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Environmental Science & Technology and Environmental Science & Technology Letters Virtual Issue: Early Career Scientists

Environmental Science & Technology (ES&T) and Environmental Science & Technology Letters (ES&T Letters) are dedicated to publishing the most important, novel research across the full breadth of the environmental science and technology field. These journals recognizes the critical role that early career investigators play in discovering new phenomena and pioneering new approaches for solving old problems.  In recognition of these contributions, the editors of ES&T and ES&T Letters have created an Early Career Scientists Virtual Issue, highlighting a select group of 24 outstanding researchers.

For each article in this Virtual Issue, a brief description of the research and its significance is provided by one of the journal’s Associate Editors, along with a link to each Early Career Scientist’s webpage.

The scope of the science and application in this Virtual Issue is truly representative of the inclusiveness and diversity which are just one of the hallmarks of ES&T and ES&T Letters. All of these articles represent important topics covered in the journals.

The Editors of  ES&T and ES&T Letters hope this Virtual Issue will shine a light on rising Early Career Scientists, providing valuable contributions to the environmental science and technology field.

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High-Resolution Air Pollution Mapping with Google Street View Cars: Exploiting Big Data
Joshua S. Apte* , Kyle P. Messier, Shahzad Gani, Michael Brauer, Thomas W. Kirchstetter, Melissa M. Lunden, Julian D. Marshall, Christopher J. Portier, Roel C.H. Vermeulen, and Steven P. Hamburg
Environ. Sci. Technol., 2017, 51 (12), pp 6999–7008
DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b00891

“Although researchers have long recognized that concentrations of air pollutants vary considerably over short distances, the absence of reliable, inexpensive mobile sensor platforms has prevented the collection of data at the spatial resolution necessary to identify pollutant sources and assess publish health risks.  In this paper, Apte and co-workers deploy sensors capable of measuring NO, NO2 and black carbon on Google Street View cars.  This innovative, new approach to obtaining spatially resolved air pollution data has the potential to revolutionize our understanding of sources and impacts of pollutants in the world’s cities.”

-David Sedlak, Editor-in-Chief

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Correlation of crAssphage qPCR Markers with Culturable and Molecular Indicators of Human Fecal Pollution in an Impacted Urban Watershed
Elyse Stachler, Benay Akyon, Nathalia Aquino de Carvalho, Christian Ference, and Kyle Bibby*
Environ. Sci. Technol., 2018, 52 (13), pp 7505–7512
DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.8b00638

“Based on his unique expertise in the emerging field of environmental metagenomics, Bibby hypothesized that the Bacterioides phage, CrAssphage, would serve as a highly-specific human fecal biomarker.  Bibby and his team moved quickly to develop and validate a qPCR assay for CrAssphage and here confirm its suitability for environmental monitoring. In addition to its remarkably high specificity to human feces, its high abundance makes it a promising improvement relative to other human fecal biomarkers.  This work has the potential to be a true game-changer for fecal indicator monitoring, an arena that has been fraught with various limitations, especially non-specificity, low abundance, and lack of correlation to viral pathogens.”

-Amy Pruden, Associate Editor

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Mechanistic Study of the Validity of Using Hydroxyl Radical Probes To Characterize Electrochemical Advanced Oxidation Processes
Yin Jing and Brian P. Chaplin*
Environ. Sci. Technol., 2017, 51 (4), pp 2355–2365
DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.6b05513

“Significant research is underway to develop electrochemical and catalytic advanced oxidation processes (EAOPs and CAOPs) for treatment of recalcitrant aquatic contaminants. Identification and quantification of hydroxyl radicals (OH·) at aqueous/solid interfaces is critical for understanding and optimizing these technologies. In this paper, Jing and Chaplin combine experimental work and density function theory to critically investigate the suitability of several probe molecules commonly applied to detect OH· in EAOPs. Their results demonstrate that terephthalic acid possesses the optimum probe compound characteristics, and its use is recommended to prevent false positives that can occur with the use of other probes. This advancement has broad applications in a number of fields, including water decontamination, biofilm control, and photocatalytic energy production and storage.”

