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Environments, Volume 7, Issue 11 (November 2020) – 10 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): This study analyzes climate change mitigation policies focused on light-duty electric vehicles (LDEVs) in the transportation sector in Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil, in the 2016–2050 period. We use the Open Source Energy Modeling System (OSeMOSYS) to analyze scenarios that consider greater uptake of LDEVs in different time frames, implementation of a CO2 emission restriction policy, exclusion of fossil fuels from the power mix, and a combination of these policies. We find that carbon pricing, along with higher rates of LDEV adoption, causes the greatest emission reductions (up to 47%), albeit at higher costs. View this paper
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20 pages, 316 KiB  
Article
Environmental and Political Determinants of Food Choices: A Preliminary Study in a Croatian Sample
by Marijana Matek Sarić, Krešimir Jakšić, Jelena Čulin and Raquel P. F. Guiné
Environments 2020, 7(11), 103; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments7110103 - 22 Nov 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3624
Abstract
Production, processing, transporting, selling, and consumption of food are highly resource intensive. Therefore, if they are not well managed the consequences for the environment are far-reaching. This study aimed at investigating behaviors and attitudes of the Croatian population concerning the influence of environmental [...] Read more.
Production, processing, transporting, selling, and consumption of food are highly resource intensive. Therefore, if they are not well managed the consequences for the environment are far-reaching. This study aimed at investigating behaviors and attitudes of the Croatian population concerning the influence of environmental and political determinants of food choices, and the socio-demographic factors associated with pro-environmental behavior. Data analysis involved a non-probabilistic sample of 1534 adult participants from Croatia who responded to a validated questionnaire from November 2017 to March 2018. To test differences between sociodemographic groups, Welch’s t-test (two groups) and ANOVA (multiple groups) were used. The relationship between age and motivators of food choices was analyzed with Pearson’s r correlation coefficient. Participants reported a neutral rate of agreement with the items, with the exception of items related to food waste and food origin, for which they expressed a moderate amount of agreement. Socio-demographic factors that influence environmentally or politically concerned food choices in our study were age (older participants, p < 0.001), gender (women in comparison to men, p < 0.05), education level (higher education in comparison to elementary/high school, p < 0.05), marital status (married/cohabiting in comparison to unmarried, p < 0.05), responsibility for food supply (those who are responsible for food supply in comparison to those who are not responsible for food supply, p < 0.05), eating practices (participants with specific eating practices in comparison to participants without specific eating practices, p < 0.05), and smoking (those who have never smoked score and those who used to smoke in comparison to active smokers, p < 0.05). The results show that there are no statistically significant differences in environmental and political determinants of food choices based on the place of residence and employment status. The findings indicate that environmental and political determinants do not play a significant role in the food choices among the Croatian population. Full article
19 pages, 2318 KiB  
Article
The Influence of Seasonal Meteorology on Vehicle Exhaust PM2.5 in the State of California: A Hybrid Approach Based on Artificial Neural Network and Spatial Analysis
by Fan Yu, Amin Mohebbi, Shiqing Cai, Simin Akbariyeh, Brendan J. Russo and Edward J. Smaglik
Environments 2020, 7(11), 102; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments7110102 - 19 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2986
Abstract
This study aims to develop a hybrid approach based on backpropagation artificial neural network (ANN) and spatial analysis techniques to predict particulate matter of size 2.5 µm (PM2.5) from vehicle exhaust emissions in the State of California using aerosol optical depth (AOD) and [...] Read more.
