Special Issue "Potentially Toxic Elements in Contaminated Soils: Green Remediation Strategies"

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: closed (30 September 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Mery Malandrino
Website
Guest Editor
Università degli Studi di Torino, Department of Chemistry, Torino, Italy
Interests: atmospheric particulate matter; environment; metals; soil

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

Soil contamination has been inherited from industrial development. The quality of soil is threatened by many human activities, including mining exploitations, transportation, improper management of waste, and intensive agriculture practices. Soil remediation has paramount importance since soil pollution greatly influences the quality of water, food, and human health. Many clean-up technologies have been used. Today, the remediation strategies are no longer exclusively based on eliminating the source of pollution, but also on blocking the pathways from contaminants to receptors or reducing the exposure to contaminants in order to also recover soil quality. In recent years, knowledge of remediation technology has rapidly grown and, at present, many treatment processes appear to be feasible at the field scale. Innovative technologies, largely dependent on soil properties, such as in situ chemical oxidation, electroremediation, and bio- and phytoremediation, etc. have been successfully applied.

In this Special Issue, we invite submissions exploring the development of technologies for “green remediation”, that can tackle the issue of remediation of contaminated soils with the greatest attention to environmental quality, including the preservation of soil productivity. Survey papers and reviews are also welcome.

Prof. Mery Malandrino
Guest Editor

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.

