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Waste & Pollution

As the urban population is growing globally and this effect is coupled with increasing consumption, waste management has become one of the most serious environmental challenges in urban areas, with adverse effects on the quality of life, human health, environmental and natural resources, and economic and social development. It is important to know the composition of a load of waste before it is send to landfill. On the other hand, only through developing an intimate understanding of the chemistry of organic chemicals can their eventual remediation be realized.

TOC in waste

Landfills are classified according to whether they can accept hazardous, non-hazardous or inert wastes. In waste management, TOC acts as a measure for contamination with organic compounds and is also used to perform quality control (QC) checks on industrial materials such as fly ash, cement, and kaolin. Also if you evaluate the recycling of residues – there is no way around TOC.

Temperature-dependent carbon fractions

The differentiation between two carbon fractions (TIC and TOC) could be insufficient as biologically inactive, residual oxidizable carbon is determined in the same fraction as TOC. When evaluating solid wastes, elemental carbon (ROC) should be determined separately, since there is no need to restrict the load of ROC to landfills. An alternative method for the determination of elemental carbon is temperature ramping as elemental carbon requires higher combustion temperatures compared to organically-bound carbon, which is realized by the soli TOC® cube.

Sources and fate of contamination

Stable isotope analysis has the power to deliver unparalleled insight into the complex interactions of organic pollutants in the environment. It can elucidate the often complex sources and fates of pollutant chemicals on land and at sea, aiding remediation strategy and shaping waste and resource management policy for protection of the environment. Developing our understanding of these processes aids our stewardship of the natural world to ensure that future generations enjoy the same wonders that we do today.

Waste & Pollution publications using our instruments

Our customers use our instruments to do some amazing research in the waste and pollution application field. To show you how they perform their research and how they use our IRMS instruments, we have collected a range of peer-reviewed publications which cite our products. You can find the citations below and then follow the links to the publishing journal should you wish to download the publication.

If you would like to investigate our available citations in more detail, or email the citation list to yourself or your colleagues then take a look at our full citation database.

84 results:

Short-term and seasonal soil nitrogen dynamics and recovery by bermudagrass irrigated with 15N labelled swine lagoon effluent
Plant and Soil (2016)
Jiuquan Zhang, Jac J. Varco, Ardeshir Adeli

Aim Rapid and efficient utilization of swine (Sus scrofa domestucus) lagoon effluent nitrogen (N) by crops is necessary to minimize N losses and environmental pollution. The objective of this study was to determine the dynamics and fate of effluent N applied to bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon (L.) pers.) using 15N tracer technology as influenced by irrigation date. Methods Anaerobic swine lagoon effluent was labeled with enriched (15NH4)2SO4 and applied to an acid silty clay soil. Microplots (1 × 1 m) were established for each irrigation event (main plots) and soil was sampled and bermudagrass was harvested on day 0, 1, 2, 3, 7, and 14 (subplots) following irrigation. Soil sampling coincided with harvests to monitor effluent derived 15N transformations. Results Application in July when bermudagrass growth was most active resulted in a plant 15N recovery of 59 %. Crop recoveries for June and September irrigation events were equal at 33 %. Nitrification of effluent NH4+-N occurred rapidly within 24 h to 48 h following application. Rapid losses of effluent 15N within 1 d suggest a high probability for NH3 volatilization, while losses following rainfall and high soil moisture content in June infer denitrification was most active. Lack of 15N detection in the 30 to 60 cm soil depth indicated a low probability of leaching losses, while unaccounted for 15N was 45, 5, and 30 % for irrigation events in June, July, and September, respectively. Conclusion Bermudagrass recovery, dynamics and fate of effluent N applied to an acid soil varied with environmental conditions affecting crop growth and N uptake and soil N transformations.
Tags: nitrogen , soil , poll , elem

Using multi-isotopes (34S, 18O, 2H) to track local contamination of the groundwater from Hongshan-Zhaili abandoned coal mine, Zibo city, Shandong province
International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation (2016)
Jianwei Zhou, Qiuxia Zhang, Fengxin Kang, Yanpeng Zhang, Lei Yuan, Dong Wei, Shanghua Lin