This study aims to develop a hybrid approach based on backpropagation artificial neural network (ANN) and spatial analysis techniques to predict particulate matter of size 2.5 µm (PM2.5) from vehicle exhaust emissions in the State of California using aerosol optical depth (AOD) and several meteorological indicators (relative humidity, temperature, precipitation, and wind speed). The PM2.5 data were generated using the Motor Vehicle Emission Simulator (MOVES). The measured meteorological variables and AOD were obtained from the California Irrigation Management Information System (CIMIS) and NASA’s Moderate Resolution Spectroradiometer (MODIS), respectively. The data were resampled to a seasonal format and downscaled over grids of 10 by 10 to 150 by 150. Coefficient of determination (R2), mean absolute percentage error (MAPE), and root mean square error (RMSE) were used to assess the quality of the ANN prediction model. The model peaked at winter seasons with R2 = 0.984, RMSE = 0.027, and MAPE = 25.311, whereas it had the lowest performance in summer with R2 = 0.920, RMSE = 0.057, and MAPE = 65.214. These results indicate that the ANN model can reasonably predict the PM2.5 mass and can be used to forecast future trends. Full article
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3 pages, 164 KiB  
Editorial
Sound Environments
by Jian Kang
Environments 2020, 7(11), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments7110101 - 11 Nov 2020
Viewed by 2501
Abstract
Sound environment is a vital part of our overall environment [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sound Environments)
24 pages, 3068 KiB  
Article
Estimating Release of Trace Elements from an Area with Historical Open Pit Mining of Alum Shale Using Mass Transport and Element/Sulfate Ratios Calculations
by Kristina Åhlgren, Viktor Sjöberg and Mattias Bäckström
Environments 2020, 7(11), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments7110100 - 10 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2587
Abstract
Alum shale was mined for oil and uranium production in Kvarntorp, Sweden, 1942–1966. Remnants such as pit lakes, exposed shale and a 100-meter-high waste deposit with a hot interior affect the surrounding environment, with elevated concentrations of, e.g., Mo, Ni and U in [...] Read more.
Alum shale was mined for oil and uranium production in Kvarntorp, Sweden, 1942–1966. Remnants such as pit lakes, exposed shale and a 100-meter-high waste deposit with a hot interior affect the surrounding environment, with elevated concentrations of, e.g., Mo, Ni and U in the recipient. Today most pit lakes are circumneutral while one of the lakes is still acidic. All pit lakes show signs of sulfide weathering with elevated sulfate concentrations. Mass transport calculations show that for elements such as uranium and molybdenum the western lake system (lake Söderhavet in particular) contributes the largest part. For sulfate, the two western lakes contribute with a quarter each, the eastern lake Norrtorpssjön about a third and a serpentine pond system receiving water from the waste deposit contributes around 17%. Except for a few elements (e.g., nickel 35%), the Serpentine system (including the waste deposit area) is not a very pronounced point source for metal release compared to the pit lakes. Estimates about future water runoff when the deposit has cooled down suggest only a slight increase in downstream water flow. There could possibly be first flush effects when previous hot areas have been reached by water. Full article
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22 pages, 2500 KiB  
Article
Climate Change Mitigation Policies in the Transportation Sector in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
by Tatiana Bruce da Silva, Patrícia Baptista, Carlos A. Santos Silva and Luan Santos
Environments 2020, 7(11), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments7110099 - 7 Nov 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 4510
Abstract
This study analyzes climate change mitigation policies focused on light-duty electric vehicles (LDEVs) in the transportation sector in Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil, in the 2016–2050 period. We use the Open Source Energy Modeling System (OSeMOSYS) to analyze scenarios that consider greater uptake [...] Read more.
This study analyzes climate change mitigation policies focused on light-duty electric vehicles (LDEVs) in the transportation sector in Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil, in the 2016–2050 period. We use the Open Source Energy Modeling System (OSeMOSYS) to analyze scenarios that consider greater uptake of LDEVs in different time frames, implementation of a CO2 emission restriction policy, exclusion of fossil fuels from the power mix, and a combination of these policies. We find that carbon pricing, along with higher rates of LDEVs adoption, causes the highest emission reductions (up to 47%), albeit at higher costs. LDEVs become the preferred vehicle technology as soon as they reach cost parity with internal combustion engine vehicles in different scenarios. Greater LDEVs uptake, however, leads to increased electricity consumption (up to 3%), which is provided by fossil fuels when there is no emission restriction policy. If restrictions are placed on the expansion of fossil fuel power plants, fewer LDEVs are adopted (up to less than 26%) because there is not enough electricity to supply the demand. Given the state’s power mix in 2016 (58% provided by fossil fuels), investment in zero-carbon energy is necessary for mitigation policies in the transportation sector to be effective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Deployment of Green Technologies for Sustainable Environment)
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65 pages, 795 KiB  
Review
Urban Soils and Road Dust—Civilization Effects and Metal Pollution—A Review
by Manfred Sager
Environments 2020, 7(11), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments7110098 - 4 Nov 2020
Cited by 31 | Viewed by 6222
Abstract
Urban soils have been changed much by human impacts in terms of structure, composition and use. This review paper gives a general introduction into changes from compaction, mixing, water retention, nutrient inputs, sealing, gardening, and pollution. Because pollutions in particular have caused concerns [...] Read more.
