Thứ ba, 28/05/2024 04:55 (GMT+7)

Công bố quốc tế lĩnh vực môi trường số 15-2024

MTĐT -  Thứ hai, 15/04/2024 11:37 (GMT+7)

Theo dõi MTĐT trên

Ban biên tập Chuyên trang Quản lý Môi trường, Tạp chí Môi trường và Đô thị Việt Nam trân trọng giới thiệu tới quý độc giả Công bố quốc tế lĩnh vực môi trường số 15-2024.

Về quản lý môi trường

- Lượng sol khí carbon cao từ khói gỗ trong bầu khí quyển của Bắc Kinh từ năm 2015 đến năm 2017: Ý nghĩa đối với chính sách chuyển đổi năng lượng.

- Sự biến đổi khí quyển ở Bắc Cực/Bắc Đại Tây Dương gây ra các sự kiện PM10 nghiêm trọng ở Hàn Quốc.

- Đánh giá rủi ro lũ lụt giai đoạn 2021–2050 theo các kịch bản biến đổi khí hậu ở Thành phố đô thị Venice.

- Hành động vì khí hậu ngay bây giờ: Tái cơ cấu ngành năng lượng để đẩy nhanh quá trình chuyển đổi năng lượng tái tạo.

- Rủi ro từ biến đổi khí hậu trong tương lai đối với mạng lưới khu vực được bảo vệ của Pakistan: Phân tích tổng hợp để xác định điểm nóng.

- Năng suất sơ cấp thực vật thực vật ở các khu vực thành thị của Trung Quốc phản ứng tích cực với lệnh phong tỏa do dịch COVID-19 vào mùa xuân năm 2020.

- Các cảng và ảnh hưởng của chúng đối với ô nhiễm không khí tại địa phương và sức khỏe cộng đồng: Một phân tích toàn cầu.

- Giám sát 35 năm một bãi chôn lấp ở Ý: Ảnh hưởng của quá trình tuần hoàn tập trung thẩm thấu ngược đến đặc tính nước rỉ rác.

- Giải phóng cổ tức kép: Đánh giá tác động của kế hoạch kinh doanh khí thải SO₂ đối với hiệu quả kinh tế và môi trường của công ty.

- Đổi mới công nghệ ảnh hưởng đến dấu chân sinh thái như thế nào? Bằng chứng từ các quốc gia E-7 trong bối cảnh SDG.

Về môi trường đô thị

- Mô hình hóa các đánh giá kỹ thuật, môi trường và kinh tế về ảnh hưởng của tốc độ tải hữu cơ trong quá trình phân hủy kỵ khí bán liên tục của chất thải rắn đô thị hữu cơ đã được xử lý trước.

- Phân bổ nguồn nồng độ số lượng hạt mịn và siêu mịn tại một thành phố lớn ở Đông Địa Trung Hải.

- Không gian xanh đô thị và sự phát triển hành vi và nhận thức ở trẻ em: Đánh giá tác động sức khỏe của Kế hoạch "Eixos Verds” Barcelona (Kế hoạch Trục Xanh).

- Quan sát của HONO và tiền thân của nó giữa đô thị và các lĩnh vực nông nghiệp xung quanh: Vận chuyển theo chiều dọc, nguồn và sự đóng góp cho OH.

- Đặc tính phát thải trong thế giới thực của các hợp chất carbonyl từ các phương tiện giao thông đường bộ ở Bắc Kinh và Trịnh Châu, Trung Quốc.

- Ảnh hưởng của đặc điểm lưu vực đô thị đến tình trạng tràn cống thoát nước kết hợp.

- Tác động của lượng mưa đến nồng độ oxy hòa tan trong hồ chứa đô thị cận nhiệt đới.

- Ảnh hưởng của các hiện tượng nhiệt độ khắc nghiệt đến số ca tử vong và sự tương tác của nó với ô nhiễm không khí.

- Sự không chắc chắn về khí hậu và tính dễ bị tổn thương của lũ lụt đô thị liên quan đến rủi ro khu vực bằng cách sử dụng phân tích đa tiêu chí ở Mumbai, Ấn Độ.

Về môi trường khu công nghiệp

- Xử lý PFAS trong đất: Đánh giá các vật liệu gốc carbon để cô lập chất gây ô nhiễm.

- Biến đổi và đặc tính hóa học môi trường của các nguyên tố vi lượng nguy hại trong nhà máy nhiệt điện đốt rác thải công suất 800 tấn/ngày.

- Chất kết dính có nguồn gốc từ sản phẩm phụ công nghiệp để xử lý tại chỗ tro pyrit có hàm lượng Pb cao: Sử dụng kết hợp xỉ lò cao dạng hạt nghiền và xỉ thép để đạt được khả năng giữ Pb hiệu quả và giảm thiểu CO2.

- Xuất hiện khối lượng sản xuất lớn các hóa chất và hydrocacbon thơm đa vòng ở các khu đô thị gần khu công nghiệp. Tiếp xúc với con người và đánh giá rủi ro.

- Hiệp hội vi sinh vật và tác động của việc khai thác công nghiệp đến Vùng bức xạ nền cao tự nhiên (NHBRA), Ấn Độ – Vai trò đặc trưng của các hạt nhân phóng xạ nguyên thủy trong việc ảnh hưởng đến cấu trúc quần xã và mô hình cực trị.

- Sự can thiệp của vi sinh vật giúp cải thiện việc loại bỏ chất ô nhiễm và sản xuất phân khoáng hữu cơ bán lỏng từ bùn thải của nhà máy ô liu và đá photphat.

- Đánh giá kinh tế - kỹ thuật cho mối quan hệ nước-năng lượng-cacbon dựa trên sự phát triển của mô hình toán học: Trong ngành sắt thép.

- Phân tích quá trình chuyển hóa năng lượng của ngành công nghiệp ô tô để nghiên cứu sự khác biệt được tìm thấy trong lĩnh vực này ở các nước EU.

- Loại bỏ thuốc nhuộm Reactive Red 195 khỏi nước thải ngành dệt may bằng chiết xuất xanh dựa trên dung môi Deep Eutectic.

- Những tiến bộ trong phương pháp tính toán lượng phát thải oxit nitơ từ ngành công nghiệp axit adipic.

Công bố quốc tế lĩnh vực môi trường số 15-2024/ International Environmental Bulletin No. 15-2024
Với tần suất và cường độ thiên tai dự kiến sẽ tăng lên cùng với những biến đổi khí hậu sẽ gây ra những tác động lớn đến thế giới và đặc biệt là trẻ em. Ảnh: UNICEF Việt Nam

CHUYÊN TRANG QUẢN LÝ MÔI TRƯỜNG
Tạp chí Môi trường và Đô thị Việt Nam
Xin trân trọng giới thiệu!

ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT / QUẢN LÝ MÔI TRƯỜNG

1. High loadings of carbonaceous aerosols from wood smoke in the atmosphere of Beijing from 2015 to 2017: Implications for energy transition policy

Environmental Pollution, Volume 344, 1 March 2024, 123240

Abstract

Recently, biomass has been regarded as a promising option for solid energy in China, which is promoted in the residential sector and firing power plants. We collected 200 PM2.5 samples (particulate matter with a aerodynamic diameter smaller than 2.5 μm) at multi-sites across Beijing from three individual sampling cases from 2015 to 2017. The levels of OC, OC fractions, EC, EC fractions, as well as K+ were measured. Then, we adopted the Positive Matrix Factorization 5.0 to apportion the sources of carbonaceous aerosols.

The source apportionment results were compared with the estimates of source contribution using the bottom-up technical method with the latest emission inventories after the Action Plan was put into effect in 2013. Our results demonstrate that high pollution of carbonaceous aerosols originated from wood smoking based on the receptor modeling and bottom-up technical method in Beijing from 2015 to 2017. Future energy transition policy should focus on the technologies and regulations for reducing emissions from renewable biomass fuel combustion. This study highlights the importance of regulations that address emissions controls on fuels replacing coal combustion to meet the needs to mitigate air pollution from primary energy use.

2. Arctic/North Atlantic atmospheric variability causes Severe PM10 events in South Korea

Science of The Total Environment, Volume 914, 1 March 2024, 169714

Abstract

Severe PM10 (particulate matter with a diameter of <10 μm) events in South Korea are known to be caused by stable atmospheric circulation conditions related to high-pressure anomalies in the upper troposphere. However, research on why these atmospheric circulation patterns occur is unknown. In this study, we propose new large-scale teleconnection pathways that cause severe PM10 events during the midwinter in South Korea. This study investigated instances of extremely high (EH)-PM10 in South Korea during mid-winter and examined the corresponding atmospheric teleconnection patterns to identify the factors contributing to EH-PM10 events. K-means clustering analysis revealed that EH-PM10 instances were associated with two large-scale teleconnection patterns.

Cluster 1 exhibited a wave train pattern originating in the North Atlantic that developed from Eurasia to the Korean Peninsula. Cluster 2 was associated with a wave-like teleconnection pattern from the Barents-Kara Sea to the Korean Peninsula. The Rossby waves, triggered by the North Atlantic and the Arctic, propagated and weakened the surface pressure system. This led to a high-pressure anomaly over the Korean Peninsula, reducing atmospheric ventilation and causing a rapid increase in PM10 concentration within a few days. Furthermore, an experiment involving a linear baroclinic model established that atmospheric forcing in upstream regions has the potential to induce large-scale atmospheric teleconnection patterns, resulting in EH-PM10 cases in South Korea. These findings emphasize the ventilation effect and transport of PM10 concentrations modulated by two large-scale teleconnection patterns originating from the Arctic and North Atlantic, leading to EH-PM10 events in South Korea. Understanding this combined phenomenon may assist in the implementation of emission reduction measures based on the results of short-term forecasts of severe PM10 events.

3. A novel framework for integrative assessment of water balance health in China

Journal of Cleaner ProductionVolume 443, 1 March 2024, 141199

Abstract

Existing studies on water resource issues focus on water scarcity while largely lacking an integrative water balance health assessment and ignoring the combined impacts of water quality, water transfer, and unconventional water resources on water balance. Here, we proposed a novel framework for assessing regional water balance health considering three dimensions of water problems about imbalances: water scarcity, water inequality, and systems incoordination. This paper first quantified the levels of water balance health at multiple geographic and temporal scales in China, and then investigated the critical components and the impacts of improved surface water quality, inter-basin water transfer, and unconventional water use on the local water balance health.

