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Analytical Techniques in Environmental Chemistry

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2024 | Viewed by 7427

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Ruđer Bošković Institute, Division for Marine and Environmental Research, Bijenička Cesta 54, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Interests: trace elements; toxic metals; environmental geochemistry; water quality; environmental pollution; mass spectrometry
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Division for Marine and Environmental Research, Ruđer Bošković Institute, Bijenička 54, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Interests: sediments; environmental geochemistry; environmental mineralogy; carbonate sedimentology; colloid science; particle characterization

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue of Molecules addresses new contributions related to the application of various analytical techniques in the field of environmental chemistry.

Currently, there are numerous analytical techniques and strategies for the qualitative and quantitative assessment of various organic and inorganic pollutants as well as emerging pollutants in different environmental compartments. In the last two decades, the rapidly developing field of analytical instrumentation has produced sophisticated tools that can provide unique and in-depth knowledge of the chemical properties of various environmental matrices. Although many papers and books have been written on the application of analytical methods in environmental studies, technological advances and, in particular, the combination of approaches and parameters are opening up new possibilities for answering questions that, until recently, could not be tackled due to instrumental limitations.

We therefore invite authors to submit both original and review articles dealing with the application of analytical methods in environmental research, focusing on different types of contaminants and their fate in different parts of the environment.

Dr. Željka Fiket
Dr. Maja Ivanić
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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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 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 2700 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
  • contaminants
  • environmental impact assessment
  • analytical techniques
  • environmental pollution

