived from the existing literature, to establish the controls of direction and likely extent of any fractionations. We find that willemite has the greatest compositional variability, with measured δ66ZnJCM-Lyonvalues ranging from −0.42 to 1.39‰, spanning the entire range of terrestrial variation in Zn isotopes recorded to date. Overall, significant fractionations in positive and negative directions are recorded relative to the precursor phase (primary sphalerite or an earlier secondary phase), with primary sphalerite falling in a relatively narrow range of isotopic values (approximately −0.1 to +0.4‰). Most of the data observed on willemite, hemimorphite and hydrozincite can be explained with a model of isotopic fractionation, in which partial dissolution of primary sphalerite is followed by precipitation of an initial secondary phase that preferentially incorporates heavy Zn isotopes. Smithsonite, instead, preferentially incorporates light Zn isotopes. This reflects the variation in the Zn-x bond strengths of these secondary phases with respect to the original sulfides. We also observed that isotope compositions do not depend only on the difference between the fractionation factors of the involved phases but also on the amount of the secondary mineral precipitated after dissolution of primary sulfi
Kirby M, Simperler A, Krevor S, et al., 2018, Computational tools for calculating log β values of geochemically relevant uranium organometallic complexes, Journal of Physical Chemistry A, Vol: 122, Pages: 8007-8019, ISSN: 1089-5639
Uranium (UVI) interacts with organic ligands, subsequently controlling its aqueous chemistry. It is therefore imperative to assess the binding ability of natural organic molecules. We evidence that density functional theory (DFT) can be used as a practical protocol for predicting the stability of UVI organic ligand complexes, allowing for the development of a relative stability series for organic complexes with limited experimental data. Solvation methods and DFT settings were benchmarked to suggest a suitable off-the-shelf solution. The results indicate that the IEFPCM solvation method should be employed. A mixed solvation approach improves the accuracy of the calculated stability constant (log β); however, the calculated log β are approximately five times more favorable than experimental data. Different basis sets, functionals, and effective core potentials were tested to check that there were no major changes in molecular geometries and ΔrG. The recommended method employed is the B3LYP functional, aug-cc-pVDZ basis set for ligands, MDF60 ECP and basis set for UVI, and the IEFPCM solvation model. Using the fitting approach employed in the literature with these updated DFT settings allows fitting of 1:1 UVI complexes with root-mean-square deviation of 1.38 log β units. Fitting multiple bound carboxylate ligands indicates a second, separate fitting for 1:2 and 1:3 complexes.
Khondoker R, Weiss DJ, van de Flierdt T, et al., 2018, New constraints on elemental and Pb and Nd isotope compositions of South American and Southern African aerosol sources to the South Atlantic Ocean, Chemie der Erde / Geochemistry, Vol: 78, Pages: 372-384, ISSN: 0009-2819
Improving the geochemical database available for characterising potential natural and anthropogenic aerosol sources from South America and Southern Africa is a critical precondition for studies aimed at understanding trace metal controls on the marine biogeochemical cycles of the South Atlantic Ocean. We here present new elemental and isotopic data for a wide range of sample types from South America and Southern Africa that are potentially important aerosol sources. This includes road dust from Buenos Aires and lichen samples from Johannesburg, soil dust from Patagonia, volcanic ash from the Andean volcanic belt, and aerosol samples from São Paulo. All samples were investigated for major (Al, Ca, Fe, Mg, Na, K, Mn) and trace element (Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, REE, Sc, Th, Y, V, Zn) concentrations and Nd and Pb isotopic compositions. We show that diagrams of 208Pb/207Pb vs. εNd, 208Pb/207Pb vs. Pb/Al, 1/[Pb], Zn/Al, Cd/Al, Cu/Al, and εNd vs. Pb/Al, and 1/[Nd] are best suited to separate South American and South African source regions as well as natural and anthropogenic sources. A subset of samples from Patagonia and the Andes was additionally subjected to separation of a fine (<5 μm) fraction and compared to the composition of the bulk sample. We show that differences in the geochemical signature of bulk samples between individual regions and source types are significantly larger than between grain sizes. Jointly, these findings present an important step forward towards a quantitative assessment of aeolian trace metal inputs to the South Atlantic Ocean.
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