Công bố quốc tế lĩnh vực môi trường số 48-2023/ International Environmental Bulletin No. 48-2023

  • Cập nhật: Thứ hai, 25/12/2023 | 9:24:03 AM

QLMT - Chuyên trang Quản lý môi trường trân trọng giới thiệu tới quý độc giả Công bố quốc tế lĩnh vực môi trường số 48-2023.

The Environmental Management Special Section is pleased to present to our valued readers the International Environmental Bulletin No. 48-2023, featuring the following key topics:

Về quản lý môi trường

- Theo dõi chặt chẽ tình trạng ô nhiễm NO2 trên toàn thành phố New York - Long Island Sound liên tục: Sự tích hợp của các quan sát trên tàu, trên không, vệ tinh và các mô hình.

- Các quyết định về giá và tồn kho xanh cho hệ thống chuỗi cung ứng với quy định về đầu tư xanh và thuế carbon.

- Xác định các động lực thúc đẩy cân bằng dịch vụ hệ sinh thái toàn cầu, 2000 - 2020.

- Các quan sát vệ tinh dài hạn cho thấy sự gia tăng liên tục của việc tăng cường tăng trưởng thực vật trong môi trường đô thị.

- Nguồn phế liệu và sự bất bình đẳng trong quá trình khử cacbon thép toàn cầu.

- Sự tương đồng trong đánh giá rủi ro sức khỏe con người bằng cách sử dụng mô hình hàm lượng chì trong đất-máu (IEUBK) và tình trạng không gây ung thư (US EPA 2002).

- Con đường an toàn hướng tới trung hòa carbon vào năm 2050: Đánh giá tác động của hiệu quả sử dụng dầu khí bằng cách sử dụng các phương pháp tiếp cận dựa trên lượng tử tiên tiến.

- Người cung cấp thông tin không gian thời gian: Một cách tiếp cận mới dựa trên việc nhúng và chú ý đến không gian thời gian để dự báo chất lượng không khí.

- Định lượng tác động tiềm tàng của việc giảm ô nhiễm không khí đối với sức khỏe người dân và chi tiêu y tế ở Đài Loan. 

Về môi trường đô thị

- Phân tích đánh giá và lựa chọn chiến lược chống chịu lũ lụt đô thị dựa trên phương pháp EWM-TOPSIS và mô hình đồ thị.

- Sự thay đổi trao đổi chất ở người trưởng thành khỏe mạnh đi du lịch đến các khu vực có mức độ ô nhiễm thấp: Một thí nghiệm tự nhiên về việc tiếp xúc với ozone.

- Định lượng các dị vòng lưu huỳnh thơm đa vòng trong các hạt đô thị mịn trong không khí (PM2.5) sau khi tối ưu hóa đa biến của quy trình xanh.

- Tích hợp nhiều lĩnh vực để xác định nguồn gốc và nguy cơ của bụi đô thị và các yếu tố độc hại tiềm tàng: Nghiên cứu trường hợp từ miền trung Mexico.

-Tác động của độ mặn, ô nhiễm nước và các kiểu sử dụng đất đến phát thải khí nhà kính từ cửa sông đô thị hóa.

- Những thay đổi về tắc nghẽn giao thông và ô nhiễm không khí do những cải tiến lớn về cơ sở hạ tầng đường bộ ở Texas.

- Sự tương tác của các hạt vật chất với nhiệt độ, chỉ số nhiệt và độ ẩm tương đối đối với bệnh tay chân miệng ở trẻ em tại một thành phố cận nhiệt đới.

- Ô nhiễm rau quả đô thị - Vai trò của các hạt bám dính và tầm quan trọng của chúng đối với sự phơi nhiễm của con người.

- Mạng thần kinh đồ thị không gian thời gian để dự đoán nồng độ PM2.5 từ trung đến dài hạn, dự đoán ô nhiễm không khí PM2.5 thông qua học sâu bằng cách sử dụng dữ liệu khí tượng, phương tiện giao thông và khí thải: Một nghiên cứu điển hình ở New Delhi, Ấn Độ.

Về môi trường khu công nghiệp

- Xử lý các proxy nguồn kim loại độc hại một cách thích hợp để phân bổ nguồn không đồng nhất về không gian tốt hơn.

- Phát thải NO2 từ các nhà máy lọc dầu ở đồng bằng sông Mississippi.

- Phát triển một công cụ mô hình hóa để hỗ trợ quá trình chuyển đổi sang sản xuất công nghiệp trung hòa carbon.

- Kinh tế tuần hoàn và việc triển khai nó trong ngành xi măng: Một trường hợp điển hình ở Pakistan.

- Về các khuyến khích của cá nhân và xã hội để áp dụng các thực hành có trách nhiệm với môi trường và xã hội trong ngành công nghiệp độc quyền.

- Vấn đề tro bụi và biện pháp phòng ngừa trong các nhà máy điện đốt nhiên liệu có tính kiềm cao: Đánh giá tóm tắt và triển vọng trong tương lai.

- Sử dụng thành phần phân tử và phân tích đồng vị đặc trưng của hợp chất để xác định nguồn PAH trong trầm tích của khu vực công nghiệp hóa cao.

- Nghiên cứu đặc điểm ô nhiễm phức hợp và đánh giá rủi ro sức khỏe của hạt vật chất và kim loại nặng trong quá trình tái chế thủy tinh thải.

- Hóa rắn thủy nhiệt chất thải xây dựng ngầm thành vật liệu xây dựng: Tái chế bùn thải, ứng dụng và đánh giá công nghiệp. 

- Phát triển than hoạt tính gốc polyaniline diện tích bề mặt cực cao để loại bỏ các hợp chất hữu cơ dễ bay hơi khỏi nước thải công nghiệp. 


Ảnh minh hoạ. ITN

The Environmental Management Special Section is pleased to present to our valued readers the International Environmental Bulletin No. 48-2023, featuring the following key topics: 

ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT / QUẢN LÝ MÔI TRƯỜNG 

1. Intimately tracking NO2 pollution over the New York City - Long Island Sound land-water continuum: An integration of shipboard, airborne, satellite observations, and models
Science of The Total Environment, Volume 897, 1 November 2023, 165144

Abstract

Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution remains a serious global problem, particularly near highly populated urbanized coasts that face increasing challenges with climate change. Yet, the combined impact of urban emissions, pollution transport, and complex meteorology on the spatiotemporal dynamics of NO2 along heterogeneous urban coastlines remains poorly characterized. Here, we integrated measurements from different platforms – boats, ground-based networks, aircraft, and satellites – to characterize total column NO2 (TCNO2) dynamics across the land-water continuum in the New York metropolitan area, the most populous area in the United States that often experiences the highest national NO2 levels. Measurements were conducted during the 2018 Long Island Sound Tropospheric Ozone Study (LISTOS), with a main goal to extend surface measurements beyond the coastline – where ground-based air-quality monitoring networks abruptly stop – and over the aquatic environment where peaks in air pollution often occur. Satellite TCNO2 from TROPOMI correlated strongly with Pandora surface measurements (r = 0.87, N = 100) both over land and water. Yet, TROPOMI overall underestimated TCNO2 (MPD = -12%) and missed peaks in NO2 pollution caused by rush hour emissions or pollution accumulation during sea breezes. Aircraft retrievals were in excellent agreement with Pandora (r = 0.95, MPD = -0.3%, N = 108). Stronger agreement was found between TROPOMI, aircraft, and Pandora over land, while over water satellite, and to a lesser extent aircraft, retrievals underestimated TCNO2 particularly in the highly dynamic New York Harbor environment. Combined with model simulations, our shipborne measurements uniquely captured rapid transitions and fine-scale features in NO2 behavior across the New York City - Long Island Sound land-water continuum, driven by the complex interplay of human activity, chemistry, and local scale meteorology. These novel datasets provide critical information for improving satellite retrievals, enhancing air quality models, and informing management decisions, with important implications for the health of diverse communities and vulnerable ecosystems along this complex urban coastline.

2. Pricing and green inventory decisions for a supply chain system with green investment and carbon tax regulation
Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 425, 1 November 2023, 138897

Abstract

This paper proposes an integrated inventory model of a supply chain system consisting of a single manufacturer and single buyer under stochastic demand. The model considers carbon tax regulation to reduce supply chain operations' emissions. To comply with this regulation, the manufacturer invests in green production technologies and replaces the existing (conventional) facility with a green facility. Thus, the manufacturer can benefit by implementing a hybrid production system involving the simultaneous operation of a conventional and a green facility. The green facility requires higher production costs than the conventional facility, but its emissions are lower. The demand is stochastic and the average demand rate is influenced by the product selling price and green investment level. The goal of this research is to determine the optimal delivery lot, number of shipments, safety factor, selling price and investment level in order to optimize the joint total profit. An efficient algorithm is proposed to solve the problem and a numerical example is provided to demonstrate the applicability of the proposed model. A sensitivity analysis is performed to evaluate the impact of the model's key parameters on its behavior. The results show that green investments made by the manufacturer can effectively reduce the total emissions generated from the supply chain and increase the product's selling price. Furthermore, a hybrid system operated by the manufacturer is proven to control costs and emissions, especially in situations in which the replacement of production facilities must be performed gradually based on the available investment budget.

3. Impacts of climate change and anthropogenic stressors on runoff variations in major river basins in China since 1950
Science of The Total Environment, Volume 898, 10 November 2023, 165349

Abstract

Runoff is one of the main components of hydrological cycle and an important index for water resources evaluation, understanding the runoff change and their causes is vital to water resource management. In the study, we analyzed the runoff change and the impacts of climate change and land use alteration on runoff variation based on natural runoff and previous studies in China. The results showed that there was a significant increasing trend in the annual runoff during 1961–2018 (p < 0.05), with change rate of 0.4 mm/a and abrupt point at 1999 across China, climate change dominated the runoff variation with a contribution of 54 %. In previous studies, the runoff of the major basins in China had a downward trend on the whole (−0.99 mm/a) except Continental River Basin (CRB) showed an increasing trend (0.25 mm/a), the abrupt points were mainly concentrated in 1991–2000, and human activity was the leading factor of runoff change with the contribution of 54 % across China. Human activity was the dominant factor of runoff change in Songhua and Liao River Basin (SLRB), Yellow River Basin (YRB), Hai River Basin (HRB) and Pearl River Basin (PRB), the contribution was >56 %, while climate change was the dominant factor of runoff change in Huai River Basin (HuRB), CRB, and Yangtze River Basin (YZRB). Overall, there was a significant correlation between runoff and precipitation, unused land, urban and grassland in China. We concluded that runoff change and the contribution of climate change and human activities varies greatly among different basins. The findings in this work can shed light on the quantitative understanding of runoff changes in national scale and offer a scientific basis for sustainable water management.

