Innovative Strategies to Decompose Pollutants

A special issue of Toxics (ISSN 2305-6304). This special issue belongs to the section "Toxicity Reduction and Environmental Remediation".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 February 2024) | Viewed by 7328

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Dipartimento di Chimica e Tecnologie Chimiche, Via P. Bucci, Cubo 12C, Università della Calabria, 87036 Rende, CS, Italy
Interests: sustainable chemistry; environmental chemistry; medicinal chemistry; macromolecules
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Circular Carbon GmbH, Große Elbstrasse 86, 22767 Hamburg, Germany
Interests: biochar; multi-walled carbon nanotubes; composite materials; polymer chemistry; environmental chemistry
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Industrial development must be accompanied by continuous environmental monitoring. Pollutants, whether in gaseous, liquid or solid form, can contaminate land, water and soil, and have adverse effects on organisms. Several techniques have been developed over time and have made it possible to mitigate the accumulation of these substances. The controlled decomposition of pollutants through photochemistry, sonochemistry, mechanochemistry and generic catalysis has been taking place in the last twenty years, as a promising breakthrough. The introduction of innovative technologies with low environmental impact makes it possible to obtain harmless substances and produce chemicals with high added value that can be part of new industrial processes. Material recycling is a new frontier that underlies the circular economy.

We are pleased to invite you to contribute to this Special Issue entitled "Innovative technologies to decompose pollutants", which aims to collect and highlight all the advancements that scientific research is making in this sector.

Below is a non-exhaustive list of potential research areas:

  • Chemical-physical processes to decompose pollutants;
  • Development of organic materials and their applications for pollutant decomposition;
  • Development of composite materials and their applications for pollutant decomposition;
  • Photochemical, sonochemical, mechanochemical technologies to decompose pollutants;
  • General catalysis to decompose pollutants;
  • Evaluation of the toxicity of pollutants and the relative decomposition products;
  • Recycling of the decomposition products for circular economy.

We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Dr. Fabrizio Olivito
Dr. Pravin Jagdale
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Toxics is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • pollutant decomposition
  • photochemistry
  • sonochemistry
  • mechanochemistry
  • catalysis
  • toxicity

