[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this study, we discussed the impacts of human water consumption to the nutrient burden in a river estuary, and used Huanghe River as a case study. The agricultural water consumption from the Huanghe River has significantly decreased the natural water flows, and the amount of water consumption could be almost twice as high as the water entering into the estuary. According to our calculation, agricultural water usage decreased TN outflows by 6.5 × 104 Mg/year and TP outflows by 2.0 × 103 Mg/year. These account for 74% and 77% of the total output loads. It has been widely reported that the majority of the rivers in northern China were severely polluted by nutrients. Its implication on the budget of nutrient in the estuary ecosystem is not well characterized. Our study showed that the discharge of nutrients in the coast waters from polluted rivers was over concerned. Nutrients in the polluted rivers were transported back to the terrestrial systems when water was drawn for human water consumption. The magnitudes of changes in riverine nutrient discharges even exceed the water-sediment regulation trails in the Huanghe River. It has non-negligible impact on estimating the nutrient burden in costal water ecosystem.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Based on monthly monitoring data of unfiltered water, the nutrient discharges of the eight main rivers flowing into the coastal waters of China were calculated from 2006 to 2012. In 2012, the total load of NH3-N (calculated in nitrogen), total nitrogen (TN, calculated in nitrogen) and total phosphorus (TP, calculated in phosphorus) was 5.1 × 10(5), 3.1 × 10(6) and 2.8 × 10(5) tons, respectively, while in 2006, the nutrient load was 7.4 × 10(5), 2.2 × 10(6) and 1.6 × 10(5) tons, respectively. The nutrient loading from the eight major rivers into the coastal waters peaked in summer and autumn, probably due to the large water discharge in the wet season. The Yangtze River was the largest riverine nutrient source for the coastal waters, contributing 48% of the NH3-N discharges, 66% of the TN discharges and 84% of the TP discharges of the eight major rivers in 2012. The East China Sea received the majority of the nutrient discharges, i.e. 50% of NH3-N (2.7 × 10(5) tons), 70% of TN (2.2 × 10(6) tons) and 87% of TP (2.5 × 10(5) tons) in 2012. The riverine discharge of TN into the Yellow Sea and Bohai Sea was lower than that from the direct atmospheric deposition, while for the East China Sea, the riverine TN input was larger.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Scientific Reports
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Atmospheric mercury (Hg) in the Arctic shows much weaker or insignificant annual declines relative to northern mid-latitudes over the past decade (2000-2009), but with strong seasonality in trends. We use a global ocean-atmosphere model of Hg (GEOS-Chem) to simulate these observed trends and determine the driving environmental variables. The atmospheric decline at northern mid-latitudes can largely be explained by decreasing North Atlantic oceanic evasion. The mid-latitude atmospheric signal propagates to the Arctic but is there countered by rapid Arctic warming and declining sea ice, which suppresses deposition and promotes oceanic evasion over the Arctic Ocean. The resulting simulation implies a decline of Hg in the Arctic surface ocean that we estimate to be -0.67% yr-1 over the study period. Rapid Arctic warming and declining sea ice are projected for future decades and would drive a sustained decline in Arctic Ocean Hg, potentially alleviating the methylmercury exposure risk for northern populations.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · Geophysical Research Letters
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In order to investigate anthropometric effects of mercury (Hg) exposure, we examined the status of human prenatal exposure to Hg species, including total mercury (THg), methylmercury (MeHg) and inorganic mercury (IHg), in North China, as well as their potential effects on fetal and infant growth. Hg concentrations in various bioindicators were measured from 50 Chinese women and newborns in 2011. The participants were followed for 12 months to collect anthropometric information. Linear and two-level regression analyses were performed to determine the associations between Hg levels and body growth. The geometric mean levels of THg in the placenta, cord blood, fetal hair, and maternal blood, hair and urine were 25.88 μg/kg dry wt, 2.73 μg/L, 572.98 μg/kg, 2.29 μg/L, 576.54 μg/kg, and 0.58 μg/g creatinine, respectively. Nearly 100% of Hg presented as IHg in urine, and the percentage of IHg in other bioindicators was 14.86%-48.73%. We observed significantly negative associations between Hg levels in some matrixes and anthropometry of neonates (weight and height) and infants (height) (p<0.05). THg levels in maternal hair were also negatively associated with infant growth rate of weight during 12 months after delivery (p=0.017). This study suggests that low-level prenatal Hg exposure could play a role in attenuating fetal and infant growth, and the effects of MeHg and IHg are different.