4. Identifying the driving forces of global ecosystem services balance, 2000 - 2020
Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 426, 10 November 2023, 139019

Abstract

In 2019, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly announced the implementation of the "UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021–2030)” initiative. However, overexploitation continues to severely impact the global ecosystem services (ESs) balance. Identifying the global ESs balance and its driving forces can effectively identify sensitive areas under such high ecological stress and corresponding governance responses. The world is currently facing increasing pressure on natural resources, while research on this issue remains controversial at global level. To address the gap, we portrayed the spatial characteristics of global ESs balance across county units worldwide in 2000, 2010, and 2020, and we further examined the driving forces of ESs balance covering six continents of the world (excluding Antarctica) by Geodetector model. Our results showed that the deficit areas of ESs balance were concentrated in urban and barren areas, while the surplus areas were distributed in areas with dense vegetation, especially primary forest communities. Furthermore, the global Moran's I value of ESs balance averaged 0.719 over three years, demonstrating a significant spatial dependence of its spatial distribution. According to the spatial statistical analysis, the factors that affected ESs balance varied among continents and had evolved over the last two decades. Nevertheless, nighttime light intensity and forest proportion consistently showed high contributions, with maximum values of 0.569 and 0.546, respectively. The contribution of socio-economic factors is higher in the developed regions and lower in the less developed regions. This work provides a framework for future global large-scale ESs balance assessments. It identifies similarities in impact mechanisms across continents and the dominance of individual drivers to encourage contextualized, collaborative governance in environmental policy.

5. Long-term satellite observations show continuous increase of vegetation growth enhancement in urban environment
Science of The Total Environment, Volume 898, 10 November 2023, 165515

Abstract

Urbanization shows continuous expansion and development, ushering in the co-evolution of urban environments and vegetation over time. Recent remote sensing-based studies have discovered prevalent vegetation growth enhancement in urban environments. However, whether there is a temporal evolution of the growth enhancement remains unknown and unexplored. Here we expanded the existing framework for assessing the long-term impact of urbanization on vegetation greenness (enhanced vegetation index, EVI) using long time series of remote sensing images and applied it in Changsha, the capital city of Hunan province in China. Results showed that vegetation growth experienced widespread enhancement from 2000 to 2017, and increased 1.8 times from 2000 to 2017, suggesting strong continuous adaptive capability of vegetation to urban conditions. Although the overall impact of urbanization was negative due to the replacement of vegetated surfaces, the growth enhancement nevertheless offset or compensated the direct loss of vegetated cover during urbanization in the magnitude of 28 % in 2000 to 44 % in 2017. Our study also revealed large spatial heterogeneity in vegetation growth response among various districts at different urbanization levels and found an emergent trend under the observed spatial heterogeneity toward an asymptotic maximum with urbanization, showing EVI converges to 0.22 in highly urbanized areas. We further found that the positive effect of urbanization on vegetation growth is a function of urbanization intensity and time, which implies that the effect of the urban environment on vegetation can be simulated and predicted, and can be verified in more cities in the future. Our study is the first to successfully quantify long-term spatial patterns on the co-evolution of urbanization and vegetation, providing a new understanding of the continuous adaptive responses of vegetation growth to urbanization and shedding light on predicting biological responses to future environmental change.

6. Scrap endowment and inequalities in global steel decarbonization
Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 425, 1 November 2023, 139041

Abstract

Scrap steel recycling, powered by emission-free electricity, can produce nearly zero-emission steel at a lower cost than alternative primary production. However, the feasibility of this production method depends on future scrap availability. This study highlights the unequal distribution of future scrap availability worldwide, with the Global North having abundant scrap, while the Global South faces impending scarcity unless scrap is imported. By 2050, the European Union, North America, and developed Asia and Oceania could hold stocks of end-of-life scrap that are equal to their entire steel demand, if they chose to do so. China could also have domestic end-of-life scrap equivalent to about half of its cumulative demand. Conversely, developing countries, such as India and states in Africa, are expected to have severely limited domestic end-of-life scrap, representing less than 5% of their cumulative demand without international trade. This disparity, referred to as "scrap endowment”, is a consequence of the Global North's historical carbon emissions. The scrap endowment enables the Global North to produce zero-emission steel at a relatively low cost, while the Global South grapples with limited, more costly options. These findings imply the need for equity-focused mechanisms to assist the Global South if both hemispheres are to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, or soon thereafter.

7. Similarity in human health risk assessment using models of soil-blood lead levels (IEUBK) and non-carcinogenic condition (US EPA 2002)
Science of The Total Environment, Volume 898, 10 November 2023, 165512

Abstract

Soil lead (Pb) concentrations in Sydney estuary (Australia) catchment are substantially elevated and strongly associated with traffic networks. This study compared the health risk predictions of blood Pb levels (BLL) in children using the soil IEUBK model and an independent, non-carcinogenic human health risk (NCR) assessment using the soil US EPA 2002 model. The predictions by the two models were significantly correlated (p < 0.001) and showed similar spatial distributions, but the NCR model may be more stringent in protection of human health when exposed to soil Pb in relation to adverse health effect, as the warning soil Pb concentration from the BLL was 4.6-fold higher than that from the NCR. The empirical IEUBK model considers gastric phase adsorption only and of the three exposure pathways (ingestion, inhalation and dermal) assessed by the theoretical NCR model, ingestion was the major exposure route. The reason for the similarity in outcomes of the two models is unknown, however the close correlation may be due to broadly similar formulations and, or that neurological and non-carcinogenic risks may be related to the adverse effects of Pb on bodily function. Parallel studies of human health risk based on BLL and NCR models have not been attempted previously and this opportunity to compare results from the two health risk assessments employing the same soil metal data is therefore unique.

8. Are ICT and CO2 emissions always a win-win situation? Evidence from universal telecommunication service in China
Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 428, 20 November 2023, 139262

Abstract

The role of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in mitigating climate change is increasingly gaining attention, yet its environmental performance remains uncertain. This ambiguity serves as the motivation for examining how universal telecommunication service (UTS) impacts CO2 emissions. Utilizing a staggered difference-in-difference (DID) specification, our empirical investigation reveals that UTS exacerbates CO2 emissions. A series of robustness checks corroborate these findings. The study uncovers the mechanisms underlying this environmental degradation, pinpointing increased energy consumption, the promotion of secondary industries, and population migration as the key contributing factors. Importantly, the analysis reveals that the negative environmental effects are particularly pronounced in cities with low-income and relatively lower levels of market integration. However, the study finds that well-designed environmental regulations can offset the negative impact of UTS on the environment. Given the urgent need for climate action, these findings provide critical insights for policymakers to balance the societal benefits of universal connectivity with environmental sustainability.

9. A safe path towards carbon neutrality by 2050: Assessing the impact of oil and gas efficiency using advanced quantile-based approaches
Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 425, 1 November 2023, 138844

Abstract

In the present era, we are confronted with a dilemma: how can economic prosperity be attained while addressing the ecological challenges associated with energy resource usage. Sectors such as aviation, refining industries, and transportation face increasing pressure to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels. To achieve this, the promotion of energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions, which have often been overlooked in environmental studies, have become crucial. In this context, the current study aims to assess the environmental impacts of gas efficiency and oil efficiency in Japan. The data used for this evaluation spans from 1990/Q1 to 2020/Q4. Moreover, the roles of environmental innovation and renewable energy are considered in the study. To investigate these interrelationships, the study relies on various quantile-based approaches, including quantile-on-quantile regression, cross-correlation analysis, recursive cross-quantilogram correlation, quantile cointegration, and quantile causality. The findings obtained from the quantile regression and quantile-on-quantile regression approaches indicate that both gas and oil efficiency promote the reduction of CO2. Similarly, across all quantiles, environmental technological innovation and renewable energy positively promote ecological quality by mitigating CO2. Furthermore, the quantile causality analysis reveals a significant causality in both mean and variance from gas efficiency, oil efficiency and environmental technological innovation to CO2, although the strength of the causality is relatively weak in the mean. Additionally, the results from the time-varying recursive cross-quantilogram correlation provide evidence of significant correlations between CO2 and its determinants in the 0.1, 0.5, and 0.90 quantiles throughout the study period. These findings serve as the basis for the formulation of effective policies to mitigate CO2 emissions.

10. Spatiotemporal informer: A new approach based on spatiotemporal embedding and attention for air quality forecasting
Environmental Pollution, Volume 336, 1 November 2023, 122402

Abstract

Accurate prediction of air pollution is essential for public health protection. Air quality, however, is difficult to predict due to the complex dynamics, and its accurate forecast still remains a challenge. This study suggests a spatiotemporal Informer model, which uses a new spatiotemporal embedding and spatiotemporal attention, to improve AQI forecast accuracy. In the first phase of the proposed forecast mechanism, the input data is transformed by the spatiotemporal embedding. Next, the spatiotemporal attention is applied to extract spatiotemporal features from the embedded data. The final forecast is obtained based on the attention tensors. In the proposed forecast model, the input is a 3-dimensional data that consists of air quality data (AQI, PM2.5, O3, SO2, NO2, CO) and geographic information, and the output is a multi-positional, multi-temporal data that shows the AQI forecast result of all the monitoring stations in the study area. The proposed forecast model was evaluated by air quality data of 34 monitoring stations in Beijing, China. Experiments showed that the proposed forecast model could provide highly accurate AQI forecast: the average of MAPE values for from 1 h to 20 h ahead forecast was 11.61%, and it was much smaller than other models. Moreover, the proposed model provided a highly accurate and stable forecast even at the extreme points. These results demonstrated that the proposed spatiotemporal embedding and attention techniques could sufficiently capture the spatiotemporal correlation characteristics of air quality data, and that the proposed spatiotemporal Informer could be successfully applied for air quality forecasting.

