Topic Editors

Prof. Dr. Gene Hall
Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ, 08901, USA
Advanced Separation Processes Group, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Vigo, Campus Lagoas-Marcosende, 36310 Vigo, Spain

Analysis and Separations of Trace Elements in the Environment

Abstract submission deadline
31 May 2024
Manuscript submission deadline
31 July 2024
Viewed by
4726

Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Topic will focus on the analyses and separations of trace elements in the environment. The main focus will be on using current analytical instrumentation that will include inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), inductively coupled plasma optical emission (ICP-OES), energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (EDXRF), and laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS). Elemental speciation will also be discussed. 

The Topic will demonstrate that the above analytical techniques can be used to analyze a variety of environmental samples that will include water, soil, tree rings, aerosols, and different types of plants. Sample preparation is an important step in the goals of successful characterization and quantification of trace elements in the environment.

Prof. Dr. Gene Hall
Prof. Dr. Begoña González
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • heavy metals
  • ICP-OES
  • ICP-MS
  • speciation
  • chromatography
  • soil
  • tree rings
  • drinking water
  • aerosols
  • EDXRF

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Molecules
molecules
4.6 6.7 1996 14.6 Days CHF 2700 Submit
Separations
separations
2.6 2.5 2014 13.6 Days CHF 2600 Submit
Sustainability
sustainability
3.9 5.8 2009 18.8 Days CHF 2400 Submit
Water
water
3.4 5.5 2009 16.5 Days CHF 2600 Submit
Minerals
minerals
2.5 3.9 2011 18.7 Days CHF 2400 Submit

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Published Papers (5 papers)