No preview · Article · May 2015 · Environmental Science & Technology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Primary nonferrous metal smelting is one of the most significant anthropogenic mercury emission sources. A spatially resolved mercury emission inventory over a long time span is essential for assessment of mercury source attribution and mercury transport modeling. In this study, based on updated technology-based emission factors, the atmospheric mercury emissions originating from primary zinc, lead and copper smelting in China were calculated. The inventory indicated that the total mercury emission from nonferrous metal smelting in China was 14.65 Mg in 2010, lower than the estimations in previous studies. The contributions of point and non-point sources were 23.3% and 76.7%, respectively. In 2010, the mercury emission from primary zinc, lead and copper smelting was 7.49, 6.05 and 1.10 Mg, respectively, and the Hg2+, Hg0 and HgP emissions were 8.10, 6.16 and 0.75 Mg, respectively. Spatially, the province with the largest emission was Sichuan, followed by Henan, Gansu, Shaanxi, Hunan and Yunnan provinces. The historical emissions were estimated based on dynamic emission factors that take the temporal technology changes into consideration. During 1949-2010, the cumulative mercury emission from China's nonferrous metal smelting was 323.0 Mg, of which the emission from lead smelting accounted for 44.6%, followed by zinc smelting (32.8%) and copper smelting (22.6%). From 1949 to 2010, the contribution of mercury emission from zinc smelting increased from 1.4% to 53.7%, while that from lead smelting showed a decreasing trend. For copper smelting, its contribution reached the maximum (40.1%) in 1987.
No preview · Article · Feb 2015 · Atmospheric Environment
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Soils contaminated by Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) are subject to significant non-point source (NPS) pollution during rainfall events. Recent studies revealed that the classic enrichment ratio (ER) approach may not be applicable to PAHs. This study developed a model to estimate the ER of PAHs which innovatively applies the fugacity concept. The ER model has been validated with experimental data, which suggested that the transport of PAHs not only depends on their physicochemical properties, but on the sediment composition and how the composition evolves during the event. The modeling uncertainty was systematically examined, and found to be highly compound-dependent. Based on the ER model, a strategy was proposed to practically evaluate the potential NPS loading of PAHs in watersheds with heterogeneous soils. The study results have important implications to modeling and managing the NPS pollution of PAHs (or other chemicals alike) at a watershed scale.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · Environmental Pollution
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In recent years, an incentive for developing simple and cost-effective samplers that are capable of monitoring over an extended period and require nonattendance at remote locations was obvious. Compared to traditional active sampling approaches, passive samplers require no electric power and are more flexible in field deployment, thus they are more appropriate for screening applications and long-term sampling. However, the performance of passive samplers may be influenced by meteorological factors, therefore inducing bias for the result of passive sampling. In this study, the effects of temperature, relative humidity, and wind speed on the performance of a novel passive sampler for gaseous mercury were investigated. The meteorological factors were well controlled in an exposure chamber. The passive samplers were tested in different conditions: temperature ranging from −10 to 35 °C, relative humidity ranging from 25 to 90%, wind speed ranging from 0.5 to 5.0 m s−1. The results showed that temperature and relative humidity had no significant influence on the performance of the passive sampler. However, wind speed was found to have significant impact on the sampling rate of the passive sampler. Wind correction should be considered when making comparisons among samplings with different average wind speeds. In the field application in Beijing and Tibet site, the passively measured data were well correlated with the active measurements.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · Atmospheric Environment