11. Quantifying the potential effects of air pollution reduction on population health and health expenditure in Taiwan
Environmental Pollution, Volume 336, 1 November 2023, 122405

Abstract

Air pollution, particularly ambient fine particulate matter (PM2.5) pollution, poses a significant risk to public health, underscoring the importance of comprehending the long-term impact on health burden and expenditure at national and subnational levels. Therefore, this study aims to quantify the disease burden and healthcare expenditure associated with PM2.5 exposure in Taiwan and assess the potential benefits of reducing pollution levels. Using a comparative risk assessment framework that integrates an auto-aggressive integrated moving average model, we evaluated the avoidable burden of cardiopulmonary diseases (including ischemic heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, and diabetes mellitus) and related healthcare expenditure under different air quality target scenarios, including status quo and target scenarios of 15, 10, and 5 μg/m3 reduction in PM2.5 concentration. Our findings indicate that reducing PM2.5 exposure has the potential to significantly alleviate the burden of multiple diseases. Comparing the estimated attributable disease burden and healthcare expenditure between reference and target scenarios from 2022 to 2050, the avoidable disability-adjusted life years were 0.61, 1.83, and 3.19 million for the 15, 10, and 5 μg/m3 target scenarios, respectively. Correspondingly, avoidable healthcare expenditure ranged from US$ 0.63 to 3.67 billion. We also highlighted the unequal allocation of resources and the need for policy interventions to address health disparities due to air pollution. Notably, in the 5 μg/m3 target scenario, Kaohsiung City stands to benefit the most, with 527,368 disability-adjusted life years avoided and US$ 0.53 billion saved from 2022 to 2050. Our findings suggest that adopting stricter emission targets can effectively reduce the health burden and associated healthcare expenditure in Taiwan. Overall, this study provides policymakers in Taiwan with valuable insights for mitigating the negative effects of air pollution by establishing a comprehensive framework for evaluating the co-benefits of air pollution reduction on healthcare expenditure and disease burden.

12. Air pollution, social engagement, and depression in older adults: Results from a Swedish population-based cohort study
Environmental Pollution, Volume 336, 1 November 2023, 122394

Abstract

Although emerging research has investigated the relationship between outdoor air pollution and depression risk in older adults, the results remain inconclusive. We aimed to determine the relationship between long-term exposure to ambient air pollution and depression among older adults and explore whether active social engagement may modify this association. At baseline (2001–2004), 2812 depression-free older adults from Swedish National Study on Aging and Care in Kungsholmen (SNAC-K) were included. SNAC-K is a longitudinal population-based cohort in Stockholm, Sweden. Incident depression cases occurred during 2004–2013 were ascertained using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 4th Edition. Air pollution [particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxides (NOx)] at the residency were estimated using dispersion models. Social engagement was measured as active participation in social activities (at least twice/week) or inactive (less than twice/week) in the last 12 months. The hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals of depression from air pollution exposure of 3-year moving average before diagnosis (1-μg/m3 difference in PM2.5 and PM10, and 10-μg/m3 difference in NOx) were obtained from Cox models considering greenspace and noise. A product term of air pollutant and social activity was added to test the multiplicative interaction and attributable proportion due to interaction was calculated for assessing additive interaction. We identified 137 (4.9%) incident depression cases. Participants exposed to higher concentrations of PM2.5, NOx, and PM10 had 53% (HR:1.53 [1.22, 1.93]), 26% (HR:1.26 [1.01, 1.58]), and 7% (HR:1.07 [0.98, 1.18]) increased hazard of depression, respectively. These associations were largely attenuated in people with active social engagement (HR for PM2.5: 1.04 [0.70, 1.55]; HR for PM10: 0.98 [0.81, 1.18]; and HR for NOx: 1.09 [0.71, 1.66]). Our findings suggest long-term exposure to air pollution may be a risk factor for depression among older adults. An active social engagement might however decrease this risk.

13. Health impact assessment for air pollution in the presence of regional variation in effect sizes: The implications of using different meta-analytic approaches
Environmental Pollution, Volume 336, 1 November 2023, 122465

Abstract

The estimated health effects of air pollution vary between studies, and this variation is caused by factors associated with the study location, hereafter termed regional heterogeneity. This heterogeneity raises a methodological question as to which studies should be used to estimate risks in a specific region in a health impact assessment. Should one use all studies across the world, or only those in the region of interest? The current study provides novel insight into this question in two ways. Firstly, it presents an up-to-date analysis examining the magnitude of continent-level regional heterogeneity in the short-term health effects of air pollution, using a database of studies collected by Orellano et al. (2020). Secondly, it provides in-depth simulation analyses examining whether existing meta-analyses are likely to be underpowered to identify statistically significant regional heterogeneity, as well as evaluating which meta-analytic technique is best for estimating region-specific estimates. The techniques considered include global and continent-specific (sub-group) random effects meta-analysis and meta-regression, with omnibus statistical tests used to quantify regional heterogeneity. We find statistically significant regional heterogeneity for 4 of the 8 pollutant-outcome pairs considered, comprising NO2, O3 and PM2.5 with all-cause mortality, and PM2.5 with cardiovascular mortality. From the simulation analysis statistically significant regional heterogeneity is more likely to be identified as the number of studies increases (between 3 and 30 in each region were considered), between region heterogeneity increases and within region heterogeneity decreases. Finally, while a sub-group analysis using Cochran's Q test has a higher median power (0.71) than a test based on the moderators' coefficients from meta-regression (0.59) to identify regional heterogeneity, it also has an inflated type-1 error leading to more false positives (median errors of 0.15 compared to 0.09).

14. Response of wastewater-based epidemiology predictor for the second wave of COVID-19 in Ahmedabad, India: A long-term data Perspective
Environmental Pollution, Volume 337, 15 November 2023, 122471

Abstract

In this work, we present an eight-month longitudinal study of wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) in Ahmedabad, India, where wastewater surveillance was introduced in September 2020 after the successful containment of the first wave of COVID-19 to predict the resurge of the infection during the second wave of the pandemic. The study aims to elucidate the weekly resolution of the SARS-CoV-2 RNA data for eight months in wastewater samples to predict the COVID-19 situation and identify hotspots in Ahmedabad. A total of 287 samples were analyzed for SARS-CoV-2 RNA using RT-PCR, and Spearman's rank correlation was applied to depict the early warning potential of WBE. During September 2020 to April 2021, the increasing number of positive wastewater influent samples correlated with the growing number of confirmed clinical cases. It also showed clear evidence of early detection of the second wave of COVID-19 in Ahmedabad (March 2021). 258 out of a total 287 samples were detected positive with at least two out of three SARS-CoV-2 genes (N, ORF- 1 ab, and S). Monthly variation represented a significant decline in all three gene copies in October compared to September 2020, followed by an abrupt increase in November 2020. A similar increment in the gene copies was observed in March and April 2021, which would be an indicator of the second wave of COVID-19. A lead time of 1–2 weeks was observed in the change of gene concentrations compared with clinically confirmed cases. Measured wastewater ORF- 1 ab gene copies ranged from 6.1 x 102 (October 2020) to 1.4 x 104 (November 2020) copies/mL, and wastewater gene levels typically lead to confirmed cases by one to two weeks. The study highlights the value of WBE as a monitoring tool to predict waves within a pandemic, identify local disease hotspots within a city, and guide rapid management interventions.

15. Insight into the novel low cost green air pollution monitoring and control systems: A technological solution from concept to market
Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 427, 15 November 2023, 139218

Abstract

Nitrogen oxide emissions, also referred to as NOx including NO and NO2 are hazardous to human life and have negative effects on the environment. Wet and dry treatments have both been explored as methods to significantly minimize these emissions. The wet process offers several benefits, the most notable of which are the flue gas adaptability, low operating temperatures, and the lack of poisoning and catalyst inactivation. In the research work, a NOX filter is being developed, with composite material for better transparency and non-reactive nature. Mechanical and electronic components have been employed to develop a stable and rigid experimental setup that effectively handles environmental challenges. Different tests are performed during performance analysis with known quantities of NOX through cylinders and varied the flow rate of ambient air. The concentration of NOX, H2O2, nitric acid, and other parameters were captured to get the optimum configuration that will provide maximum efficiency. The envisaged cost of implementing a solar tree-based air pollution monitoring and control system is estimated at $2796. This cost projection serves to exemplify the techno-economic analysis of the system, showcasing its potential to contribute to a cleaner environment and facilitate renewable energy utilization. The different financial model payback periods of the system are from 3.12 to 5.21 years. The developed system benefits people with respiratory health issues, elderly people, children, and infants, sports enthusiasts, traffic police persons, street hawkers or vendors, and people living in areas where the pollution level is high.

16. Evaluation of carbon emission efficiency and reduction potential of 336 cities in China
Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 428, 20 November 2023, 139372
Abstract

Increasing carbon emissions efficiency (CEE) is essential for Chinese cities to achieve their dual carbon goals. For cities with higher CEE, it is crucial to comprehensively evaluate their carbon emissions reduction potential (CERP) and develop targeted carbon reduction paths. This study first determined the input, expected output, and non-expected output indicators and used the super-efficiency Slack Based Measure model to calculate the CEE of 336 cities. Secondly, we evaluated the urban development level, structural optimization space, and natural resource endowment using the BWM-CRITIC-TOPSIS method and combined them with CEE to evaluate the CERP. Finally, we used K-means clustering to group cities according to the carbon emissions level and CERP and proposed targeted emission reduction recommendations. The results showed that cities in the northern part of China had lower CEE, while the coastal areas had higher CEE. In the primary indicators of CERP, structural optimization space was the most important, followed by efficiency improvement space. The eastern region has a greater potential for carbon reduction, with an average score of 63.71 points (out of 100 evaluation points) for the 336 cities. The cities could be classified into nine types, with the ninth category being the key focus cities for achieving the 2030 carbon peak goal with high carbon emissions and CERP.