The Hongshan-Zhaili coal mine was extensively mined for several decades, lies in Zibo city, Shandong province. After closed in 1994, the coal strata water level raised above the Ordovician limestone water level, then led to the cross strata pollution, which greatly affected the normal use of local people. The Ordovician limestone aquifer is the important drinking water aquifer for local community which covered under the coal strata. Thirty-two domestic water wells near the former coal mine were sampled for water chemistry and stable-isotope analysis of water and dissolved SO42−. Groundwater plots close to the Global Meteoric Water Line and reveals evidence of recharging from atmospheric precipitation. The analysis of sensitive components NO3−, SO42−, 34S in groundwater shows an oxidation environment, promoting the pyrite oxidation. The result of 34S isotopes indicates that the Ordovician limestone water SO42− mainly derived from the atmospheric precipitation SO42−, and the contamination of the Ordovician limestone water from coal strata water has occurred locally in the study area, the Ordovician limestone water is enriched in SO42− and depleted 34S in sulfate.
Tags: hydrogen , oxygen , sulfur , poll , elem

Short-term and seasonal soil nitrogen dynamics and recovery by bermudagrass irrigated with 15N labelled swine lagoon effluent
Plant and Soil (2016)
Jiuquan Zhang, Jac J. Varco, Ardeshir Adeli

Aim Rapid and efficient utilization of swine (Sus scrofa domestucus) lagoon effluent nitrogen (N) by crops is necessary to minimize N losses and environmental pollution. The objective of this study was to determine the dynamics and fate of effluent N applied to bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon (L.) pers.) using 15N tracer technology as influenced by irrigation date. Methods Anaerobic swine lagoon effluent was labeled with enriched (15NH4)2SO4 and applied to an acid silty clay soil. Microplots (1 × 1 m) were established for each irrigation event (main plots) and soil was sampled and bermudagrass was harvested on day 0, 1, 2, 3, 7, and 14 (subplots) following irrigation. Soil sampling coincided with harvests to monitor effluent derived 15N transformations. Results Application in July when bermudagrass growth was most active resulted in a plant 15N recovery of 59 %. Crop recoveries for June and September irrigation events were equal at 33 %. Nitrification of effluent NH4+-N occurred rapidly within 24 h to 48 h following application. Rapid losses of effluent 15N within 1 d suggest a high probability for NH3 volatilization, while losses following rainfall and high soil moisture content in June infer denitrification was most active. Lack of 15N detection in the 30 to 60 cm soil depth indicated a low probability of leaching losses, while unaccounted for 15N was 45, 5, and 30 % for irrigation events in June, July, and September, respectively. Conclusion Bermudagrass recovery, dynamics and fate of effluent N applied to an acid soil varied with environmental conditions affecting crop growth and N uptake and soil N transformations.
Tags: nitrogen , soil , poll , elem

Using multi-isotopes (34S, 18O, 2H) to track local contamination of the groundwater from Hongshan-Zhaili abandoned coal mine, Zibo city, Shandong province
International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation (2016)
Jianwei Zhou, Qiuxia Zhang, Fengxin Kang, Yanpeng Zhang, Lei Yuan, Dong Wei, Shanghua Lin

The Hongshan-Zhaili coal mine was extensively mined for several decades, lies in Zibo city, Shandong province. After closed in 1994, the coal strata water level raised above the Ordovician limestone water level, then led to the cross strata pollution, which greatly affected the normal use of local people. The Ordovician limestone aquifer is the important drinking water aquifer for local community which covered under the coal strata. Thirty-two domestic water wells near the former coal mine were sampled for water chemistry and stable-isotope analysis of water and dissolved SO42−. Groundwater plots close to the Global Meteoric Water Line and reveals evidence of recharging from atmospheric precipitation. The analysis of sensitive components NO3−, SO42−, 34S in groundwater shows an oxidation environment, promoting the pyrite oxidation. The result of 34S isotopes indicates that the Ordovician limestone water SO42− mainly derived from the atmospheric precipitation SO42−, and the contamination of the Ordovician limestone water from coal strata water has occurred locally in the study area, the Ordovician limestone water is enriched in SO42− and depleted 34S in sulfate.
Tags: hydrogen , oxygen , sulfur , poll , elem

Spatial and temporal patterns of nitrogen isotopic composition of ammonia at U.S. ammonia monitoring network sites
Atmospheric Environment (2016)
J. David Felix, Emily M. Elliott, David A. Gay