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Effort of reducing CO2 emissions in developing countries may require an increasing utilization of biomass fuels. Biomass pellets seem well-suited for residential biomass markets. However, there is limited quantitative information on pollutant emissions from biomass pellets burning, especially those measured in real applications. In this study, biomass pellets and raw biomass fuels were burned in a pellet burner and a conventional stove respectively, in rural households, and metal emissions were determined. Results showed that the emission factors (EFs) ranged 3.20-5.57 (Pb), 5.20-7.58 (Cu), 0.11-0.23 (Cd), 12.67-39.00 (As), 0.59-1.31 mg/kg (Ni) for pellets, and 0.73-1.34 (Pb), 0.92-4.48 (Cu), 0.08-0.14 (Cd), 7.29-13.22 (As), 0.28-0.62 (Ni) mg/kg for raw biomass. For unit energy delivered to cooking vessels, the EFs ranged 0.42-0.77 (Pb), 0.79-1.16 (Cu), 0.01-0.03 (Cd), 1.93-5.09 (As), 0.08-0.19 mg/MJ (Ni) for pellets, and 0.30-0.56 (Pb), 0.41-1.86 (Cu), 0.04-0.06 (Cd), 3.25-5.49 (As), 0.12-0.26 (Ni) mg/MJ for raw biomass. This study found that moisture, volatile matter and modified combustion efficiency were the important factors affecting metal emissions. Comparisons of the mass-based and task-based EFs found that biomass pellets produced higher metal emissions than the same amount of raw biomass. However, metal emissions from pellets were not higher in terms of unit energy delivered.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Considering the different ability of placental transfer, an assessment of the cord:maternal blood ratio for both methylmercury (MeHg) and inorganic mercury (IHg) is needed especially for interpreting the low-level prenatal exposure. In this study, we conducted a Monte Carlo-based meta-analysis to comprehensively estimate that ratio for MeHg (RMeHg) and IHg (RIHg). The obtained values followed log-normal distributions, with a mean (standard deviation) of 1.89 (0.98) and 1.01 (0.55) for RMeHg and RIHg, respectively. We also estimated the percentage of MeHg in the blood by means of THg in cord and maternal blood using the RMeHg and RIHg, and obtained a value very close to the measured one (relative deviation, -0.4%). In conclusion, the fetus is exposed to approximately twice as much MeHg and to the same level of IHg as in maternal blood; the introduced model provides a rough but reasonable estimate of the percentage of MeHg in the blood.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Urban stormwater runoff delivers a significant amount of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), mostly of atmospheric origin, to receiving water bodies. The PAH pollution of urban stormwater runoff poses serious risk to aquatic life and human health, but has been overlooked by environmental modeling and management. This study proposed a dynamic modeling approach for assessing the PAH pollution and its associated environmental risk. A variable time-step model was developed to simulate the continuous cycles of pollutant buildup and washoff. To reflect the complex interaction among different environmental media (i.e. atmosphere, dust and stormwater), the dependence of the pollution level on antecedent weather conditions was investigated and embodied in the model. Long-term simulations of the model can be efficiently performed, and probabilistic features of the pollution level and its risk can be easily determined. The applicability of this approach and its value to environmental management was demonstrated by a case study in Beijing, China. The results showed that Beijing's PAH pollution of road runoff is relatively severe, and its associated risk exhibits notable seasonal variation. The current sweeping practice is effective in mitigating the pollution, but the effectiveness is both weather-dependent and compound-dependent. The proposed modeling approach can help identify critical timing and major pollutants for monitoring, assessing and controlling efforts to be focused on. The approach is extendable to other urban areas, as well as to other contaminants with similar fate and transport as PAHs.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · Science of The Total Environment
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this study, we examined the heterogeneous reduction of Hg(II) on the coal fly ash samples and synthetic aerosols under different light conditions in a controlled laboratory reactor. Three types of coal fly ashes were studied: a high carbon fly ash from a stoker boiler, a low carbon/low sulfate fly ash from a pulverized coal combustor burning low sulfur coal, and a high sulfate fly ash from a pulverized coal combustor burning high sulfur coal. The rate of Hg(II) reduction on the three diverse fly ash samples was found to be relatively fast with an average half-life of 1.6 h under clear sky atmospheric conditions (under the irradiance of 1000 W/m2). The reduction rate in the low sulfate/low carbon fly ash was approximately 1.5 times faster than with the other coal fly ash samples. Synthetic aerosols made of carbon black and levoglucosan produced Hg(II) reduction rates similar to coal fly ashes. However, aerosols composed of adipic acid resulted in reduction rates that were 3–5 times faster. The sensitivity of adipic acid reduction to light source wavelength was found to be greater than for the coal fly ash and other synthetic aerosols. Aerosols made from the water extracts of coal fly ash samples produced reduction rates equal to or slightly higher than with the native fly ash suggesting that the soluble components of fly ash play a significant role in the reduction mechanism. The measured reduction rates are likely important in the chemical processing of mercury in power plant plumes and potentially in the atmosphere and should be considered for incorporation in atmospheric transport models that are used to understand the fate of atmospheric mercury.