URBAN ENVIRONMENT/ MÔI TRƯỜNG ĐÔ THỊ 

1. Soil texture mediates the surface cooling effect of urban and peri-urban green spaces during a drought period in the city area of Hamburg (Germany)
Science of The Total Environment, Volume 897, 1 November 2023, 165228

Abstract

Urban green spaces (UGS) and peri-urban green spaces (P-UGS) play a crucial role in reducing the land surface temperature within the urban environment, especially during heat waves. Although their cooling effect generally is due to shading and evaporation, the role of soil texture and soil water availability on surface cooling remains largely unexplored. This study investigated the impact of soil texture on the spatio-temporal patterns of LST in different UGSs and P-UGSs in Hamburg (Germany) during a hot summer drought period. The LST and the Normalized Differentiated Moisture and Vegetation Indices (NDMI, NDVI) were calculated based on two Landsat 8 OLI/TIRS images from July 2013. Non-spatial and spatial statistical approaches such as stepwise backward regression or Hotspot (Getis-Ord Gi*) analyses were applied explaining LST distributions in relation to soil texture within each UGS and P-UGS. All GSs were clearly characterized as surface cooling islands whereas, for each GS, an individual thermal footprint was observed. Within all GSs, the LST patterns showed a significant negative relationship to NDMI values, whereas the NDVI values and the elevation were of minor importance. Soil texture was found to influence the LST distribution significantly in most UGSs and P-UGSs, where sites on clay-rich soils showed the highest LST values compared to sites on sand- or silt-rich soils. For example, in parks, clayey soils showed a mean LST of 25.3 °C whereas sand-dominated sites had a mean LST of only 23.1 °C. This effect was consistent throughout all statistical approaches, for both dates and across most GSs. This unexpected result was explained by the very low unsaturated hydraulic conductivity in clayey soils which limits plant water uptake and transpiration rates responsible for the evaporative cooling effect. We concluded that soil texture has to be considered for understanding and managing the surface cooling capacity of UGSs and P-UGSs.

2. Does digitalization support green transition in Chinese cities? Perspective from Metcalfe's Law
Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 425, 1 November 2023, 138769

Abstract

In the digital era, digitalization brings great opportunities and challenges for cities' environmental governance and economic growth. However, it is worth noting that the impact of digitalization on cities' green transition has not been studied from the perspective of Metcalfe's Law. This paper uses the principal component method and non-radial directional distance function (NDDF) to calculate the digital development level and the green economic performance of 269 Chinese cities from 2003 to 2019. (1) The empirical findings demonstrate that digitalization has become a strong driver for cities' green economic transformation. (2) Digitalization indirectly promotes green transition through industrial structure optimization and green technological innovation. (3) The heterogeneity results show that the positive effect of digitalization on green development is more obvious in eastern and economically developed cities. (4) Using the partially linear functional-coefficient model (PLFC), this paper studies the non-linear nexus between digitalization and green economic transition from the perspective of Metcalfe's Law. Thus, Metcalfe's law is confirmed in the green transition of Chinese cities. Some policy recommendations are offered for realizing the coordinated development of digitalization and greening of the urban economy.

3. Indoor (residential) and ambient particulate matter associations with urinary oxidative stress biomarkers in a COPD cohort
Science of The Total Environment, Volume 897, 1 November 2023, 165352

Abstract

Objectives

Oxidative stress contributes to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) pathophysiology. Associations between indoor (residential) exposure to particulate matter ≤2.5 μm in diameter (PM2.5) and one of its components, black carbon (BC), and oxidative stress are ill-defined.

Methods

Between 2012 and 2017, 140 patients with COPD completed in-home air sampling over one week intervals, followed by collection of urine samples to measure oxidative stress biomarkers, malondialdehyde (MDA), a marker of lipid peroxidation, and 8-hydroxy-2′ -deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), a marker of oxidative DNA damage. Ambient (central site) BC and PM2.5 were measured, and the ratio of indoor/ambient sulfur in PM2.5, a surrogate for residential ventilation and particle infiltration, was used to estimate indoor BC and PM2.5 of outdoor origin. Mixed effects linear regression models with a participant-specific random intercept were used to assess associations with oxidative biomarkers, adjusting for personal characteristics.

Results

There were positive associations (% increase per IQR; 95 % CI) of directly measured indoor BC with total MDA (6.96; 1.54, 12.69) and 8-OHdG (4.18; −0.67, 9.27), and similar associations with both indoor BC of outdoor origin and ambient BC. There were no associations with directly measured indoor PM2.5, but there were positive associations between indoor PM2.5 of outdoor origin and total MDA (5.40; −0.91, 12.11) and 8-OHdG (8.02; 2.14, 14.25).

Conclusions

In homes with few indoor combustion sources, directly measured indoor BC, estimates of indoor BC and PM2.5 of outdoor origin, and ambient BC, were positively associated with urinary biomarkers of oxidative stress. This suggests that the infiltration of particulate matter from outdoor sources, attributable to traffic and other sources of combustion, promotes oxidative stress in COPD patients.

4. Evaluation analysis and strategy selection in urban flood resilience based on EWM-TOPSIS method and graph model
Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 425, 1 November 2023, 138955

Abstract

In the background of rapid population growth and rapid urbanization, extreme floods have brought great challenges to urban construction and development, and have aroused research interest to better understand the role of urban flood resilience (UFR) in mitigating the damage caused by floods. However, most of the existing research on UFR mainly focuses on analyzing the UFR level and its main influencing factors, but rarely involves the strategy selection of stakeholders after evaluation and analysis of UFR. To fill this gap, this study, taking Shanghai as an example, applies the hybrid entropy weight method (EWM)-TOPSIS model to develop an index-based measurement to compare and evaluate UFR, and then uses the grey relational analysis (GRA) to find out the main factors affecting UFR. The results showed that the UFR level in Shanghai significantly increased by 39.34% from 2000 to 2020, but the natural resilience showed a fluctuating downward trend. The factors that affect UFR are highly correlated with economic development. The results provide scientific theoretical guidance for the construction of resilient cities. Then, decision makers (DMs) from different departments are involved in the construction and promotion of UFR, and they tend to pay more attention to the factors that are beneficial to them. Based on this, this situation inevitably causes the promotion of UFR in real life to become a conflict problem. Thus, the fuzzy graph model can be used to model and analyze tripartite conflict problems in UFR, and the fuzzy stability analysis represents that state s4 is the optimal solution of conflicts, which can promote each involver to follow the rules and regulations for constructing the UFR for Shanghai in spirit.

5. Metabolomic alterations in healthy adults traveling to low-pollution areas: A natural experiment with ozone exposure
Science of The Total Environment, Volume 897, 1 November 2023, 165501

Abstract

Numerous epidemiological studies have demonstrated links between short-term ozone exposure to various adverse health outcomes, but some ozone-induced pathological mechanisms remain unclear. To fill this knowledge gap, we enrolled 36 healthy young adults living in high-ozone areas and performed an untargeted metabolomic analysis in serum collected before, during, and after their travel to a low-ozone scenic area. Reviewing the literature, we found 16 metabolites significantly associated with ozone, pointing to neurological health, type 2 diabetes (T2D) risk, and cardiovascular health. Notably, we observed significant changes in these 16 metabolites from the ozone reduction when participants traveled from the campus to the scenic area (adjusted p-value < 0.05). However, when ozone increased after participants returned to campus from the scenic area, we observed that T2D risk and cardiovascular health-related metabolites returned to their original state (adjusted p-value < 0.05), but neurological health-related metabolites did not change significantly with ozone exposure. Our study showed that ozone exposure was linked to prompt alterations in serum metabolites related to cardiovascular health and T2D risk but less sensitive changes in neurological health-related metabolites. Among many lipids, free fatty acids and acylcarnitines were the most sensitive compounds positively associated with changes in ozone exposure.

6. Integrating multiple spheres to identify the provenance and risk of urban dust and potentially toxic elements: Case study from central Mexico
Environmental Pollution, Volume 337, 15 November 2023, 122525

Abstract

This study aims to improve the current method of studying potentially toxic elements (PTEs) in urban dust using direct chemical evidence (from dust, rock, and emission source samples) and robust geochemical methods. The provenance of urban dust was determined using rare earth elements (REEs) and geochemical diagrams (V–Ni–Th*10, TiO2 vs. Zr, and Zr/Ti vs. Nb/Y). The geogenic or anthropogenic source of PTEs was determined using the enrichment factor (EF) and compositional data analysis (CoDA), while a PTE's point emission source was identified using a 3.1*La–1.54*Ce–Zn diagram, mineralogy, and morphology analyses. The spatiotemporal distribution of PTEs was determined using a geographic information system, and their health risk (by inhalation) was estimated using a lung bioaccessibility test and particle size distribution. We collected urban dust (n = 38), rock (n = 4), and zinc concentrate (n = 2) samples and determined PTEs and REEs in a city of 1.25 million inhabitants in central Mexico. Results showed that urban dust derived from the San Miguelito Range. REEs, Sc, and Zr were geogenic, while Mn, Cu, Zn, As, and Pb were anthropogenic. Due to the presente of sphalerite particles, a zinc refinery was identified as the point emission source of Zn, As, and Pb. High concentrations of Zn (5000–20,008 mg/kg), As (120–284 mg/kg), and Pb (350–776 mg/kg) were found in urban dust near the zinc refinery. Additionally, particles of PM2.5 (66–84%), PM5.0 (13–27%), PM10 (3–8%), and PM20 (0–2%) and lung bioaccessibility of Sr (48.5–72.4%), Zn (9.6–28.4%), Cu (10.5–27.0%), Fe (4.5–8.6%), Mn (2.9–9.2%), Cr (38.3%) and Pb (30.6%) demonstrated a latent risk to human health. These approaches improve our understanding of the provenance of urban dust and its PTE emission sources in urban areas.