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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12 pages, 1052 KiB  
Article
Occurrence and Health Risk Assessment of Sulfonamide Antibiotics in Different Freshwater Fish in Northeast China
by Mengnan Shen, Bowen Yu, Yi Hu, Zhi Liu, Ke Zhao, Chenyang Li, Ming Li, Chen Lyu, Hai Lu, Shuang Zhong and Jie Cheng
Toxics 2023, 11(10), 835; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11100835 - 02 Oct 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 992
Abstract
This study aimed to investigate the levels of 12 sulfonamide antibiotics in freshwater fish species obtained from three cities in northeastern China (Harbin, Changchun, and Shenyang). The analysis was conducted using HPLC–MS/MS to accurately quantify the antibiotic concentrations in the fish samples. The [...] Read more.
This study aimed to investigate the levels of 12 sulfonamide antibiotics in freshwater fish species obtained from three cities in northeastern China (Harbin, Changchun, and Shenyang). The analysis was conducted using HPLC–MS/MS to accurately quantify the antibiotic concentrations in the fish samples. The results showed that the average levels of sulfonamide antibiotics in fish samples from Harbin, Changchun, and Shenyang were 1.83 ng/g ww, 0.98 ng/g ww, and 1.60 ng/g ww, respectively. Sulfamethoxazole displayed the highest levels and detection rates in all three cities, whereas sulphapyridine exhibited the lowest concentrations in all the fish samples. The levels of sulfonamide antibiotic residues in the different fish species varied widely among the cities, and the highest level of antibiotic residues was found in the muscle of carnivorous fish. The results from a health risk evaluation on the consumption of these fish indicated that the risk from long-term antibiotic exposure to local residents from the intake of the sampled fish was small and not sufficient to pose a significant health risk to consumers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Strategies to Decompose Pollutants)
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13 pages, 3080 KiB  
Communication
Synthesis and Biodegradation Test of a New Polyether Polyurethane Foam Produced from PEG 400, L-Lysine Ethyl Ester Diisocyanate (L-LDI) and Bis-hydroxymethyl Furan (BHMF)
by Fabrizio Olivito, Pravin Jagdale and Goldie Oza
Toxics 2023, 11(8), 698; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11080698 - 13 Aug 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1450
Abstract
In this paper we produced a bio-based polyether-polyurethane foam PU1 through the prepolymer method. The prepolymer was obtained by the reaction of PEG 400 with L-Lysine ethyl ester diisocyanate (L-LDI). The freshly prepared prepolymer was extended with 2,5-bis(hydroxymethyl)furan (BHMF) to produce the [...] Read more.
In this paper we produced a bio-based polyether-polyurethane foam PU1 through the prepolymer method. The prepolymer was obtained by the reaction of PEG 400 with L-Lysine ethyl ester diisocyanate (L-LDI). The freshly prepared prepolymer was extended with 2,5-bis(hydroxymethyl)furan (BHMF) to produce the final polyurethane. The renewable chemical BHMF was produced through the chemical reduction of HMF by sodium borohydride. HMF was produced by a previously reported procedure from fructose using choline chloride and ytterbium triflate. To evaluate the degradation rate of the foam PU1, we tested the chemical stability by soaking it in a 10% sodium hydroxide solution. The weight loss was only 12% after 30 days. After that, we proved that enzymatic hydrolysis after 30 days using cholesterol esterase was more favoured than hydrolysis with NaOH, with a weight loss of 24%, probably due to the hydrophobic character of the PU1 and a better adhesion of the enzyme on the surface with respect to water. BHMF was proved to be of crucial importance for the enzymatic degradation assay at 37 °C in phosphate buffer solution, because it represents the breaking point inside the polyurethane chain. Soil burial degradation test was monitored for three months to evaluate whether the joint activity of sunlight, climate changes and microorganisms, including bacteria and fungi, could further increase the biodegradation. The unexpected weight loss after soil burial degradation test was 45% after three months. This paper highlights the potential of using sustainable resources to produce new biodegradable materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Strategies to Decompose Pollutants)
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13 pages, 2825 KiB  
Article
Synthesis of Mixed-Phase TiO2–ZrO2 Nanocomposite for Photocatalytic Wastewater Treatment
by Pooja Kumari, Rajib Saha, Gaurav Saikia, Aditya Bhujel, Mahua Gupta Choudhury, Pravin Jagdale and Samrat Paul
Toxics 2023, 11(3), 234; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11030234 - 28 Feb 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1505
Abstract
The use of TiO2 nanoparticles for photocatalysis for the degradation of organic dyes under UV light for wastewater treatment has been widely studied. However, the photocatalytic characteristics of TiO2 nanoparticles are inadequate due to their UV light response and higher band [...] Read more.
The use of TiO2 nanoparticles for photocatalysis for the degradation of organic dyes under UV light for wastewater treatment has been widely studied. However, the photocatalytic characteristics of TiO2 nanoparticles are inadequate due to their UV light response and higher band gap. In this work, three nanoparticles were synthesized: (i) TiO2 nanoparticle was synthesized by a sol-gel process. (ii) ZrO2 was prepared using a solution combustion process and (iii) mixed-phase TiO2–ZrO2 nanoparticles were synthesized by a sol-gel process to remove Eosin Yellow (EY) from aqueous solutions in the wastewater. XRD, FTIR, UV-VIS, TEM, and XPS analysis methods were used to examine the properties of the synthesized products. The XRD investigation supported the tetragonal and monoclinic crystal structures of the TiO2 and ZrO2 nanoparticles. TEM studies identified that mixed-phase TiO2–ZrO2 nanoparticles have the same tetragonal structure as pure mixed-phase. The degradation of Eosin Yellow (EY) was examined using TiO2, ZrO2, and mixed-phase TiO2–ZrO2 nanoparticles under visible light. The results confirmed that the mixed-phase TiO2–ZrO2nanoparticles show a higher level of photocatalytic activity, and the process is accomplished at a high degradation rate in lesser time and at a lower power intensity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Strategies to Decompose Pollutants)
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19 pages, 2439 KiB  
Article
Molecular Design and Mechanism Analysis of Phthalic Acid Ester Substitutes: Improved Biodegradability in Processes of Sewage Treatment and Soil Remediation
by Shuhai Sun, Qilin Zuo, Meijin Du and Yu Li
Toxics 2022, 10(12), 783; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics10120783 - 13 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1218
Abstract
Phthalic acid esters (PAEs) have the characteristics of environmental persistence. Therefore, improving the biodegradability of PAEs is the key to reducing the extent of ecological harm realized. Firstly, the scoring function values of PAEs docking with various degrading enzymes in sewage treatment were [...] Read more.
Phthalic acid esters (PAEs) have the characteristics of environmental persistence. Therefore, improving the biodegradability of PAEs is the key to reducing the extent of ecological harm realized. Firstly, the scoring function values of PAEs docking with various degrading enzymes in sewage treatment were calculated. Based on this, a 3D-quantitative structure-activity relationship (3D-QSAR) model for PAE biodegradability was built, and 38 PAE substitutes were created. By predicting the endocrine-disrupting toxicity and functions of PAE substitutes, two types of PAE substitutes that are easily degraded by microorganisms, have low toxicity, and remain functional were successfully screened. Meanwhile, the differences in the mechanism of molecular degradation difference before and after PAE modification were analyzed based on the distribution characteristics of amino acid residues in the molecular docking complex. Finally, the photodegradability and microbial degradability of the PAE substitutes in the soil environment was evaluated. From the 3D-QSAR model design perspective, the modification mechanism of PAE substitutes suitable for sewage treatment and soil environment degradation was analyzed. We aim to improve the biodegradability of PAEs at the source and provide theoretical support for alleviating the environmental hazards of using PAEs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Strategies to Decompose Pollutants)
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Review