-Timothy Strathmann, Associate Editor

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Perfluoroalkylphosphinic Acids in Northern Pike (Esox lucius), Double-Crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus), and Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Relation to Other Perfluoroalkyl Acids
Amila O. De Silva*, Christine Spencer, Ki Chung D. Ho, Mohammed Al Tarhuni, Christopher Go, Magali Houde, Shane R. de Solla, Raphael A. Lavoie, Laura E. King, Derek C.G. Muir, Patricia A. Fair, Randall S. Wells, and Gregory D. Bossart
Environ. Sci. Technol., 2016, 50 (20), pp 10903–10913
DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.6b03515

“Polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFASs) have recently been described as “today’s PCBs.”  These compounds have been used primarily for their surface active properties.  PFASs are ubiquitously present in the environment as very complex mixtures.  De Silva et al. have contributed to this emerging field by measuring perfluoroalkyl phosphinic acids (PFPIAs) in northern pike, double-crested cormorants, and bottlenose dolphins collected at various locations in North America from 2004 to 2012.  This is the first report of PFPIAs in fish, bird, and dolphin plasma.  The highest PFPIA concentrations were in cormorants from Hamilton Harbor in Ontario, which is highly industrialized.”

-Ron Hites, Associate Editor

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Life Cycle Assessment and Release Studies for 15 Nanosilver-Enabled Consumer Products: Investigating Hotspots and Patterns of Contribution
Leila Pourzahedi, Marina Vance, and Matthew J. Eckelman*
Environ. Sci. Technol., 2017, 51 (12), pp 7148–7158
DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.6b05923

“Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are used widely as antimicrobial agents in, for example, wound dressings, textiles, or food storage containers. To evaluate their benefits against impacts on health and the environment, it is important to understand direct impacts related to the release and toxicity of AgNPs as well as indirect impacts from the production of the AgNPs, including silver mining and processing, as well as impacts from the production of the various materials containing AgNPs. In this paper, Eckelman and coworkers present a comprehensive evaluation of the direct and indirect environmental and health impacts of 15 AgNP-enabled consumer products. Their analysis elegantly disentangles the interplay of very different types of impacts and demonstrates that, depending on high or low AgNP content, the total impacts can be dominated by the direct impacts of the AgNPs or by the impacts from the production of the main components of the product, such as plastic or cotton. This is a highly valuable basis for the design of AgNP-enabled products.”

-Martin Scheringer, Associate Editor

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Linking Thermodynamics to Pollutant Reduction Kinetics by Fe2+ Bound to Iron Oxides
Sydney M. Stewart, Thomas B. Hofstetter , Prachi Joshi, and Christopher A. Gorski*
Environ. Sci. Technol., 2018, 52 (10), pp 5600–5609
DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.8b00481

“While the presence of iron(III) oxide mineral surfaces has long been known to increase the reduction rate of certain environmental contaminants by iron(II), a thermodynamic framework for these observations has been elusive.  In their elegant work, Gorski and co-workers found a remarkable linear relationship between the reduction potential and the rate constant for reduction of substituted nitrobenzenes.  In applying this new understanding to a compilation of data from their own laboratory and the literature, Gorski and colleagues gained mechanistic insights into the reactions and provided a unified interpretation of rate constants determined for different iron oxides and oxyhydroxides in numerous studies conducted over more than two decades.”

-Daniel Giammar, Associate Editor

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Origin and Radiative Forcing of Black Carbon Aerosol: Production and Consumption Perspectives
Jing Meng , Junfeng Liu, Kan Yi, Haozhe Yang, Dabo Guan*, Zhu Liu, Jiachen Zhang, Jiamin Ou, Stephen Dorling, Zhifu Mi, Huizhong Shen, Qirui Zhong, and Shu Tao
Environ. Sci. Technol., 2018, 52 (11), pp 6380–6389
DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.8b01873

“In a globalized world, countries need to share responsibility for emission reductions of atmospheric pollutants such as black carbon which potently increases global warming. The question then becomes how responsibility is shared for emission reductions since controlling local emissions alone does not account for some countries being the “workshops” of the world whereas others are major consumers. Guan and co-workers for the first time estimated source-receptor regions of black carbon (and its global warming impact) attributable to physical and teleconnection transport. Specifically, they connected source to receptor regions of black carbon using the global chemical transport model MOZART-4, and augmented this with teleconnecting source and receptor regions using a fully coupled multiregional input-output model. They found that although Africa and Asia were sources of black carbon and hence radiative forcing due to physical transport, virtual transport of black carbon through international trade significantly increased emissions in Asia, also due to its comparatively large emission intensity. Finally, they estimated that radiative forcing in Africa came from consumption in Europe, North America, and East Asia, which together exceeded that of total radiative forcing in North America.”