Urban soils have been changed much by human impacts in terms of structure, composition and use. This review paper gives a general introduction into changes from compaction, mixing, water retention, nutrient inputs, sealing, gardening, and pollution. Because pollutions in particular have caused concerns in the past, metal pollutions and platinum group metal inputs have been treated in more detail. Though it is not possible to cover the entire literature done on this field, it has been tried to give examples from all continents, regarding geochemical background levels. Urban metal soil pollution depends on the age of the settlement, current emissions from traffic and industry, and washout. It seems that in regions of high precipitation, pollutants are swept away to the watershed, leaving the soils less polluted than in Europe. Health hazards, however, are caused by ingestion and inhalation, which are higher in 3rd world countries, and not by concentrations met in urban soils as such; these are not treated within this paper in detail. With respect to pollutants, this paper is focused on metals. Contrary to many reviews of the past, which mix all data into one column, like sampling depth, sieved grain sizes, digestion and determination methods, these have been considered, because this might lead to considerable interpretation changes. Because many datasets are not Gaussian distributed, medians and concentration ranges are given, wherever possible. Urban dust contains about two to three fold the hazardous metal concentrations met in urban soils. Some data about metal mobilities obtained from selective and sequential leaching procedures, are also added. Soil compaction, pollution, sealings and run-offs cause stress situations for green plants growing at roadside locations, which is discussed in the Section 5. Environmental protection measures have led to decrease metal pollutions within the last decade in many places. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contaminant Elements in Roadside Dust and Soil)
17 pages, 3117 KiB  
Article
Desulfurization Performance of Choline Chloride-Based Deep Eutectic Solvents in the Presence of Graphene Oxide
by Chiau Yuan Lim, Mohd Faridzuan Majid, Sarrthesvaarni Rajasuriyan, Hayyiratul Fatimah Mohd Zaid, Khairulazhar Jumbri and Fai Kait Chong
Environments 2020, 7(11), 97; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments7110097 - 2 Nov 2020
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 4974
Abstract
Extractive catalytic oxidative desulfurization (ECODS) is the one of the recent methods used in fuel desulfurization which involved the use of catalyst in the oxidative desulfurization of diesel fuel. This study is aimed to test the effectiveness of synthesized choline chloride (ChCl) based [...] Read more.
Extractive catalytic oxidative desulfurization (ECODS) is the one of the recent methods used in fuel desulfurization which involved the use of catalyst in the oxidative desulfurization of diesel fuel. This study is aimed to test the effectiveness of synthesized choline chloride (ChCl) based deep eutectic solvent (DES) in fuel desulfurization via ECODS method, with the presence of graphene oxide (GO) as catalyst and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) as oxidant. In this study, 16 DESs based on choline chloride were synthesized using glycerol (GLY), ethylene glycol (EG), tetraethylene glycol (TEG) and polyethylene glycol (PEG). The characterization of the synthesized DES was carried out via Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) analysis, density, and viscosity determination. According to the screening result, ChCl-PEG (1:4) was found to be the most effective DES for desulfurization using ECODS method, with a removal of up to 47.4% of sulfur containing compounds in model oil in just 10 min per cycle after the optimization of the reaction parameters, and up to 95% desulfurization efficiency could be achieved by six cycles of desulfurization. It is found that the addition of GO as catalyst does not increase the desulfurization performance drastically; hence, future studies for the desulfurization performance of DESs made up from ChCl and PEG and its derivatives can be done simply by using extraction desulfurization (EDS) method instead of ECODS method, for cost reduction purpose and easier regulation of DES waste into environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Deployment of Green Technologies for Sustainable Environment)
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14 pages, 9698 KiB  
Article
Structural Assessment of Reinforced Concrete Beams Incorporating Waste Plastic Straws
by Jamal M. Khatib, Ali Jahami, Adel Elkordi, Hakim Abdelgader and Mohammed Sonebi
Environments 2020, 7(11), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments7110096 - 29 Oct 2020
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 3582
Abstract
The behavior of reinforced concrete beams containing fibers made of waste plastic straws (WPSs) under the three point bending test is examined. The effect of WPS fiber addition on the compressive and split tensile strength is reported. Four concrete mixes were prepared. The [...] Read more.
