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Special Issue "Organic Pollutant Analysis in the Environment"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2022) | Viewed by 4452

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Sandra Pérez
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Water, Environmental and Food Chemistry (ENFOCHEM), Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research IDAEA-CSIC, Barcelona, Spain
Interests: organic contaminants; fate and transformation; aquatic environment; biota; high resolution mass spectrometry
Dr. Nicola Montemurro
E-Mail Website
Assistant Guest Editor
Department of Environmental and Food Chemistry (ENFOCHEM), Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research (IDAEA-CSIC), 08034 Barcelona, Spain
Interests: wastewater reuse; pharmaceuticals; plant uptake; soil contamination; LC-HRMS/MS

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Over the last few decades, increasing numbers of water-soluble organic pollutants have been found in the environment. In fact, wastewater is considered the main source of water-soluble organic pollutants such as human drugs, which unfortunately are not completely removed during traditional wastewater treatment processes.

Due to their presence in wastewater effluents, these pollutants can thus easily reach the aquatic environment, spreading their adverse effects on aquatic organisms such as fish or invertebrates. Alternatively, following the reuse of wastewater in agriculture, they can end up in the soil and be taken up by crops, posing a potential risk to plants and humans.

Although there is a lack of legislation globally on minimum requirements for drugs and other wastewater borne pollutants, monitoring and surveillance of these contaminants are critical to assess environmental risk and support governments in establishing drug regulation in the aquatic environment. Currently, the scarcity of sensitive multiresidue analytical methods represents the bottleneck for the comprehensive screening of thousands of pollutants. Nonetheless, the latest advances in chromatographic techniques and mass spectrometry tools have facilitated the separation and detection of compounds from all types of environmental matrices, even at the trace level. Additionally, LC-HRMS/MS systems (QTOF and Orbitrap analyzers) offer increased reliability by providing the ability to perform suspect or non-target screening.

Hence, we are pleased to invite you to contribute with original research papers or review papers to this Special Issue of Molecules, addressing the topic of surveillance of organic pollutants, including pharmaceutical substances and organic polar compounds in the environment and novel analytical procedures for their quantification as well as their detection in different matrices.

Prof. Dr. Sandra Pérez
Guest Editor

Dr. Nicola Montemurro
Assistant 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 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 2300 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

  • organic contaminants
  • waters
  • crops
  • fish
  • sample preparation and extraction
  • low- and high-resolution mass spectrometry
  • target analysis
  • suspect screening
  • non-target analysis