-Miriam Diamond, Associate Editor

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Removal of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria and Antibiotic Resistance Genes Affected by Varying Degrees of Fouling on Anaerobic Microfiltration Membranes
Hong Cheng and Pei-Ying Hong*
Environ. Sci. Technol., 2017, 51 (21), pp 12200–12209
DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b03798

“Hong and her Ph.D. student, Cheng, worked together to carry out a detailed study of removal of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and antibiotic resistance genes by anaerobic membrane bioreactors (AnMBRs). They chose for study Klebsiella pneumoniae and Escherichia coli carrying ESBL ARGs, which encode resistance to clinically-important antibiotics and make infections especially difficult to treat.  They were able to establish the log removal values as a function of transmembrane pressure and the membrane foulant layer, both for the bacteria and free plasmid DNA carrying ESBL ARGs.  This work can help advance the use of AnMBRs, which have advantages for eliminating cost and energy requirements associated with aeration while also generating methane as an energy source, while minimizing risk of spreading of antibiotic resistance in the process.

-Amy Pruden, Associate Editor

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Proteomics Approach To Trace Site-Specific Damage in Aquatic Extracellular Enzymes During Photoinactivation
Christine M. Egli  and Elisabeth M.-L. Janssen*
Environ. Sci. Technol., 2018, 52 (14), pp 7671–7679
DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b06439

“While photolysis is regarded as a major mechanism for inactivating extracellular enzymes that drive nutrient and carbon cycling in surface waters, the underlying molecular changes are not understood.  Janssen and Egli apply a novel proteomics approach to explain how light exposure leads to a rapid degradation of phosphatase, aminopeptidase, and glucosidase activity.  Site-specific molecular changes in the enzymes were reported for the first time.”

-Susan Richardson, Associate Editor

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Chemical Degradation of Polyacrylamide during Hydraulic Fracturing

Boya Xiong, Zachary Miller, Selina Roman-White, Travis Tasker, Benjamin Farina, Bethany Piechowicz, William D. Burgos, Prachi Joshi, Liang Zhu , Christopher A. Gorski, Andrew L. Zydney, and Manish Kumar*
Environ. Sci. Technol., 2018, 52 (1), pp 327–336
DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b00792
“Hydraulic fracturing is poses environmental challenges with its potential to impact large quantities of water with a number of inorganic and organic contaminants. The study by Kumar and colleagues sheds light on the radical-induced degradation of an important additive, polyacrylamide, that occurs under ‘downhole’ conditions and that impact the chemical composition of flowback waters that result from hydraulic fracturing. “

-Jennifer Field, Associate Editor

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Air Emission Reduction Benefits of Biogas Electricity Generation at Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plants
Daniel B. Gingerich and Meagan S. Mauter*
Environ. Sci. Technol., 2018, 52 (3), pp 1633–1643
DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b04649

“Energy represents a significant cost for wastewater treatment, and there is significant efforts in moving towards energy-neutral treatment systems that also reduce associated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  Through a comprehensive analysis of energy balances and GHG emissions, Mauter and Gingerich elegantly demonstrate the significant national benefits of retrofitting municipal wastewater treatment plant with anaerobic digesters to harvest the produced biogas for electricity and heat generation while reducing emissions of GHGs and other criteria air pollutants.”

-Pedro Alvarez, Associate Editor

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Distinct Dual C–Cl Isotope Fractionation Patterns during Anaerobic Biodegradation of 1,2-Dichloroethane: Potential To Characterize Microbial Degradation in the Field
Palau*, R. Yu, S. Hatijah Mortan, O. Shouakar-Stash, M. Rosell, D. L. Freedman, C. Sbarbati, S. Fiorenza, R. Aravena, E. Marco-Urrea, M. Elsner, A. Soler, and D. Hunkeler
Environ. Sci. Technol., 2017, 51 (5), pp 2685–2694
DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.6b04998

“It is well known that chlorohydrocarbons can be degraded by a variety microorganisms through different pathways thus making the monitoring of contaminant attenuation in the subsurface a major challenge. Palau et al. make an important step in the application of compound-specific isotope analysis –  an approach used to identify chemical and biological reactions based on changes of stable isotope ratios in the residual contaminant – by showing how carbon and chlorine isotopes fractionate through reductive dichloroelimination reactions of 1,2-dichloroethane observed in microcosms experiments and anoxic groundwaters. The proposed stable isotope indicator has a notable potential to reveal subtle differences in the mechanisms of enzyme-catalyzed reductive dechlorinations as well as the activity of contaminant-degrading bacteria.”