7. Quantification of polycyclic aromatic sulfur heterocycles in fine airborne urban particles (PM2.5) after multivariate optimization of a green procedure
Science of The Total Environment, Volume 898, 10 November 2023, 165465

Abstract

Polycyclic aromatic sulfur heterocycles (PASHs), such as benzothiophenes (BT), dibenzothiophenes (DBT) and benzonapthothiophenes (BNT), can be emitted from vehicular traffic and deposited in fine particles matter (PM2.5). The presence of these compounds in PM2.5 is an environmental concern due to air pollution and its toxic properties. In this study, a green microscale solid–liquid extraction method was developed to determine twenty-three PASHs in PM2.5. A simplex-centroid mixture design was applied to optimize the extraction solvent. A full factorial design was used for preliminary evaluation of the factors that influence the extraction process (extraction time, sample size, and solvent volume) and then a Doehlert design for the significant parameters. The optimal extraction conditions based on the experimental design were: sample size, 4.15 cm2; 450 μL of toluene:dichloromethane (80:20,v/v); and extraction duration, 24 min. High sensitivity (LOD < 0.66 pg m−3 and LOQ < 2.21 pg m−3) and acceptable recovery (82.8–120 %), and precision (RSD 3.6–14.0 %) were obtained. The greenness of the method was demonstrated using the Analytical GREEnness (AGREE) tool. The method was applied for analyzing PASHs in PM2.5 samples collected in three time intervals per day from years with different sulfur contents in the diesel: S-500 (≤500 ppm sulfur) and S-50 (≤50 ppm sulfur). Fourteen PASHs were quantified with the highest concentrations observed for 2,8-DMDBT and 4,6-DMDBT, which are recalcitrant compounds. The ANOVA test indicated significant differences between sampling periods during the day. The reduction of diesel S-500 to S-50 corresponded to a 28 % decrease in the total sum of PASHs (∑PASHs) evaluated. Spearman's rank correlations allowed for verifying that BTs and DBTs were highly correlated, suggesting that they were derived from similar sources. A weak correlation of 2,1-BNT and 2,3-BNT with BTs and DBTs indicates that these compounds are a chemical proxy for the emission of diesel engines during the combustion process.

8. Impact of salinity gradient, water pollution and land use types on greenhouse gas emissions from an urbanized estuary
Environmental Pollution, Volume 336, 1 November 2023, 122500

Abstract

Estuaries have been recognized as one of the major sources of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in aquatic systems; yet we still lack insights into the impact of both anthropogenic and natural factors on the dynamics of GHG emissions. Here, we assessed the spatiotemporal dynamics and underlying drivers of the GHG emissions from the Scheldt Estuary with a focus on the effects of salinity gradient, water pollution, and land use types, together with their interaction. Overall, we found a negative impact of salinity on carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions which can be due to the decrease of both salinity and water quality when moving upstream. Stronger impact of water pollution on the GHG emissions was found at the freshwater sites upstream compared to saline sites downstream. In particular, when water quality of the sites reduced from good, mainly located in the mouth and surrounded by arable sites, to polluted, mainly located in the upstream and surrounded by urban sites, CO2 emissions from the sites doubled while N2O emissions tripled. Similarly, the effects of water pollution on methane (CH4) emissions became much stronger in the freshwater sites compared to the saline sites. These decreasing effects from upstream to the mouth were associated with the increase in urbanization as sites surrounded by urban areas released on average almost two times more CO2 and N2O than sites surrounded by nature and industry areas. Applied machine learning methods also revealed that, in addition to salinity effects, nutrient and organic enrichment stimulated the GHG emissions from the Scheldt Estuary. These findings highlight the importance of the interaction between salinity, water pollution, and land use in order to understand their influences on GHG emissions from dynamic estuarine systems.

9. Changes in traffic congestion and air pollution due to major roadway infrastructure improvements in Texas
Science of The Total Environment, Volume 898, 10 November 2023, 165463

Abstract

Traffic-related air pollution (TRAP) is an established health hazard, and roadway construction has the potential to affect TRAP by relieving congestion. The relationship between roadway construction and congestion is of policy importance, but few studies examine it using large samples of construction projects and detailed traffic and air pollution data. We create a dataset of construction projects in Texas and link them to data on air pollution and three variables operationalizing congestion: average annual daily traffic (AADT), AADT per lane, and delay in hours. We use difference-in-difference methods to estimate the effect of widening and intersection improvements on congestion and air pollution. On average over the period during construction, we find that widening increases delay by 42% (95% CI: 30, 56%), but intersection projects do not affect delay. On average and over the first three years post-construction, we find that widening reduces delay by 33% (95% CI: −41, −24%) and reduces NO2 levels within 500 m by 13% (95% CI: −22, −2%), and intersection projects reduce delay by 52% (95% CI: −65, −35%) and reduce NO2 levels within 500 m by 12% (95% CI: −18, −5%). These short-term impacts are relevant for understanding the impact of roadway construction on human health.

10. Interactions of particulate matter with temperature, heat index and relative humidity on pediatric hand, foot, and mouth disease in a subtropical city
Environmental Pollution, Volume 336, 1 November 2023, 122385

Abstract

The associations of hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) with meteorological variables and particulate matter (PM) remain controversial, and limited evidence is available on heat index (HI) and coarse particulate (PM10-2.5). Moreover, temperature and humidity are considered major risk factors but their interaction with PM remains unclear. We combined the distributed lag non-linear and quasi-Poisson models to estimate the non-linear and lagged associations of meteorological variables and PM with HFMD based on reported HFMD during 2015–2019 in Fuzhou, China. The multiplicative term of interaction was used to explore the relationship between HFMD and meteorological variables or PM at different levels of another variable. Stratified analyses were used to identify vulnerable subpopulations. We observed inverted-V-shaped relationships between HFMD and temperature and HI, and the W- and N-shaped for relative humidity (RH) and PM, respectively. Extreme high (i.e., the 95th percentile) temperature, HI and RH increased the HFMD with relative risks (RR) of 4.00 (95% confidence interval, 2.79–5.75), 2.20 (1.71–2.83) and 1.54 (1.35–1.75) referent to the minimum effect value of 10.3 °C, 69.4 and 54.8%, respectively. Higher concentrations of PM rapidly increased the HFMD. Infants under 2 years suffered more from temperature, HI and PM. There were synergistic effects between meteorological variables and PM on HFMD. For instance, the RRs of temperature (30 °C) and RH (40%) on HFMD increased from 3.68 (2.24–6.06) to 6.44 (4.29–9.66) and from 0.45 (0.14–1.47) to 2.15 (0.90–5.12) at low (<25%) and high (>75%) categories of PM2.5, respectively. While the RRs of 70 μg/m3 of PM10 and PM10-2.5 increased from 0.65 (0.32–1.31) to 2.93 (1.63–5.26) and from 0.86 (0.23–3.21) to 3.26 (1.23–8.62) at low and high categories of HI. These findings are essential for the development a prediction and warning systems and prevention and control strategies for HFMD.

11. Budget of atmospheric nitrous acid (HONO) during the haze and clean periods in Shanghai: Importance of heterogeneous reactions
Science of The Total Environment, Volume 900, 20 November 2023, 165717

Abstract

Nitrous acid (HONO) plays a significant role in radical cycling and atmospheric oxidative chemistry. While the source and evolution of HONO in the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) region of China after 2018 remains largely unknown, this work monitored HONO and other air pollutants throughout 2019 at an urban site (Pudong, PD) and a suburban site (Qingpu, QP) in Shanghai. Episodes with high HONO mixing ratios but different PM2.5 levels, namely haze and clean episodes, were chosen for HONO budget analysis. Using an observation-based photochemical box model, relative importance of different sources and sinks of HONO were evaluated. Gas-phase reaction of NO with OH was found to be one of the most important daytime HONO formation sources, especially during the QPhaze period (accounting for 40.3 % of daytime HONO formation). In particular, heterogeneous conversion of NO2 on ground and aerosol surface was found to be the dominant source for nocturnal HONO. Photo-enhanced NO2 conversion on ground surface plays an important role in daytime HONO production (19.4 % in PDhaze vs. 27.6 % in PDclean, and 19.8 % in QPhaze vs. 25.9 % in QPclean). In addition, photo-enhanced NO2 conversion at the aerosol surface during haze episodes made more significant contributions to HONO formation compared to the clean periods (20.9 % in PDhaze vs. 17.1 % in PDclean, and 19.7 % in QPhaze vs. 11.2 % in QPclean). The role of multiphase reactions was found to be increasingly important in HONO generation with enhanced relative humidity (RH) during daytime. Significant unknown HONO source was further analyzed and found to be positively related with photolytic as well as multiphase pathways. Overall, our study sheds light on the budget of HONO in one of the biggest megacities in east China, which would help developing future mitigation strategies for urban HONO and atmospheric oxidation capacity.

12. Vulnerability assessment of urban agglomerations to the risk of heat waves in China since the 21st century
Environmental Pollution, Volume 336, 1 November 2023, 122443

Abstract

In the context of global warming, frequent heat wave disasters have seriously threatened the safety of human life and property. The urban agglomeration, as the main region with a high concentration of population and economy, is susceptible to heat weaves due to the existing urban heat island effect. In this study, we investigated the temporal and spatial characteristics of heat waves (heat index, HI) in China from 2000 to 2020 and assess the vulnerability of 19 urban agglomerations to heat waves from the perspective of exposure, sensitivity and adaptability. The results show that: (1) In the past 20 years, the frequency and intensity of HI (greater than 26.67 °C) both showed an upward trend. (2) Shandong Peninsula, Central Henan, Yangtze River Delta, Middle Reaches of Yangtze River, and Mid-southern Liaoning urban agglomerations always maintain a high vulnerability. (3) From 2000 to 2020, the vulnerability of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei, Yangtze River Delta, Chengdu-Chongqing, Middle reaches of Yangtze River, Guangdong-Fujian-Zhejiang, Harbin-Changchun and Mid-southern Liaoning urban agglomerations were always dominated by exposure. The vulnerability of Shandong Peninsula, Beibu Gulf and Central Henan urban agglomeration has always been dominated by sensitivity. The vulnerability of North Tianshan Mountain, Lanzhou-Xining, Guanzhong and Hu-Bao-E-Yu urban agglomeration has always been dominated by inadequate adaptability. (4) Recently, the factors that contributed most to exposure, sensitivity and adaptability were population density, the proportion of outdoor workers and water supply, with contribution rates of 38%, 55% and 26%, respectively. This study can provide a scientific basis for the rational allocation of resources among urban agglomerations, effectively formulating policies and guiding population migration from high temperature disasters.