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Article
Screening of Contaminants of Emerging Concern in Surface Water and Wastewater Effluents, Assisted by the Persistency-Mobility-Toxicity Criteria
Molecules 2022, 27(12), 3915; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27123915 - 18 Jun 2022
Viewed by 682
Abstract
Contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) are compounds of diverse origins that have not been deeply studied in the past which are now accruing growing environmental interest. The NOR-Water project aimed to identify the main CECs and their sources in the water environment of [...] Read more.
Contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) are compounds of diverse origins that have not been deeply studied in the past which are now accruing growing environmental interest. The NOR-Water project aimed to identify the main CECs and their sources in the water environment of Northern Portugal–Galicia (located in northwest Spain) transnational region. To achieve these goals, a suspect screening analytical methodology based on the use of liquid chromatography coupled to high resolution mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS) was applied to 29 sampling sites in two campaigns. These sampling sites included river and sea water, as well as treated wastewater. The screening was driven by a library of over 3500 compounds, which included 604 compounds prioritized from different relevant lists on the basis of the persistency, mobility, and toxicity criteria. Thus, a total of 343 chemicals could be tentatively identified in the analyzed samples. This list of 343 identified chemicals was submitted to the classification workflow used for prioritization and resulted in 153 chemicals tentatively classified as persistent, mobile, and toxic (PMT) and 23 as very persistent and very mobile (vMvP), pinpointing the relevance of these types of chemicals in the aqueous environment. Pharmaceuticals, such as the antidepressant venlafaxine or the antipsychotic sulpiride, and industrial chemicals, especially high production volume chemicals (HPVC) such as ε-caprolactam, were the groups of compounds that were detected at the highest frequencies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organic Pollutant Analysis in the Environment)
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Article
Use of Passive and Grab Sampling and High-Resolution Mass Spectrometry for Non-Targeted Analysis of Emerging Contaminants and Their Semi-Quantification in Water
Molecules 2022, 27(10), 3167; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27103167 - 16 May 2022
Viewed by 510
Abstract
Different groups of organic micropollutants including pharmaceuticals and pesticides have emerged in the environment in the last years, resulting in a rise in environmental and human health risks. In order to face up and evaluate these risks, there is an increasing need to [...] Read more.
Different groups of organic micropollutants including pharmaceuticals and pesticides have emerged in the environment in the last years, resulting in a rise in environmental and human health risks. In order to face up and evaluate these risks, there is an increasing need to assess their occurrence in the environment. Therefore, many studies in the past couple of decades were focused on the improvements in organic micropollutants’ extraction efficiency from the different environmental matrices, as well as their mass spectrometry detection parameters and acquisition modes. This paper presents different sampling methodologies and high-resolution mass spectrometry-based non-target screening workflows for the identification of pharmaceuticals, pesticides, and their transformation products in different kinds of water (domestic wastewater and river water). Identification confidence was increased including retention time prediction in the workflow. The applied methodology, using a passive sampling technique, allowed for the identification of 85 and 47 contaminants in the wastewater effluent and river water, respectively. Finally, contaminants’ prioritization was performed through semi-quantification in grab samples as a fundamental step for monitoring schemes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organic Pollutant Analysis in the Environment)
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Article
Assessing the Influence of Electrode Polarity on the Treatment of Poultry Slaughterhouse Wastewater
Molecules 2022, 27(3), 1014; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27031014 - 02 Feb 2022
Viewed by 480
Abstract
Electrochemical methods have been increasingly gaining popularity in the field of wastewater treatment. However, the performance of these methods can be highly affected by the polarity direction as determined by the electrodes arrangement (anode to cathode or cathode to anode); as well as [...] Read more.
Electrochemical methods have been increasingly gaining popularity in the field of wastewater treatment. However, the performance of these methods can be highly affected by the polarity direction as determined by the electrodes arrangement (anode to cathode or cathode to anode); as well as the characteristics of the wastewater to be treated as determined by the type of wastewater. The presented research work investigated the relationship between polarity direction and the removal of pollutants from poultry slaughterhouse wastewater using titanium and aluminium electrode materials. In the first case, the wastewater was exposed to the Ti (anode)-Al (cathode) combination, whereas in the second case the wastewater was subjected to the Al (anode)-Ti (cathode) arrangement. The two cases were designed to see if the polarity direction of the chosen electrode materials affected the removal of pollutants. The removal efficiencies were computed as a ratio of the remaining concentration in the treated effluent to the concentration before treatment. It was observed that the production processes generate highly fluctuating wastewater in terms of pollution loading; for instance, 422 to 5340 Pt-Co (minimum to maximum) were recorded from color, 126 to 2264 mg/L were recorded from total dissolved solids, and 358 to 5998 mg/L from chemical oxygen demand. Also, the research results after 40 min of retention time showed that both electrode arrangements achieved relatively high removal efficiencies; Whereby, the aluminium to titanium polarity achieved up to 100% removal efficiency from turbidity while the titanium to aluminium polarity achieved a maximum of 99.95% removal efficiency from turbidty. Also, a similar phenomenon was observed from total dissolved solids; whereby, on average 0 mg/L was achieved when the wastewater was purified using the aluminium to titanium arrangement, while on average 2 mg/L was achieved from the titanium to aluminium arrangement. A little higher removal efficiency discrepancy was observed from ammonia; whereby, the aluminium to titanium arrangement outperformed the titanium to aluminium arrangement with average removal efficiencies of 82.27% and 64.11%, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organic Pollutant Analysis in the Environment)
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Article