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · Atmospheric Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Considering the different ability of placental transfer, an assessment of the cord:maternal blood ratio for both methylmercury (MeHg) and inorganic mercury (IHg) is needed especially for interpreting the low-level prenatal exposure. In this study, we conducted a Monte Carlo-based meta-analysis to comprehensively estimate that ratio for MeHg (RMeHg) and IHg (RIHg). The obtained values followed log-normal distributions, with a mean (standard deviation) of 1.89 (0.98) and 1.01 (0.55) for RMeHg and RIHg, respectively. We also estimated the percentage of MeHg in the blood by means of THg in cord and maternal blood using the RMeHg and RIHg, and obtained a value very close to the measured one (relative deviation, −0.4%). In conclusion, the fetus is exposed to approximately twice as much MeHg and to the same level of IHg as in maternal blood; the introduced model provides a rough but reasonable estimate of the percentage of MeHg in the blood.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Design of treatment strategy considering the behavior of pollutant with respect to runoff hydrograph is important for effective management of storm runoff. In this study, a mathematical model for storm runoff management was developed. The model determines the storm runoff management strategy and the associated probability under the constraint of regulatory discharge limit, and can quantify the volume or fraction of a storm runoff that should be treated. The model application was demonstrated for total suspended solids (TSS) and benzo(a)pyrene (BaP) in urban storm runoff. The samples were collected from 15 storm runoff events in six impervious sites in Beijing urban area, and. For TSS, the probability that the whole runoff can be discharged without treatment was 46 %, and the whole runoff should be intercepted for treatment was 31 %. While under the constraint of the discharge limit for BaP, the dominant strategy was that the whole runoff should be intercepted for treatment, with a probability of 88 %. Compared with the treatment strategies, it was noted that the need for runoff treatment was more for BaP than TSS. This was because the pollution level of TSS was lower than BaP from the aspect of compliance with discharge limit. Because the most seriously contaminated and toxic pollutant should be taken as the primary indicator for runoff treatment, the treatment option for the study area should follow the strategies for BaP. This methodology may be applied for other pollutants in different watersheds.
No preview · Article · Jan 2014 · Water Resources Management
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Biomass burning is an important contributor of atmospheric mercury emissions. An inventory of mercury emissions from biomass burning with a high resolution and long time span is necessary for mercury transport modeling and emission reduction. In this study, an inventory of mercury emissions from biomass burning in China, with high spatial resolution and decade period (2000–2010), is presented, and the emission in 2020 is projected. Results showed that during 2000–2010, the annual average mercury emission from crop residues burning as fuel in household, crop residues burning as waste in fields, fuelwood burning in households, fuelwood burning for production, forest fires, and grassland fires was 2.30, 0.97, 1.66, 0.49, 0.78, and 0.01 Mg, respectively. The total emission was 6.20 Mg yr−1, lower than the results of previous studies. The majority of mercury species is in the form of Hg0, accounting for 78.9%, followed by Hgp (15.5%) and Hg2+ (5.6%). During 2000–2010, mercury emission from biomass burning decreased from 6.08 Mg in 2000 to 5.12 Mg in 2010. For spatial distribution, the mercury emissions were high in the eastern and central regions of China. Results from scenario analysis showed that mercury emission in 2020 is projected to be 6.18 Mg under the growth condition following the trend in 2005–2010 and 3.00 Mg under the condition of the anticipated new development mode. The results of this inventory study could provide useful information for further assessment of global mercury source attribution and mercury transport modeling.