13. Urban vegetable contamination - The role of adhering particles and their significance for human exposure
Science of The Total Environment, Volume 900, 20 November 2023, 165633

Abstract

While urban-grown vegetables could help combat future food insecurity, the elevated levels of toxic metals in urban soils need to be met with measures that minimise transfer to crops. This study firstly examines soil/dust particle inclusion in leafy vegetables and its contribution to vegetable metals (As, Ba, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, Sb, and Zn), using vegetable, soil and dust data from an open-field urban farm in southeastern Sweden. Titanium concentrations were used to assess soil/dust adherence. Results showed that vegetables contained 0.05–1.3 wt% of adhering particles (AP) even after washing. With 0.5 % AP, an adult with an average intake of vegetables could ingest approximately 100 mg of particles per day, highlighting leafy vegetables as a major route for soil/dust ingestion. The presence of adhering particles also significantly contributed to the vegetable concentrations of As (9–20 %), Co (17–20 %), Pb (25–29 %), and Cr (33–34 %). Secondly, data from an indoor experiment was used to characterise root metal uptake from 20 urban soils from Sweden, Denmark, Spain, the UK, and the Czech Republic. Combining particle adherence and root uptake data, vegetable metal concentrations were calculated for the 20 urban soils to represent hypothetical field scenarios for these. Subsequently, average daily doses were assessed for vegetable consumers (adults and 3–6 year old children), distinguishing between doses from adhering particles and root uptake. Risks were evaluated from hazard quotients (HQs; average daily doses/tolerable intakes). Lead was found to pose the greatest risk, where particle ingestion often resulted in HQs > 1 across all assessed scenarios. In summary, since washing was shown to remove only a portion of adhering metal-laden soil/dust particles from leafy vegetation, farmers and urban planners need to consider that measures to limit particle deposition are equally important as cultivating in uncontaminated soil.

14. Assessing the impact of urban form and urbanization process on tropospheric nitrogen dioxide pollution in the Yangtze River Delta, China
Environmental Pollution, Volume 336, 1 November 2023, 122436

Abstract

Optimizing urban form through urban planning and management policies can improve air quality and transition to demand-side control. Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in the urban atmosphere, mainly emitted by anthropogenic sources such as industry and vehicles, is a key precursor of fine particles and ozone pollution. Both NO2 and its secondary pollutants pose health risks for humans. Here we assess the interactions between urban forms and airborne NO2 pollution in different cities with various stages of urbanization in the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) in China, by using the machine learning and geographical regression model. The results reveal a strong correlation between urban fragmentation and tropospheric NO2 vertical column density (TVCD) in YRD cities in 2020, particularly those with lower or higher levels of urbanization. The correlation coefficients (R2) between NO2 TVCD and the largest patch index (a metric of urban fragmentation) in different cities are greater than 0.8. For cities at other urbanization stages, population and road density are strongly correlated with NO2 TVCD, with an R2 larger than 0.61. This study highlights the interdependence among urbanization, urban forms, and air pollution, emphasizing the importance of customized urban landscape management strategies for mitigating urban air pollution.

15. Atmospheric oxidation capacity and secondary pollutant formation potentials based on photochemical loss of VOCs in a megacity of the Sichuan Basin, China
Science of The Total Environment, Volume 901, 25 November 2023, 166259

Abstract

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are significant precursors to photochemical pollution. However, reactive VOC species are easily oxidized during transportation, resulting in a systematic underestimate of the measured concentrations. To address this, we applied an improved calculation method to correct the measured VOC concentrations into photochemical initial concentrations (PICs) in Chengdu, a megacity in the Sichuan Basin, China, which is highly vulnerable to complex pollution. In this study, 56 VOC species on the Photochemical Assessment Monitor Station (PAMS) target list were quantitatively monitored throughout all four seasons. Comparing to directly measured values, photochemically initialized total mixing ratios of VOCs increased by 18.6 % in general. The photochemical loss percentages of alkenes and aromatics were prominent in summer (68.6 %, 28.7 %) and spring (65.9 %, 24.7 %), respectively. Furthermore, we examined contributions of VOCs to atmospheric oxidation capacity (AOC) depending on PICs and found that maximum daily total AOC showed a surge in spring and summer. Besides hydroxyl radicals, daytime O3 in spring and late-afternoon nitrate radicals in summer were essential for AOC with PICs. As expected, alkenes and aromatics dominated PIC-based ozone formation potentials (OFPs). Furthermore, contribution of alkenes to secondary organic aerosol formation potentials reached 15.5 % and 7.6 % in spring and summer, respectively. Using positive matrix factorization model, we identified five VOC sources including vehicular exhaust, industrial emissions, solvent usage, biogenic sources, and liquefied petroleum gas/natural gas use. Based on PICs, biogenic sources were significantly underestimated in spring and summer. Meanwhile, m,p-xylene from solvent usage and isoprene from biogenic sources were the primary contributors to OFPs. Consequently, these results emphasize the significance of photochemically oxidized VOC concentrations, especially for reactive species in typical seasons.

16. Spatiotemporal graph neural networks for predicting mid-to-long-term PM2.5 concentrations
Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 425, 1 November 2023, 138880

Abstract

Predicting the concentration of PM2.5 particles is of critical importance in public health management because their small size enables them to penetrate deep into the lungs and even enter the bloodstream. However, achieving accurate predictions is challenging due to the complexity of the transport and dispersion processes involved, which are influenced by multiple factors, including atmospheric pollutants, meteorological conditions, and geographic features. To address this challenge, we developed a novel framework for PM2.5 prediction that utilizes multiple edges for feature extraction and employs a multi-gated graph neural network for feature calculations. The model utilizes multiple edges, created by combining an atmospheric diffusion coefficient with a PM2.5 similarity metric, to elucidate the complex characteristics of PM2.5 interactions between different monitoring stations. Node features are computed by aggregating connected nodes' features, weighted by these multi-faceted edges. The experimental results demonstrate that the proposed method outperforms conventional time-series prediction models in the mid-to-long-term prediction of PM2.5 concentrations (96 h in advance), with improvements in Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) by 2.613%, Critical Success Index (CSI) by 3.143%, and R-squared (R2) by 5.263%. Using the proposed model, the learning of global features can be achieved and issues related to local dependency can be mitigated.

17. PM2.5 air pollution prediction through deep learning using meteorological, vehicular, and emission data: A case study of New Delhi, India
Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 427, 15 November 2023, 139278

Abstract

Particulate matter (PM2.5) concentration is an air pollutant that can lead to serious health complications in humans. The detection of this air pollutant is essential so that government agencies can formulate policies to take effective measures. This study proposes and analyzes a Gated Recurrent Unit Based Encoder-Decoder (GRU-ED) method for predicting 1-hourly, 8-hourly, and 24-hourly PM2.5 concentrations in New Delhi, India, for three years (from 2008 to 2010). The study uses different input parameter combinations of meteorological (M), vehicle (V) population, and emissions (E) data. In all, the authors tested the proposed GRU-ED method with four models: Model 1: Vehicle population + Emission [no meteorological (VE)], Model 2: Meteorological + Emission [no vehicle population (ME)], Model 3: Meteorological + Vehicle population [no emission (MV)], and Model 4: Meteorological + Vehicle population + Emission (MVE). It is observed that the proposed GRU-ED method performed better than traditional machine learning predictive methods (Random Forest, Extreme Gradient Boosting, Artificial Neural Networks, and Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM)) in terms of forecast value accuracy. The GRU-ED method with Model 4 is found to be the most accurate forecasting model for 1-hourly PM2.5 concentration prediction (R2 = 0.959, NSE = 0.953, MAE = 1.770, RRMSE = 0.002, and MAPE = 0.190). It is also observed that among the meteorological, vehicle, and emission parameters, the presence of the meteorological parameter has a significant impact on the prediction accuracy.

MÔI TRƯỜNG KHU CÔNG NGHIỆP

1. Processing toxic metal source proxies appropriately for better spatial heterogeneity source apportionment
Science of The Total Environment, Volume 898, 10 November 2023, 165516

Abstract

Soil toxic metals have strong spatial heterogeneity, and their sources vary among regions. Thus, this study integrated the Catreg and geographically weighted regression (GWR) models to quantitatively extract the main source proxies (numerical and categorical variables were analyzed simultaneously) for different toxic metals and analyze the spatial heterogeneity of the distributions of these sources. Pb, Cd and Hg were the predominant toxic metals in soil. Of the samples with Pb, Cd and Hg, 84.12 %, 68.03 % and 41.57 % exceeded the background values, and 5.36 %, 6.42 % and 5.43 % were moderately contaminated according to the geoaccmulation index, respectively. Industrial activities, with relative importance values of 17.82 %, 31.54 % and 26.51 % for Cd, Hg and Pb, respectively, were the predominant source of these metals especially, in their high-content cluster areas (central urban areas). Soil available phosphorus was another important factor (relative importance values of 13.03 %, 13.41 % and 25.55 % for Cd, Hg and Pb, respectively), and agricultural activities (especially the overuse of phosphoric fertilizers) were identified as an anthropogenic source of these toxic metals. Soil parent material had the greatest influence on As and Cr, with relative importance values of 19.88 % and 19.09 %, respectively, especially in their high-content accumulation area (the eastern coastal area), indicating that these toxic metals mainly come from natural sources. Slope had important impacts on toxic metal accumulation (relative importance values of 17.48 %, 21.22 %, 12.40 % and 16.13 % for Cd, Hg, Cr and As, respectively) by influencing industrial distribution and pollutant migration. By changing the soil adsorption capacity, soil organic matter (explaining 13.01 % of Pb) and soil pH (explaining 14.58 % of As and 12.40 % of Cr) strongly influenced toxic metal accumulation. This study highlights the benefits of the integrated Catreg-GWR model for analyzing multiple spatially heterogeneous environmental data types (numerical and categorical variables), providing a potential foundation for local pollution prevention.