Results showed that China was under an unhealthy water balance due to multiple imbalances based on the annual average assessments during 2014–2018. More than 45% of the national population (∼615 million people) was affected by an unhealthy water balance. Hotspots with unhealthy water balance exhibited spatial heterogeneity and temporal variability, with Northern China experiencing unhealthy water balance throughout the year, while Southern China usually faced this issue during the winter. Unhealthy water balance in Northern China was primarily driven by water scarcity, while in the west of the Hu-Huanyong Line, water inequality exacerbated the situation. Southeastern China faced systems incoordination, particularly vulnerable during extreme events, such as severe droughts.

More than 400 and 150 million people benefited significantly from improved surface water quality and inter-basin water transfer, respectively, relieving unhealthy water balance. However, the effectiveness of unconventional water use was found to be limited. This study contributed to a better understanding of water balance health and facilitated the development of policies for integrated water resources management in China.

4. Pluvial flood risk assessment for 2021–2050 under climate change scenarios in the Metropolitan City of Venice

Science of The Total Environment, Volume 914, 1 March 2024, 169925

Abstract

Pluvial flood is a natural hazard occurring from extreme rainfall events that affect millions of people around the world, causing damages to their properties and lives. The magnitude of projected climate risks indicates the urgency of putting in place actions to increase climate resilience. Through this study, we develop a Machine Learning (ML) model to predict pluvial flood risk under Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) 4.5 and 8.5 for future scenarios of precipitation for the period 2021–2050, considering different triggering factors and precipitation patterns. The analysis is focused on the case study area of the Metropolitan City of Venice (MCV) and considers 212 historical pluvial flood events occurred in the timeframe 1995–2020.

The methodology developed implements spatio-temporal constraints in the ML model to improve pluvial flood risk prediction under future scenarios of climate change. Accordingly, a cross-validation approach was applied to frame a model able to predict pluvial flood at any time and space. This was complemented with historical pluvial flood data and the selection of nine triggering factors representative of territorial features that contribute to pluvial flood events. Logistic Regression was the most reliable model, with the highest AUC score, providing robust result both in the validation and test set. Maximum cumulative rainfall of 14 days was the most important feature contributing to pluvial flood occurrence. The final output is represented by a suite of risk maps of the flood-prone areas in the MCV for each quarter of the year for the period 1995–2020 based on historical data, and risk maps for each quarter of the period 2021–2050 under RCP4.5 and 8.5 of future precipitation scenarios. Overall, the results underline a consistent increase in extreme events (i.e., very high and extremely high risk of pluvial flooding) under the more catastrophic scenario RCP8.5 for future decades compared to the baseline.

5. Climate action now: Energy industry restructuring to accelerate the renewable energy transition

Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 443, 1 March 2024, 141018

Abstract

This empirical research investigates energy industry restructuring to accelerate the renewable energy transition. Moving away from fossil fuel reliance is critical for mitigating the climate emergency, reducing harmful pollution, and realizing many United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This research combines economic and sustainability arguments to clarify government policy direction for restructuring toward a green transition.

Findings show that more renewable energy innovation, reflected in patent counts, supports higher GDP. Moreover, pollution taxes facilitate renewable energy innovation, working together to effectively contribute to GDP. Also, government and industry support for fossil fuel industries negatively affects a country's renewable energy innovation. Thus, the theory and analysis of this work suggest that a robust economy is related to industry restructuring so that renewable energy innovation can thrive. Fostering novel scientific discoveries in clean energy innovation should be prioritized while reducing uncompetitive industry formations and organizations such as fossil fuel oligopolies and industry associations.

6. Risk from future climate change to Pakistan's protected area network: A composite analysis for hotspot identification

Science of The Total Environment, Volume 916, 15 March 2024, 169948

Abstract

As climate change becomes a primary driver of global ecosystem deterioration and biodiversity loss, protected areas (PAs) are posed to play a crucial conservation role. At a global scale, 17 % of land is currently covered by PAs; a figure expected to reach 30 % by 2030 under the UN post-2020 global biodiversity framework. However, focusing only on the percent coverage of PAs without assessing their efficacy may not accomplish the intended conservation goals. Here, we present the first assessment of the risk from climate change to existing PAs and non-protected lands across Pakistan by combining data on the local exposure and vulnerability of 409 species of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians to multidimensional changes in climate by mid (2040–2060) and late (2061–2080) century under two climate emission scenarios (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5).

We find that between 7 % (2050 RCP4.5) and 19 % (2080 RCP8.5) of the current network of PAs, mostly located in the eastern and southeastern parts of the country, are projected to be under future extreme risk (i.e., highly exposed areas containing highly vulnerable communities). Importantly, hotspots of risk within these PAs are projected to significantly expand over time and with increasing severity of the scenario. In contrast, PAs in the northern part of the country are projected to remain under moderate to low risk. Results are subject to variability across the country reflecting interesting differences in climate change exposure and species vulnerability between protected and non-protected lands. Importantly, significantly lower level of risks from future climate change are projected for PAs than non-protected lands across emission scenarios and periods suggesting potential candidate areas for the future expansion of the country's PA network. Our analysis provides novel insights that can help inform conservation decisions and management at a time when the country is investing in ambitious efforts to expand its network of protected areas.

7. Vegetation net primary productivity in urban areas of China responded positively to the COVID-19 lockdown in spring 2020

Science of The Total Environment, Volume 916, 15 March 2024, 169998

Abstract

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, China implemented large-scale lockdown measures in early 2020, resulting in a marked reduction in human activities over a short period. Studies have explored environmental changes during lockdowns, lacking analysis of response of net primary productivity (NPP) to lockdowns, especially for diverse vegetation types. Correlation between NPP and impact factors during lockdowns remains unclear. Through Google Earth Engine, we evaluated spatial-temporal changes in spring NPP at multiple scales during lockdown period (LD, 2020) compared with unlocked period (UL, 2017–2019) by remote sensing data in urban areas of China.

Changes in four impact factors, aerosol optical depth (AOD) and photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) (via remote sensing data), alongside temperature (TEM) and precipitation (PRE) (via meteorological data) were explored. Additionally, geodetector, a valuable statistical tool for detecting the driving ability of various elements, was employed to explore the underlying causes of vegetation changes during LD. In the spring of LD: 1) National urban NPP generally increased (+6.50 %), notably in Northeast China (NE), North China (N) and East China (E). Besides, overall urban AOD decreased (−3.64 %), notably in N and Central China (C). National urban PAR increased (+2.7 %), particularly in C and Northwest China (NW). However, overall urban TEM (−0.06 %) and PRE (−1.21 %) changed negatively. 2) NPP in all three vegetation types in urban areas enhanced, with change rates: croplands > forests > grasslands. Evident enhancements occurred in the forests and croplands in N, and the grasslands in NE. 3) Through geodetector, during LD, AOD (q = 0.223) and TEM (q = 0.272) emerged as the dominant factors for NPP. Compared with UL, the explanatory power of AOD and PAR on NPP increased during LD. This study provides valuable insights into understanding the effects of short-term human activities on vegetation productivity, offering reference for the formulation of ecological and environmental policies.

8. Ports and their influence on local air pollution and public health: A global analysis

Science of The Total Environment, Volume 915, 10 March 2024, 170099

Abstract

Despite the skyrocketing growth in recent decades of environmental studies on ports and shipping, their local health impacts remain largely under-researched. This article tackles this gap in research by statistically analyzing data on global shipping flows across nearly 5000 ports in 35 OECD countries between 2001 and 2018. The different traffic types, from containers to bulk and passengers, are analyzed jointly with data on natural conditions, air pollution, socio-economic indicators, and public health. The principal results show that port regions pollute more than non-port regions on average, while health impacts vary according to the size and specialization of the port region. Three types of port regions are clearly differentiated: industrial, intermediate, and metropolitan port regions.

9. Unlocking the double-dividend: Evaluating the impact of SO₂ emissions trading scheme on firm's environmental and economic performance

Environmental Research, Volume 245, 15 March 2024, 117963

Abstract

The optimal design of environmental instruments demands a balance between environmental enhancement and economic growth. Utilizing microdata from the China Environmental Statistics Database and the China Industrial Firm Database, this study employs the difference-in-differences (DD) methodology to explore the dual effects of the SO₂ Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) on the environmental and economic performance of micro-firms. The findings suggest that: (1) The SO₂ ETS not only induces emission reduction effects among firms in pilot areas but also improves their industrial added value. (2) The SO₂ ETS exhibits heterogeneous impacts across firms of diverse ownership, export status, and size. (3) While the SO₂ ETS prompts firms to advance technologically, boosting desulfurization capacities and subsequently enhancing total factor productivity, it also inadvertently results in companies offsetting some environmental compliance costs by curtailing employee wages.

10. A 35-year monitoring of an Italian landfill: Effect of recirculation of reverse osmosis concentrate on leachate characteristics

Science of The Total Environment, Volume 915, 10 March 2024, 170234

Abstract

"Fossetto” landfill (Monsummano Terme - Tuscany, Italy) started operation in 1988 as a controlled landfill accepting mixed municipal solid waste collected without any attempt of recycling. Then, progressively, following the evolution of the state-of-the-art, it adopted biogas extraction and valorisation systems and mechanical-biological treatment for incoming waste (both since 2003). Finally, since 2006, in the plant is performed on-site reverse osmosis leachate treatment with the concentrated leachate being recirculated back into the landfill body. Recently a new landfill cell, separate from the others, was put in operation adding a capacity of 200,000 m3 to the already available 1,095,000 m3.

This plant can provide long term leachate composition data to study the evolution and impact of changing landfill technology and waste composition on various parameters. The rise in leachate production (+84 % in 2018–2022 respect to the period before recirculation) cannot be totally attributable to recirculation but could be also linked to the increase in the amount of landfilled waste. The concentration of certain parameters (NH4+, Cl− and to a less extent of COD) increased (+60 %, +58 %, +17 % respectively in the last five years with respect to the period before recirculation); however, this increase did not influence the performance of the treatment plant. Nevertheless, the overall leachate management would benefit from an optimized reinjection system.

