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  • ScienceDirect Journals (Elsevier)
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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Science of the Total Environment, 01 December 2015, Vol.535, pp.3-19
    Description: Engineered inorganic nanoparticles (EINP) from consumers' products and industrial applications, especially silver and titanium dioxide nanoparticles (NP), are emitted into the aquatic and terrestrial environments in increasing amounts. However, the current knowledge on their environmental fate and biological effects is diverse and renders reliable predictions complicated. This review critically evaluates existing knowledge on colloidal aging mechanisms, biological functioning and transport of Ag NP and TiO NP in water and soil and it discusses challenges for concepts, experimental approaches and analytical methods in order to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the processes linking NP fate and effects. Ag NP undergo dissolution and oxidation with Ag S as a thermodynamically determined endpoint. Nonetheless, Ag NP also undergo colloidal transformations in the nanoparticulate state and may act as carriers for other substances. Ag NP and TiO NP can have adverse biological effects on organisms. Whereas Ag NP reveal higher colloidal stability and mobility, the efficiency of NOM as a stabilizing agent is greater towards TiO NP than towards Ag NP, and multivalent cations can dominate the colloidal behavior over NOM. Many of the past analytical obstacles have been overcome just recently. Single particle ICP-MS based methods in combination with field flow fractionation techniques and hydrodynamic chromatography have the potential to fill the gaps currently hampering a comprehensive understanding of fate and effects also at a low field relevant concentrations. These analytical developments will allow for mechanistically orientated research and transfer to a larger set of EINP. This includes separating processes driven by NP specific properties and bulk chemical properties, categorization of effect-triggering pathways directing the EINP effects towards specific recipients, and identification of dominant environmental parameters triggering fate and effect of EINP in specific ecosystems (e.g. soil, lake, or riverine systems).
    Keywords: Transport ; Aggregation ; Analytics ; Environment ; Aging ; Ecotoxicology ; Environmental Sciences ; Biology ; Public Health
    ISSN: 0048-9697
    E-ISSN: 1879-1026
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: Science of the Total Environment, 01 December 2015, Vol.535, pp.1-2
    Keywords: Environmental Sciences ; Biology ; Public Health
    ISSN: 0048-9697
    E-ISSN: 1879-1026
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: Science of the Total Environment, 01 December 2015, Vol.535, pp.113-121
    Description: Chemical factors and physical constraints lead to coupled effects during particle transport in unsaturated porous media. Studies on unsaturated transport as typical for soils are currently scarce. In unsaturated porous media, particle mobility is determined by the existence of an air–water interface in addition to a solid–water interface. To this end, we measured breakthrough curves and retention profiles of citrate-coated Ag nanoparticles in unsaturated sand at two pH values (5 and 9) and three different flow rates corresponding to different water contents with 1 mM KNO as background electrolyte. The classical DLVO theory suggests unfavorable deposition conditions at the air–water and solid–water interfaces. The breakthrough curves indicate modification in curve shapes and retardation of nanoparticles compared to inert solute. Retention profiles show sensitivity to flow rate and pH and this ranged from almost no retention for the highest flow rate at pH = 9 to almost complete retention for the lowest flow rate at pH = 5. Modeling of the breakthrough curves, thus, required coupling two parallel processes: a kinetically controlled attachment process far from equilibrium, responsible for the shape modification, and an equilibrium sorption, responsible for particle retardation. The non-equilibrium process and equilibrium sorption are suggested to relate to the solid–water and air–water interfaces, respectively. This is supported by the DLVO model extended for hydrophobic interactions which suggests reversible attachment, characterized by a secondary minimum (depth 3–5 kT) and a repulsive barrier at the air–water interface. In contrast, the solid–water interface is characterized by a significant repulsive barrier and the absence of a secondary minimum suggesting kinetically controlled and non-equilibrium interaction. This study provides new insights into particle transport in unsaturated porous media and offers a model concept representing the relevant processes.
    Keywords: Air–Water Interface ; Solid–Water Interface ; Engineered Nanoparticle ; Extended Dlvo Theory ; Unsaturated Flow ; Pore Structure ; Environmental Sciences ; Biology ; Public Health
    ISSN: 0048-9697
    E-ISSN: 1879-1026
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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: Ecological Modelling, 24 February 2015, Vol.298, pp.1-3
    Keywords: Environmental Sciences ; Ecology
    ISSN: 0304-3800
    E-ISSN: 1872-7026
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  • 5
    Language: English
    In: Journal of Hydrology, 2010, Vol.393(1), pp.1-2
    Description: Includes references ; p. 1-2.