Ammonia (NH3) emissions and ammonium (NH4+) deposition can have harmful effects on the environment and human health but remain generally unregulated in the U.S. PM2.5 regulations require that an area not exceed an annual average PM2.5 value of 12 μg/m3 (averaged over three years), and since NH3 is a significant precursor to PM2.5 formation these are the closest indirect regulations of NH3 emissions in the U.S. If the U.S. elects to adopt NH3 emission regulations similar to those applied by the European Union, it will be imperative to first adequately quantify NH3 emission sources and transport, and also understand the factors causing varying emissions from each source. To further investigate NH3 emission sources and transport at a regional scale, NH3 was sampled monthly at a subset of nine Ammonia Monitoring Network (AMoN) sites and analyzed for nitrogen isotopic composition of NH3 (δ15N-NH3). The observed δ15N-NH3 values ranged from −42.4 to +7.1‰ with an average of −15.1 ± 9.7. The observed δ15N-NH3 values reported here provide insight into the spatial and temporal trends of the NH3 sources that contribute to ambient [NH3] in the U.S. In regions where agriculture is prevalent (i.e., U.S. Midwest), low and seasonally variable δ15N-NH3 values are observed and are associated with varying agricultural sources. In comparison, rural nonagricultural areas have higher and more seasonally consistent δ15N-NH3 values associated with a constant “natural” (e.g. soil, vegetation, bi-directional flux, ocean) NH3 source. With regards to temporal variation, the peak in U.S. spring agricultural activity (e.g. fertilizer application, livestock waste volatilization) is accompanied by a decrease in δ15N-NH3 values at a majority of the sites, whereas higher δ15N-NH3 values in other seasons could be due to shifting sources (e.g. coal-fired power plants) and/or fractionation scenarios. Fractionation processes that may mask NH3 source signatures are discussed and require further investigation to optimize the utility of the nitrogen isotopic composition to determine NH3 sources and dynamics.

Urbanization impact on sulfur content of groundwater revealed by the study of urban speleothem-like deposits: Case study in Paris, France
Science of The Total Environment (2016)
E Pons-Branchu, M Roy-Barman, L Jean-Soro, A Guillerme, P Branchu, M Fernandez, E Dumont, E Douville, JL Michelot, AM Phillips

Speleothem-like deposits that develop underground in urban areas are an archive of the environmental impact of anthropic activities that has been little studied so far. In this paper, the sulfate content in shallow groundwater from northern Paris (France) is compared with the sulfur content in two 300-year-old urban carbonate deposits that grew in a historical underground aqueduct. The present-day waters of the aqueduct have very high sulfur and calcium contents, suggesting pollution from gypsum dissolution. However, geological gypsum levels are located below the water table. Sulfur content was measured by micro-X-ray fluorescence in these very S-rich carbonate deposits (0.5 to 1% of S). A twofold S increase during the second half of the 1800s was found in both samples. These dates correspond to two major periods of urbanization above the site. We discus three possible S sources: anthropic sources (industries, fertilizers…), volcanic eruptions and input within the water through gypsum brought for urbanization above the studied site (backfill with quarry waste) since the middle of the 19th century. For the younger second half of the studied section, S input from gypsum brought during urbanization was confirmed by the study of isotopic sulfur composition (δ34S=+15.2‰ at the top). For the oldest part, several sulfur peaks could be related to early industrial activity in Paris, that caused high local air pollution, as reported in historical archives but also to historical gypsum extraction. This study provides information on the origin and timing of the very high SO42− levels measured nowadays within the shallow groundwater, thus demonstrating the interest in using carbonate deposits in urban areas as a proxy for the history of urbanization or human activities and their impact on water bodies.

Species-specific accumulation of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and other emerging flame retardants in several species of birds from Korea
Environmental Pollution (2016)
Xiangzi Jin, Sunggyu Lee, Yunsun Jeong, Jae-Pyoung Yu, Woon Kee Baek, Kyung-Hoon Shin, Kurunthachalam Kannan, Hyo-Bang Moon

Few studies have been conducted on the alternatives to legacy flame retardants in avian species worldwide. In this study, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and alternative flame retardants such as novel brominated flame retardants (NBFRs) and dechlorane plus (DP) were determined in livers of 10 species of birds from Korea to elucidate species-specific accumulation, biological factors that affect accumulation, and bioaccumulation potentials of these contaminants. Among the emerging alternative flame retardants, the highest occurrence was found for bis(2-ethylhexyl)-3,4,5,6-tetrabromo-phthalate (BEHTBP), syn-DP, anti-DP, and decabromodiphenyl ethane (DBDPE). PBDE concentrations (median: 17.1 ng/g lipid wt) measured in our study were within the ranges reported in previous studies, while the concentrations of BEHTBP, BTBPE and DP were greater than those reported earlier. Residential predatory birds showed significantly greater concentrations of PBDEs and NBFRs than migratory predators and passerine birds. The concentrations of PBDEs, BEHTBP, and DP in residential predatory birds were significantly correlated with increasing stable nitrogen isotope ratio (δ15N), which indicated biomagnification potentials of these contaminants. Our results suggest that the concentrations and accumulation patterns of PBDEs, NBFRs, and DP depend on the feeding habits and migration patterns of avian species. This is the first report on the accumulation of emerging alternatives to PBDEs in birds from Korea.