11. Whether the green credit policy effectively promote green transition of enterprises in China? Empirical analysis and mechanism verification

Environmental Research, Volume 244, 1 March 2024, 117910

Abstract

Promoting green and low-carbon development has become the consensus of the policymakers and the academic, with green transformation of enterprises being the top priority. This paper adopts the difference-in-difference model to investigate the effect of green credit policy on green transition in China, by utilizing the "Green Credit Guidelines” (2012 Guidelines) policy as a quasi-natural experiment. Using panel data from publicly listed companies in China, an empirical investigation is conducted, we explain the dependent variable from two dimensions: economic performance and environmental performance, leading to the following results.

First, the green credit policy affects the economic performance and environmental performance of treated firms positively, and the robust tests confirm the reliability of this primary conclusion. Second, the indirect impact of green credit policy on green transition can be explained through two mediating mechanism channels including internal capacity building and external market attention. In addition, the proposal of "Dual Carbon Targets” makes the impact a slight change. Finally, heterogeneous test also shows that the implementation effect of green credit policy is better in non-state-owned enterprises with high political relevance. These findings are providing valuable insights to promote green transition by designing more effective green credit policies

12. A comprehensive study on carbon emissions flows and key drivers within China's domestic and global value chains

Science of The Total Environment, Volume 916, 15 March 2024, 169894

Abstract

Numerous studies have examined the transfer of carbon emissions in China's trade. However, few papers have established a link between China's domestic value chains (DVCs) and the global value chains (GVCs) to comprehensively trace the flows of carbon emissions within a unified framework. To address this research gap, our paper aims to connect China's DVCs with the GVCs and map the carbon emissions flows of China's eight regions in both domestic and international trade. Using structural decomposition analysis (SDA), it studies the driving factors behind change in carbon emissions transfer (CET). Our findings are as follows: Firstly, in 2018, the total carbon emissions transfer of China's eight regions amounted to 5122.0mt, a significant increase of 31.1 % compared to 2012. Notably, the carbon emissions transfer through intermediate product trade is more than four times that of the final product trade. Secondly, significant variations exist in the sources and destinations under different trade patterns, which have been largely overlooked in the existing literature.

Over 70.0 % of carbon emissions resulting from final product trade are directed towards regions outside of Chinese mainland, while approximately two-thirds of carbon emissions resulting from intermediate product trade are allocated to Chinese mainland's internal regions. Thirdly, the reduction of carbon emissions transfer increment is primarily driven by the carbon intensity, while the indirect demand scale effect of Chinese mainland's internal regions emerges as the most significant driving factor, playing a substantial role in the increase of carbon emissions transfer. Additionally, the unreasonable input-output structure between regions within Chinese mainland has contributed to the rise in carbon emissions transfer. The research findings offer valuable insights and policy recommendations for the formulation of regional carbon reduction policies in China.

13. How does technological innovation affect the ecological footprint? Evidence from E-7 countries in the background of the SDGs

Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 443, 1 March 2024, 141020

Abstract

Although technological innovation plays a critical role in promoting sustainable development and environmental sustainability, there are few studies in the existing literature that address this relationship. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between technological innovation (TI), renewable energy consumption (REC), natural resource rent (NRR) and ecological footprint (EF) of E-7 countries (i.e. Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia and Turkiye) from 1992 to 2018 in order to ensure environmental sustainability in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Analysis was performed using the ARDL estimator, robustness test and Dumitrescu-Hurlin panel causality (DHC) test.

Long-term empirical estimates from the PMG-ARDL technique have shown that a 1 % increase in TI and REC reduces EF by 0.064 % and 0.234 %, respectively, i.e. increases environmental sustainability. At this point, it is possible to say that TI and REC contribute to the achievement of SDG-7 and 13 in E-7 countries while NRR and real income (GDP) were found to impede the achievement of SDG-7 and 13 in E-7 countries through an increase in EF. The results were confirmed using robustness techniques. In the DHC test results, while there is a unidirectional causality from TI to EF, from EF to NRR and trade openness, a bidirectional causality was found between GDP and EF. This study suggests that policymakers should focus on introducing environmentally friendly equipment to reduce environmental degradation, increase the share of RECs and focus on sustainable development within the framework of the SDGs.

14. Occurrence and environmental risks of contaminants of emerging concern across the River Athi Basin, Kenya, in dry and wet seasons

Science of The Total Environment, Volume 914, 1 March 2024, 169696

Abstract

Globally, the environmental occurrence of Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CECs) including pharmaceuticals (PhACs), personal care products (PCPs) and modern polar pesticides has raised ecological and human health awareness. However, as the developed world races against time to establish regulatory measures to mitigate their effects, developing nations including Kenya are lagging behind, partly due to unavailability of adequate data. In this work, a multi-residue analysis of 86 CECs was carried out on 198 surface water and 18 effluent samples collected at 24 sites across the River Athi basin area, Kenya, in both dry and rainy seasons. Overall, 57 CECs comprising 31 PhACs (0.4 ng L−1–142 μg L−1), 6 PCPs (0.7–570 ng L−1) and 20 pesticides (0.3 ng L−1–8.3 μg L−1) were detected.

The maximum loads varied from 217 g day−1 (PCPs) to 46 kg day−1 (PhACs). Individually, carbamazepine, nevirapine, sulfamethoxazole and DEET were the most ubiquitous CECs, with detection frequencies (DF) higher than 80 %. The highest concentrations were observed at river sites that are heavily impacted by informal settlements, highlighting the critical role of slums in urban rivers pollution. At least 8 CECs including acetamiprid, alachlor, atrazine, diuron, nevirapine and paracetamol show potential risk to algae, Daphnia magna and fish, as exemplified by Risk Quotients (RQ) up to 174. Similarly, potential risk of antibiotic resistant bacteria development is evident (RQ up to 64), being driven by metronidazole, sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim. Ultimately, further studies on the occurrence and distribution of antibiotic resistant bacteria within the basin and among the communities consuming untreated river water for drinking is merited.

15. How to go forward and beyond: Future tasks of China's protected areas system

Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 443, 1 March 2024, 141132

Abstract

In response to the global call for biodiversity conservation and sustainable development, China plans to reform its protected areas (PAs) system. Despite positive progress, there are still challenges in defining PAs boundaries, allocating management authority, and securing sustainable funding. This paper reviews the current state and challenges of China's PAs management and advocates a paradigm shift towards comprehensive public governance. This shift aligns with the Ecological Conservation Redline (ECR) and integrates PAs into the National Territorial Spatial Planning, for a coordinated layout of Ecological-Productive-Living Spaces.

The current study emphasizes the need for a refined assessment of PAs, including ecosystem services, to balance human development rights and environmental sustainability. It also advocates for multi-stakeholder consultation mechanisms to ensure broader social participation, particularly for indigenous peoples and local communities. The current investigation highlights the importance of valuing ecological products to harmonize environmental protection with community welfare. This review contributes to the discourse on balancing ecological integrity with socio-economic progress and provides insights into the difference between human rights, ecological conservation, and sustainable development, marking a significant stride towards global sustainability goals.

16. Siderite's green revolution: From tailings to an eco-friendly material for the green economy

Science of The Total Environment, Volume 914, 1 March 2024, 169922

Abstract

Siderite, extensively mined as a natural iron mineral, is often discarded as tailings due to the low grade of the ore and due to the high cost of current sorting technologies. Yet, this mineral has demonstrated significant potential in several pivotal areas of the environmental remediation. Siderite not only possesses exceptional adsorption, catalytic, and microbial carrier capabilities but also offers an eco-friendly and cost-effective solution for the environmental pollution management. This article consolidates research advancements and achievements over the past few decades concerning siderite's role in pollution control, delving deeply into its various remediation pathways.

Initially, the paper contrasts the performance differences between natural and synthetic siderite, followed by a comprehensive overview of siderite's adsorption mechanisms for various inorganic pollutants. Furthermore, this paper analyzes the unique physicochemical attributes of siderite as both, a reductant and the catalyst, with a special emphasis on its use in the preparation of SCR catalysts and in the catalytic advanced oxidation processes for organic pollutants' degradation. This paper also enumerates and discusses the myriad advantages of siderite as a microbial carrier, thereby enhancing our understanding of biogeochemical cycles and pollutant transformations. In essence, this review systematically elucidates the mechanisms and intrinsic physicochemical properties of siderite in pollution control, paving the way for novel strategies to augment siderite's environmental remediation performance.

URBAN ENVIRONMENT/ MÔI TRƯỜNG ĐÔ THỊ

1. Modelling of technical, environmental, and economic evaluations of the effect of the organic loading rate in semi-continuous anaerobic digestion of pre-treated organic fraction municipal solid waste

Environmental Pollution, Volume 344, 1 March 2024, 123417

Abstract

The study concerned technical feasibility, economic profitability, and carbon footprint (CF) analysis of semi-continuous anaerobic digestion (sAD) of organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OFMSW). The research assessed the pre-treatment effect on sAD by varying organic loading rates (OLR) from 3.38 to 6.75 kgvs/m3d. Three sAD configurations were investigated: hydrodynamic-cavitated (HC-OFMSW), enzymatically pre-treated (EN-OFMSW), and non-pre-treated (AD-OFMSW). Principal Component Analysis and Supervised Kohonen's Self-Organizing Maps combined the experimental, economic, and environmental evaluations.

The sAD configurations were grouped predominantly according to the OLR however, within each OLR group the configurations were clustered according to the pre-treatments.

The finding highlighted that pre-treatments offset inhibition in sAD of OFMSW due to the OLR increase, being economically profitable and CF negative up to 4.50 kgvs/m3d for EN-OFMSW and to 5.40 kgvs/m3d for HC-OFMSW. Whereas sAD-OFMSW remained economically and environmentally viable only up to 3.87 kgvs/m3d.