2. Exploring the role of fintech development in reducing firm pollution discharges: Evidence from Chinese industrial firms
Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 425, 1 November 2023, 138833

Abstract

The persistent issue of industrial pollution in China's environment has prompted industrial firms to explore new opportunities for addressing this problem through the rapid growth of financial technology (fintech). In this study, we construct a city-level fintech index using Baidu News Advanced Search and combine it with Chinese industrial firm data from 2004 to 2014, along with other city-level data, to empirically explore how fintech affects firm pollution. Our baseline results show that fintech can significantly reduce firm pollution discharges, more precisely, a 1% increase in fintech is associated with a reduction in firm pollution by 0.062%. The robustness of our findings has been confirmed through various strategies. We have identified the underlying mechanisms of fintech's impact on firm pollution discharges and confirmed that it significantly reduces such discharges through export competitiveness, environmental protection investment, and technological innovation. Furthermore, we investigate the heterogeneous effects of fintech development and find that it leads to more pronounced reductions in pollution discharges for firms with older age, for firms with larger scale, for non-state-owned firms, for firms located in both the eastern and western regions, for firms located in the areas with a higher level of competition among banks and those located in the areas with a higher level of economic growth. However, the development of the tertiary sector significantly weakens the reduction effect of fintech on firm pollution discharges. Our research provides theoretical support for exploring emerging and viable approaches to mitigating firm pollution from a financial perspective and offers promising implications for harnessing the positive externalities of fintech.

3. NO2 emissions from oil refineries in the Mississippi Delta
Science of The Total Environment, Volume 898, 10 November 2023, 165569

Abstract

Of the >17,943 thousand barrels per calendar day (bbl/d) of oil refining capacity located in the US, the Petroleum Administration for Defense District 3 (PADD-3) region has the largest number of refineries and accounts for >53 % (or 9607 tbbl/d) of all US oil refining capacity. Processing facilities in this area are mainly located on the Gulf of Mexico coast in Texas and Louisiana. This study selected a sub-region for analysis within the Mississippi River delta in the state of Louisiana between the cities of New Orleans and Baton Rouge. This region is characterized by intensive industrial activity connected with oil refining and related activities. The TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) detected highly localized NO2 vertical column densities (VCDs) over the two largest US refineries in Baton Rouge (503,000 bbl/d) and Garyville (578,000 bbl/d). TROPOMI NO2 VCD over these stations were 100 μmol/m2 and 80 μmol/m2, respectively. A high correlation coefficient (r = 0.65, p < 0.05) was also found between TROPOMI NO2 and population density. Data from the National Emissions Inventory (NEI) showed high NOx emissions from refineries and other industries including coal-fired power generation, chemical, and aluminum processing plants. The results of the NO2 analysis are of practical interest for a comparative assessment of air pollution, as well as for the exchange of best practices in the field of low-waste fuel combustion technologies.

4. Development of a modelling tool to aid the transition to carbon neutral industrial manufacturing
Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 425, 1 November 2023, 138604

Abstract

The European Union's aim to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 relies on reducing emissions from the industrial sector. There is a lack of guidance and technical support at the organisational level for industrial organisations, particularly for non-energy-intensive industries. Existing approaches do not offer structured pathways to carbon neutrality. This study involves the development, verification, and validation of a novel modelling tool aimed at assisting Irish industrial organisations in achieving carbon neutrality. The generated outputs are an organisation-specific carbon neutrality waterfall as the roadmap, and a financial analysis to indicate the breakeven year where the financial savings equal the investment costs of implementing the proposed measures. This modelling tool is a decision-support tool capable of scenario modelling, which provides the user with an overview of possible decarbonisation timelines and financial impacts.

First, this paper presents the user-defined and built-in inputs, followed by the first-principles mathematical model that forms the basis of the modelling tool. Then, the modelling tool is verified by a code-to-code process using representative dummy data, and is found to be accurate against the mathematical model. The final step is the use of an actual dataset from an industry partner in a validation process to determine the applicability of the modelling tool to industrial organisations. It is found to be applicable in terms of the type of data output (carbon neutrality waterfall and financial analysis). However, the inaccurate negative emissions balance of the waterfall indicates that the modelling tool is not applicable in its current state; this highlights the importance of considering the interaction effects of implementing multiple emissions-reduction measures, which is the next step in the tool development. Moreover, this tool is applicable to organisations that have completed energy audits, heat studies, and renewable energy studies and have created a register of performance improvement measures that serve as the model inputs. As such, it has a niche market and represents an initial approach to carbon neutrality planning, with the future focus on expanding its applicability by developing a heuristic knowledge-based modelling tool that acts as a recommender system.

5. Circular economy and its implementation in cement industry: A case point in Pakistan
Science of The Total Environment, Volume 898, 10 November 2023, 165605

Abstract

The cement industry contributes substantially to world emissions. Sustainable and circular practices are adopted globally to mitigate such emissions. Developing countries like Pakistan lack adaptation to circular and sustainable practices. The study proposes an alternative mix of coal and crop residues that can be used for cement production. The study aims to find the best mixtures of coal with crop residue for combustion purposes in cement industries. The Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) are implemented for the environmental and economic viability of the proposed material mixtures. Moreover, the study seeks to explore risks associated with the implementation of circular practices in the cement industry of a developing country. The study adopts Modified Safety Improvement Risk Assessment (SIRA) for assessing the risks. The results suggest that the partial replacement of coal with bagasse is the most viable mixture with lower environmental emissions and is economically feasible among other alternate mixtures. In terms of risk assessment, there is a lack of governmental support for adopting circular economy (CE) practices and profit uncertainties of these CE practices.

6. On the private and social incentives to adopt environmentally and socially responsible practices in a monopoly industry
Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 426, 10 November 2023, 139036

Abstract

This paper studies the incentives to adopt Environmental Corporate Social Responsibility (ECSR) in a multiproduct monopoly. In our framework, products are horizontally differentiated, production is polluting and a time-consistent government levies a tax on emissions. The ECSR monopolist may invest in R&D activities to reduce polluting emissions, while emission-reducing innovation may spillover from one product to the other. We show that the monopolist has no incentive to engage in ECSR, unless a regulatory measure is introduced. By contrast, a time consistent tax induces the adoption of a ECSR statute. Under admissible parameter conditions, profits are concave and single-peaked in the ECSR intensity. Finally, ECSR monotonically increases social welfare, by raising consumer surplus and curbing environmental damage.

7. Ash problems and prevention measures in power plants burning high alkali fuel: Brief review and future perspectives
Science of The Total Environment, Volume 901, 25 November 2023, 165985

Abstract

Large-scale utilization of high-alkali fuels is considered an effective solution for alleviating energy shortages and reducing CO2 emissions. However, combustion of high-alkali fuels in boilers releases alkali metals into the flue gas, which leads to severe ash deposition and corrosion on the heating surface. Consequently, research into the efficient use of highly alkaline fuels has been conducted in recent years. In this review, ash issues and measures for their prevention during high-alkali fuel combustion are summarized. First, the characteristics of fly ash produced from high-alkali fuel combustion are reviewed, and the form, migration, and deposition characteristics of alkali metals are summarized. Subsequently, research progress of high alkali fuel ash is introduced in detail. Mechanisms of slagging, fouling, corrosion on the heating surface and the selective catalytic reduction (SCR) unit deactivation are summarized. Prevention and control methods for the high-alkali fuel ash problem are then introduced. Finally, based on current research, existing problems and future development directions for high-alkali fuel research are proposed. Through this review, we hope to provide insights into the effective utilization of high-alkali fuels.

8. Use of molecular composition and compound-specific isotope analysis for source appointment of PAHs in sediments of a highly industrialized area
Environmental Pollution, Volume 337, 15 November 2023, 122546

Abstract

This study utilized both conventional molecular analysis and compound-specific isotopic techniques to identify the sources of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in sediments of Ulsan Bay, South Korea. The concentrations of 15 traditional and 11 emerging PAHs were determined in sediments from 21 source sites and 26 bay sites. The concentrations and compositions of traditional and emerging PAHs varied significantly, even at sites close to the source areas. The results obtained from diagnostic ratios and the positive matrix factorization model for source identification were inconsistent in adjacent source areas. The δ13C profiles of PAHs, such as phenanthrene (Phe), fluoranthene (Fl), pyrene (Py), and benz[a]anthracene (BaA) in the sediments showed distinct features depending on the surrounding sources. In urban sediments, lighter δ13CPhe values were observed (mean: −25.1‰), whereas relatively heavier values of δ13CPy were found in petroleum industry areas (mean: −23.4‰). The Bayesian isotope mixing model indicates that the predominant source of PAHs in Ulsan Bay sediments was the petroleum industry (45%), followed by the non-ferrous metals industry (30%), automobile industry (18%), and urban areas (6.3%). These results demonstrated the utility of stable isotopes in assessing the sources and contributions of PAHs in small-scale regions. However, there are still limitations in compound-specific isotope analysis of PAHs, including insufficient end-members for each source, difficulty in analysis, and the influence of non-point sources; thus, further study is needed to expand its application.

9. Coordinating energy and material efficiency strategies for decarbonizing China's iron and steel sector
Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 425, 1 November 2023, 139038

Abstract

Achieving carbon neutrality in China critically depends on the successful decarbonization of its iron and steel sector. While previous studies have primarily focused on improving technology performance in steel production processes, the potential CO2 reduction through material efficiency strategies for steel demand management remains largely unexplored. To bridge this research gap, this study aims to quantitively assess the co-benefits of CO2 reduction from implementing energy and material efficiency strategies along China's steel flow chain. By integrating dynamic steel flow analysis with a CO2 accounting model, this model traces energy use, material flows, and CO2 emissions along the steel flow chain, then evaluates the CO2 reduction potential of implementing various mitigation strategies by 2060, and finally quantifies the relative contribution of each strategy. The findings indicate that the coordination of energy and material efficiency strategies can reduce CO2 by more than 80% from the business-as-usual level by 2060. In particularly, the strategies of more recycling, longer lifetimes, and energy efficiency improvements are projected to contribute −68%, −43%, and −11% of CO2 reduction, respectively, even amidst an expected +29% rise of CO2 emissions driven by economic growth. The study can provide more promising options for decarbonizing China's iron and steel sector and lays the foundation for future analyses that seek to integrate demand-side material efficiency strategies in China's steel decarbonization modeling.