Investigating the Influence of Column Depth on the Treatment of Textile Wastewater Using Natural Zeolite
Molecules 2021, 26(22), 7030; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26227030 - 21 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 629
Abstract
Textile industry production processes generate one of the most highly polluted wastewaters in the world. Unfortunately, the field is also challenged by the availability of relatively cheap and highly effective technologies for wastewater purification. The application of natural zeolite as a depth filter [...] Read more.
Textile industry production processes generate one of the most highly polluted wastewaters in the world. Unfortunately, the field is also challenged by the availability of relatively cheap and highly effective technologies for wastewater purification. The application of natural zeolite as a depth filter offers an alternative and potential approach for textile wastewater treatment. The performance of a depth filter treatment system can be deeply affected by the column depth and the characteristics of the wastewater to be treated. Regrettably, the information on the potential of these filter materials for the purification of textile wastewater is still scarce. Therefore, this study investigated the potential applicability of natural zeolite in terms of column depth for the treatment of textile wastewater. From the analysis results, it was observed that the filtration efficiencies were relatively low (6.1 to 13.7%) for some parameters such as total dissolved solids, electrical conductivity, chemical oxygen demand, and sodium chloride when the wastewater samples were subjected to the 0.5 m column depth. Relatively high efficiency of 82 and 93.8% was observed from color and total suspended solids, respectively, when the wastewater samples were subjected to the 0.5 m column depth. Generally, the 0.75 m column depth achieved removal efficiencies ranging from 52.3% to 97.5%, whereas the 1 m column depth achieved removal efficiencies ranging from 86.9% to 99.4%. The highest removal efficiency was achieved with a combination of total suspended solids and 1 m column depth (99.4%). In summary, the treatment approach was observed to be highly effective for the removal of total suspended solids, with a 93.8% removal efficiency when the wastewater was subjected to the 0.5 m column depth, 97.5% for 0.75 m column depth, and 99.4% for 1 m column depth. Moreover, up to 218.233 mg of color per g of the filter material was captured. The results derived in this study provide useful information towards the potential applicability of natural zeolite in the textile wastewater treatment field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organic Pollutant Analysis in the Environment)
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Article
Transformation of Tetracycline by Manganese Peroxidase from Phanerochaete chrysosporium
Molecules 2021, 26(22), 6803; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26226803 - 11 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 711
Abstract
The negative impacts on the ecosystem of antibiotic residues in the environment have become a global concern. However, little is known about the transformation mechanism of antibiotics by manganese peroxidase (MnP) from microorganisms. This work investigated the transformation characteristics, the antibacterial activity of [...] Read more.
The negative impacts on the ecosystem of antibiotic residues in the environment have become a global concern. However, little is known about the transformation mechanism of antibiotics by manganese peroxidase (MnP) from microorganisms. This work investigated the transformation characteristics, the antibacterial activity of byproducts, and the degradation mechanism of tetracycline (TC) by purified MnP from Phanerochaete chrysosporium. The results show that nitrogen-limited and high level of Mn2+ medium could obtain favorable MnP activity and inhibit the expression of lignin peroxidase by Phanerochaete chrysosporium. The purified MnP could transform 80% tetracycline in 3 h, and the threshold of reaction activator (H2O2) was about 0.045 mmol L−1. After the 3rd cyclic run, the transformation rate was almost identical at the low initial concentration of TC (77.05–88.47%), while it decreased when the initial concentration was higher (49.36–60.00%). The antimicrobial potency of the TC transformation products by MnP decreased throughout reaction time. We identified seven possible degradation products and then proposed a potential TC transformation pathway, which included demethylation, oxidation of the dimethyl amino, decarbonylation, hydroxylation, and oxidative dehydrogenation. These findings provide a novel comprehension of the role of MnP on the fate of antibiotics in nature and may develop a potential technology for tetracycline removal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organic Pollutant Analysis in the Environment)
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Article
Preparation and Self-Cleaning Performance of Carbon-Based Superhydrophobic Coatings Based on Non-Fluorine and Non-Toxic Corn Straw
Molecules 2021, 26(21), 6401; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26216401 - 22 Oct 2021
Viewed by 737
Abstract
Recently, superhydrophobic surfaces with self-cleaning ability have attracted broad research interest due to their huge potential in daily lives and industrial applications, but the use of fluorinate, toxic organic compounds, and expensive feedstocks make superhydrophobic materials a great challenge in practical application. In [...] Read more.
Recently, superhydrophobic surfaces with self-cleaning ability have attracted broad research interest due to their huge potential in daily lives and industrial applications, but the use of fluorinate, toxic organic compounds, and expensive feedstocks make superhydrophobic materials a great challenge in practical application. In this study, we present a facile dip-coating strategy to prepare superhydrophobic coatings with self-cleaning properties based on a non-fluorine and non-toxic system by using eco-friendly corn straw as raw material. During this process, aromatic carbon particles with rough hierarchical structures were prepared firstly via a simple fast pyrolysis process, followed by modification with polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) in absolute ethanol solvent to decrease the surface free energy. Research shows these natural straw-derived carbons display a microstructure of several protrusions which is similar to the lotus leave’s and the resulted coatings exhibit an outstanding superhydrophobic property with a static water contact angle (WCA) of 151.67 ± 1.36 degrees. In addition, the as-prepared coatings possessed excellent self-cleaning performance: no contaminations were observed on the surfaces after examining with sludge, calcimine, water, and common liquids such as tea, milk, soybean milk as well as ink, which have a broad range of potential application in the field of antifouling, waterproofing, and anticorrosive. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organic Pollutant Analysis in the Environment)
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