Sulfur Cycling-Related Biogeochemical Processes of Arsenic Mobilization in the Western Hetao Basin, China: Evidence from Multiple Isotope Approaches
Environmental Science & Technology (2016)
Huaming Guo, Yinzhu Zhou, Yongfeng Jia, Xiaohui Tang, Xiaofeng Li, Mengmeng Shen, Hai Lu, Shuangbao Han, Chao Wei, Stefan Norra, Fucun Zhang

The role of sulfur cycling in arsenic behavior under reducing conditions is not well-understood in previous investigations. This study provides observations of sulfur and oxygen isotope fractionation in sulfate and evaluation of sulfur cycling-related biogeochemical processes controlling dissolved arsenic groundwater concentrations using multiple isotope approaches. As a typical basin hosting high arsenic groundwater, the western Hetao basin was selected as the study area. Results showed that, along the groundwater flow paths, groundwater δ34SSO4, δ18OSO4, and δ13CDOC increased with increases in arsenic, dissolved iron, hydrogen sulfide and ammonium concentrations, while δ13CDIC decreased with decreasing Eh and sulfate/chloride. Bacterial sulfate reduction (BSR) was responsible for many of these observed changes. The δ34SSO4 indicated that dissolved sulfate was mainly sourced from oxidative weathering of sulfides in upgradient alluvial fans. The high oxygen–sulfur isotope fractionation ratio (0.60) may re...
Tags: oxygen , sulfur , geol , poll , elem

Biomagnification of persistent organic pollutants along a high-altitude aquatic food chain in the Tibetan Plateau: Processes and mechanisms
Environmental Pollution (2016)
Jiao Ren, Xiaoping Wang, Chuanfei Wang, Ping Gong, Xiruo Wang, Tandong Yao

Biomagnification of some persistent organic pollutants (POPs) has been found in marine and freshwater food chains; however, due to the relatively short food chains in high-altitude alpine lakes, whether trophic transfer would result in the biomagnification of POPs is not clear. The transfer of various POPs, including organochlorine pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), along the aquatic food chain in Nam Co Lake (4700 m), in the central Tibetan Plateau, was studied. The POPs levels in the water, sediment and biota [plankton, invertebrates and fish (Gymnocypris namensis)] of Nam Co were generally low, with concentrations comparable to those reported for the remote Arctic. The composition profiles of POPs in the fish were different from that in the water, but similar to their food. DDEs, DDDs, PCB 138, 153 and 180 displayed significant positive correlations with trophic levels, with trophic magnification factors (TMFs) ranged between 1.5 and 4.2, implying these chemicals can undergo final biomagnification along food chain. A fugacity-based dynamic bioaccumulation model was applied to the fish with localized parameters, by which the simulated concentrations were comparable to the measured data. Modeling results showed that most compounds underwent net gill loss and net gut uptake; only when the net result of the combined gut and gill fluxes would be positive, bioaccumulation could eventually occur. The net accumulation flux increased with fish age, which was caused by the continuous increase of gut uptake by aged fish. Due to the oligotrophic condition, efficient food absorption is likely the key factor that influences the gut POPs uptake. Long residence times with half-lives up to two decades were found for the higher chlorinated PCBs in Gymnocypris namensis.

Source Identification of Oil Spills Using Compound-Specific Carbon Isotope Analysis Based on “7–16” Oil Spill in Dalian, China
Aquatic Procedia (2015)
Min Wang, Chuanyuan Wang, Shiji He

A set of sequentially weathered oils residue in sediments collected from Dalian Bay in different time after “7-16” oil spill accident, were analyzed by Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and Gas chromatography–isotope ratio mass spectrometry (GC-IRMS) to analyze the weathering process and evaluated the possibilities of GC-IRMS as a correlation tool in oil spill identification. Although some temporal variation was observed, no significant temporal shifts in the δ13C values for n-alkanes were measured in moderated weathered oils. The standard deviations of δ13C values of individual n-alkanes varied from 0.07% to 0.20%, which showed that the weathering has no significant effect on values of individual n-alkanes over 120 days. The results suggest that stable carbon isotope profile of n-alkanes can be a useful tool for tracing the source of an oil spill, particularly for the weathered oils absence of sterane and terpane biomarkers.