Mercury, as a global pollutant, has significant impacts on the environment and human health. The current state of atmospheric mercury emissions, pollution and control in China is comprehensively reviewed in this paper. With about 500-800 t of anthropogenic mercury emissions, China contributes 25%-40% to the global mercury emissions. The dominant mercury emission sources in China are coal combustion, non-ferrous metal smelting, cement production and iron and steel production. The mercury emissions from natural sources in China are equivalent to the anthropogenic mercury emissions. The atmospheric mercury concentration in China is about 2-10 times the background level of North Hemisphere. The mercury deposition fluxes in remote areas in China are usually in the range of 10-50μg·m^-2·yr^-1. To reduce mercury emissions, legislations have been enacted for power plants, non-ferrous metal smelters and waste incinerators. Currently mercury contented in the flue gas is mainly removed through existing air pollution control devices for sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particles. Dedicated mercury control technologies are required in the future to further mitigate the mercury emissions in China.
Urban mining is essential for continued natural resource extraction. The recovery of rare and precious metals （RPMs） from urban mines has attracted increasing attention from both academic and industrial sectors, because of the broad application and high price of RPMs, and their low content in natural ores. This study summarizes the distribution characteristics of various RPMs in urban mines, and the advantages and shortcomings of various technologies for RPM recovery from urban mines, including both conventional （pyrometallurgical, hydrometallurgical, and biometallurgical processing）, and emerging （electrochemical, supereritieal fluid, mechanochemical, and ionic liquids processing） technologies. Mechanical/physical technologies are commonly employed to separate RPMs from nonmetallic components in a pre-treatment process. A pyrometallurgical process is often used tbr RPM recovery, although the expensive equipment required has limited its use in small and medium-sized enterprises. Hydrometallurgical processing is effective and easy to operate, with high selectivity of target metals and high recovery efficiency of RPMs, compared to pyrometallurgy. Biometallurgy, though, has shown the most promise for leaching RPMs from urban mines, because of its low cost and environmental friendliness. Newly developed technologies electrochemical, supercritical fluid, ionic liquid, and mechanochemical have offered new choices and achieved some success in laboratory experiments, especially as efficient and environmentally friendly methods of recycling RPMs. With continuing advances in science and technology, more technologies will no doubt be developed in this field, and be able to contribute to the sustainability of RPM mining.
China has been the forerunner of large-scale membrane bioreactor （MBR） application. Since the first large-scale MBR （≥ 10 000 m^3·d^-1） was put into operation in 2006, the engineering implementation of MBR in China has attained tremendous development. This paper outlines the commercial application of MBR since 2006 and provides a variety of engineering statistical data, covering the fields of municipal wastewater, industrial wastewater, and polluted surface water treatment. The total treatment capacity of MBRs reached 1× 10^6 m^3·d^-1 in 2010, and has currently exceeded 4.5 × 10^6 m^3·d^-1 with -75% of which pertaining to municipal wastewater treatment. The anaerobic/anoxic/aerobie-MBR and its derivative processes have been the most popular in the large-scale municipal application, with the process features and typical ranges of parameters also presented in this paper. For the treatment of various types of industrial wastewater, the configurations of the MBR-based processes are delineated with representative engineering cases. In view of the significance of the cost issue, statistics of capital and operating costs are also provided, including cost structure and energy composition. With continuous stimulation from the environmental stress, political propulsion, and market demand in China, the total treatment capacity is expected to reach 7.5 × 10^6 m^3·d^-1 by 2015 and a further expansion of the market is foreseeable in the next five years. However, MBR application is facing several challenges, such as the relatively high energy consumption. Judging MBR features and seeking suitable application areas should be of importance for the long-term development of this technology.
Heterogeneous photocatalysis has long been considered to be one of the most promising approaches to tackling the myriad environmental issues. However, there are still many challenges for designing efficient and cost-effective photocatalysts and photocatalytic degradation systems for application in practical environmental remediation. In this review, we first systematically introduced the fundamental principles on the photocatalytic pollutant degradation. Then, the important considerations in the design of photocatalytic degradation systems are carefully addressed, including charge carrier dynamics, catalytic selectivity, photocatalyst stability, pollutant adsorption and photodegradation kinetics. Especially, the underlying mechanisms are thoroughly reviewed, including investigation of oxygen reduction properties and identification of reactive oxygen species and key intermediates. This review in environmental photocatalysis may inspire exciting new directions and methods for designing, fabricating and evaluating photocatalytic degradation systems for better environmental remediation and possibly other relevant fields, such as photocatalytic disinfection, water oxidation, and selective organic transformations.