HC-OFMSW reached the highest performance. In detail, for HC-OFMSW the NPV and CF ranged from 17679.30 to 43827.12 euros and from −51.08 to −407.210 kg CO2eq/1 MWh daily produced, by decreasing the OLR from 5.40 to 3.87 kgvs/m3d.

These results are fundamental since pre-treatment is usually expensive due to additional energy or chemical requirements.

2. Development of a community severance index for urban areas in the United States: A case study in New York City

Environment International, Volume 185, March 2024, 108526

Abstract

Background and aims

Traffic-related exposures, such as air pollution and noise, have a detrimental impact on human health, especially in urban areas. However, there remains a critical research and knowledge gap in understanding the impact of community severance, a measure of the physical separation imposed by road infrastructure and motorized road traffic, limiting access to goods, services, or social connections, breaking down the social fabric and potentially also adversely impacting health. We aimed to robustly quantify a community severance metric in urban settings exemplified by its characterization in New York City (NYC).

Methods

We used geospatial location data and dimensionality reduction techniques to capture NYC community severance variation. We employed principal component pursuit, a pattern recognition algorithm, combined with factor analysis as a novel method to estimate the Community Severance Index. We used public data for the year 2019 at census block group (CBG) level on road infrastructure, road traffic activity, and pedestrian infrastructure. As a demonstrative application of the Community Severance Index, we investigated the association between community severance and traffic collisions, as a proxy for road safety, in 2019 in NYC at CBG level.

Results

Our data revealed one multidimensional factor related to community severance explaining 74% of the data variation. In adjusted analyses, traffic collisions in general, and specifically those involving pedestrians or cyclists, were nonlinearly associated with an increasing level of Community Severance Index in NYC.

Conclusion

We developed a high spatial-resolution Community Severance Index for NYC using data available nationwide, making it feasible for replication in other cities across the United States. Our findings suggest that increases in the Community Severance Index across CBG may be linked to increases in traffic collisions in NYC. The Community Severance Index, which provides a novel traffic-related exposure, may be used to inform equitable urban policies that mitigate health risks and enhance well-being.

3. Source apportionment of fine and ultrafine particle number concentrations in a major city of the Eastern Mediterranean

Science of The Total Environment, Volume 915, 10 March 2024, 170042

Abstract

Ultrafine particles (UFP) are recognized as an emerging pollutant able to induce serious health effects. However, quantitative information regarding the contributions of UFP sources is generally limited. This study evaluates statistical (k-means clustering) and receptor models (Positive Matrix Factorization - PMF) using particle number size distributions (PNSD), along with chemical speciation data, measured at an urban background supersite in Athens, Greece, aiming to characterize their sources. PNSD measurements (10–487 nm) were performed during three distinct periods (warm, cold, and lockdown cold). Traffic and residential biomass burning (BB) produced high UFP number concentrations (NUFP) in the cold period (+107 % compared to summer), while the lockdown restrictions reduced NUFP (−42 %). The five groups produced by cluster analysis that were common among periods were linked to high- and low-traffic, new particle formation (NPF), urban background and regional aerosols. PMF source apportionment identified 5 and 6 factors during warm and cold periods, respectively, indicating that traffic particles dominated NUFP (64–78 % in all periods), while accumulation-mode particles and volume concentrations were controlled by processed aerosol, and especially in the cold periods by BB emissions. A nucleation factor linked to NPF contributed 7–11 % to NUFP.

Comparing the two cold periods (business-as-usual, lockdown), important lockdown reductions (−46 %) were seen for fresh traffic contributions to total number concentration (Ntotal). The impact of the source attributed to NPF also eroded (−41 % for Ntotal). Due to the large reduction (−47 % for Ntotal) observed also for the BB source during the lockdown (reduced wood usage due to a milder winter), the relative contributions of all sources did not change considerably (fractional reductions <7 % for Ntotal). The quantitative results, bolstered by source apportionment combining PNSD and online chemical composition measurements, indicate the potential to constrain UFP levels by regulating traffic and residential emissions, with a large upside for population exposure control.

4. Urban green spaces and behavioral and cognitive development in children: A health impact assessment of the Barcelona "Eixos Verds” Plan (Green Axis Plan)

Environmental Research, Volume 244, 1 March 2024, 117909

Abstract

Background

Urban environments lack natural features, while nature exposure in cities has been associated with health benefits, including children's neurodevelopment. Through extensive street greening, Barcelona's Eixos Verds (Green Axis) Plan enhances safety, environment, and climate resilience. We aimed to assess the Eixos Verds Plan's potential impact on children's behavioral and cognitive development due to the increased green space expected under the Eixos Verds implementation.

Methods

We performed a quantitative health impact assessment for Barcelona children at census-tract level (n = 1068). We assessed the Eixos Verds Plan's impact by comparing baseline green space distribution with the proposed plan, translating it into percentage green area (%GA) and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). By combining these exposure metrics with child-specific risk estimates and population data, we estimated potential improvements in children's behavioral and cognitive development due to full Eixos Verds implementation.

Results

With the full Eixos Verds implementation, citywide, %GA increased by 6.9% (IQR: 6.4%; range: 0–23.1%) and NDVI by 0.065 (IQR: 0.083; range: 0.000–0.194). Child behavioral and cognitive development outcomes are expected to improve compared to the baseline. Based on NDVI increases, children's Total Difficulties and Hyperactivity/Inattention scores, based on the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), are projected to decrease by 5% (95% CI: 0–15%) and 6% (95% CI: 0–17%). Working Memory and Superior Working Memory scores are expected to increase by 4% and 5%, respectively, based on the computerized n-back test, while the Inattentiveness score could be reduced by 1%, based on the computerized attentional test (ANT).

Interpretation

Urban greening as planning tool can improve behavioral and cognitive development in city children. Methods and results of our study are applicable to many cities worldwide, and similar results for children of real-life urban greening interventions can be expected.

5. Observations of HONO and its precursors between urban and its surrounding agricultural fields: The vertical transports, sources and contribution to OH

Science of The Total Environment, Volume 915, 10 March 2024, 169159

Abstract

The insufficient study on vertical observations of main atmospheric reactive nitrogen oxides (NO2 and HONO) posed a great challenge to evaluate their intertransport between urban and agricultural areas, and to further learn the atmospheric nitrogen chemistry and the atmospheric oxidation capacity at high altitudes. A stereoscopic measurement campaign (satellite remote sensing, hyperspectral unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) remote sensing and MAX-DOAS observation) was performed in a typical inland city Hefei and its surrounding agricultural fields from June to October 2022. Average aerosol vertical profiles exhibited a Gaussian shape above 100 m with maximum values of 0.67 km−1 and 0.55 km−1 at 300–400 m layer at Anhui University (AHU) and Changfeng (CF), respectively.

The distinct layered structure was mainly attributed to regional transport. Average H2O and NO2 vertical profiles all showed a Gaussian shape and an exponential shape at AHU and CF, respectively. Moreover, the diurnal evolution of H2O profiles performed one peak and bi-peak patterns at AHU and CF, respectively, whereas the diurnal evolution of NO2 at two stations all exhibited bi-peak patterns attributed to vehicle emissions. Average HONO vertical profiles showed an exponential shape and a Gaussian shape at AHU and CF, respectively. Higher HONO (> 0.05 ppb) above 1.0 km at 14:00–16:00 was observed at CF. The transport flux analysis showed that the northern transport flux always larger than southern transport flux for aerosol and H2O. The maximum northern transport fluxes appeared at 300 m and surface for aerosol and H2O, respectively. It indicated that surrounding agricultural fields was an important source of atmospheric H2O of city. The southern transport flux was larger than northern transport flux for NO2, with a maximum net transport flux of 9.20 ppb m s−1 at 100 m. It demonstrated that NO2 transported from urban areas was an important source of NO2 in agricultural fields. For HONO, the southern transport flux was larger than northern transport flux under 100 m, whereas it was opposite above 100 m. It indicated that the HONO distributed at high altitudes at agricultural fields had potential to enhance the atmospheric oxidation capacity of urban area.

The net horizontal transport fluxes of HONO of our defined cropland were 5.25 μg m−2 s−1 and -3.65 μg m−2 s−1 during non-fertilization and fertilization periods, respectively. It indicated that the cropland could obviously export HONO to surrounding atmosphere during the fertilization period. Deducing the contribution of direct emission, heterogeneous process was a major source of HONO at urban and agricultural areas. The average surface conversion rate of NO2-to-HONO (CHONO) was 0.01467 h−1, and this value decreased with the increase of height at urban station. While average surface CHONO was 0.0322 h−1 at agricultural fields, which was ~1.2–2.8 times higher than that at urban area.

The CHONO at agricultural fields significantly increased with the increase of height. The average CHONO at 1.0 km was ~2.0–3.6 times higher than that at surface. That suggested that the heterogeneous process was the main HONO source at high altitudes at CF, and this process obviously correlated with aerosol and H2O. The higher OH production from HONO (P(OH)HONO) occurred at 0–200 m and 100–400 m with averaged values of 0.31 ppb h−1 and 0.39 ppb h−1 at AHU and CF, respectively. The high P(OH)HONO above 1.0 km at CF from September to October was strongly correlated with high O3 (> 80 ppb). This study emphasized the importance of the stereoscopic of HONO on the analysis of its distribution, evolution, source and atmospheric oxidizing contribution.

6. Urban greenspaces and child blood pressure in China: Evidence from a large population-based cohort study

Environmental Research, Volume 244, 1 March 2024, 117943

Abstract

Background

With the world's population steadily shifting toward urban living, children's engagement with the natural environment seems to be diminishing. This raises significant concerns about the influence of urban greenspaces on the cardiovascular health of children.

Objective

To assess the association between urban greenspaces exposure and blood pressure (BP) in Chinese primary schoolchildren.

Methods

This prospective cohort study used data from the Children's growth environment, lifestyle, physical, and mental health development (COHERENCE) project in Guangzhou, China. Participants included 164,853 primary schoolchildren starting from 2016/17 to 2019/20 academic year. We assessed the surrounding greenspaces at home and school by using Sentinel-2 satellite data on the normalized difference vegetation index. Prehypertension and hypertension status were defined with BP above 90th to less than the 95th percentile, at or above the 95th percentile, respectively. The association of surrounding greenness with children's BP levels and risk of prehypertension/hypertension were examined using linear mixed-effects models and Cox proportional hazards model.