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15 pages, 9339 KiB  
Article
High-Accuracy Image Segmentation Based on Hybrid Attention Mechanism for Sandstone Analysis
by Lanfang Dong, Hao Gui, Xiaolu Yu, Xinming Zhang and Mingyang Xu
Minerals 2024, 14(6), 544; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14060544 (registering DOI) - 25 May 2024
Viewed by 92
Abstract
Mineral image segmentation based on computer vision is vital to realize automatic mineral analysis. However, current image segmentation methods still cannot effectively solve the problem of sandstone grains that are adjoined and concealed by leaching processes, and the segmentation performance of small and [...] Read more.
Mineral image segmentation based on computer vision is vital to realize automatic mineral analysis. However, current image segmentation methods still cannot effectively solve the problem of sandstone grains that are adjoined and concealed by leaching processes, and the segmentation performance of small and irregular grains still needs to be improved. This investigation explores and designs a Mask R-CNN-based sandstone image segmentation model, including a hybrid attention mechanism, loss function construction, and receptive field enlargement. Simultaneously, we propose a high-quality sandstone dataset with abundant labels named SMISD to facilitate comprehensive training of the model. The experimental results show that the proposed segmentation model has excellent segmentation performance, effectively solving adhesion and overlap between adjacent grains without affecting the classification accuracy. The model has comparable performance to other models on the COCO dataset, and performs better on SMISD than others. Full article
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12 pages, 8060 KiB  
Article
Water Stable Isotopes in the Central Altai Mountainous Rivers as Indicator of Glacier Meltwater Fraction in Runoff
by Dmitrii Bantcev, Valeriia Rasputina, Anaiit Ovsepian, Semyon Griga, Anna Kozachek, Kirill Tchikhatchev and Dmitrii Ganyushkin
Water 2024, 16(9), 1288; https://doi.org/10.3390/w16091288 - 30 Apr 2024
Viewed by 648
Abstract
We used stable water isotopes (δ18O and δ2H) to identify the fractions of glacier meltwater and summer precipitation in the runoff in the Taldura River in the Altai mountains. The mean isotopic characteristics of glacier ice, snow, summer precipitation [...] Read more.
We used stable water isotopes (δ18O and δ2H) to identify the fractions of glacier meltwater and summer precipitation in the runoff in the Taldura River in the Altai mountains. The mean isotopic characteristics of glacier ice, snow, summer precipitation and river water were obtained. Using isotopic separation of hydrographs, we determined that glacier feeding completely prevails throughout the Taldura River in the middle of the ablation season. In general, the fraction of glacier meltwater in the Taldura River’s runoff in the ablation season varies from 80% to 95% depending on local weather conditions. Full article
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16 pages, 2442 KiB  
Article
Extraction Kinetics of Rare Earth Elements from Ion-Adsorbed Underclays
by Priscilla Prem, Ward Burgess, Jon Yang and Circe Verba
Minerals 2023, 13(12), 1503; https://doi.org/10.3390/min13121503 - 30 Nov 2023
Viewed by 857
Abstract
Citric acid has been identified as an environmentally sustainable organic acid capable of leaching up to ~30% of easily accessible REEs from underclay material. An analysis of the leaching profiles was performed to discern the reaction rates, extraction efficiencies, and potential leaching mechanisms [...] Read more.
Citric acid has been identified as an environmentally sustainable organic acid capable of leaching up to ~30% of easily accessible REEs from underclay material. An analysis of the leaching profiles was performed to discern the reaction rates, extraction efficiencies, and potential leaching mechanisms of REEs and cations of interest from ion-adsorbed underclays. The initial leaching stage follows a slow intraparticle diffusion mechanism followed by a second stage controlled by a mixed diffusion regime. The leaching profiles of Ca and P were similar to those of REEs, suggesting that REEs are most likely derived from mineral surfaces such as hydroxyapatite or crandallite rather than predominately from underclays. Fitting to a modified diffusion control model found diffusion-controlled leaching to be the primary mechanism whereas non-diffusive mechanisms made up about 22% of the extracted REEs. Gangue cations associated with underclays had less non-diffusive leaching than REE species, indicating that their leaching kinetics may be dominated by diffusion from within the material or potentially from product layer formation. Fitting to Boyd plots further indicated that REEs were leached following intraparticle diffusion control. These results have important implications for the development of more efficient and sustainable methods for extracting REEs or critical minerals from alternative feedstocks. Full article
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18 pages, 2636 KiB  
Article
Enhancing Trace Metal Extraction from Wastewater: Magnetic Activated Carbon as a High-Performance Sorbent for Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometry Analysis
by Sergio J. Abellán-Martín, David Villalgordo-Hernández, Miguel Ángel Aguirre, Enrique V. Ramos-Fernández, Javier Narciso and Antonio Canals
Separations 2023, 10(11), 563; https://doi.org/10.3390/separations10110563 - 10 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1667
Abstract
A new fast, sensitive, and environmentally friendly analytical method has been developed for the simultaneous determination of Ba, Be, Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb, and Zn in wastewater samples using inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP OES). A preconcentration [...] Read more.
A new fast, sensitive, and environmentally friendly analytical method has been developed for the simultaneous determination of Ba, Be, Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb, and Zn in wastewater samples using inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP OES). A preconcentration step using a magnetic dispersive solid-phase extraction (MDSPE) technique with a new magnetic sorbent was performed. The new sorbent material was a carbon containing magnetic cobalt and nitrogen groups. This material was synthetized using controlled pyrolysis of a zeolitic imidazolate framework (i.e., ZIF-67). In order to optimize the experimental parameters that affect the MDSPE procedure, a multivariate optimization strategy, using Plackett–Burman and circumscribed central composite designs (CCD), was used. The method has been evaluated employing optimized experimental conditions (i.e., sample weight, 10 g; sample pH, 7.6; amount of sorbent, 10 mg; dispersive agent, vortex; complexing agent concentration, 0.5%; ionic concentration, 0%; eluent, HCl; eluent concentration, 0.5 M; eluent volume, 300 μL; elution time, 3 min and extraction time, 3 min) using external calibration. Limits of detection (LODs) in a range from 0.073 to 1.3 μg L−1 were obtained, and the repeatability was evaluated at two different levels, resulting in relative standard deviations below 8% for both levels (n = 5). An increase in the sensitivity was observed due to the high enrichment factors (i.e., 3.2 to 13) obtained compared with direct ICP OES analysis. The method was also validated through carrying out recovery studies that employed a real wastewater sample and through the analysis of a certified reference material (ERM®-CA713). The recovery values obtained with the real wastewater were between 94 and 108% and between 90 and 109% for the analysis of ERM®-CA713, showing negligible matrix effects. Full article
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13 pages, 9763 KiB  
Article
Concentration, Spatial Distribution, and Source Analysis of Trace Elements in the Yarlung Zangbo River Basin and Its Two Tributaries
by Fangjing Xiao, Yuanzhao Zhao, Duo Bu and Qingying Zhang
Water 2023, 15(20), 3558; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15203558 - 12 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 867
Abstract
The Yarlung Zangbo River (YZR) is the longest plateau river in China and has famous tributaries, the Lhasa River and the Nianchu River. A total of 75 water samples were collected from the Yarlung Zangbo River Basin (YZRB) in this study to investigate [...] Read more.
The Yarlung Zangbo River (YZR) is the longest plateau river in China and has famous tributaries, the Lhasa River and the Nianchu River. A total of 75 water samples were collected from the Yarlung Zangbo River Basin (YZRB) in this study to investigate the dissolved concentration, spatial distribution, and source of trace elements (Fe, V, Be, Ti, Mo, Se, Cd, Zn, Cu, Ni, Co, Mn, Cr, Ba, Tl, Pb, Hg, As, and Sb). The results indicate that only Cr and Tl contaminate water, while the other trace elements were in an unpolluted state. In addition, correlation analysis showed that there was a highly significant positive correlation between the concentrations of As, Sb, and Mo; there was also a highly significant positive correlation between the concentrations of Fe, Mn, Ti, Pb, Ni, Co, and Ba. The results of Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF) showed that there were four sources of trace elements in the YZRB, including the resuspension and dissolution of sediments (16.283%), agricultural source (11.436%), lithological source (47.418%), and soil-forming rocks (6.374%). Cluster analysis combined with PMF normalized contribution analysis, which showed that the trace elements found in the YZR’s mainstream were predominantly influenced by the surrounding rocks composition. Meanwhile, both the discharge of mining wastewater and sediments were marked in the Lhasa River. Additionally, agricultural activities were the chief contributors to the trace elements in the Nianchu River. Furthermore, the entire basin was subjected to the influence of soil-forming rocks. This study comprehensively analyzed and evaluated the physicochemical properties of water, the spatial distribution, and the pollution degree, and performed source analysis of trace elements in the YZRB. This research provides a foundational reference for further investigation of the spatial distribution and origins of trace elements in the rivers of the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau (QTP). Full article
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