Keywords

  • metals
  • soil
  • remediation strategies
  • pollution
  • soil quality

Published Papers (7 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Open AccessArticle
A High Manganese-Tolerant Pseudomonas sp. Strain Isolated from Metallurgical Waste Heap Can Be a Tool for Enhancing Manganese Removal from Contaminated Soil
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(16), 5717; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10165717 - 18 Aug 2020
Abstract
Manganese (Mn) is widely used in industry. However, its extensive applications have generated a great amount of manganese waste, which has become an ecological problem and has led to a decrease in natural resources. The use of microorganisms capable of accumulating Mn ions [...] Read more.
Manganese (Mn) is widely used in industry. However, its extensive applications have generated a great amount of manganese waste, which has become an ecological problem and has led to a decrease in natural resources. The use of microorganisms capable of accumulating Mn ions from contaminated ecosystems offers a potential alternative for the removal and recovery of this metal. The main aim of this work was an investigation of removal potential of Mn from soil by isolated bacterial. For this purpose, eleven bacterial strains were isolated from the soil from metallurgical waste heap in Upper Silesia, Poland. Strain named 2De with the highest Mn removal potential was selected and characterized taking into account its ability for Mn sorption and bioaccumulation from soil and medium containing manganese dioxide. Moreover, the protein profile of 2De strain before and after exposition to Mn was analyzed using SDS/PAGE technique. The 2De strain was identified as a Pseudomonas sp. The results revealed that this strain has an ability to grow at high Mn concentration and possesses an enhanced ability to remove it from the solution enriched with the soil or manganese dioxide via a biosorption mechanism. Moreover, changes in cellular protein expression of the isolated strain were observed. This study demonstrated that autochthonous 2De strain can be an effective tool to remove and recover Mn from contaminated soil. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Uptake of Potentially Toxic Elements by Four Plant Species Suitable for Phytoremediation of Turin Urban Soils
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(11), 3948; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10113948 - 06 Jun 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
This study investigated the concentrations of 22 elements in two Turin urban soils located in the city center (Campana Street garden (CA)) and in a peripheral area (Nobile Park (NOB)). The former was found contaminated by Pb, Zn, Ba, Cr and Ni and, [...] Read more.
This study investigated the concentrations of 22 elements in two Turin urban soils located in the city center (Campana Street garden (CA)) and in a peripheral area (Nobile Park (NOB)). The former was found contaminated by Pb, Zn, Ba, Cr and Ni and, to a lower degree, by As, Co, Cu and Cd, while the latter showed high concentrations of Co, Cr and Ni. The nature of Cr, Ni and Co in both sites is mainly geogenic, whereas the high content of Pb, Zn, Ba, As, Cu and Cd in the CA soil is probably due to exposure to atmospheric deposition linked to emissions from motor vehicles, domestic and industrial burning of fossil fuels and industrial emissions. We evaluated the uptake of potentially toxic elements (PTEs) by four plant species suitable for phytoremediation (Brassica juncea, Helianthus annuus, Zea mays and Pteris vittata) in controlled conditions in CA and NOB soils in order to assess their efficiency in the absorption of PTEs and suitability to restore the CA site. Results highlighted a different uptake ability of the plants according to the considered element; for example, Brassica juncea demonstrated a great capability in cadmium uptake. The effect of a soil improver, derived from the composting of green and organic waste, on absorption efficiency was also studied and it altered uptake preferences of specific elements by the tested plant species, thus suggesting that its use has to be evaluated according to the target. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Effect of Sulfadimethoxine, Oxytetracycline, and Streptomycin Antibiotics in Three Types of Crop Plants—Root, Leafy, and Fruit
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(3), 1111; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10031111 - 07 Feb 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
(1) Background: Plants act as the natural sink for a variety of toxins in the environment, including veterinary antibiotics (VAs). The objective of this study was to evaluate the uptake and fate of sulfadimethoxine (SDZ), oxytetracycline (OTC), and streptomycin (STR) in lettuce ( [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Plants act as the natural sink for a variety of toxins in the environment, including veterinary antibiotics (VAs). The objective of this study was to evaluate the uptake and fate of sulfadimethoxine (SDZ), oxytetracycline (OTC), and streptomycin (STR) in lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.), carrot (Daucus carota), and pepper (Capsicum annum) grown in VAs amended soil. (2) Methods: 0, 50, and 100 mg kg−1 VA laced manure was applied in a sandy clay loam soil. (3) Results: 30-d (lettuce) and 60-d (carrot and pepper) greenhouse experiment showed that SDZ and OTC were taken up by all three plants, with concentrations in plant tissue ranging from 0.1 to 1.2 mg kg−1 dry weight. The concentration of VAs in plant tissues increased with a corresponding increase of antibiotics in manure. The highest plant tissue concentrations were found in carrot and lettuce, followed by pepper. An increase in NADPH P450 reductase and glutathione-s-transferase enzyme activity with increasing SDZ and OTC concentration was evident, signifying the induction of the detoxification process. The activity of plant detoxification enzymes under STR treatment was found not to be significantly different from control. (4) Conclusions: These results raise potential human health concerns of consuming low levels of antibiotics from produce grown on manure-amended soils. The result indicates that SDZ, OTC, and STR antibiotics posed high, medium, and low acute ecological risks in lettuce, carrot, and pepper plants when grown in sandy clay loam soil. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Humic Acid Reduces the Available Cadmium, Copper, Lead, and Zinc in Soil and Their Uptake by Tobacco
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(3), 1077; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10031077 - 06 Feb 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.) is a crop that is able to accumulate metals. In this study, humic acid was selected as a Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn passivator, and added to calcareous field soil in amounts of 6.4, 10.3, and 14.8 kg·ha [...] Read more.
Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.) is a crop that is able to accumulate metals. In this study, humic acid was selected as a Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn passivator, and added to calcareous field soil in amounts of 6.4, 10.3, and 14.8 kg·ha−1. Its impact on the soil fractions of the metals in the soil was extracted by the Community Bureau of Reference (BCR) sequential extraction method, and their accumulation of the metals in tobacco leaves was investigated. Application of 14.8 kg·ha−1 humic acid decreased the DTPA-extracted concentrations of Pb, Cd, Zn, and Cu by 39%, 37%, 29%, and 18%, respectively, as compared with untreated soil. The fractions of Cd, Pb, Cu, and Zn in soil were extracted by the BCR sequential extraction method, and the relationship between the difference metal fractions in the soil and the metal contents in the plant materials were analyzed. The exchangeable fractions of Cd, Pb, Cu, and Zn and the reducible fractions of Pb and Cu are the main bioavailable fractions. Additionally, the reducible fractions of Cd and Zn, the oxidizable fractions of Pb, Cu, and Zn, and all residual fractions of metals were nonbioavailable fractions in the soil. The soils were treated with humic acid (HA) to shift bioavailable metals to stable phases that were less bioavailable. The available Cd, Pb, Cu, and Zn were strongly retained in the soil after the application of humic acid, which decreased the uptake in tobacco in the upper, middle, and lower leaves. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
The Suitability of Short Rotation Coppice Crops for Phytoremediation of Urban Soils
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(1), 307; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10010307 - 31 Dec 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
This experiment was aimed at verifying the usefulness of phytoremediation using Short Rotation Coppice (SRC) in an urban Zn-contaminated site. Besides elemental uptake and reclamation, the SRC method was applied to evaluate the additional benefits of a green infrastructure. Nine different plants with [...] Read more.
This experiment was aimed at verifying the usefulness of phytoremediation using Short Rotation Coppice (SRC) in an urban Zn-contaminated site. Besides elemental uptake and reclamation, the SRC method was applied to evaluate the additional benefits of a green infrastructure. Nine different plants with rapid growth and large biomass production were selected: three Populus clones, three Salix hybrids, and three Robinia genotypes. Annual and biennial coppicing were evaluated. Poplar clones were more productive using annual coppicing, while Salix and Robinia produced higher biomass in blocks not coppiced. Poplar had the highest phytoextraction rate during the second year, with 1077 g/ha. Salix clones S1 and S3 extracted similar quantities using biennial coppicing. After two years, the bioavailable fraction of Zn decreased significantly using all species, from the 26% decrease of Robinia to the 36% decrease of Salix. The short rotation coppice method proved to be useful in an urban context, for both landscape and limiting the access to the contaminated area. Improving the biomass yield through the phytomanagement options (fertilization, irrigation, coppicing, etc.) could make SRC phytoremediation an economic and effective solution to manage urban contaminated areas, coupling the added values of biomass production to the landscape benefits. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Combined Effect of Ferrous Ion and Biochar on Cadmium and Arsenic Accumulation in Rice
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(1), 300; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10010300 - 31 Dec 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Excessive accumulation of cadmium (Cd) and arsenic (As) in rice (Oryza sativa L.) poses a potential health risk to populations. Cd and As exhibit opposite geochemical behavior in paddy soil, using appropriate remediation materials to reduce their migration and inhibit their uptake [...] Read more.
Excessive accumulation of cadmium (Cd) and arsenic (As) in rice (Oryza sativa L.) poses a potential health risk to populations. Cd and As exhibit opposite geochemical behavior in paddy soil, using appropriate remediation materials to reduce their migration and inhibit their uptake by rice is a great challenge. A pot culture experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of application of silkworm excrement biochar (BC) and ferrous sulfate (Fe(II)) on available Cd and As in paddy soils and their uptake by rice. Results showed that the application of BC + Fe significantly accelerated the tillering of rice plants, and the addition of BC alone to soil did not have a significant effect on the pH of soil, while applied 1% (w/w) BC and 1% (w/w) Fe(II) (1BC-1 Fe(II)) treatment could markedly reduce the soil pH. BC+Fe(II) could reduce the content of available Cd (reduced by 10%–23%) and As (reduced by 6%–33%) in soil. BC+Fe(II) has a distinct decreasing effect on the available As, thus inhibiting As uptake in rice tissues, and the effect was more obvious with an increasing mass ratio of Fe in BC+Fe(II) treatment. BC+Fe(II) decreased bioaccumulation factors (BF) of As compared to control and BC alone treatments. Compared with As, Cd was more readily transferred from the root to the shoot and accumulated in rice eventually. These findings provide a safe and reliable remediation strategy though application of BC+Fe(II) in Cd and As co-contaminated soil. However, the improvement effect of amendments should be paid a special attention on soil pH. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Remediation of Organically Contaminated Soil Through the Combination of Assisted Phytoremediation and Bioaugmentation
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(22), 4757; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9224757 - 07 Nov 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Here, we aimed to bioremediate organically contaminated soil with Brassica napus and a bacterial consortium. The bioaugmentation consortium consisted of four endophyte strains that showed plant growth-promoting traits (three Pseudomonas and one Microbacterium) plus three strains with the capacity to degrade organic [...] Read more.
Here, we aimed to bioremediate organically contaminated soil with Brassica napus and a bacterial consortium. The bioaugmentation consortium consisted of four endophyte strains that showed plant growth-promoting traits (three Pseudomonas and one Microbacterium) plus three strains with the capacity to degrade organic compounds (Burkholderia xenovorans LB400, Paenibacillus sp. and Lysinibacillus sp.). The organically contaminated soil was supplemented with rhamnolipid biosurfactant and sodium dodecyl benzenesulfonate to increase the degradability of the sorbed contaminants. Soils were treated with organic amendments (composted horse manure vs. dried cow slurry) to promote plant growth and stimulate soil microbial activity. Apart from quantification of the expected decrease in contaminant concentrations (total petroleum hydrocarbons, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons), the effectiveness of our approach was assessed in terms of the recovery of soil health, as reflected by the values of different microbial indicators of soil health. Although the applied treatments did not achieve a significant decrease in contaminant concentrations, a significant improvement of soil health was observed in our amended soils (especially in soils amended with dried cow slurry), pointing out a not-so-uncommon situation in which remediation efforts fail from the point of view of the reduction in contaminant concentrations while succeeding to recover soil health. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Back to TopTop