Nanotechnology has revolutionized plethora of scientific and technological fields; environmental safety is no exception. One of the most promising and well- developed environmental applications of nanotechnology has been in water remediation and treatment where different nanomaterials can help purify water through different mechanisms including adsorption of heavy metals and other pollutants, removal and inactivation of patho- gens and transformation of toxic materials into less toxic compounds. For this purpose, nanomaterials have been produced in different shapes, integrated into various composites and functionalized with active components. Nanomaterials have also been incorporated in nanostructured catalytic membranes which can in turn help enhance water treatment. In this article, we have provided a succinct review of the most common and popular nanomaterials （titania, carbon nanotubes （CNTs）, zero-valent iron, dendrimers and silver nanomaterials） which are currently used in environmental remediation and particularly in water purification. The catalytic properties and functionalities of the mentioned materials have also been discussed.
Catalytic fast pyrolysis （CFP） of Kraft lignins with HZSM-5 zeolite for producing aromatics was investigated using analytical pyrolysis methods. Two Kraft lignins were fast pyrolyzed in the absence and presence of HZSM-5 in a Curie-point pyrolyzer. Without the catalyst, fast pyrolysis of lignin predominantly produced phenols and guaiacols that were derived from the subunits of lignin. However, the presence of HZSM-5 changed the product distribution dramatically. As the SiO2/ A1203 ratio of HZSM-5 decreased from 200 to 25 and the catalyst-to-lignin ratio increased from 1 to 20, the lignin- derived oxygenates progressively decreased to trace and the aromatics increased substantially. The aromatic yield increased considerably as the pyrolysis temperature increased from 500~C to 650~C, but then decreased with yet further increase of pyrolysis temperature. Under optimal reaction conditions, the aromatic yields were 2.0 wt.% and 5.2 wt.% for the two lignins that had effective hydrogen indexes of 0.08 and 0.35.
Cadmium （Cd） and lead （Pb） in water and soil could be adsorbed by biochar produced from corn straw. Biochar pyrolyzed under 400℃ for 2 h could reach the ideal removal efficiencies （99.24% and 98.62% for Cd and Pb, respectively） from water with the blochar dosage of 20 g. L^-1 and initial concentration of 20 mg.L^-1 . The pH value of 4-7 was the optimal range for adsorption reaction. The adsorption mechanism was discussed on the basis of a range of characterizations, including X-ray diffraction （XRD）, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy （XPS）, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy （FTIR） and Raman analysis; it was concluded as surface complexation with active sorption sites （-OH, -COO-）, coordination with 7c electrons （C = C, C = O） and precipitation with inorganic anions （OH-, CO3^2- , SO4^2- ） for both Cd and Pb. The sorption isotherms fit Langmuir model better than Freundlich model and the saturated sorptlon capacities for Cd and Pb were 38.91 mg·g^-1 and 28.99 mg.g^-1 , espectwely. When mixed with soil, biochar could effectively increase alkalinity and reduce bioavailability of heavy metals. Thus, biochar derived from corn straw would be a green material for both removal of heavy metals and amelioration of soil.
