Heavy Metal and Rare Earth Element Pollution in Soil and Water: Sources, Geochemical Behaviors and Ecological Effects

A special issue of Minerals (ISSN 2075-163X). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Mineralogy and Biogeochemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 29 March 2024 | Viewed by 1770

Special Issue Editors

Department of Geosciences, Faculty of Land Resource Engineering, Kunming University of Science and Technology, Kunming 650093, Yunnan Province, China
Interests: geochemical models; soil minerals; source apportionment; bioaccessiblility; health risk assessment; minerals weathering; speciation of heavy metals
School of Geographical Science, Nantong University, Nantong 226019, China
Interests: geochemical background; source identification; migration and transformation; bioavailability
Chongqing Key Laboratory of Biogenetics and Anaerobic Microecology, College of Resources and Environment, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China
Interests: heavy metals; plant restoration; migration and transformation; pollution remediation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Soil and water are among the most important and critical components in the critical zone, determining biodiversity and human life, which are influenced by natural and anthropogenic processes. Heavy metal (HM) pollution in soil and water ecosystem was first recognized in the 1960s. As the main inorganic pollutant, HMs are easily immobilized in soil by different components, such as organic matter, clay minerals and iron oxides, making their removal rather difficult. However, some fractions of HMs could be transported into other environmental  media, food chain and human body by water. Due to differences in the initial status of natural weathering and anthropogenic pollution in soil and water ecosystems, it is challenging to clearly identify the sources, speciation changes and geochemical behaviors of HMs.

Rare earth elements (REEs) usually penetrate into soil and water under the cover of HMs. In addition to high-tech manufacturing sectors and waste dumping, rock weathering or metallurgical process also cause HM and REE pollution. Similar to HMs, REEs can be activated in soil and water, thereby altering different conditions such as temperature, pH, and redox changes. Moreover, REEs could have specific characteristics under natural redox condition changes and absorption fractionation by minerals, and during municipal and mining waste discharge. Therefore, their synergic response to pollution sources and geochemical processes in soil and water could provide new insights into inorganic pollution and environmental loads in soil and water.

This Special Issue welcomes contributions related to HM and REE distribution and speciation, pollution monitoring, source identification, health risk assessment, management and mitigations, aimed at preventing HM and REE pollution in water and soil.

Dr. Yinxian Song
Dr. Yubo Wen
Prof. Dr. Ming Ma
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • HM and REE pollution
  • soil and water ecosystem
  • health risk assessment
  • environmental loads
  • speciation distribution
  • modelling of pollutant transportation
  • geochemical background
  • weathering and soil-water interaction
  • municipal and mining waste
  • remediation technique

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

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15 pages, 3515 KiB  
Article
Distribution of Heavy Metals in Surface Sediments of a Tropical Mangrove Wetlands in Hainan, China, and Their Biological Effectiveness
Minerals 2023, 13(12), 1476; https://doi.org/10.3390/min13121476 - 23 Nov 2023
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Abstract
The distribution and ecological risk of heavy metals in sediments were studied through the systematic collection and analysis of mangrove wetland sediments in Dongzhai Harbor, Hainan. The main insights obtained were as follows: (1) The distribution characteristics and influencing factors of heavy metals [...] Read more.
The distribution and ecological risk of heavy metals in sediments were studied through the systematic collection and analysis of mangrove wetland sediments in Dongzhai Harbor, Hainan. The main insights obtained were as follows: (1) The distribution characteristics and influencing factors of heavy metals in wetland sediments were analyzed by using the inverse-distance weight interpolation method. In terms of spatial distribution, the contents of heavy metals As, Ba, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb, Sr, Ti, and Zn in the western part of the wetland were significantly higher than in the eastern part. The contents of heavy metals Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Hg, Mn, Ni, Zn, and Ti near the anthropogenic area were significantly higher than at other points. (2) The pollution sources and ecological risks of heavy metals in wetland sediments were explored by using correlation analysis, cluster analysis, and potential ecological risk index analysis. The results showed that As, Ba, Pb, and Sr mainly originated from natural processes; Co, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, Ti, and Zn mainly originated from industry; and agricultural heavy metals mainly originated from Cd and Hg. The ecological risk analysis showed that there were obvious ecological risks of heavy metals in the western and southeastern corners of the wetland, which were both located in the vicinity of land far away from the coastline and near the human activities, and featured mangrove forests with dense vegetation characteristics. Full article
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Review

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17 pages, 1020 KiB  
Review
A Review on the Removal of Heavy Metals from Water by Phosphorus-Enriched Biochar
Minerals 2024, 14(1), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14010061 - 04 Jan 2024
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Abstract
In recent years, the utilization of phosphorus-enriched biochar (PBC) has attracted significant attention due to its exceptional stability and surface reactivity. This review systematically summarizes the advancements in research related to the application of PBC as an adsorbent for remediating water contaminated with [...] Read more.
In recent years, the utilization of phosphorus-enriched biochar (PBC) has attracted significant attention due to its exceptional stability and surface reactivity. This review systematically summarizes the advancements in research related to the application of PBC as an adsorbent for remediating water contaminated with heavy metals. Initially, the precursors utilized in the production of PBC, encompassing biomass and phosphorus sources, are introduced. Subsequently, the distinct physicochemical properties and adsorption characteristics resulting from phosphorus doping on the biochar surface through various carbonization processes and parameters are elucidated. Additionally, the diverse adsorption mechanisms employed by PBC in removing heavy metals from water are analyzed. Lastly, future research prospects and associated challenges concerning PBC are presented. This paper aims to furnish comprehensive background information for the practical implementation of PBC in the purification of heavy metal-contaminated water environments. Full article
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