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

17 pages, 2808 KiB  
Article
Simultaneous Analysis of Cyanotoxins β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) and Microcystins-RR, -LR, and -YR Using Liquid Chromatography–Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS/MS)
by Sercan Pravadali-Cekic, Aleksandar Vojvodic, Jake P. Violi, Simon M. Mitrovic, Kenneth J. Rodgers and David P. Bishop
Molecules 2023, 28(18), 6733; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28186733 - 21 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1005
Abstract
β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) and its isomers, 2,4-diaminobutyric acid (2,4-DAB) and N-(2-aminoethyl)-glycine (AEG), along with microcystins (MCs)-RR, -LR, and -YR (the major MC congeners), are cyanotoxins that can cause detrimental health and environmental impacts during toxic blooms. Currently, there are no reverse-phase (RP) LC-MS/MS methods [...] Read more.
β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) and its isomers, 2,4-diaminobutyric acid (2,4-DAB) and N-(2-aminoethyl)-glycine (AEG), along with microcystins (MCs)-RR, -LR, and -YR (the major MC congeners), are cyanotoxins that can cause detrimental health and environmental impacts during toxic blooms. Currently, there are no reverse-phase (RP) LC-MS/MS methods for the simultaneous detection and quantification of BMAA, its isomers, and the major MCs in a single analysis; therefore, multiple analyses are required to assess the toxic load of a sample. Here, we present a newly developed and validated method for the detection and quantification of BMAA, 2,4-DAB, AEG, MC-LR, MC-RR, and MC-YR using RP LC-MS/MS. Method validation was performed, assessing linearity (r2 > 0.996), accuracy (>90% recovery for spiked samples), precision (7% relative standard deviation), and limits of detection (LODs) and quantification (LOQs) (ranging from 0.13 to 1.38 ng mL−1). The application of this combined cyanotoxin analysis on a culture of Microcystis aeruginosa resulted in the simultaneous detection of 2,4-DAB (0.249 ng mg−1 dry weight (DW)) and MC-YR (4828 ng mg−1 DW). This study provides a unified method for the quantitative analysis of BMAA, its isomers, and three MC congeners in natural environmental samples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Analytical Techniques in Environmental Chemistry)
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21 pages, 5690 KiB  
Article
Use of Euphorbia balsamifera Extract in Precursor Fabrication of Silver Nanoparticles for Efficient Removal of Bromocresol Green and Bromophenol Blue Toxic Dyes
by Salha M. Aljubiri, Walaa H. El-Shwiniy, Ayman A. O. Younes, Eid H. Alosaimi and Badr Abd El-wahaab
Molecules 2023, 28(9), 3934; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28093934 - 06 May 2023
Viewed by 1352
Abstract
Silver nanoparticles (Ag-NPs) are attracting great attention for their use in various applications, along with methods for their green and facile production. In this study, we present a new eco-friendly approach based on the use of Euphorbia balsamifera extract (EBE) in the green [...] Read more.
Silver nanoparticles (Ag-NPs) are attracting great attention for their use in various applications, along with methods for their green and facile production. In this study, we present a new eco-friendly approach based on the use of Euphorbia balsamifera extract (EBE) in the green synthesis of silver nanoparticles (Ag-NPs), which are then applied as a reducing and stabilizing agent for the efficient removal of water-based reactive dyes such as bromocresol green (BCG) and bromophenol blue (BPB). The as-prepared Ag-NPs are quasi-spherical in shape, with an average diameter of 20–34 nm. Diverse characterization methods, including X-ray diffractometry (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) analysis, were used to analyze these Ag-NPs. The results reveal that water-soluble biomolecules in the Euphorbia balsamifera extract play an important role in the formation of the Ag-NPs. The removal of toxic dyes was studied under varied operational parameters such as Ag-NP dosage, initial dye concentration, pH, stirring time, and temperature. Under the optimum investigated conditions, nearly 99.12% and 97.25% of the bromocresol green and bromophenol blue dyes, respectively, were removed. Both BCG and BPB adsorption were found to adhere to pseudo-second-order kinetics (r22 = 1 and 0.995) and fit the Langmuir isotherm models well (R12 = 0.998 and 0.994), with maximal monolayer adsorption capacities of 20.40 and 41.03 mg/g, respectively. Their adsorption processes were observed to be intrinsically endothermic. The results confirm the potential of the Euphorbia balsamifera extract as a low-cost, nontoxic, and eco-friendly natural resource for the synthesis of Ag-NPs that may be useful in the remediation of hazardous dye-contaminated water sources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Analytical Techniques in Environmental Chemistry)
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11 pages, 804 KiB  
Article
The Changes in Cyanobacterial Concentration of β-Methylamino-L-Alanine during a Bloom Event
by Siobhan J. Peters, Kenneth J. Rodgers, Simon M. Mitrovic and David P. Bishop
Molecules 2022, 27(21), 7382; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27217382 - 30 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1173
Abstract
β-N-methylamino L-alanine (BMAA) is a neurotoxin linked to high incidences of neurodegenerative disease. The toxin, along with two of its common isomers, 2,4-diaminobuytric acid (2,4-DAB) and N-(2-aminoethyl)glycine (AEG), is produced by multiple genera of cyanobacteria worldwide. Whilst there are many reports of locations [...] Read more.
β-N-methylamino L-alanine (BMAA) is a neurotoxin linked to high incidences of neurodegenerative disease. The toxin, along with two of its common isomers, 2,4-diaminobuytric acid (2,4-DAB) and N-(2-aminoethyl)glycine (AEG), is produced by multiple genera of cyanobacteria worldwide. Whilst there are many reports of locations and species of cyanobacteria associated with the production of BMAA during a bloom, there is a lack of information tracking changes in concentration across a single bloom event. This study aimed to measure the concentrations of BMAA and its isomers through the progression and end of a cyanobacteria bloom event using liquid chromatography-triple quadrupole-mass spectrometry. BMAA was detected in all samples analysed, with a decreasing trend observed as the bloom progressed. BMAA’s isomers were also detected in all samples, however, they did not follow the same decreasing pattern. This study highlights the potential for current sampling protocols that measure a single time point as representative of a bloom’s overall toxin content to underestimate BMAA concentration during a bloom event. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Analytical Techniques in Environmental Chemistry)
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17 pages, 3170 KiB  
Article
Adult Honeybees and Beeswax as Indicators of Trace Elements Pollution in a Vulnerable Environment: Distribution among Different Apicultural Compartments
by Effrosyni Zafeiraki, Rastislav Sabo, Konstantinos M. Kasiotis, Kyriaki Machera, Lucia Sabová and Tomáš Majchrák
Molecules 2022, 27(19), 6629; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27196629 - 06 Oct 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1684
Abstract
Bees in search of diet sources intensively fly within a radius of up to 3 km, encountering nectar, pollen, and water sources which are potentially contaminated. Consequently, their products can provide valuable information about potential pollution. In the current study, 27 macro and [...] Read more.
Bees in search of diet sources intensively fly within a radius of up to 3 km, encountering nectar, pollen, and water sources which are potentially contaminated. Consequently, their products can provide valuable information about potential pollution. In the current study, 27 macro and trace elements, including the most hazardous ones, were measured in bees, honey, wax, pollen, and larvae, obtained from seven explicitly industrial areas in eastern regions of Slovakia, using a validated ICP-MS method. All the analysed elements were detected at least in one matrix. The detected concentrations of toxic elements, such as Hg, Pb, and Cd were in some cases higher in wax and bee samples, compared with honey, larvae, and pollen. In particular, Pb and Hg maximum concentrations were detected in the wax samples from Poša (3193 µg/kg) and Strážske_A (90 μg/kg). In addition, adult bees accumulated more elements than larvae, while wax and adult bees seemed more suitable for monitoring macro and trace elements in the surrounding environment. Statistical analysis emphasizing bees and wax correlated Cd with the Strážske area, possibly attributed to the intensified industrial activity in this region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Analytical Techniques in Environmental Chemistry)
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24 pages, 2502 KiB  
Article
Can Urban Grassland Plants Contribute to the Phytoremediation of Soils Contaminated with Heavy Metals
by Zvjezdana Stančić, Željka Fiket and Dinko Vujević
Molecules 2022, 27(19), 6558; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27196558 - 04 Oct 2022
Viewed by 1679
Abstract
The main objective of this study was to investigate whether the most common wild plant species of urban grassland can be used for phytoremediation of soils polluted with heavy metals. The study was conducted in the city of Varaždin, in northern Croatia. The [...] Read more.
The main objective of this study was to investigate whether the most common wild plant species of urban grassland can be used for phytoremediation of soils polluted with heavy metals. The study was conducted in the city of Varaždin, in northern Croatia. The content of heavy metals (Cd, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb, Zn) was determined in soil samples as well as in unwashed and washed plant samples (Taraxacum officinale, Plantago lanceolata, Trifolium repens). The results show that the most polluted site is the railway station, while most sites are polluted by road traffic. The soils are most enriched with Pb, Cu, Zn and Cd. The bioconcentration factors for all three plant species are <1, indicating the relatively low capacity of phytoextraction. A considerable amount of heavy metals is found in the dust deposited on the plant surface, which is confirmed by a statistically significant difference between washed and unwashed plant samples. In addition, the biomass of each plant species that can be removed (in t/ha year), the mass of specific heavy metal that can be removed (in kg/ha), and the years required for phytoremediation are reported. In conclusion, phytoremediation with only common plant species of urban grassland is not possible within a reasonable period of time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Analytical Techniques in Environmental Chemistry)
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