Since 2014, China has been implementing the Sponge City Construction initiative, which represents an enormous and unprecedented effort by any government in the world for achieving urban sustainability. According to preliminary estimates, the total investment on the Sponge City Plan is roughly 100 to 150 million Yuan (RMB) ($15 to $22.5 million) average per square kilometer or 10 Trillion Yuan (RMB) ($1.5 Trillion) for the 657 cities nationwide. The Sponge City Plan (SCP) calls for the use of natural processes such as soil and vegetation as part of the urban runoff control strategy, which is similar to that of low impact development (LID) and green infrastructure (GI) practices being promoted in many parts of the world. The SCP includes as its goals not only effective urban flood control, but also rainwater harvest, water quality improvement and ecological restoration. So far, the SCP implementation has encountered some barriers and challenges due to many factors. The present paper presents a review of those barriers and challenges, offers discussions and recommendations on several technical aspects such as control goals and objectives; planning/design and construction of LID/GI practices; performance evaluation. Several key recommendations are proposed on Sponge City implementation strategy, Site-specific regulatory framework and technical guidance, Product innovation and certification, LID/GI Project financing, LID/GI professional training and certification, public outreach and education. It is expected that the successful implementation of the SCP not only will bring about a sustainable, eco-friendly urbanization process in China, but also contribute enormously to the LID/GI research and development with the vast amount of relevant data and experiences generated from the Sponge City construction projects. (C) Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017
Rapidly increasing concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has drawn more and more attention in recent years, and adsorption has been considered as an effective technology for CO2 capture from the anthropogenic sources. In this paper, the attractive adsorbents including activated carbons and amine-modified materials were mainly reviewed and discussed with particular attention on progress in the adsorbent preparation and C02 adsorption capacity. Carbon materials can be prepared from different precursors including fossil fuels, biomass and resins using the carbonization-activation or only activation process, and activated carbons prepared by KOH activation with high CO2 adsorbed amount were reviewed in the preparation, adsorption capacity as well as the relationship between the pore characteristics and CO2 adsorption. For the amine-modified materials, the physical impregnation and chemical graft of polyethylenimine （PEI） on the different porous materials were introduced in terms of preparation method and adsorption perfor- mance as well as their advantages and disadvantages for CO2 adsorption. In the last section, the issues and prospect of solid adsorbents for CO2 adsorption were summarized, and it is expected that this review will be helpful for the fundamental studies and industrial applications of acti- vated carbons and amine-modified adsorbents for CO2 capture.
Formation of new atmospheric aerosol particles is a global phenomenon that has been observed to take place in even heavily-polluted environments. However, in all environments there appears to be a threshold value of the condensation sink （due to pre-existing aerosol particles） after which the formation rate of 3 nm particles is no longer detected. In China new particle production has been observed at very high pollution levels （condensation sink about 0.1 s-1 ） m several megaclt es, including Beijing, Shanghai and Nanjing as well as in Pearl River Delta （PRD）. Here we summarize the recent findings obtained from these studies and discuss the various implications these findings will have on future research and policy.
Antibiotics are used widely in human and veterinary medicine, and are ubiquitous in environment matrices worldwide. Due to their consumption, excretion, and persistence, antibiotics are disseminated mostly via direct and indirect emissions such as excrements, sewage irrigation, and sludge compost and enter the soil and impact negatively the natural ecosystem of soil. Most antibiotics are amphiphilic or amphoteric and ionize. A non-polar core combined with polar functional moieties makes up numerous antibiotic molecules. Because of various molecule structures, physicochemical properties vary widely among antibiotic compounds. Sorption is an important process for the environment behaviors and fate of antibiotics in soil environment. The adsorption process has decisive role for the environmental behaviors and the ultimate fates of antibiotics in soil. Multiply physicochem- ical properties of antibiotics induce the large variations of their adsorption behaviors. In addition, factors of soil environment such as the pH, ionic strength, metal ions, and organic matter content also strongly impact the adsorption processes of antibiotics. Review about adsorption of antibiotics on soil can provide a fresh insight into understanding the antibiotic-soil interactions. Therefore, literatures about the adsorption mechanisms of antibiotics in soil environment and the effects of environment factors on adsorption behaviors of antibiotics in soil are reviewed and discussed systematically in this review.
This study was conducted to assess the merits and limitations of various high-pressure membranes, tight nanofiltration （NF） membranes in particular, for the removal of trace organic compounds （TrOCs）. The performance of a low-pressure reverse osmosis （LPRO） membrane （ESPA1）, a tight NF membrane （NF90） and two loose NF membranes （HL and NF270） was compared for the rejection of 23 different pharmaceuticals （PhACs）. Efforts were also devoted to understand the effect of adsorption on the rejection performance of each membrane. Difference in hydrogen bond formation potential （HFP） was taken into consideration. Results showed that NF90 performed similarly to ESPA1 with mean rejection higher than 95%. NF270 outperformed HL in terms of both water permeability and PhAC rejection higher than 90%. Electrostatic effects were more significant in PhAC rejection by loose NF membranes than tight NF and LPRO membranes. The adverse effect of adsorption on rejection by HL and ESPA1 was more substantial than NF270 and NF90, which could not be simply explained by the difference in membrane surface hydrophobicity, selective layer thickness or pore size. The HL membrane had a lower rejection of PhACs of higher hydrophobicity （log D〉0） and higher HFP （〉0.02）. Nevertheless, the effects of PhAC hydrophobicity and HFP on rejection by ESPA1 could not be discerned. Poor rejection of certain PhACs could generally be explained by aspects of steric hindrance, electrostatic interactions and adsorption. High-pressure membranes like NF90 and NF270 have a high promise in TrOC removal from contaminated water.
