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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Science of the Total Environment, 01 January 2016, Vol.540, pp.444-454
    Description: Increasing numbers of organic micropollutants are emitted into rivers via municipal wastewaters. Due to their persistence many pollutants pass wastewater treatment plants without substantial removal. Transport and fate of pollutants in receiving waters and export to downstream ecosystems is not well understood. In particular, a better knowledge of processes governing their environmental behavior is needed. Although a lot of data are available concerning the ubiquitous presence of micropollutants in rivers, accurate data on transport and removal rates are lacking. In this paper, a mass balance approach is presented, which is based on the Lagrangian sampling scheme, but extended to account for precise transport velocities and mixing along river stretches. The calculated mass balances allow accurate quantification of pollutants' reactivity along river segments. This is demonstrated for representative members of important groups of micropollutants, e.g. pharmaceuticals, musk fragrances, flame retardants, and pesticides. A model-aided analysis of the measured data series gives insight into the temporal dynamics of removal processes. The occurrence of different removal mechanisms such as photooxidation, microbial degradation, and volatilization is discussed. The results demonstrate, that removal processes are highly variable in time and space and this has to be considered for future studies. The high precision sampling scheme presented could be a powerful tool for quantifying removal processes under different boundary conditions and in river segments with contrasting properties.
    Keywords: Micropollutants ; River Segments ; Mass Balances ; Removal Processes ; Diurnal Patterns ; Environmental Sciences ; Biology ; Public Health
    ISSN: 0048-9697
    E-ISSN: 1879-1026
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: PLoS ONE, 01 January 2018, Vol.13(1), p.e0191314
    Description: Suspended particles in rivers can act as carriers of potentially bioavailable metal species and are thus an emerging area of interest in river system monitoring. The delineation of bulk metals concentrations in river water into dissolved and particulate components is also important for risk...
    Keywords: Sciences (General)
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: Applied Geochemistry, 2007, Vol.22(12), pp.2606-2617
    Description: Oxidation of reduced pollutants such as in groundwater often takes place at steep redox gradients where oxygenated water is being mixed into polluted water such as landfill leachate. In order to identify controlling parameters and quantify the influence of environmental factors for degradation, sensitivity analysis was performed by means of scenario specific numerical modelling. Geometrical factors such as aquifer thickness have been shown to be very influential on the capability of natural attenuation of pollutants in groundwater. The scenarios investigated here include biodegradation at redox gradients in groundwater, so called fringe processes, for (i) a partly contaminated aquifer with two reaction fronts, (ii) and a spatially variable aquifer thickness. In addition, (iii) the influence of groundwater recharge and (iv) restricted supply of O to contaminated water by slow dispersion and diffusion across the capillary fringe are investigated. Contaminated aquifer thickness, zones of enhanced mixing due to flow focussing and diffusion/dispersion coefficients in the capillary fringe are identified qualitatively as controlling factors for natural attenuation under complex conditions, whereas predictive functions will require further research.
    Keywords: Geology
    ISSN: 0883-2927
    E-ISSN: 1872-9134
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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: Science of the Total Environment, 10 January 2019, Vol.647, pp.645-652
    Description: Transport of hydrophobic pollutants in rivers such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and heavy metals is often facilitated by suspended sediment particles, which are typically mobilized during high discharge events. Suspended sediments thus represent a means of transport for particle related pollutants within river reaches and may represent a suitable proxy for average pollutant concentrations estimation in a river reach or catchment. In this study, multiple high discharge/turbidity events were sampled at high temporal resolution in the Globaqua River Basins Sava (Slovenia, Serbia), Adige (Italy), and Evrotas (Greece) and analysed for persistent organic pollutants such as PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) or PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) and heavy metals. For comparison, river bed sediment samples were analysed as well. Further, results are compared to previous studies in contrasting catchments in Germany, Iran, Spain, and beyond. Overall results show that loadings of suspended sediments with pollutants are catchment-specific and relatively stable over time at a given location. For PAHs, loadings on suspended particles mainly correlate to urban pressures (potentially diluted by sediment mass fluxes) in the rivers, whereas metal concentrations mainly display a geogenic origin. By cross-comparison with known urban pressure/sediment yield relationships (e.g. for PAHs) or soil background values (for metals) anthropogenic impact – e.g. caused by industrial activities – may be identified. Sampling of suspended sediments gives much more reliable results compared to sediment grab samples which typically show a more heterogeneous contaminant distribution. Based on mean annual suspended sediment concentrations and distribution coefficients of pollutants the fraction of particle facilitated transport versus dissolved fluxes can be calculated.
    Keywords: Particle Associated Pollutants ; Suspended Sediments ; Persistent Organic Pollutants ; Heavy Metals ; Environmental Sciences ; Biology ; Public Health
    ISSN: 0048-9697
    E-ISSN: 1879-1026
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  • 5
    Language: English
    In: Waste Management, 2009, Vol.29(2), pp.839-850
    Description: In this study, contaminant leaching from three different secondary materials (demolition waste, municipal solid waste incineration ash, and blast furnace slag) to groundwater is assessed by numerical modeling. Reactive transport simulations for a noise protection dam and a road dam (a typical German autobahn), in which secondary materials are reused as base layers, were performed to predict the breakthrough of a conservative tracer (i.e., a salt) and sorbing contaminants (e.g., PAHs like naphthalene and phenanthrene or heavy metals) at the groundwater table. The dam constructions have a composite architecture with soil covers in inclined layers and distinct contrasts in the unsaturated hydraulic properties of the used materials. Capillary barrier effects result in strong spatial variabilities of flow and transport velocities. Contaminant breakthrough curves at the groundwater table show significant tailing due to slow sorption kinetics and a wide distribution of travel times. While conservative tracer breakthrough depends primarily on subsoil hydraulic properties, equilibrium distribution coefficients and sorption kinetics represent additional controlling factors for contaminant spreading. Hence, the three secondary materials show pronounced differences in the temporal development of leached contaminant concentrations with consequences for breakthrough times and peak concentrations at the groundwater table. Significant concentration reductions due to dispersion occur only if the source concentrations decrease significantly prior to the arrival of the contaminant at the groundwater table. Biodegradation causes significant reduction of breakthrough concentrations only if flow velocities are low.
    Keywords: Engineering ; Chemistry
    ISSN: 0956-053X
    E-ISSN: 1879-2456
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