    Keywords: Geography
    ISSN: 0022-1694
    E-ISSN: 1879-2707
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  • 6
    Language: English
    In: Science of the Total Environment, 15 December 2018, Vol.645, pp.192-204
    Description: Riverbank filtration systems are important structures that ensure the cleaning of infiltrating surface water for drinking water production. In our study, we investigated the potential risk for a breakthrough of environmentally aged silver nanoparticles (Ag NP) through these systems. Additionally, we identified factors leading to the remobilization of Ag NP accumulated in surficial sediment layers in order to gain insights into remobilization mechanisms. We conducted column experiments with Ag NP in an outdoor pilot plant consisting of water-saturated sediment columns mimicking a riverbank filtration system. The NP had previously been aged in river water, soil extract, and ultrapure water, respectively. We investigated the depth-dependent breakthrough and retention of NP. In subsequent batch experiments, we studied the processes responsible for a remobilization of Ag NP retained in the upper 10 cm of the sediments, induced by ionic strength reduction, natural organic matter (NOM), and mechanical forces. We determined the amount of remobilized Ag by ICP-MS and differentiated between particulate and ionic Ag after remobilization using GFAAS. The presence of Ag-containing heteroaggregates was investigated by combining filtration with single-particle ICP-MS. Single and erratic Ag breakthrough events were mainly found in 30 cm depth and Ag NP were accumulated in the upper 20 cm of the columns. Soil-aged Ag NP showed the lowest retention of only 54%. Remobilization was induced by the reduction of ionic strength and the presence of NOM in combination with mechanical forces. The presence of calcium in the aging- as well as the remobilizing media reduced the remobilization potential. Silver NP were mainly remobilized as heteroaggregates with natural colloids, while dissolution played a minor role. Our study indicates that the breakthrough potential of Ag NP in riverbank filtration systems is generally low, but the aging in soil increases their mobility. Remobilization processes are associated to co-mobilization with natural colloids.
    Keywords: Heteroaggregation ; Nanoparticle Transformation ; Breakthrough ; Mobility ; Reversibility ; Environmental Sciences ; Biology ; Public Health
    ISSN: 0048-9697
    E-ISSN: 1879-1026
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  • 7
    Language: English
    In: Advances in Water Resources, 2011, Vol.34(2), pp.314-325
    Description: ► Stochastic reconstruction with a combination of multi-point statistics. ► Good rendition of connectivity with Minkowski functions and Chord length distributions. ► Transport behavior compares well between reference media and reconstructed media. ► Pressure field tends to bridge local discontinuities within highly conductive regions. Flow and transport in porous media is determined by its structure. Beside spatial correlation, especially the connectivity of heterogeneous conductivities is acknowledged to be a key factor. This has been demonstrated for well defined random fields having different topological properties. Yet, it remains an open question which morphological measures carry sufficient information to actually predict flow and transport in porous media. We analyze flow and transport in classical, two-dimensional random fields showing different topology and we determine a selection of structural characteristics including classical two-point statistics, chord-length distribution and Minkowski functions (four-point statistics) including the Euler number as a topological measure. Using the approach of simulated annealing for global optimization we generate analog random fields that are forced to reproduce one or several of theses structural characteristics. Finally we evaluate in how far the generated analogons reproduce the original flow and transport behavior as well as some more elaborate structural characteristics including percolation probabilities and the pair connectivity function. The results confirm that two-point statistics is insufficient to capture functional properties since it is not sensitive to connectivity. In contrast, the combination of Minkowski functions and chord length distributions carries sufficient information to reproduce the breakthrough curve of a conservative solute. Hence, global topology provided by the Euler number together with local clustering provided by the chord length distribution seems to be a powerful condensation of structural complexity with respect to functional properties.