Biochar （BC） is a potential material for removal of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons t~om soil and water, and base modification is a promising method for improving its sorption ability. In this study, we synthesized a series of base-modified biochars, and evaluated their sorption of phenanthrene. Original biochars were produced by pyrolysis of three feedstocks （rice straw, wood and bamboo） at five temperatures （300~C, 350~C, 400~C, 500~C and 700~C）. Base-modified biochars were further obtained by washing ofbiochars with base solution. The base soluble carbon （SC） was extracted from the supernatant, which were only obtained from biochars pyrolyzed at low temperatures （ 〈 500~C） and the content was decreased with the increase of pyrolysis temperature. The SC content between different feedstocks followed the trend office straw〉wood〉bamboo when same pyrolysis conditions were applied, It was tbund that base modification improved the sorption of phenanthrene on biochars that SC could be extracted from （extractable-BCs）. However, base treatment but had limited effects for biochars that no SC could be extracted from. It suggested that base modification improved the sorption of phenanthrene to extractable-BCs by removing the SC and thus increasing the surface area and hydrophobicity. Therefore, base modification was suggested to be used in modifying extractable-BCs.
China is at present experiencing a very rapid urbanization process, which has brought a number of adverse impacts upon the water environment. In particular, urban runoff quantity and quality control have emerged as one of the key concerns for municipal officials. One of the strategies being considered is the use of a Low Impact Development type of Best Management Practices （LID BMPs） for urban storm water runoff quantity and quality control. In this paper, the situation surrounding urban runoff control in China is reviewed first. Then the conventional strategy and technologies for the construction and management of urban drainage systems are discussed, while exploring their inherent dilemmas. The LID BMPs are then introduced to control urban runoff in the context of urban sustainable water systems. After the comprehensive analysis of the various LID BMPs, the advances in LID BMPs research and practice for urban runoff control in China are investigated and summarized. At last, the difficulties of implementing LID BMPs in China are discussed, and a direction for the future is proposed.
Biogas production is a well-established technology primarily for the generation of renewable energy and also for the valorization of organic residues. Biogas is the end product of a biological mediated process, the so called anaerobic digestion, in which different microorganisms, follow diverse metabolic pathways to decompose the organic matter. The process has been known since ancient times and was widely applied at domestic households providing heat and power for hundreds of years. Nowadays, the biogas sector is rapidly growing and novel achievements create the foundation for constituting biogas plants as advanced bioenergy factories. In this context, the biogas plants are the basis of a circular economy concept targeting nutrients recycling, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and biorefinery purposes. This review summarizes the current state-of-the-art and presents future perspectives related to the anaerobic digestion process for biogas production. Moreover, a historical retrospective of biogas sector from the early years of its development till its recent advancements gives an outlook of the opportunities that are opening up for process optimisation. (c) Higher Education Press and Springer- Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018
In the paper concepts for domestic wastewater treatment plants of the future are discussed by the use of a) one flow diagram based on established, compact, proven technologies (i.e. nitrification/denitrification for N-removal in the mainstream) and b) one flow diagram based on emerging, compact technologies (i.e. de-ammonification in the main stream).The latter (b) will give an energyneutral wastewater treatment plant, while this cannot be guaranteed for the first one (a). The example flow diagrams show plant concepts that a) minimize energy consumption by using compact biological and physical/chemical processes combined in an optimal way, for instance by using moving bed biofilm reactor (MBBR) processes for biodegradation and high-rate particle separation processes, and de-ammonification processes for N-removal and b)maximize energy (biogas) production through digestion by using wastewater treatment processes that minimize biodegradation of the sludge (prior to digestion) and pretreatment of the sludge prior to digestion by thermal hydrolysis. The treatment plant of the future should produce a water quality (for instance bathing water quality) that is sufficient for reuse of some kind (toilet flushing, urban use, irrigation etc.). The paper outlines compact water reclamation processes based on ozonation in combination with coagulation as pretreatment before ceramic membrane filtration.