Results

Among 164,853 eligible children aged 7.21 (0.74) years, 89,190 (54.1%) were boys. Our results showed that average systolic and diastolic BP increased by 0.48 and 0.42 standard deviations, respectively, over the 3-year follow-up. We identified 23,225 new cases of prehypertension and 35,067 of hypertension status. An interquartile range increase both in home-, school- and home-school NDVI100m was significantly associated with a reduction of 0.018–0.037 in BP z-scores and a 2.7%–7.6% lower risk of hypertension. Additionally, family socioeconomic status modified the impact of home-school greenness on BP levels. Air pollution exhibited mediating effects solely in school-greenness-BP associations, while physical activity and children's BMI mainly mediated the relationships between home-greenness and BP.

Conclusion

The findings of this large cohort study suggest that surrounding greenspaces are associated with lower BP levels and a decreased risk of prehypertension and hypertension in Chinese schoolchildren.

7. Association of residential greenness with obstructive sleep apnea among Chinese old adults and the mediation role of PM2.5 and leisure-time physical activity

Science of The Total Environment, Volume 915, 10 March 2024, 170120

Abstract

Few studies have investigated the association of residential greenness with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This study was to comprehensively examine the association of residential greenness exposure with OSA and explore the mediating effect of leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) and PM2.5 on the association among Chinese old adults. A prospective cohort study that enrolled 2027 adults aged ≥65 was conducted between 1st July 2015 and 30th September 2019 in Southern China. OSA was ascertained by Berlin Questionnaire. Greenness exposure was measured by contemporaneous and cumulative average normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) in the 1000 m radius around each participant's residential address.

Hazard ratios (HRs) with 95 % confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated by Cox proportional hazards model to assess the impact of greenness exposure on the incidence of OSA after adjusting for confounders. LTPA and PM2.5 were examined as potential mediators in the aforementioned models. A total of 293, nearly 14.5 %, participants developed OSA within 59,251 person-months of follow-up. When comparing the highest with lowest tertiles, both contemporaneous NDVI (>0.351 vs. ≤0.325: HR = 0.20, 95 % CI = 0.13–0.31) and cumulative NDVI (> 0.346 vs. ≤ 0.317: HR = 0.32, 95 % CI = 0.21–0.47) were associated with a reduced risk of OSA after adjusting for confounders. LTPA and PM2.5 significantly mediated the association between greenness and OSA. In conclusion, this study indicated that exposure to higher residential greenness could decrease OSA risk, and this benefit may be achieved by promoting physical activity and decreasing PM2.5 concentration. The findings suggest to formulate targeted interventional strategies by expanding residential greenness to prevent OSA and reduce disease burden.

8. Impact of exposure to natural versus urban soundscapes on brain functional connectivity, BOLD entropy and behavior

Environmental Research, Volume 244, 1 March 2024, 117788

Abstract

Background

Humans have been moving from rural to urban environments for decades. This process may have important consequences for our health and well-being. Most previous studies have focused on visual input, and the auditory domain has been understudied so far. Therefore, we set out to investigate the influence of exposure to natural vs urban soundscapes on brain activity and behavior.

Methods

Resting-state fMRI data was acquired while participants (N = 35) listened to natural and urban soundscapes. Two affective questionnaires (the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) and the Perceived Stress Scale) and two cognitive tasks (dual n-back (DNB) and the backward digit-span (BDS)) were assessed before and after each soundscape condition. To quantify brain function we used complexity and network measures, namely brain entropy (BEN) and whole brain functional connectivity (FC). To study the link between brain and behavior, changes in BEN and whole brain FC were correlated to changes in cognitive performance and self-reported affect.

Results

We found higher BEN when listening to urban sounds in posterior cingulate gyrus, cuneus and precuneus, occipital lobe/calcarine as compared to nature sounds, which was negatively correlated to (post-pre) differences in positive affect (PANAS) in the urban soundscape condition. In addition, we found higher FC between areas in the auditory, cinguloopercular, somatomotor hand and mouth networks when listening to nature as compared to urban sounds which was positively correlated to (post-pre) differences of the of the composite score of Digit span and N-back for nature soundscape.

Conclusions

This study provides a framework for the neural underpinnings of how natural versus urban soundscapes affect both whole brain FC and BEN and bear implications for the understanding of how the physical auditory environment affects brain function and subsequently observed behavior. Moreover, correlations with cognition and affect reveal the meaning that exposure to soundscapes may have on the human brain. To the best of our knowledge this is the first study to analyze BEN and whole brain FC at rest during exposure to nature and urban soundscapes and to explore their relationship to behavior.

9. Real-world emission characteristics of carbonyl compounds from on-road vehicles in Beijing and Zhengzhou, China

Science of The Total Environment, Volume 916, 15 March 2024, 170135

Abstract

Carbonyl compounds have a profound role in atmospheric chemistry, which can cause the formation of ozone and secondary organic aerosols. On-road vehicle emissions are an important source of carbonyl compounds, but systematic knowledge of real-world emission characteristics is still scarce. In this study, a total of 181 on-road vehicles of 16 types in Beijing and Zhengzhou, China, were tested using portable emission measurement system under real-world driving conditions. The total carbonyl compound emission factors of gasoline vehicles, diesel vehicles, motorcycles, and agricultural transport vehicles were 24.9 ± 11.4 mg/km, 42.5 ± 21.5 mg/km, 20.4 ± 6.8 mg/km, and 78.3 ± 34.3 mg/km, respectively. Vehicles fueled with E10 ethanol gasoline had significantly higher carbonyl compound emission factors compared to E0 gasoline vehicles.

It was observed that the continuous tightening of emission standards has effectively reduced the emissions of carbonyl compounds from on-road vehicles. The carbonyl compound emission factors on highways were 1.3–1.9 times lower than those on general roads. The total carbonyl compound emissions from on-road vehicles in Beijing and Zhengzhou in 2019 were estimated to be 3.5 kt and 3.1 kt, with corresponding ozone formation potentials of 24.4 kt and 21.4 kt, respectively. Formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, propionaldehyde and acetone were the most significant contributors to total carbonyl compound emissions, and among them, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and propionaldehyde were the main contributors to total ozone formation potential. Our results provide updated and supplementary information on on-road vehicle emission factors for carbonyl compounds and can facilitate the improvement of emission inventories and help in the development of control strategies to improve air quality.

10. Effects of urban catchment characteristics on combined sewer overflows

Environmental Research, Volume 244, 1 March 2024, 117945

Abstract

Pollution from Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) cause diffuse environmental problems, which are still not satisfactorily addressed by current management practices. In this study, a sensitivity analysis was conducted on several CSO environmental impact indicators, with respect to parameters that characterise climate, urban catchment and the CSO structure activation threshold. The sensitivity analysis was conducted by running 10000 simulations with the Storm Water Management Model, using a simplified modelling approach. The indicators were calculated at yearly scale to evaluate overall potential effects on water bodies. The results could be used to estimate pollution load ranges, known the values of the input parameters, and to investigate suitable strategies to reduce pollution of the receiving water bodies.

The percentage of impervious surface of the catchment was found the most influent parameter on all the indicators, and its reduction can contain the discharged pollutant mass. The activation threshold, instead, resulted the second least influent parameter on all the indicators, suggesting that its regulation alone would not be a suitable strategy to reduce CSO pollution. However, along with the reduction of the imperviousness, its increase could effectively decrease the concentration of pollutant in the overflow. The results also indicate that neither adopting sustainable urban drainage practices, nor interventions on the CSO device, significantly affect the frequency of the overflows. Therefore, restricting this latter was found to be ineffective for the reduction of both the discharged pollutant mass and the concentration of pollutant in the overflow.

11. Insights into PM2.5 pollution of four small and medium-sized cities in Chinese representative regions: Chemical compositions, sources and health risks

Science of The Total Environment, Volume 918, 25 March 2024, 170620

Abstract

Fine particles (PM2.5) pollution is still a severe issue in some cities in China, where the chemical characteristics of PM2.5 remain unclear due to limited studies there. Herein, we focused on PM2.5 pollution in small and medium-sized cities in key urban agglomerations and conducted a comprehensive study on the PM2.5 chemical characteristics, sources, and health risks. In the autumn and winter of 2019–2020, PM2.5 samples were collected simultaneously in four small and medium-sized cities in four key regions: Dingzhou (Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region), Weinan (Fenwei Plain region), Fukang (Northern Slope of the Tianshan Mountain region), and Bozhou (Yangtze River Delta region). The results showed that secondary inorganic ions (43.1 %–67.0 %) and organic matter (OM, 8.6 %–36.4 %) were the main components of PM2.5 in all the cities. Specifically, Fukang with the most severe PM2.5 pollution had the highest proportion of SO42− (31.2 %), while the dominant components in other cities were NO3− and OM.

The Multilinear Engine 2 (ME2) analysis identified five sources of PM2.5 in these cities. Coal combustion contributed most to PM2.5 in Fukang, but secondary sources in other cities. Combined with chemical characteristics and ME2 analysis, it was preliminarily determined that the primary emission of coal combustion had an important contribution to high SO42− in Fukang. Potential source contribution function (PSCF) analysis results showed that regional transport played an important role in PM2.5 in Dingzhou, Weinan and Bozhou, while PM2.5 in Fukang was mainly affected by short-range transport from surrounding areas. Finally, the health risk assessment indicated Mn was the dominant contributor to the total non-carcinogenic risks and Cr had higher carcinogenic risks in all cities. The findings provide a scientific basis for formulating more effective abatement strategies for PM2.5 pollution.

12. The impact of rainfall events on dissolved oxygen concentrations in a subtropical urban reservoir

Environmental Research, Volume 244, 1 March 2024, 117856

Abstract

Understanding controls of dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations in reservoirs is important as they are important for fisheries and a significant driver of greenhouse gas emissions. The latter is of global significance as IPCC inventories now require greenhouse gas emissions from artificial reservoirs to be included. Declines in dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations in lakes and reservoirs have been linked to climate change and human activity. However, these effects can vary widely in any given region under various meteorological conditions. There is a clear need to know how changes in weather patterns affect DO in reservoirs by changing internal processes.