    Keywords: Simulated Annealing ; Solute Transport ; Minkowski Functionals ; Chord Length Distribution ; Local Percolation Probability ; Pair Connectivity Function ; Engineering
    ISSN: 0309-1708
    E-ISSN: 1872-9657
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  • 8
    Language: English
    In: Advances in Water Resources, August 2012, Vol.44, pp.101-112
    Description: ► New averaging approach that conserves hydraulic non-equilibrium during rapid infiltration of water. ► New indicators to describe hydraulic non-equilibrium quantitatively. ► Direct link between front morphology and hydraulic non-equilibrium. ► Insights into how structural connectivity affects hydraulic non-equilibrium. ► Shortcomings of an upscaled Richards model extended by hydraulic non-equilibrium. Water infiltration into heterogeneous, structured soil leads to hydraulic non-equilibrium across the infiltration front. That is, the water content and pressure head are not in equilibrium according to some static water retention curve. The water content increases more rapidly in more conductive regions followed by a slow relaxation towards an equilibrium state behind the front. An extreme case is preferential infiltration into macropores. Since flow paths adapt to the structural heterogeneity of the porous medium, there is a direct link between structure and non-equilibrium. The aim of our study is to develop an upscaled description of water dynamics which conserves the macroscopic effects of non-equilibrium and which can be directly linked to structural properties of the material. A critical question is how to define averaged state variables at the larger scale. We propose a novel approach based on flux-weighted averaging of pressure head, and compare its performance to alternative methods for averaging. Further, we suggest some meaningful indicators of hydraulic non-equilibrium that can be related to morphological characteristics of infiltration fronts in quantitative terms. These methods provide a sound basis to assess the impact of structural connectivity on hydraulic non-equilibrium. We demonstrate our approach using numerical case studies for infiltration into two-dimensional heterogeneous media using three different structure models with distinct differences in connectivity. Our results indicate that an increased isotropic, short-range connectivity reduces non-equilibrium, whereas anisotropic structures that are elongated in the direction of flow enforce it. We observe a good agreement between front morphology and effective hydraulic non-equilibrium. A detailed comparison of averaged state variables with results from an upscaled model that includes hydraulic non-equilibrium outlines potential improvements in the description of non-equilibrium dynamics including preferential flow in simplified, upscaled models based on Richards equation.
    Keywords: Transient Flow ; Upscaling ; Pressure Head Averaging ; Hydraulic Non-Equilibrium ; Preferential Flow ; Connectivity ; Engineering
    ISSN: 0309-1708
    E-ISSN: 1872-9657
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  • 9
    Language: English
    In: Geoderma, 01 June 2018, Vol.319, pp.132-141
    Description: Irrigation with treated waste water (TWW) is a common practice in agriculture, mainly in arid and semiarid areas as it provides a sustainable water resource available at all-season in general and at freshwater shortage in particular. However, TWW still contains abundant organic material which is known to decrease soil wettability, which in turn may promote flow instabilities that lead to the formation of preferential flow paths. We investigate the impact of long-term TWW irrigation on water wettability and infiltration into undisturbed soil cores from two commercially used orchards in Israel. Changes of water content during infiltration were quantitatively analysed by X-ray radiography. One orchard (sandy clay loam) had been irrigated with TWW for more than thirty years. In the other orchard (loamy sand) irrigation had been changed from freshwater to TWW in 2008 and switched back in some experimental plots to freshwater in 2012. Undisturbed soil cores were taken at the end of the dry and the rainy season to investigate the seasonal effect on water repellency and on infiltration dynamics in the laboratory. The irrigation experiments were done on field moist samples. A test series with different initial water contents was run to detect the influence on water movement at different wettabilities. In this study we show that the infiltration front stability is dependent on the history of waste water irrigation at the respective site and on the initial water content.
    Keywords: Soil Water Repellency ; Treated Waste Water Irrigation ; Unstable Flow ; Preferential Flow ; Water Infiltration ; X-Ray Analysis ; Agriculture
    ISSN: 0016-7061
    E-ISSN: 1872-6259
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  • 10
    Language: English
    In: Computers and Geosciences, 2010, Vol.36(10), pp.1246-1251
    Description: For many analyses, grey scale images from X-ray tomography and other sources need to be segmented into objects and background which often is a difficult task and afflicted by an arbitrary and subjective choice of threshold values. This is especially true if the volume fraction of objects is small and the histogram becomes unimodal. Bi-level segmentation based on region growing is a promising approach to cope with the fuzzy transition zone between object and background due to the partial volume effect, but until now there is no method to properly determine the required thresholds in case of unimodality. We propose an automatic and robust technique for threshold selection based on edge detection. The method uses gradient masks which are defined as regions of interest for the determination of threshold values. Its robustness is analysed by a systematic performance test and finally demonstrated for the segmentation of pores in different soils using images from X-ray tomography.
    Keywords: Segmentation ; Thresholding ; Edge Detection ; Region Growing ; Tomography ; Geology
    ISSN: 0098-3004
    E-ISSN: 1873-7803
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