Low impact development type of best management practices （LID-BMPs） aims to mitigate urban stormwater runoffand lessen pollutant loads in an economical and eco-friendly way and has become a global concern in modem urban stormwater management. A new methodology based on stormwater management model （SWMM） for block-scale LID-BMPs planning was developed. This method integrated LID-BMP chain layout optimization in site-scale parcels with scenario analysis in the entire block-scale urban area. Non-dominated sorting genetic algorithm （NSGA-II） was successfully coupled to SWMM through Python to complete the site-scale optimization process. Different LID scenarios of the research area were designed on the basis of the optimized LID-BMP chain layout. A multi-index evaluation that considered runoff quantity indices, pollutant loads, and construction costs simultaneously helped select the cost-effective scenario as the final planning scheme. A case study in Tianjin, China, was conducted to demonstrate the proposed methodology. Results showed that more than 75% control rate of total runoff volume, 22%-46% peak flow reduction efficiency, and more than 32% pollutant removal rate were achieved. The robustness analysis indicated that the selected final planning scheme was considerably robust with varied weight values.
Pharmaceuticals and personal care products （PPCPs） have been regarded as an emerging problem in the surface water environment in the past few decades. In China, although related studies were initiated several years ago, an increasing number of studies on this topic have been conducted in recent years. These studies have expanded knowledge of their occurrence, behavior and associated risk in the surface water environment in China. This review compiles the most recent literature related to the studies of PPCPs in the surface water environment in China. It includes PPCP occurrence in surface water and sediments, their geographical distribution, and outcomes of the associated risk assessment. It shows that antibiotics have received much more attention in both surface water and sediments than other PPCPs. Compared to other countries; most antibiotics in the collected sediments in China showed higher contamination levels. Many more study areas have been covered in recent years; however, attention has been given to only specific areas. Environmental risk assessment based on risk quotients indicated that sulfamethoxazole presents the most significant environmental risk to relevant aquatic organisms; followed by ofloxacin, ciprofloxacin, enrofloxacin, 17α-ethynylestradiol, ibuprofen and diclofenac. Despite limited research on the environmental risk assessment of PPCPs in sediments, higher risks posed by PPCPs in the sediments rather than surfhce water were identified highlighting the need for further risk assessment of PPCPs in sediment samples.
Facing the pressure of excessive water consumption, high pollution load and rainstorm waterlogging,linear and centralized urban water system, system 2.0, as well as traditional governance measures gradually exposed characters of water-sensitivity, vulnerability and unsustainability, subsequently resulting in a full-blown crisis of water shortage, water pollution and waterlogging. To systematically relieve such crisis, we established urban water system 3.0, in which decentralized sewerage systems, sponge infrastructures and ecological rivers play critical roles. Through unconventional water resource recycling, whole process control of pollutions and ecological restoration, system 3.0 with integrated management measures, is expected to fit for multiple purposes which involve environmental,ecological, economic and social benefits. With advantages of flexibility, resilience and sustainability, water system 3.0 will show an increasingly powerful vitality in the near future.
Methane fermentation process can be restricted and even destroyed by the accumulation of propionate because it is the most difficult to be anaerobically oxidized among the volatile fatty acids produced by acetogenesis. To enhance anaerobic wastewater treatment process for methane production and COD removal, a syntrophic propionate-oxidizing microflora B83 was obtained from an anaerobic activated sludge by enrichment with propionate. The inoculation of microflora B83, with a 1：9 ratio of bacteria number to that of the activated sludge, could enhance the methane production from glucose by 2.5 times. With the same inoculation dosage of the microflora B83, COD removal in organic wastewater treatment process was improved from 75.6% to 86.6%, while the specific methane production by COD removal was increased by 2.7 times. Hydrogen-producing acetogene_sis.appeared to be a rate-limiting step in methane termentation, and the enhancement orhydrogen-producing acetogens in the anaerobic wastewater treatment process had improved not only the hydrogen-producing acetogenesis but also the acidogenesis and methanogenesis.