-Thomas Hofstetter, Associate Editor

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Oligomer-Specific, Short Chain Linear Alcohol Ethoxylate Quantification via Comprehensive Two-Dimensional Gas Chromatography
Brian D. Drollette, Rebecca J. Brenneis, and Desiree L. Plata*
Environ. Sci. Technol. Lett.,2018, 5 (9), pp 539–545
DOI: 10.1021/acs.estlett.8b00358

“The suite of organic chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing span a wide range of physicochemical properties, necessitating multiple different analysis techniques and slowing the pace of environmental assessment and risk response. In this article, Plata and her students demonstrated a one-pot extraction, identification, and quantification approach to simultaneously measure oil hydrocarbons and short-chained linear alcohol ethoxylates (LAEs). Notably, the method provides a high-throughput quantitation of LAEs for specific oligomers at environmentally-relevant concentrations. This paves the way for discovery of LAE partitioning, toxicity, and transformations, overcoming a long-standing challenge in the field.  It is important to note that current assessment techniques can lead to both over- and underestimation of diesel components in an oil-impacted water, and compound-specific assessments like the one provided here provide a more accurate assessment of the quantity and identify of the chemicals present. The method allows both for rapid screening and for new regulation to emerge for some of the most heavily used hydraulic fracturing chemicals (LAEs), which have been unregulated partially due to quantitative analysis challenges.”

-Julie Zimmerman, Associate Editor

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Unexpected Contributions of Sea Spray and Lake Spray Aerosol to Inland Particulate Matter
Nathaniel W. May, Matthew J. Gunsch, Nicole E. Olson, Amy L. Bondy, Rachel M. Kirpes, Steven B. Bertman, Swarup China, Alexander Laskin, Philip K. Hopke, Andrew P. Ault, and Kerri A. Pratt*
Environ. Sci. Technol. Lett., 2018, 5 (7), pp 405–412
DOI: 10.1021/acs.estlett.8b00254

“Although we now know that sea spray aerosol (SSA) undergoes long-range atmospheric transport to inland locations where it can scatter solar radiation and act as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN), the formation and atmospheric transport of lake spray aerosol (LSA) is less well known.  In this study, Pratt and colleagues assess the transport of SSA from Hudson Bay and LSA from Lake Michigan to a remote site in northern Michigan using a combination of single-particle mass spectrometry, electron microscopy, and air mass back trajectories.  Episodic transport of SSA and LSA was identified over the course of the 12 day field campaign, with SSA comprising up to 20% and 33% of the 0.5-2.0 um PM mass and LSA comprising up to 7% of the 0.5-2.0 um PM mass.  This study is sure to stimulate future research on the impacts of SSA and LSA on cloud formation and human health for inland areas.”

-Staci Simonich, Associate Editor

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Relationships Between Dissolved Organic Matter Composition and Photochemistry in Lakes of Diverse Trophic Status
Andrew C. Maizel, Jing Li, and Christina K. Remucal*
Environ. Sci. Technol., 2017, 51 (17), pp 9624–9632
DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b01270

“In the manuscript Remucal and coworkers use Fourier  transform-ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FT-ICR MS) is used to quantify dissolved organic matter (DOM) photochemical activity of samples from seven lakes in Northern Wisconsin using a variety of probe compounds. Correlations between the relative intensity of individual molecular formulas and reactive species production demonstrate the influence of DOM composition on photochemistry. While previous researchers have shown that commonly utilized optical properties correlate with DOM composition, Remucal and coworkers show how the ability of FT-ICR MS to characterize DOM subpopulations provides unique insight into the mechanisms through which DOM source and environmental processing determine composition and photochemical activity.”

-T. David Waite, Associate Editor

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Identification of Novel Hydrogen-Substituted Polyfluoroalkyl Ether Sulfonates in Environmental Matrices near Metal-Plating Facilities
Yongfeng Lin, Ting Ruan*, Aifeng Liu, and Guibin Jiang
Environ. Sci. Technol., 2017, 51 (20), pp 11588–11596
DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b02961

“Ruan and colleagues identified transformation products of chlorinated polyfluoroalkyl ether sulfonates (F-53B) that form under anaerobic conditions.  The group then verified that the transformation products actually occur in river waters near metal-plating facilities in China.  The identification of a transformation pathway and products enhances our understanding of the occurrence and fate of an important class of ‘alternative’ fluorinated substances.”