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Among various sources, mercury emissions from biomass fuel combustion have received growing attention. Mercury emission from biomass fuels can be estimated on the basis of the combustion amount and the emission factors (EFs). Although mercury emissions from biomass fuel combustion occur mostly in developing countries, most EFs have been measured in developed countries, leading to bias in mercury emission inventories. In this study, mercury EFs for 25 species of fuelwood, eight species of crop residues, and two types of biomass pellets were determined according to the real-life practice of residential burning. Results showed that the EFs ranges were 0.65–28.44 ng g–1 for fuelwood, 3.02–12.05 ng g–1 for crop residues, and 5.22–8.10 ng g–1 for biomass pellets. Hg0 is the dominant form of mercury emitted from biomass fuel combustion. The proportion of Hg0, Hg2+, and Hgp was 76 ± 17, 6 ± 5, and 18 ± 14% for fuelwood; 73 ± 11, 4 ± 5, and 23 ± 13% for crop residues; and 97 ± 1, 1 ± 0.2, and 2 ± 0.7% for biomass pellets, respectively. Biomass pellets can reduce mercury emissions compared with the uncompressed raw materials. On the basis of the measured EFs, inventories of mercury emission from biomass fuel combustion in rural China from 2000–2007 were estimated. The annual mercury emission ranged from 1.94 to 5.07 Mg, of which crop residues and fuelwood accounted for 62 and 38%, respectively.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The fate and transfer of mercury in urban river is an important environmental concern. In this study, QWASI (Quantitative Water-Air-Sediment Interaction) model was selected to estimate the levels of total mercury and three mercury species in water and sediment, and was used to quantify the fluxes of mercury at water/air and sediment/water interfaces of an urban river. The predicted mercury levels in water and sediments were closed to the measured values. Water inflow, re-suspension of sediment and diffusion from sediment to water are major input sources of mercury in water. The net mercury transfer flux from water to air was 0.16 ng/(m(2) h). At the sediment/water interface, a net total mercury transfer of 1.32 ng/(m(2) h) from water to sediment was seen. In addition to the existing dynamic flux chambers measurement, this model method could provide a new perspective to identify the distribution and transfer of mercury in the urban river.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A laboratory reactor system was developed to examine the role of light and aerosol composition in the reduction of oxidized mercury (Hg(ii)) in laboratory-generated aerosols. Aerosolized sodium chloride, doped with mercury chloride, was exposed to light in a fixed-bed flow-through reactor. Three spectral ranges (UV, visible and a simulated solar spectrum) were examined, along with dark experiments, to investigate the role of light conditions in mercury reduction. In addition, the role of iron in the aerosol matrix was examined. The effluent from the reactor was analyzed for Hg(0) as evidence of reduction of Hg(ii) in the reactor. Significant reduction of Hg(ii) (1.5-9.9%) was observed for all three light sources and the rate of mercury reduction was proportional to the light irradiance. The presence of iron in the aerosol matrix inhibited the reduction rate and the degree of inhibition was dependent on the chemical form of the iron in the aerosol. The observed reduction reactions may be important chemical processes in the atmosphere and could be incorporated in atmospheric transport models that are used to understand the fate of atmospheric mercury.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · Environmental Sciences: Processes and Impacts
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) transported from contaminated soils by surface runoff pose significant risk for aquatic ecosystems. Based on a rainfall-runoff simulation experiment, this study investigated the impact of carbonaceous materials (CMs) in soil, identified by organic petrology analysis, on the transport of soil-bound PAHs under rainfall conditions. The hypothesis that composition of soil organic matter significantly impacts the enrichment and transport of PAHs was proved. CMs in soil, varying significantly in content, mobility and adsorption capacity, act differently on the transport of PAHs. Anthropogenic CMs like black carbon (BC) largely control the transport, as PAHs may be preferentially attached to them. Eventually, this study led to a rethink of the traditional enrichment theory. An important implication is that CMs in soil have to be explicitly considered to appropriately model the nonpoint source pollution of PAHs (possibly other hydrophobic chemicals as well) and assess its environmental risk.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · Environmental Pollution