Based on a six-year (2016–2021) high-frequency (twice a week) dataset from a shallow urban reservoir (Xinglinwan Reservoir) in subtropical China, the long-term (six years) and short-term (8–72-h) drivers of DO concentrations in surface waters were evaluated. Over the past six years, the concentration of DO has gradually decreased in the reservoir from 2016 to 2021. Multivariate adaptive regression spline (MARS) models were developed to identify the key factors explaining variability in DO and partial least squares path models (PLS-PM) were used to explore the short-term relationships between DO and environmental variables in rainy and dry (non-rain) periods, separately.

We identified three key drivers operating on different time scales. First, the long-term decline of DO in Xinglinwan Reservoir from 2016 to 2021 was best explained by anthropogenic nutrient inputs. Second, rainy periods prior to sampling reduced DO concentrations indirectly by affecting the algal biomass and nutrient concentrations. This effect varied in complexity with the duration of the rainfall period. Third, water temperature best explained DO concentrations during dry periods, while wind reduced DO by reducing algal biomass. We conclude that anthropogenic nutrient and organic matter inputs drive long-term oxygen declines in urban subtropical reservoirs, while meteorological factors determine short-term variability in DO concentrations.

13. Does new energy demonstration city policy curb air pollution? Evidence from Chinese cities

Science of The Total Environment, Volume 918, 25 March 2024, 170595

Abstract

China has embarked on realizing a green-oriented energy structure transition with a series of policy tools. In 2014, the National Energy Administration launched a new energy demonstration city (NEDC) policy, but its effect on air pollution mitigation has not been fully examined. By employing the Difference-in-difference strategy, this study examines the effect of the NEDC policy on air pollution mitigation with Chinese prefecture-level city data. The results reveal that the NEDC policy can significantly lead to a 0.13-unit drop in SO2 emissions.

The NEDC policy curbs pollution by stimulating green investments, promoting green technology innovation, advancing resource allocation efficiency, and reducing energy consumption. The effect of the NEDC policy appears to be heterogeneous under different conditions. Furthermore, this phenomenon is more conspicuous in prefectures led by older officials, where the age incentives nearing the promotion golden age threshold amplify the effects of air pollution mitigation, while those nearing retirement years exacerbate such effects. Notably, the interaction effect between environmental regulations and the NEDC policy on air pollution mitigation is elucidated. Moreover, positive spatial spillover effects extending to neighboring regions are identified, underscoring the imperative of regional collaboration and technological diffusion. Based on the findings above, several policy implications are proposed.

14. Effects of extreme temperature events on deaths and its interaction with air pollution

Science of The Total Environment, Volume 915, 10 March 2024, 170212

Abstract

Background

Both extreme temperature events (ETEs) and air pollution affected human health, and their effects were often not independent. Previous studies have provided limited information on the interactions between ETEs and air pollution.

Methods

We collected data on deaths (non-accidental, cardiovascular, and respiratory) in Zibo City along with daily air pollution and meteorological data from January 2015 to December 2019. Distributed lag non-linear model was used to explore the health effects of ETEs on deaths. Non-parametric binary response model, hierarchical model and joint effect model were used to further explore the interaction between ETEs and air pollution in different seasons. Meanwhile, subgroup analysis by gender and age (≥ 65 years old and < 65 years old) was conducted to identify the vulnerable population.

Results

ETEs increased death risk, especially for cardiovascular and respiratory deaths. Heat waves had a stronger impact than cold spells. Cold spells had a longer lag and fluctuating trend. Heat waves had a short-term impact, followed by a decrease. Females and those aged ≥ 65 were more affected, but subgroup differences were not significant. During ETEs and non-ETEs, there were different effects on deaths with per IQR increase in air pollutant concentrations. Joint effect models revealed that there was a significant interaction between ETEs and air pollution on non-accidental deaths. The interaction between PM2.5 and cold spells was antagonistic in the cold season. In the warm season, the health effects of heat waves and high O3 concentration were enhanced. The relative excess risk due to interaction (RERI) of cold spells and PM2.5 in total population was −0.09 (95 % CI: −0.17, −0.01), and 9 % (95 % CI: 1 %, 17 %) of the total effect was attributable to interaction. Subgroup analysis confirmed the interactions in females and those aged ≥ 65.

Conclusions

Significant association observed between ETEs and deaths. Females and ≥ 65 age groups were vulnerable. There were interactions between ETEs and air pollution. The effect of PM2.5 on deaths decreased during cold spells, while the effect of O3 increased during heat waves. In addition to improving air quality, it is necessary to further strengthen the prevention and control of ETEs.

15. Climate uncertainty and vulnerability of urban flooding associated with regional risk using multi-criteria analysis in Mumbai, India

Environmental Research, Volume 244, 1 March 2024, 117962

Abstract

The study made a comprehensive effort to examine climatic uncertainties at both yearly and monthly scales, along with mapping flood risks based on different land use categories. Recent studies have progressively been engrossed in demonstrating regional climate variations and associated flood probability to maintain the geo-ecological balance at micro to macro-regions. To carry out this investigation, various historical remote sensing record, reanalyzed and in-situ data sets were acquired with a high level of spatial precision using the Google Earth Engine (GEE) web-based remote sensing platform.

Non-parametric techniques and multi-layer integration methods were then employed to illustrate the fluctuations in climate factors alongside creating maps indicating the susceptibility to floods. The study reveals an increased pattern in LST (Land Surface Temperature) (0.03 °C/year), albeit marginal declined in southern coastal regions (−0.15 °C/year) along with uneven rainfall patterns (1.42 mm/year). Moreover, long-term LULC change estimation divulges increased trends of urbanization (16.4 km2/year) together with vegetation growth (8.7 km2/year) from 2002 to 2022. Furthermore, this inquiry involves numerous environmental factors that influence the situation (elevation data, topographic wetness index, drainage density, proximity to water bodies, slope, and soil properties) as well as socio-economic attributes (population) to assess flood risk areas through the utilization of Analytical Hierarchy Process and overlay methods with assigned weights. The outcomes reveal nearly 55 percent of urban land is susceptible to flood in 2022, which were 45 and 37 percent in 2012 and 2002 separately. Additionally, 106 km2 of urban area is highly susceptible to inundation, whereas vegetation also occupies a significant proportion (52 km2). This thorough exploration offers a significant chance to formulate flood management and mitigation strategies tailored to specific regions during the era of climate change.

16. Meteorological impacts on the unexpected ozone pollution in coastal cities of China during the unprecedented hot summer of 2022

Science of The Total Environment, Volume 914, 1 March 2024, 170035

Abstract

Surface ozone pollution under climate warming has become a serious environmental issue. In the summer of 2022, abnormal warming spread over most of the Northern Hemisphere and resulted in the abnormal increase in O3 concentrations. In this study, we focused on the coastal cities in China and investigated the O3 trends in July during 2015 to 2022. Four regions with different locations and emission levels were selected for comparison. A significant increase of O3 concentration in July 2022 were observed in the southern coastal cities (16.7–22.8 μg m−3) while the opposite characteristics were found in the northern coastal cities (decrease of 0.26–2.18 μg m−3). The results indicated various distribution patterns of the O3 concentrations responded to heat wave across China.

The weakening of East Asian summer monsoon, extension of the western Pacific subtropical high, significant warming, stronger solar radiation, lower relative humidity, less rainfall and sinking motion of atmosphere in 2022 were beneficial for O3 generation and accumulation in the southern coastal areas. Meteorological changes in July 2022 could lead to an increase of 15.6 % in O3 concentrations in southern coastal cities compared to that in 2015–2021, based on the analysis of machine learning. Air temperature was the main contributor to high O3 concentrations in the coast of Fujian province, while other coastal cities depended on relative humidity. This study indicated the challenge of O3 pollution control in coastal areas under global warming, especially in extreme heat wave events.

INDUSTRIAL AREA ENVIRONMENT / MÔI TRƯỜNG KHU CÔNG NGHIỆP

1. PFAS remediation in soil: An evaluation of carbon-based materials for contaminant sequestration

Environmental Pollution, Volume 344, 1 March 2024, 123335

Abstract

The presence of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in soils is a global concern as these emerging contaminants are highly resistant to degradation and cause adverse effects on human and environmental health at very low concentrations. Sequestering PFAS in soils using carbon-based materials is a low-cost and effective strategy to minimize pollutant bioavailability and exposure, and may offer potential long-term remediation of PFAS in the environment. This paper provides a comprehensive evaluation of current insights on sequestration of PFAS in soil using carbon-based sorbents. Hydrophobic effects originating from fluorinated carbon (C–F) backbone "tail” and electrostatic interactions deriving from functional groups on the molecules’ "head” are the two driving forces governing PFAS sorption.

Consequently, varying C–F chain lengths and polar functional groups significantly alter PFAS availability and leachability. Furthermore, matrix parameters such as soil organic matter, inorganic minerals, and pH significantly impact PFAS sequestration by sorbent amendments. Materials such as activated carbon, biochar, carbon nanotubes, and their composites are the primary C-based materials used for PFAS adsorption. Importantly, modifying the carbon structural and surface chemistry is essential for increasing the active sorption sites and for strengthening interactions with PFAS. This review evaluates current literature, identifies knowledge gaps in current remediation technologies and addresses future strategies on the sequestration of PFAS in contaminated soil using sustainable novel C-based sorbents.

2. Transformation and environmental chemical characteristics of hazardous trace elements in an 800 t/d waste incineration thermal power plant

Science of The Total Environment, Volume 918, 25 March 2024, 170693

Abstract

The hazardous trace elements (HTEs) emitted during the municipal solid waste incineration (MSWI) process have been widely concerned. In this work, the bottom ash (BA), heat recovery boiler ash (HA), and ash after desulfurization (SA) were collected to explore the occurrence forms of HTEs in the three types of ash and their relationship with minerals and leaching characteristics. The results show that the volatility of the seven studied HTEs follows the order of Cd, As > Ni, Zn > Pb > Cr, Cu. In the process of BA → HA → SA, the content of Cd, As, Zn, and Pb shows an increasing trend. The seven HTEs are mainly in the forms of chlorides and oxides. There is an obvious relationship between the occurrence forms and simulated existence form of HTEs. SiO2 and CaCO3 are the major mineral components in the three ashes, while SA also contains chlorine-containing compounds which are easily leached out. The risk assessment code and soluble ratio show that HTEs in SA are more leachable than BA and HA, where Cd, Pb and Ni need to be addressed to reduce their impact on soil or water during subsequent landfill treatment of SA.