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22 pages, 1379 KiB  
Review
Occurrence, Bioaccumulation, Metabolism and Ecotoxicity of Fluoroquinolones in the Aquatic Environment: A Review
by Mengnan Shen, Yi Hu, Ke Zhao, Chenyang Li, Binshuo Liu, Ming Li, Chen Lyu, Lei Sun and Shuang Zhong
Toxics 2023, 11(12), 966; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11120966 - 29 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1360
Abstract
In recent years, there has been growing concern about antibiotic contamination in water bodies, particularly the widespread presence of fluoroquinolones (FQs), which pose a serious threat to ecosystems due to their extensive use and the phenomenon of “pseudo-persistence”. This article provides a comprehensive [...] Read more.
In recent years, there has been growing concern about antibiotic contamination in water bodies, particularly the widespread presence of fluoroquinolones (FQs), which pose a serious threat to ecosystems due to their extensive use and the phenomenon of “pseudo-persistence”. This article provides a comprehensive review of the literature on FQs in water bodies, summarizing and analyzing contamination levels of FQs in global surface water over the past three years, as well as the bioaccumulation and metabolism patterns of FQs in aquatic organisms, their ecological toxicity, and the influencing factors. The results show that FQs contamination is widespread in surface water across the surveyed 32 countries, with ciprofloxacin and norfloxacin being the most heavy contaminants. Furthermore, contamination levels are generally higher in developing and developed countries. It has been observed that compound types, species, and environmental factors influence the bioaccumulation, metabolism, and toxicity of FQs in aquatic organisms. FQs tend to accumulate more in organisms with higher lipid content, and toxicity experiments have shown that FQs exhibit the highest toxicity to bacteria and the weakest toxicity to mollusk. This article summarizes and analyzes the current research status and shortcomings of FQs, providing guidance and theoretical support for future research directions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Strategies to Decompose Pollutants)
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