The behavior of reinforced concrete beams containing fibers made of waste plastic straws (WPSs) under the three point bending test is examined. The effect of WPS fiber addition on the compressive and split tensile strength is reported. Four concrete mixes were prepared. The control mix PS-0 had a proportion of 1 cement: 1 sand: 2 coarse aggregate and a water cement ratio of 0.4. In the other three mixes PS-0.5, PS-1.5 and PS-3, 0%, 0.5%, 1.5% and 3% of WPS fiber (by volume) was added respectively. The results show that at 0.5% WPS, there is slight increase in compressive strength. However, beyond 0.5% addition, a decrease in compressive strength is observed. The split tensile strength shows a systematic increase with the addition of WPS fibers. The reinforced concrete beams containing WPS fibers show higher ductility as demonstrated by the larger ultimate tensile strain and ductility index (Δu/Δy). There is a tendency to have more fine cracks with the presence of WPS fibers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Environments in 2020)
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9 pages, 1876 KiB  
Article
Visualization of Rare Metal-Enriched Zones in Waste Landfills Using Induced Polarization Method
by Kazuhiro Hidari, Masato Miyata, Sojiro Yamazaki and Kazuo Kamura
Environments 2020, 7(11), 95; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments7110095 - 27 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2286
Abstract
We consider the studied landfill site an urban mine and developed a series of projects on metal endowment forms, nondestructive investigation methods for metal-enriched zones, metal extraction methods from enriched zones, and useful metal selection methods. This paper examines the exploration method. Induced [...] Read more.
We consider the studied landfill site an urban mine and developed a series of projects on metal endowment forms, nondestructive investigation methods for metal-enriched zones, metal extraction methods from enriched zones, and useful metal selection methods. This paper examines the exploration method. Induced polarization (IP) exploration was carried out at a T disposal site filled in the studied valley. In addition, three drillings were conducted in the studied exploration area. Using the core samples, IP parameters and metal contents were measured. Then, by comparing these data, we examined the effectiveness of the IP method for the visualization of metal-enriched zones in unsaturated landfills. The results of this experiment revealed that the iron-sulfide-enriched zone in the valley filling landfill can be identified by IP exploration. In addition, we clarified the types and contents of rare metals that coexist in iron sulfide. This process allows for further evaluation of landfills as a deposit. Full article
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18 pages, 2743 KiB  
Article
Lead Complexation by Humic Acids and Their Analogs: A Voltammetric Study
by Spencer Steinberg and Vernon Hodge
Environments 2020, 7(11), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments7110094 - 26 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2683
Abstract
Differential pulse polarography (DPP) was used to assess the interaction of Pb2+ with various humic acid analogs and several humic acids. DPP analysis demonstrated that the reduction peak maximum (Ep) for Pb2+ shifted to more negative values in the [...] Read more.
Differential pulse polarography (DPP) was used to assess the interaction of Pb2+ with various humic acid analogs and several humic acids. DPP analysis demonstrated that the reduction peak maximum (Ep) for Pb2+ shifted to more negative values in the presence of humic acids and humic acid analogs. The observed Ep for Pb2+ in the presence of humic acids and humic acid analogs is influenced by ligand concentration, solution pH and Pb2+ concentration. Shifts in the Ep for Pb2+ are related to the reduction potential and can be rationalized using the Lingane equation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Environments in 2020)
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