3. Industrial by-products-derived binders for in-situ remediation of high Pb content pyrite ash: Synergistic use of ground granulated blast furnace slag and steel slag to achieve efficient Pb retention and CO2 mitigation

Environmental Pollution, Volume 345, 15 March 2024, 123455

Abstract

Ordinary Portland cement (OPC) is a cost-effective and conventional binder that is widely adopted in brownfield site remediation and redevelopment. However, the substantial carbon dioxide emission during OPC production and the concerns about its undesirable retention capacity for potentially toxic elements strain this strategy. To tackle this objective, we herein tailored four alternative binders (calcium aluminate cement, OPC-activated ground-granulated blast-furnace slag (GGBFS), white-steel-slag activated GGBFS, and alkaline-activated GGBFS) for facilitating immobilization of high Pb content pyrite ash, with the perspectives of enhancing Pb retention and mitigating anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions.

The characterizations revealed that the incorporation of white steel slag efficiently benefits the activity of GGBFS, herein facilitating the hydration products (mainly ettringite and calcium silicate hydrates) precipitation and Pb immobilization. Further, we quantified the cradle-to-gate carbon footprint and cost analysis attributed to each binder-Pb contaminants system, finding that the application of these alternative binders could be pivotal in the envisaged carbon-neutral world if the growth of the OPC-free roadmap continues. The findings suggest that the synergistic use of recycled white steel slag and GGBFS can be proposed as a profitable and sustainable OPC-free candidate to facilitate the management of lead-contaminated brownfield sites. The overall results underscore the potential immobilization mechanisms of Pb in multiple OPC-free/substitution binder systems and highlight the urgent need to bridge the zero-emission insights to sustainable in-situ solidification/stabilization technologies.

4. Greenhouse gas contribution and emission reduction potential prediction of China's aluminum industry

Energy, Volume 290, 1 March 2024, 130183

Abstract

The aluminum industry, with its traditionally high energy consumption, high emissions and high pollution, is facing increasing pressure to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in China. This study analyzes the trajectory and characteristics of GHG emissions during the lifecycle of China's aluminum industry (CAI) from 2011 to 2020, and identifies key driving factors affecting the changes in GHG emissions from CAI. The results indicate that the GHG emissions of CAI mainly come from indirect emissions generated by electricity production (over 69 %). Electrolytic aluminum is the largest sub process of GHG emissions in CAI.

In addition, the total energy consumption effect is the main driving factor for the increase in GHG emissions from CAI. On this basis, emission reduction measures are proposed, the economic benefits and applicability of various emission reduction measures are analyzed, and the grey prediction model GM (1,1) is used to predict the GHG emission reduction potential of CAI in 2030. According to analysis, the GHG emission reduction efficiency of CAI is expected to reach 86 % by 2030, and can produce an annual economic benefit of 2.93 × 109RMB. This study will provide a theoretical basis for GHG emission reduction in CAI and even the global aluminum industry (GAI).

5. Occurrence of high production volume chemicals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in urban sites close to industrial areas. Human exposure and risk assessment

Chemosphere, Volume 351, March 2024, 141167

Abstract

Evaluating the occurrence of high production volume chemicals (HPVCs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the air is important because they carry a carcinogenic risk and can lead to respiratory or endocrine problems. Examples of HPVCs are organophosphate esters, benzosulfonamides, benzothiazoles, phthalate esters (PAEs), phenolic antioxidants and ultraviolet stabilizers. In this paper we develop a multi-residue method for determining HPVCs and PAHs in air samples via pressurized liquid extraction followed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Air samples were collected by active sampling with high volume samplers using quartz fiber filter for the particulate matter (PM10) and polyurethane foams for gas phase. The compounds found at the highest concentrations were PAEs, with a concentration of up to 24 ng m−3 of DEHP in gas phase and up to 109 ng m−3 of DEHA in PM10. Non-carcinogenic risk assessment results ranged from 9.7E-05 to 9.5E-03 for most of the compounds studied. On the other hand, the results for carcinogenic risk showed that PAHs made the highest contribution.

6. Microbial consortium and impact of industrial mining on the Natural High Background Radiation Area (NHBRA), India – Characteristic role of primordial radionuclides in influencing the community structure and extremophiles pattern

Environmental Research, Volume 244, 1 March 2024, 118000

Abstract

The present investigation is the first of its kind which aims to study the characteristics of microbial consortium inhabiting one of the natural high background radiation areas of the world, Chavara Coast in Kerala, India. The composition of the microbial community and their structural changes were evaluated under the natural circumstances with exorbitant presence of radionuclides in the sediments and after the radionuclide's recession due to mining effects. For this purpose, the concentration of radionuclides, heavy metals, net radioactivity estimation via gross alpha and beta emitters and other physiochemical characteristics were assessed in the sediments throughout the estuarine stretch.

According to the results, the radionuclides had a significant effect in shaping the community structure and composition, as confirmed by the bacterial heterogeneity achieved between the samples. The results indicate that high radioactivity in the background environment reduced the abundance and growth of normal microbial fauna and favoured only the growth of certain extremophiles belonging to families of Piscirickettsiacea, Rhodobacteriacea and Thermodesulfovibrionaceae, which were able to tolerate and adapt towards the ionizing radiation present in the environment. In contrast, communities from Comamondacea, Sphingomonadacea, Moraxellacea and Erythrobacteracea were present in the sediments collected from industrial outlet, reinforcing the potent role of radionuclides in governing the community pattern of microbes present in the natural environment. The study confirms the presence of these novel and unidentified bacterial communities and further opens the possibility of utilizing their usefulness in future prospects.

7. Microbial intervention improves pollutant removal and semi-liquid organo-mineral fertilizer production from olive mill wastewater sludge and rock phosphate

Journal of Environmental Management, Volume 354, March 2024, 120317

Abstract

Olive mill wastewater sludge (OMWS) represents a residual pollutant generated by the olive oil industry, often stored in exposed evaporation ponds, leading to contamination of nearby land and water resources. Despite its promising composition, the valorization of OMWS remains underexplored compared to olive mill wastewater (OMW). This study aims to identify potent native microbial species within OMWS suitable for bioremediation and its transformation into a high-value organic fertilizer. The microbial screening, based on assessing OMWS tolerance and phosphate solubilization properties in vitro, followed by a singular inoculation using a mixture of OMWS and rock phosphate (RP). Identification of FUN 06 (Galactomyces Geotrichum), a fungal species, employed as an inoculant in the treatment of sterile OMWS supplemented with RP.

Results demonstrate that fungal inoculation notably diminished OMWS phytotoxicity while enhancing its physicochemical parameters, nutrient concentrations, and removal of toxic organic compounds by up to 90% compared to the control, and enhances plant growth, offering a sustainable approach to tackle environmental concerns. Additionally, metataxonomic analysis unveiled FUN 06's propensity to enhance the presence of microbial species engaged in pollutant degradation. However, higher RP dosage (10%) appeared to adversely affect bioprocess efficiency, suggesting a potential dose-related effect. Overall, FUN 06, isolated from OMWS evaporation ponds, shows promise for effective bioremediation and sustainable reuse. In fact, our results indicate that targeted microbial inoculation stands as an effective strategy for mitigating pollutants in OMWS, facilitating its conversion into a nutrient-rich organo-mineral fertilizer suitable for direct use, promoting its beneficial reuse in agriculture, thereby presenting a promising avenue for olive oil waste management.

8. A techno-economic assessment for the water-energy-carbon nexus based on the development of a mathematical model: In the iron and steel industry

Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments, Volume 63, March 2024, 103653

Abstract

In the steel industry, due to its high dependence on water and energy resources, it is possible to achieve the goal of sustainable development with energy and water production based on renewable energies and urban wastewater treatment (WWT) and reducing CO2 emissions. The use of municipal wastewater as a renewable resource in the resource supply chain necessitates the application of water-energy-carbon nexus (WECN). The new framework uses an integrated multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) analysis based on the weighting and constraint methods.

This study utilizes Pareto optimization to identify an optimal set of technological solutions to achieve techno-economic and environmental objectives. In the default scenario, the combination of Moving Bed Biological Reactor, Ultrafiltration, and Reverse Osmosis (MBBR-UF-RO) is the optimal option for urban WWT. The obtained optimal solution has a capital cost of 71.7 million USD, and the annual production capacity of water, fertilizer and renewable energy is 8.73 million m3, 20.8 Mt and 1.6 MW, respectively. The supply water price, urban sewage inlet flow rate, government facilities, and discount rate are critical factors that affect the project's economics and investigate the effect of weights on the ranking of alternatives. This study provides insights into how a tripartite nexus can be integrated symbiotically to improve resource production and elevate the annual income.

9. Analyzing the energy metabolism of the automotive industry to study the differences found in this sector across EU countries

Energy, Available online 9 March 2024, 130855

Abstract

The automotive industry plays a key economic and political role in developed countries due to its contribution to employment and revenues. In the EU, automotive industries play different roles in different countries due to the fragmentation of production and offshoring. An energy metabolic perspective allows us to explain differences in performance determined by the expression of different functions. This paper analyses the Motor vehicles industry and its sub-sectors in 8 EU countries from 2010 to 2019 visualizing data in end-use matrixes, a Multi-Scale Integrated Analysis of Societal and Ecosystem Metabolism (MuSIASEM) tool.