10. Research on compound pollution characteristics and health risk evaluation of particulate matter and heavy metals in waste glass recycling process
Environmental Pollution, Volume 337, 15 November 2023, 122570

Abstract

Owing to the large amount of waste glass generated, the waste glass recycling base is an indispensable municipal supporting facility of a sustainable city. However, waste glass recycling is a complex process involving stages such as multiple-stage crushing and material sorting. Consequently, waste glass recycling base has a considerable impact on the surrounding environment, such as health risk of particulate matter on workers. In this study, we aimed to perform a comprehensive investigation and analysis of compound pollution characteristics and health risk evaluation of particulate matter and heavy metals generated from waste glass recycling process. Soil, particulate fallout, and glass samples were collected from inside and outside a recycling plant in eastern China. Our findings showed that the waste glass treatment process produces a large amount of air particulate matter, and the PM2.5 and PM10 concentrations can reach 3725 and 4055 μg/m3, respectively, in the production workshop during working hours. Meanwhile, the monitoring results show that the concentration of heavy metals on fine particles is higher compared to coarse particles. The high Zn and Pb concentrations detected in the soil and dustfall were proved to be derived from the glass raw materials. However, health risk assessment and particle deposition modeling in the human respiratory system revealed that heavy metals from the air particulate matter have no significant carcinogenicity or non-carcinogenic risk. The Gaussian dispersion model showed that the impact of particulate matter on the surrounding environment and health of the surrounding residents is minimal. Furthermore, transportation is the major emission link according to the particulate emission calculation, indicating that it is imperative to upgrade and reform the existing processes of waste glass recycling. Taken together, this study provides a scientific basis for the green development of waste glass recycling process and further environmental information regarding waste glass recycling plants.

11. Hydrothermal solidification of underground construction wastes into building materials: Waste slurry recycling, industrial application and evaluation
Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 426, 10 November 2023, 139091

Abstract

A novel hydrothermal technology was developed to recycle underground construction wastes into tobermorite-based building materials and immobilize polyvalent Cr. The hardening mechanism involved in tobermorite synthesis and immobilization of Cr were studied by various techniques, including XRD, SEM, STA, XPS and ICP-OES. A simulated waste slurry was converted hydrothermally to well-crystalline tobermorite for both promoting strength and structurally accommodating Cr. A higher curing temperature and longer time facilitated the tobermorite formation, with a high proportion of tobermorite (∼93.67 wt%) being obtained at 200 °C for 24 h at a Ca/Si molar ratio of 0.6. Along with tobermorite formation, the in-situ immobilization of Cr in the tobermorite structure was also examined. Cr(Ⅲ) was found to replace the Ca2+ in the Ca–O octahedron to form Cr–O bonds or connect with H2O in the interlayer as Cr–OH bonds; whereas Cr(Ⅵ) groups linked with Ca2+ in the interlayer as stable CaCrO4, which adversely affected tobermorite formation. Both Cr(Ⅲ) and Cr(Ⅵ) had very low leaching rates from the solidified specimens, although the lower leaching rate of Cr(Ⅲ) (∼4.05% of 5000 ppm) compared to Cr(Ⅵ) (∼7.23% of 5000 ppm) confirmed that tobermorite had a stronger immobilization capacity for Cr (III). An actual waste slurry was used as the dominant raw material (∼70 wt%) for the hydrothermal synthesis of a tough tobermorite-based building material with a flexural strength (∼25.3 MPa), which was even higher than that of common concrete materials. The hydrothermal technology developed here has been successfully applied to the industrial production of standard bricks containing 50–70 wt% waste slurry that were fully compliant with Chinese standards. Life cycle assessments revealed that the hydrothermal slurry-recycled bricks effectively reduced environmental impacts by ∼13%–152% compared to similar building products, thereby demonstrating economic benefits and sustainability.

12. Development of ultra-high surface area polyaniline-based activated carbon for the removal of volatile organic compounds from industrial effluents
Environmental Pollution, Volume 337, 15 November 2023, 122594

Abstract

Removing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from aqueous solutions is critical for reducing VOC emissions in the environment. Activated carbons are widely used for removal of VOCs from water. However, they show less application feasibility and low removal due to less surface area. Here, a cost-effective and high surface area activated carbonized polyaniline (ACP) was synthesized to sustainable removal of VOCs from water. The ACP microstructure, surface properties, and pore structure were investigated using Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) theory, Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). The specific surface area of ACP6:1 (2988.13 m2/g) was greater than that of commercial activated carbon (PAC) (1094.49 m2/g), indicating that it has excellent VOC adsorption capacity. The effects of pH, initial VOC concentration, time, temperature, and ionic strength were studied. According to kinetic and thermodynamic studies on VOCs adsorption, it is an exothermic and spontaneous process involving rate-limiting kinetics. Adsorption isotherms follow the Freundlich isotherm model, suggesting that the adsorbent surface is heterogeneous with multilayer adsorption and maximum ACP adsorption capacities of 1913.9, 2453.3, 1635.8, and 3327.0 mg/g at 293 K for benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and perchloroethylene, respectively, representing a 3- to 5-fold improvement over PAC. ACP is a promising adsorbent with a high adsorption efficiency for VOC removal.

13. Estimating the geographical patterns and health risks associated with PM2.5-bound heavy metals to guide PM2.5 control targets in China based on machine-learning algorithms
Environmental Pollution, Volume 337, 15 November 2023, 122558

Abstract

PM2.5 is the main component of haze, and PM2.5-bound heavy metals (PBHMs) can induce various toxic effects via inhalation. However, comprehensive macroanalyses on large scales are still lacking. In this study, we compiled a substantial dataset consisting of the concentrations of eight PBHMs, including As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn, across different cities in China. To improve prediction accuracy, we enhanced the traditional land-use regression (LUR) model by incorporating emission source-related variables and employing the best-fitted machine-learning algorithm, which was applied to predict PBHM concentrations, analyze geographical patterns and assess the health risks associated with metals under different PM2.5 control targets. Our model exhibited excellent performance in predicting the concentrations of PBHMs, with predicted values closely matching measured values. Noncarcinogenic risks exist in 99.4% of the estimated regions, and the carcinogenic risks in all studied regions of the country are within an acceptable range (1 × 10−5–1 × 10−6). In densely populated areas such as Henan, Shandong, and Sichuan, it is imperative to control the concentration of PBHMs to reduce the number of patients with cancer. Controlling PM2.5 effectively decreases both carcinogenic and noncarcinogenic health risks associated with PBHMs, but still exceed acceptable risk level, suggesting that other important emission sources should be given attention.

14. Towards low-carbon papermaking wastewater treatment process based on Kriging surrogate predictive model
Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 425, 1 November 2023, 139039

Abstract

Papermaking wastewater contains a diverse range of organic carbon, nitrogen and other pollutants, which could lead to the emission of greenhouse gases (GHG) during biochemical treatment process. Despite the importance of decarbonizing the papermaking wastewater treatment process, the mechanisms underlying the generation of greenhouse gases remain elusive and no models currently exist to describe the process. To address this issue, this study employed benchmark simulation model No. 1 (BSM1) to simulate, the papermaking wastewater treatment process, and applied the steady-state output value of simulation to calculate the GHG emissions. Kriging surrogate model was applied to establish the emission model for GHG in the papermaking wastewater treatment process. The model provides a reference for the control and optimization of GHG emission reduction and a high accuracy was achieved with determination coefficient (R2) of above 96%. Further analysis of the parameter impact of process control on GHG emissions and the optimization effects of controllable variables contributes to the goal of reducing GHG emissions in the papermaking wastewater treatment process.

15. Analysis of soil pollution characteristics and influencing factors based on ten electroplating enterprises
Environmental Pollution, Volume 337, 15 November 2023, 122562

Abstract

The electroplating industry encompasses various processes and plating types that contribute to environmental pollution, which has led to growing public concern. To investigate related soil pollution in China, the study selected 10 sites with diverse industrial characteristics distributed across China and collected 1052 soil samples to determine the presence of industrial priority pollutants (PP) based on production process and pollutant toxicity. The factors influencing site pollution as well as proposed pollution prevention and control approaches were then evaluated. The results indicate the presence of significant pollution in the electroplating industry, with ten constituents surpassing the risk screening values (RSV). The identified PP consist of Cr(VI), zinc (Zn), nickel (Ni), total chromium (Cr), and petroleum hydrocarbons (C10–C40). PP contamination was primarily observed in production areas, liquid storage facilities, and solid zones. The vertical distribution of metal pollutants decreased with soil depth, whereas the reverse was true for petroleum hydrocarbons (C10–C40). Increase in site production time was strongly correlated with soil pollution, but strengthening anti-seepage measures in key areas can effectively reduce the soil exceedance standard ratio. This study serves as a foundation for conceptualizing site repair technology in the electroplating industry and offers a reference and methodology for pollution and source control in this and related sectors.

16. Development of a modelling tool to aid the transition to carbon neutral industrial manufacturing
Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 425, 1 November 2023, 138604

Abstract

The European Union's aim to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 relies on reducing emissions from the industrial sector. There is a lack of guidance and technical support at the organisational level for industrial organisations, particularly for non-energy-intensive industries. Existing approaches do not offer structured pathways to carbon neutrality. This study involves the development, verification, and validation of a novel modelling tool aimed at assisting Irish industrial organisations in achieving carbon neutrality. The generated outputs are an organisation-specific carbon neutrality waterfall as the roadmap, and a financial analysis to indicate the breakeven year where the financial savings equal the investment costs of implementing the proposed measures. This modelling tool is a decision-support tool capable of scenario modelling, which provides the user with an overview of possible decarbonisation timelines and financial impacts.

First, this paper presents the user-defined and built-in inputs, followed by the first-principles mathematical model that forms the basis of the modelling tool. Then, the modelling tool is verified by a code-to-code process using representative dummy data, and is found to be accurate against the mathematical model. The final step is the use of an actual dataset from an industry partner in a validation process to determine the applicability of the modelling tool to industrial organisations. It is found to be applicable in terms of the type of data output (carbon neutrality waterfall and financial analysis). However, the inaccurate negative emissions balance of the waterfall indicates that the modelling tool is not applicable in its current state; this highlights the importance of considering the interaction effects of implementing multiple emissions-reduction measures, which is the next step in the tool development. Moreover, this tool is applicable to organisations that have completed energy audits, heat studies, and renewable energy studies and have created a register of performance improvement measures that serve as the model inputs. As such, it has a niche market and represents an initial approach to carbon neutrality planning, with the future focus on expanding its applicability by developing a heuristic knowledge-based modelling tool that acts as a recommender system.

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Ban biên tập Chuyên trang Quản lý Môi trường, Tạp chí Môi trường và Đô thị Việt Nam trân trọng giới thiệu tới quý độc giả Công bố quốc tế lĩnh vực môi trường số 20-2024.

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