-Jennifer Field, Associate Editor

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Global and Local Impacts of Delayed Mercury Mitigation Efforts
Hélène Angot , Nicholas Hoffman, Amanda Giang, Colin P. Thackray, Ashley N. Hendricks, Noel R. Urban, and Noelle E. Selin*
Environ. Sci. Technol., 2018, 52 (22), pp 12968–12977
DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.8b04542

“Selin and colleagues use a spatially-resolved global model to evaluate the impact of delays in implementing international agreements to mitigate mercury emissions. The model integrates emissions, transport, deposition with biogeochemical cycling. Notably, the model considers re-emission of mercury that is continuously deposited to soils and oceans. To demonstrate the link between global emissions and local exposures, the authors present case studies of vulnerable regions, elegantly illustrating the importance of timely reduction of mercury emissions on human exposure.”

-Keri Hornbuckle, Associate Editor

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Heterogeneous OH Oxidation, Shielding Effects, and Implications for the Atmospheric Fate of Terbuthylazine and Other Pesticides
Joanna Socorro, Pascale S. J. Lakey, Lei Han, Thomas Berkemeier, Gerhard Lammel, Cornelius Zetzsch, Ulrich Pöschl, and Manabu Shiraiwa*
Environ. Sci. Technol., 2017, 51 (23), pp 13749–13754
DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b04307

” The gas-phase kinetics of the reactions between the hydroxyl radical (OH) and many organic compounds are well-known.  Rate constants for these reactions as a function of temperature are widely used in atmospheric chemistry models to predict, for example, the abundances of ozone and nitrogen oxides in cities.  These are homogenous reactions — one gas mixing and reacting with another.  Heterogeneous reactions are a different kettle of fish.  Shiraiwa and colleagues have contributed to this conundrum by focusing on terbuthylazine and its heterogeneous reactions with OH.  They conclude that the shielding effects of the surface can extend this herbicide’s atmospheric lifetimes from a few days to a few weeks.  This finding has implications on the long-range transport of this potentially toxic compound.

-Ron Hites, Associate Editor

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Effect of the Aerosol-Phase State on Secondary Organic Aerosol Formation from the Reactive Uptake of Isoprene-Derived Epoxydiols (IEPOX)
Yue Zhang, Yuzhi Chen, Andrew T. Lambe, Nicole E. Olson, Ziying Lei, Rebecca L. Craig, Zhenfa Zhang, Avram Gold, Timothy B. Onasch, John T. Jayne, Douglas R. Worsnop, Cassandra J. Gaston, Joel A. Thornton, William Vizuete, Andrew P. Ault, and Jason D. Surratt*
Environ. Sci. Technol. Lett., 2018, 5 (3), pp 167–174
DOI: 10.1021/acs.estlett.8b00044

“Knowing the reactive uptake coefficient of biogenic VOC-derived oxidation products, such as isoprene epoxydiols (IEPOX), on aerosol particles is important for estimating the production of secondary organic aerosols (SOA).  In this laboratory study, Surratt and co-workers characterize the reactive uptake of trans-b-IEPOX was measured on submicrometer acidic sulfate particles that were coated with a-pinene SOA using atmospherically relevant coating thicknesses and at selected relative humidity (RH) values.  A potential aerosol mass (PAM) oxidation flow reactor was used to create a uniform SOA layer on the acidic sulfate particles and was confirmed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM).  A zero-dimensional box model was used to assess the fraction of IEPOX forming SOA by combining the laboratory measurements with field measurements during a 2013 field campaign in Centerville, AL.  The results confirm that IEPOX-derived SOA has large diurnal variation and that more than half forms in the afternoon when the RH is between 50-60%.  Finally, this study provides important evidence that under atmospheric conditions similar to the southeastern U.S., existing SOA coatings on acidic sulfate particles likely play an important role in governing the production of IEPOX-derived SOA.”