We study the relation over the following variables - energy carriers (electricity, and thermal energy), GHG emissions, working time, and value added - and three different scales – whole economy, the MVI sector, the subsectors within MVI. According to this multi-scale and multi-dimensional characterisation, we cluster the countries according to their functional specialization in (i) manufacturing intermediate parts and modules, (ii) final assembly of vehicles, and (iii) management and engineering design. This representation provides an integrated overview of the characteristics of the industry in relation to its core-periphery dynamics in the spatial division of labour, and gives new insights to the analysis of labor productivity, efficiency, decoupling and structural changes for sustainability.

10. Removal of Reactive Red 195 dye from textile industry wastewater with Deep Eutectic Solvent-based green extraction

Journal of Molecular Liquids, Volume 398, 15 March 2024, 124249

Abstract

High water usage, considerable environmental pollution, and toxicity to humans associated with textile dyeing and resulting wastewater effluent has led to the development of various environmentally-sustainable alternatives to current effluent treatment approaches. One of the biodegradable and low-cost emulsion liquid–liquid microextraction (ELLM) techniques is Deep Eutectic Solvents (DES). Herein, the removal efficiency of the Reactive Red 195 (RR195) dye from aqueous solutions by a choline chloride and phenol-based deep eutectic solvent was evaluated. The influence of relative amounts of solvent, sample, and emulsifier were tested alongside that of dye concentration, pH, and addition of various salts typically found in effluent. At optimal conditions of 25 µL of chloroform emulsifier and 600 µL of deep eutectic solvent per 5 mL of sample, the dye removal efficiency exceeded 99 % and was unaffected by dye concentration (up to 20,000 mg L−), salt addition (chloride, sulphate, and nitrate salts), and variations in pH (from 2 to 10).

11. Advances in accounting methodology of nitrous oxide emissions from the adipic acid industry

Journal of Environmental Sciences, Available online 22 March 2024

Abstract

Nitrous oxide (N2O), as an important gas affecting climate warming, is attracting attention from all walks of life. This review addresses N2O emissions status in the adipic acid industry, a significant industrial greenhouse gas source. It elucidates the N2O emission mechanism and influencing factors in adipic acid production. It extensively evaluates N2O emission accounting methods, including Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Guidelines, World Resources Institute Protocol, and others. While the IPCC emission factor method offers simplicity and comparability, it may lack precision for facilities with advanced emission reduction measures. To address this, a combined modeling and monitoring approach is advocated. It scrutinizes modeling methods (statistical techniques, Greenhouse Gas and Air Pollution Interactions and Synergies, and Life-cycle Assessment) and highlights their reliance on specific data and perspectives.

It emphasizes the growing importance of on-site monitoring with mid-IR technology. Additionally, it underscores the potential of aircraft-based and satellite remote sensing for comprehensive N2O emissions data. The review also highlights recent advancements in emission mitigation, particularly in adipic acid synthesis techniques, showing substantial potential for N2O reduction. Innovative paradigms and strategies for N2O mitigation in the adipic acid industry are presented, with a focus on achieving nitrogen oxides (NOx) -free production. These approaches hold promise for emission reduction, given the high removal efficiency in plant end-of-treatment processes. Various accounting methods, monitoring techniques, and mitigation strategies were integrated and analyzed to provides a comprehensive overview of N2O emissions in the adipic acid industry, with the aim of guiding future research and policy initiatives.

12. Abating carbon emissions at negative costs: Optimal energy reallocation in China's industry

Environmental Impact Assessment Review, Volume 105, March 2024, 107388

Abstract

Industry in China is an essential pillar of the economy and a major source of energy consumption and carbon emissions. Energy misallocation across industrial sectors exacerbates energy consumption and carbon emissions. This study uses stochastic frontier analysis (SFA) to estimate the contribution and efficiency of capital, labor, and energy inputs to China's production between 2010 and 2020. Under the assumption of optimal allocation in a perfectly competitive market, we estimated the optimal energy input using the SFA results.

The counterfactual results demonstrated considerable potential for energy savings, carbon abatement, and production increase under synergistic governance. According to the estimation, China's industry could save 4–24% of its energy input. The energy allocation adjustment varies across industry subsectors. Specifically, heavy industries have tremendous energy-saving potential, whereas the power production and supply subsectors require more energy. The overall energy conservation would have a synergistic effect of 0.3 to 1.4 billion tons of carbon reduction along with an extra 3.26 and 6.52 trillion Yuan output value. Such reallocation would also have the co-benefit of transforming the industry's energy mix, specifically, reducing its dependence on coal while increasing the share of electricity, which are both very critical in the process of carbon neutrality. The government could apply this method to guide the synergistic governance of industrial energy savings, carbon reduction, and production.

13. A novel temporal mixed-integer market penetration model for cost-effective uptake of electric boilers in the UK chemical industry

Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 446, 25 March 2024, 141156

Abstract

The UK chemical industry is the largest consumer of natural gas for process heating and power generation, with an annual consumption of 26.3 TWh. Reduction in natural gas consumption and associated carbon emissions can be achieved through electrification of heat. However, the adoption of electric boilers is lethargic due to economic barriers. Hence, market-based policy interventions are required. This study aims to accelerate the adoption of electric boilers in the UK's chemical industry, aligning with the UK's ambitious 2035 industrial decarbonisation goals while considering economic impacts, by designing market-based policy interventions and comparing two adoption patterns. A novel multi-period Mixed-Integer Market Penetration Optimisation Model is developed and applied to inform decisions about transitioning from natural gas to electric boilers.

The model is applied to a case study of all the heating systems (490 boilers) in the UK chemical industry from 1 MW to 60 MW boilers. Results show that effectively implementing a gas tax, electricity subsidy, annual grant and carbon tax can generate sufficient demand-pull to reduce the cost of electric boilers from 30 to 85 % depending on the boiler size. A carbon tax starting at £280 per tCO2e and reducing to £170 per tCO2e coupled with electricity subsidies is essential for this transition. The policies are designed such that a win-win is achieved between government and industry; specifically, revenue from the carbon tax and gas tax is used to support the grant and electricity subsidy thereby achieving cost neutrality for government. At 100 % uptake of electric boilers in 2033, the total carbon emissions reduce by 89 %, which is above the 2035 UK industry goal of 60 % reduction. The research establishes a robust policy timeline that can drive industrial electrification in the UK's chemical sector. It highlights the need for a multi-faceted approach, incorporating various policy instruments to overcome the barriers of high initial capital costs.

14. Resource industry dependence and high-quality economic development of Chinese style: Reexamining the effect of the "Resource Curse”

Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Volume 68, March 2024, Pages 1-16

Abstract

In resource-dependent regions, the meaning of high-quality economic development has yet to be clarified by published research, despite substantial scholarly interest in the topic. With the help of the economic development index developed by the Chinese government, this paper accurately measures high-quality economic development in 30 provinces in China and investigates how resource dependence and government governance capability affect regional high-quality economic development. Research has found that resource industry dependence has a significant inhibitory effect on high-quality economic development.

Additionally, the analysis of the mechanisms revealed that resource industry dependence reduces high-quality economic development through a series of effects including crowding out innovation, weakening coordination, lagging green development, hindering global openness, and sharing in weakening. Further research has revealed that government governance capacity weakens the impact of resource industry dependence on high-quality economic development. A detailed analysis of three subsystem indicators of government governance capacity, namely policy planning, capability commitment, and performance assessment, indicates that they all have a weakening effect. To this end, the paper proposes policy recommendations, including increasing innovation inputs, advancing industrial restructuring, promoting green development, enhancing marketization levels, and constructing a diversified employment system. These measures aim to transform resource disadvantages into resource advantages and facilitate high-quality economic development.

15. Environmental taxes, environmental outsourcing, and pollution abatement: Evidence from Chinese industrial sewage discharge enterprises

Energy Economics, Available online 20 March 2024, 107480

Abstract

Polluting enterprises purchase technologies, goods, or services from external enterprises to mitigate pollution, which is called environmental outsourcing. This paper examines the effect of environmental taxes (ETs) on pollution abatement when environmental outsourcing is prevalent. We build a novel enterprise-level panel dataset for 2011–2018 and employ staggered difference-in-differences (DID) estimators to investigate the heterogeneous responses of in-house and outsourced abatement enterprises to the environmental tax increments.

Our research demonstrates that imposing environmental taxes for pollution control has a significant positive effect. However, the environmental taxes have failed to successfully transmit their impacts on the changes in compliance costs of polluting enterprises through pollution treatment fees in the end-of-pipe treatment process. It has been demonstrated that environmental outsourcing seriously dilutes and even hinders the efficacy of environmental taxes in reducing water pollution. These findings shed fresh insight on the relationship between environmental policies and outsourcing services and highlight the necessity of incorporating environmental outsourcing into the design of environmental policies.

16. Labile carbon inputs boost microbial contribution to legacy mercury reduction and emissions from industry-polluted soils

Journal of Hazardous Materials, Volume 465, 5 March 2024, 133122

Abstract

Soils is a crucial reservoir influencing mercury (Hg) emissions and soil-air exchange dynamics, partially modulated by microbial reducers aiding Hg reduction. Yet, the extent to which microbial engagements contribute to soil Hg volatilization remains largely unknown. Here, we characterized Hg-reducing bacterial communities in natural and anthropogenically perturbed soil environments and quantified their contribution to soil Hg(0) volatilization. Our results revealed distinct Hg-reducing bacterial compositions alongside elevated mercuric reductase (merA) gene abundance and diversity in soils adjacent to chemical factories compared to less-impacted ecosystems. Notably, solely industry-impacted soils exhibited increased merA gene abundance along Hg gradients, indicating microbial adaption to Hg selective pressure through quantitative changes in Hg reductase and genetic diversity.

Microcosm studies demonstrated that glucose inputs boosted microbial involvement and induced 2–8 fold increments in cumulative Hg(0) volatilization in industry-impacted soils. Microbially-mediated Hg reduction contributed to 41.6% of soil Hg(0) volatilization in industry-impacted soils under 25% water-holding capacity and glucose input conditions over a 21-day incubation period. Alcaligenaceae, Moraxellaceae, Nitrosomonadaceae and Shewanellaceae were identified as potential contributors to Hg(0) volatilization in the soil. Collectively, our study provides novel insights into microbially-mediated Hg reduction and soil-air exchange processes, with important implications for risk assessment and management of industrial Hg-contaminated soils.

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