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Special Issue "Current Trends in Emission Control and Forecasting of Air Quality and Climate Changes"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Air, Climate Change and Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (21 October 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Izabela Sówka
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Environment Protection Engineering, Faculty of Environmental Engineering, Wroclaw University of Science and Technology, 27 Wybrzeże Wyspiańskiego st., 50-370 Wrocław, Poland
Interests: air pollution chemistry and physics; air pollution monitoring methods; air pollution modeling; exposure assessment; risk analysis; deodorization methods; indoor air quality; particulate matter; greenhouse gases; odours, RES.
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Kazimierz Gaj
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Unit of Engineering and Protection of Atmosphere, Faculty of Environmental Engineering, Wroclaw University of Science and Technology, Pl. Grunwaldzki 9 50-377 Wroclaw, Poland
Interests: air protection; purifying of waste gases; modeling of air quality; renewable energy; greenhouse gases; biogas; siloxanes
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Urszula Miller
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Unit of Engineering and Protection of Atmosphere, Faculty of Environmental Engineering, Wroclaw University of Science and Technology, Pl. Grunwaldzki 9, Wrocław, Poland
Interests: air pollution chemistry and physics; odours; deodorization methods; biofiltration;
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Air and climate protection have become one of the biggest civilization challenges in recent years. In many highly industrialized and economically emerging countries in the world, there is a problem of air pollution (mainly associated with the use of fossil fuels in energetics, industry, heating of residential houses, and transport) and progressive climate change (related to increasing greenhouse gas emissions). Therefore, there is an urgent need for new, low-emission technologies, effective and low-cost methods for reducing emissions, more reliable emission monitoring methods, and new tools for forecasting and monitoring air quality and climate change. These are the purposes of the present Special Issue, which should, in particular, include the following topics:

  • current research on low-emission: fuels, industrial technologies, and energy generation, including RES;
  • promising ways to reduce/eliminate emissions from low municipal sources and from transport;
  • innovative methods of waste gas purification;
  • development of emission and immission control methods;
  • prospective ways of counteracting climate changes;
  • problems of indoor air protecting;
  • development of air quality mathematical modeling methods;
  • new directions in forecasting the effects of air pollution and climate change;
  • new trends in odor control and air quality management.

These topics are only examples. Other emerging topics in this field of science are also welcome.

In accordance with the above context, we invite you to submit original research or review papers.

Prof. Izabela Sówka
Prof. Kazimierz Gaj
Dr. Urszula Miller
Guest Editors

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 papers will be 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. Sustainability 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 1900 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

  • low-emission and sustainable economy
  • renewable energy
  • greenhouse gases
  • odors
  • air and emission monitoring
  • mathematical modeling of air quality
  • management of atmosphere protection

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Progressing Climate Changes and Deteriorating Air Quality as One of the Biggest Challenges of Sustainable Development of the Present Decade in Poland
Sustainability 2020, 12(16), 6367; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12166367 - 07 Aug 2020
Viewed by 807
Abstract
Among the biggest challenges facing our civilization is slowing down the rate of climate change and improving air quality in cities. This cannot be achieved in isolation from the sustainability and intensification of relevant research. The aim of this Special Issue: Current Trends [...] Read more.
Among the biggest challenges facing our civilization is slowing down the rate of climate change and improving air quality in cities. This cannot be achieved in isolation from the sustainability and intensification of relevant research. The aim of this Special Issue: Current Trends in Emission Control and Forecasting of Air Quality and Climate Changes is to publish selected high-quality papers from the 15th Scientific Conference POL-EMIS 2020: Current Trends in Air and Climate Protection—Control Monitoring, Forecasting, and Reduction of Emissions (19–21 October 2020, Wroclaw) and other papers related to the development of: low-emission fuels, industrial technologies, and energy generation, including renewable energy sources (RES); technology for reducing/eliminating emissions from low municipal sources and transport; innovative methods of waste gas purification; emission and immission control methods (including odors); prospective ways of counteracting climate change; indoor air protecting methods; development of mathematical modeling of air quality; new directions in forecasting the effects of air pollution and climate change and air quality management. Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial

Article
Spider Webs and Lichens as Bioindicators of Heavy Metals: A Comparison Study in the Vicinity of a Copper Smelter (Poland)
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8066; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12198066 - 30 Sep 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 727
Abstract
This paper presents the comparison of heavy metals accumulation in spider webs from Agelenidae family (Eratigena atrica and Agelena labyrinthica) and lichens Hypogymnia physodes, exposed to pollution for two months. Webs were obtained from the laboratory-reared spiders and stretched on [...] Read more.
This paper presents the comparison of heavy metals accumulation in spider webs from Agelenidae family (Eratigena atrica and Agelena labyrinthica) and lichens Hypogymnia physodes, exposed to pollution for two months. Webs were obtained from the laboratory-reared spiders and stretched on Petri dish while lichens were transplanted from Stobrawa Landscape Park into the study area. Concentrations of Cu, Zn, Ni, