Special Issue "10th Anniversary of Applied Sciences: Invited Papers in "Environmental and Sustainable Science and Technology" Section"

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental and Sustainable Science and Technology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Dibyendu Sarkar
Website
Guest Editor
Stevens Institute of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental, and Ocean Engineering, Hoboken, United States
Interests: Trace Element Biogeochemistry; Green Technology; Environmental Quality; Environmental Remediation; Environmental Geochemistry
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Rupali Datta
Website SciProfiles
Guest Editor
Michigan Technological University, Department of Biological Sciences, Houghton, United States
Interests: plant biochemistry; environmental remediation; plant–microbe interactions
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Pradip Bhattacharyya
Website
Guest Editor
Agricultural and Ecological Research Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, Giridih 815301, Jharkhand, India
Interests: soil quality;waste management; soil microbiology; arsenic pollution

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Applied Sciences will be publishing a Special Issue in 2020 to commemorate its 10th year of publication. The first volume of the journal was published in 2011, and it received its first Impact Factor in 2014. The IF has since jumped from 1.487 in 2014 to 2.217 in 2019, with an acceptance rate of approximately 28%. "Environmental and Sustainable Science and Technology" is one of the newest sections of Applied Sciences that was founded in May 2018 by Prof. Dibyendu Sarkar. There were 310 submissions from May 2018 to December 2018, out of which 69 articles were accepted. The scope of this fast-developing section is broad and covers the exciting area of interdisciplinary environmental and sustainability research from science and technology perspectives. Both experimental and real-life applications of environmental and sustainable science and technology are sought. Many domains are covered, from geosphere to hydrosphere to pedosphere to atmosphere to biosphere. How these various natural systems and their interactions affect humans (anthroposphere) and their health is a topic of great interest.

This Special Issue intends to gather moderate-sized original research or review papers featuring important and recent developments in environmental and sustainable science and technology with a special emphasis on real-life applications. We will receive submissions from now until the end of October 2020. If you would like to be invited to submit an article for review and potential publication in the “10th Anniversary of Applied Sciences: ‘Environmental and Sustainable Science and Technology’ Section”, please send the abstract of your paper to any of the guest editors listed below. Please write “10th anniversary Issue of Applied Sciences” in the subject line of your email.

Prof. Dr. Dibyendu Sarkar
Prof. Dr. Rupali Datta
Prof. Dr. Pradip Bhattacharyya
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. Applied Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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.

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Effect of the Surface Morphology of TiO2 Nanotubes on Photocatalytic Efficacy Using Electron-Transfer-Based Assays and Antimicrobial Tests
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(15), 5243; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10155243 - 29 Jul 2020
Abstract
The application of titanium oxide nanotubes for the removal of contaminants from freshwater is a rapidly growing scientific interest, especially when it comes to water conservation strategies. In this study we employed four different titanium oxide nanotube surfaces, prepared by a two-electrode anodic [...] Read more.
The application of titanium oxide nanotubes for the removal of contaminants from freshwater is a rapidly growing scientific interest, especially when it comes to water conservation strategies. In this study we employed four different titanium oxide nanotube surfaces, prepared by a two-electrode anodic oxidation. Two of the surfaces were synthesised in aqueous media, while the other two surfaces were synthesised in ethylene glycol. One of the arrays synthesised in the organic medium was impregnated with silver nanoparticles, while the remaining surfaces were not. The chemical reactivity of the various surfaces was assessed using 2,2-Diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and 2,2’-azino-bis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS) as free electron sensitive probe molecules, in parallel with tannic acid degradation and copper ion reducing capacity. The potential antimicrobial activity of the surfaces was assessed against a panel of microorganisms composed of yeast, fungi, Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Field emission scanning electron microscopy revealed that surfaces produced in the aqueous medium had a smaller tube length and a smaller tube diameter. It was noted that one of the materials using sodium sulfate as the supporting electrolyte had the most irregular nanostructure morphology with tubes growing to the side rather than vertically. The structural variation of the surfaces directly reflected both the chemical and biological activity, with the nanotubes formed in ethylene glycol showing the fastest rates in the stabilization of DPPH and ABTS radicals, the fastest tannic acid decomposition under various pH conditions and the fastest metal reducing activity. Furthermore, the surface containing silver and its bare counterpart showed the most effective antimicrobial activity, removing approximately 82% of Gram-negative bacteria, 50% of Gram-positive bacteria, 70% of yeast and 40% of fungi, with Gram-negative bacteria being the most susceptible to these surfaces. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Equilibrium Study, Modeling and Optimization of Model Drug Adsorption Process by Sunflower Seed Shells
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 3271; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10093271 - 08 May 2020
Abstract
The adsorption capacity of the medication methylthioninium chloride (MC) from aqueous solution onto sunflower seed shells (SSS), a low cost and abundant alternative adsorbent, was investigated in a batch system. The surface properties of the adsorbent were characterized by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) [...] Read more.
The adsorption capacity of the medication methylthioninium chloride (MC) from aqueous solution onto sunflower seed shells (SSS), a low cost and abundant alternative adsorbent, was investigated in a batch system. The surface properties of the adsorbent were characterized by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), specific surface area (by using the Brunauer–Emmett–Teller equation), the liquid displacement method and pHPZC. The ability of SSS to remove the medication was assessed through kinetic, thermodynamic and equilibrium investigations. The adsorption efficiency of the SSS adsorbent for the removal of MC was evaluated considering the effects of its concentration, temperature, adsorption contact time, and the pH of the medium. The results obtained from the kinetic and isotherm studies show that the adsorption of the MC on SSS follows pseudo-second-order kinetics (R² > 0.99) and the Temkin isotherm model (R² = 0.97), respectively. The thermodynamic study showed that the adsorption was endothermic and spontaneous, according to its physisorption mechanism. The mathematical modeling of this process was carried out by using the surface response methodology of Box–Behenken. It was possible to deduce a statistically reliable regression equation that related the adsorption yield to the chosen operating parameters, that is, the initial MC concentration, the adsorbent dosage and the pH. Analysis of the variance indicated that the most influential parameters were the SSS dosage, the pH and their interaction and showed the optimal values for ensuring the best adsorption capacity of 95.58%. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Microwave Radiation on Regeneration of a Granulated Micelle–Clay Complex after Adsorption of Bacteria
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(7), 2530; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10072530 - 07 Apr 2020
Abstract
Granulated micelle–clay complexes including the organic cation octadecyltrimethylammonium (ODTMA) were shown to be efficient in removal of total bacteria count (TBC) from water. Microwave (MW) heating of granules to restore bacterial removal was investigated. Drying of granules by MW required 20-fold less energy [...] Read more.
Granulated micelle–clay complexes including the organic cation octadecyltrimethylammonium (ODTMA) were shown to be efficient in removal of total bacteria count (TBC) from water. Microwave (MW) heating of granules to restore bacterial removal was investigated. Drying of granules by MW required 20-fold less energy than by conventional heating. When water content of granules approached 10%, or less, their heating period by MW had to be below 1 min, e.g., 30 s, and less, in order to avoid ignition and irreversible structural changes. Structural and thermal properties of MW heated samples were studied by FT-IR spectra and thermo gravimetric analyses (TGA). Inactivation of bacteria in water was more efficient by MW than by conventional oven, or by electric plate. For elimination of bacteria from water, MW heating was at least five-fold more efficient than by conventional heating. The results have established an adequate regeneration procedure by MW heating at durations depending on the remaining percentage of water associated with the granules. Tests of first and second regenerations by MW heating, and HCl washing of columns, were carried out. It was concluded that MW treatment may be chosen for optimal regeneration of the granulated micelle–clay complex as an efficient and low-cost procedure. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Growing Biofuel Feedstocks in Copper-Contaminated Soils of a Former Superfund Site
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(4), 1499; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10041499 - 22 Feb 2020
Abstract
Copper mining in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in the mid-19th century generated millions of tons of mining waste, called stamp sand, which was deposited into various offshoots of Lake Superior. The toxic stamp sand converted the area into barren, fallow land. Without [...] Read more.
Copper mining in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in the mid-19th century generated millions of tons of mining waste, called stamp sand, which was deposited into various offshoots of Lake Superior. The toxic stamp sand converted the area into barren, fallow land. Without a vegetative cover, stamp sand has been eroding into the lakes, adversely affecting aquatic life. Our objective was to perform a greenhouse study, to grow cold-tolerant oilseed crops camelina (Camelina sativa) and field pennycress (Thlaspi arvense) on stamp sand, for the dual purpose of biofuel production and providing a vegetative cover, thereby decreasing erosion. Camelina and field pennycress were grown on stamp sands in columns, using compost to supply nutrients. A greenhouse study in wooden panels was also done to evaluate the effectiveness of camelina in reducing erosion. Results show that camelina significantly reduced erosion and can also be used commercially for generating biodiesel. A 25-fold reduction in Cu content in the surface run-off was observed in the panels with camelina compared to those of the control. Stamp sand-grown camelina seeds contained 20% and 22.7% oil and protein respectively, and their fatty acid composition was similar to previous studies performed on uncontaminated soils. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
A Circular Economy Virtuous Example—Use of a Stabilized Waste Material Instead of Calcite to Produce Sustainable Composites
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(3), 754; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10030754 - 21 Jan 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
This work reports and analyzes the mechanical properties of some composites obtained using stabilized waste with epoxy resins E-227. For comparison, correspondent composite samples were realized using calcite as a filler. The recovered stabilized waste was obtained by means of a new method [...] Read more.
This work reports and analyzes the mechanical properties of some composites obtained using stabilized waste with epoxy resins E-227. For comparison, correspondent composite samples were realized using calcite as a filler. The recovered stabilized waste was obtained by means of a new method to stabilize municipal solid waste incineration (MSWI) fly ash (FA), based on the use of bottom ash (BA). The aim of this paper is to show that the stabilization process, which can be considered a zero—waste treatment, produces inert materials, that can be reused as a filler. The production of new filler was made on a pilot plant, designed to verify the transferability of the proposed stabilization technology. Mechanical analysis revealed that flexural modulus raises by increasing the filler content around 30% wt, independently of filler type, stabilized sample or calcium carbonate. Mechanical properties are lower in the samples with the high amount of filler due to the crowding effect. The morphology of composite materials showed a non-homogeneous dispersion of particles in stabilized sample filler, characterized by large particle agglomerates. Finally, according to the ESCAPE simplified method, the obtained composites result more sustainable in comparison with the corresponding ones produced by using natural resources (like calcite). These findings open new possibilities for the reuse of the stabilized material, in frame of circular economy principles, with environmental and economic advantages. Full article
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