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Special Issue "Determination of Trace Heavy Metals and Metalloids in Environmental Samples"

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Analytical Chemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Giuseppe Scarponi

Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Via Brecce Bianche, 60131 Ancona, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: electroanalytical chemistry; environmental analytical chemistry; food analytical chemistry; analytical chemistry; heavy metals; atmospheric aerosol; seawater; snow; ice; wine; fish
Co-Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Silvia Illuminati

Department: Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Via Brecce Bianche, 60131 Ancona, Italy
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Interests: analytical and environmental chemistry; voltammetry and in-situ voltammetry; atomic absorption spectroscopy; inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry; unmanned aerial vehicles for atmospheric analysis; atmospheric depositions; chemical composition of atmospheric aerosol; metal speciation in seawater; environmental chemometrics
Co-Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Anna Annibaldi

Department: Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Via Brecce Bianche, 60131 Ancona, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: analytical chemistry, voltammetry for environmental analysis; atomic absorption spectroscopy; gas chromatography–mass spectrometry; inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry; environmental monitoring; heavy metals and organic contaminants in marine organisms; trace elements in seawater and marine sediments; heavy metals in insects; mineral water; river water
Co-Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Cristina Truzzi

Department: Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Via Brecce Bianche, 60131 Ancona, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: analytical chemistry; gas chromatography–mass spectrometry; high-performance liquid chromatography; atomic absorption spectroscopy; voltammetry; environmental analytical chemistry; heavy metals in marine organisms and insects; trace heavy metals in natural waters; chemical composition of food; multivariate statistical analysis applied to environmental and food data

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nature, as a matter of fact, has chosen to use mainly relatively light elements for basic biochemical functions. Considering instead heavy metals and metalloids, we know that they can also be essential to life, but only at very low levels, while, at excessive levels, they become toxic and can cause harm. Environmental pollution by heavy metal(loid)s is a global problem. As an example, traces of Pb and Cu have been detected in polar ice layers related to the periods of the Roman Empire and even of the Greek Civilization. More recently, starting from the industrial revolution, the problem has become more general.

Thanks to the impressive developments of instrumental analytical chemistry in the last three or four decades, it has been possible to reveal and demonstrate clearly the planetary level of heavy metal(loid) pollution. This, in turn, has led to sensitizing the scientific and economic community, as well as the public and policy-makers, to take action that, in turn, led in some cases to significant reductions of heavy metal(loid) pollution. We can quote the case of the reduction of Pb emissions in the atmosphere due to the phasing-out of the metal from gasoline. In response to this action, analytical chemists has recently revealed signals of lead pollution decrease in the environment. This occurred first in polar snow and then, more recently, also in the oceanic waters, where the content is coming back to preindustrial values.

Nevertheless, challenges for environmental analytical chemists are not finished. These refer to (non-exhaustive list): the capacity to determine always lower concentrations; the ability to determine chemical species or groups of species (speciation) of major relevance from the point of view of mobilization in the environment and toxicity for organisms and humans; the improvements in sensitivity, selectivity, accuracy, precision and analysis rapidity using techniques increasingly sophisticated; the possibility to carry out spatio-temporal analyses to obtain clear descriptions of processes which develop in space and time; the capacity (through unmanned vehicles) to make investigations in areas which are impervious, unreachable and/or dangerous for humans.

The present Special Issue on "Determination of Trace Heavy Metals and Metalloids in Environmental Samples" has the broad scope to provide an overview of current trends in analytical methods to determine heavy metal(loid)s in environmental matrices. Contributions, in the form of original research or review articles, are expected to include fundamental studies referred to set up of specific analytical methods, as well as real-case multidisciplinary investigations. Applications extend to extreme environments (such as Polar Regions, high altitude lands, deserts, stratosphere, ocean depths and floors), to inaccessible sites (using unmanned vehicles), to all kinds of biota, to humans, to food and beverage, etc. In addition to “heavy” metal(loid)s we expect that authors will add also other major and minor constituents, and also limited organic compounds, to give full characterization of matrices, when appropriate for the completeness of the study reported. Studies of environmental chemometrics are also welcome.

We believe that this Special Issue will present challenging scientific approaches and recent and emerging issues and visions for the future. Thus, it covers, but is not limited to, new analytical methods and instrumental techniques, new sample treatments and instrumental set up, novel analytical applications both in abiotic and biotic matrices, and case studies on environmental monitoring for the determination of trace heavy metal(loid)s in environmental specimens.

All papers will be published individually as soon as they are accepted, which ensures very fast publication speed for individually articles.

Prof. Dr. Giuseppe Scarponi
Prof. Dr. Cristina Truzzi
Prof. Dr. Anna Annibaldi
Prof. Dr. Silvia Illuminati
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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

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

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • environmental analytical chemistry
  • trace heavy metals and metalloids
  • chemical speciation
  • instrumental analysis
  • new analytical methods and techniques
  • sample pre-treatment
  • extreme environments
  • case studies of environmental monitoring
  • reviews
  • emerging environmental issues