-Staci Simonich, Associate Editor

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Electrochemical Stripping to Recover Nitrogen from Source-Separated Urine
William A. Tarpeh*, James M. Barazesh, Tzahi Y. Cath, and Kara L. Nelson
Environ. Sci. Technol., 2018, 52 (3), pp 1453–1460
DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b05488

“Urine is both a major source of nitrogen in typical domestic wastewater as well as a source of trace organic contaminants.  It is also a potentially valuable resource. Most research to date has addressed only one of these issues.  In this paper Tarpeh and co-investigators use an innovative approach to electrochemically strip out ammonia nitrogen from urine in an efficient process with multiple benefits.  When implemented on a source separated stream, this would not only significantly reduce the nitrogen load to wastewater treatment plants but produce a useful fertilizer. It also removes trace contaminants such as pharmaceuticals, lowering the overall costs of addressing these important problems and opportunities.”

-Rich Valentine, Associate Editor

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Live Fast, Die Young: Optimizing Retention Times in High-Rate Contact Stabilization for Maximal Recovery of Organics from Wastewater
Francis A. Meerburg, Nico Boon, Tim Van Winckel, Koen T. G. Pauwels, and Siegfried E. Vlaeminck*
Environ. Sci. Technol., 2016, 50 (17), pp 9781–9790
DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.6b01888

“Recovery of materials and energy from wastewater is an important tool for a sustainable society. Sewage poses a special challenge as materials are highly diluted and most recovery methods require higher concentrations of materials and energy to be recovered.  Siegfried E. Vlaeminck and co-workers show in their paper how organics can be best be concentrated from sewage using the high-rate contact stabilization process. Although the concept has been around some time, this paper constitutes a crucial stepping stone in bringing this concept to reality. This paper gives an excellent insight into the effect of parameters controlling the process while giving at the same time insight into the biological processes occurring.”

-Bert Hamelers, Associate Editor

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External Exposure to Short- and Medium-Chain Chlorinated Paraffins for the General Population in Beijing, China
Wei Gao, Dandan Cao, Yingjun Wang, Jing Wu, Ying Wang, Yawei Wang*, and Guibin Jiang
Environ. Sci. Technol., 2018, 52 (1), pp 32–39
DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b04657

“Chlorinated paraffins (CPs) are widely used as flame retardants and plasticizers, and large amounts of these compounds are produced world-wide, especially in China.  CPs are notoriously difficult to quantitate because they come in a wide range of chain lengths and degrees of chlorination.  In this paper, Wang and co-workers have made an important contribution to this issue by measuring CP levels in food, indoor air, indoor dust, and drinking water with the goal of assessing the exposure of the Beijing population to these compounds.  They found that food and indoor dust ingestion were the most important routes for adults.”

-Ron Hites, Associate Editor

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Virtual Water Scarcity Risk to the Global Trade System
Shen Qu, Sai Liang, Megan Konar, Zeqi Zhu, Anthony S. F. Chiu, Xiaoping Jia, and Ming Xu*
Environ. Sci. Technol., 2018, 52 (2), pp 673–683
DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b04309

“The sustainability of globalized trade rests on the continued ability of regions to export both intermediate and finished goods, where sustainability could be impinged by water scarcity. Ming Xu and colleagues unraveled complex relationships showing nation-sector vulnerability to water scarcity, including the vulnerability of countries that import intermediates along global supply chains. They documented that water scarcity risk has increased steadily between 1995 and 2008. Further, they identified nation-sector combinations most vulnerable to local water scarcity that is then passed on to importing countries, such as agriculture and utilities in, for example, China, India and Turkey. This analysis points to the urgent need for international cooperation on collaboratively managing and conserving water resources.”

-Miriam Diamond, Associate Editor

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Omics Advances in Ecotoxicology
Xiaowei Zhang*, Pu Xia, Pingping Wang, Jianghu Yang, and Donald J. Baird
Environ. Sci. Technol., 2018, 52 (7), pp 3842–3851
DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b06494

“Given the significant number of contaminants entering the environment, the ability to evaluate risks to ecosystems has grown increasingly difficult and has necessitated the development of newer tools to provide assessments.  Using state of the art “omic” tools, Zhang an co-workers have provided unique case studies of how modern tools can be applied to better understand mechanisms of chemical toxicity within individual organisms, and also assess their impacts on species diversity.  Implementation of these methods will significantly enhance our abilities to grasp the impacts of environmental chemicals on ecosystem health.”

-Daniel Schlenk, Associate Editor

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