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Multielemental Analysis Associated with Chemometric Techniques for Geographical Origin Discrimination of Tea Leaves (Camelia sinensis) in Guizhou Province, SW China
Molecules 2018, 23(11), 3013; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23113013 (registering DOI)
Received: 3 November 2018 / Revised: 14 November 2018 / Accepted: 15 November 2018 / Published: 18 November 2018
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Abstract
This study aimed to construct objective and accurate geographical discriminant models for tea leaves based on multielement concentrations in combination with chemometrics tools. Forty mineral elements in 87 tea samples from three growing regions in Guizhou Province (China), namely Meitan and Fenggang (MTFG),
[...] Read more.
This study aimed to construct objective and accurate geographical discriminant models for tea leaves based on multielement concentrations in combination with chemometrics tools. Forty mineral elements in 87 tea samples from three growing regions in Guizhou Province (China), namely Meitan and Fenggang (MTFG), Anshun (AS) and Leishan (LS) were analyzed. Chemometrics evaluations were conducted using a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), principal component analysis (PCA), linear discriminant analysis (LDA), and orthogonal partial least squares discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA). The results showed that the concentrations of the 28 elements were significantly different among the three regions (p < 0.05). The correct classification rates for the 87 tea samples were 98.9% for LDA and 100% for OPLS-DA. The variable importance in the projection (VIP) values ranged between 1.01–1.73 for 11 elements (Sb, Pb, K, As, S, Bi, U, P, Ca, Na, and Cr), which can be used as important indicators for geographical origin identification of tea samples. In conclusion, multielement analysis coupled with chemometrics can be useful for geographical origin identification of tea leaves. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Rapid Determination of Cadmium Contamination in Lettuce Using Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy
Molecules 2018, 23(11), 2930; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23112930
Received: 28 September 2018 / Revised: 8 November 2018 / Accepted: 9 November 2018 / Published: 9 November 2018
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Abstract
Quick access to cadmium (Cd) contamination in lettuce is important to supervise the leafy vegetable growth environment and market. This study aims to apply laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) technology for fast determination of Cd content and diagnosis of the Cd contamination degree in
[...] Read more.
Quick access to cadmium (Cd) contamination in lettuce is important to supervise the leafy vegetable growth environment and market. This study aims to apply laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) technology for fast determination of Cd content and diagnosis of the Cd contamination degree in lettuce. Emission lines Cd II 214.44 nm, Cd II 226.50 nm, and Cd I 228.80 nm were selected to establish the univariate analysis model. Multivariate analysis including partial least squares (PLS) regression, was used to establish Cd content calibration models, and PLS model based on 22 variables selected by genetic algorithm (GA) obtained the best performance with correlation coefficient in the prediction set Rp2 = 0.9716, limit of detection (LOD) = 1.7 mg/kg. K-Nearest Neighbors (KNN) and random forest (RF) were used to analyze Cd contamination degree, and RF model obtained the correct classification rate of 100% in prediction set. The preliminary results indicate LIBS coupled with chemometrics could be used as a fast, efficient and low-cost method to assess Cd contamination in the vegetable industry. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Determination of Trace Nickel in Water Samples by Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption Spectrometry after Mixed Micelle-Mediated Cloud Point Extraction
Molecules 2018, 23(10), 2597; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23102597
Received: 3 July 2018 / Revised: 26 September 2018 / Accepted: 27 September 2018 / Published: 10 October 2018
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Abstract
A simple and sensitive cloud point extraction method for the preconcentration of ultra-trace amounts of nickel as a prior step to its determination by graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry was proposed. It is based on the reaction of nickel with 2-(5-bromo-2-pyridylazo)-5-dimethylaminoaniline (5-Br-PADMA) in
[...] Read more.
A simple and sensitive cloud point extraction method for the preconcentration of ultra-trace amounts of nickel as a prior step to its determination by graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry was proposed. It is based on the reaction of nickel with 2-(5-bromo-2-pyridylazo)-5-dimethylaminoaniline (5-Br-PADMA) in HAc–NaAc buffer media and mixed micelle-mediated extraction of the complex using the anionic surfactant sodium dodecyl sulfate sodium (SDS) and non-ionic surfactant (1,1,3,3-Tetramethylbutyl)phenyl-polyethylene (Triton X-114). The optimal reaction and extraction conditions such as pH, concentration of 5-Br-PADMA, SDS and Triton X-114, equilibrium temperature, incubation, and centrifuge time were evaluated and optimized. Under the optimal conditions, the calibration graph was linear over the range 0.1–5.5 ng/mL of nickel with a correlation coefficient of 0.9942. The detection limit obtained was 0.031 ng/mL, and the relative standard deviation was 2.1% for nickel (c = 2 ng/mL, n = 6). The proposed method was successfully applied to the determination of nickel in water samples. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Quantitative Determination of Cd in Soil Using Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy in Air and Ar Conditions
Molecules 2018, 23(10), 2492; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23102492
Received: 16 August 2018 / Revised: 26 September 2018 / Accepted: 27 September 2018 / Published: 28 September 2018
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Abstract
Rapid detection of Cd content in soil is beneficial to the prevention of soil heavy metal pollution. In this study, we aimed at exploring the rapid quantitative detection ability of laser- induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) under the conditions of air and Ar for
[...] Read more.
Rapid detection of Cd content in soil is beneficial to the prevention of soil heavy metal pollution. In this study, we aimed at exploring the rapid quantitative detection ability of laser- induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) under the conditions of air and Ar for Cd in soil, and finding a fast and accurate method for quantitative detection of heavy metal elements in soil. Spectral intensity of Cd and system performance under air and Ar conditions were analyzed and compared. The univariate model and multivariate models of partial least-squares regression (PLSR) and least-squares support vector machine (LS-SVM) of Cd under the air and Ar conditions were built, and the LS-SVM model under the Ar condition obtained the best performance. In addition, the principle of influence of Ar on LIBS detection was investigated by analyzing the three-dimensional profile of the ablation crater. The overall results indicated that LIBS combined with LS-SVM under the Ar condition could be a useful tool for the accurate quantitative detection of Cd in soil and could provide reference for environmental monitoring. Full article
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Tentative title: Determination of osmium (Os) isotopes in polar snow and ice
Paper type: Article
Author: Prof. Sungmin Hong

Tentative title: Comparison of sequential extraction methods of trace metals in contaminated soil samples
Paper type: Article
Author: Prof. Michal Woszczyk

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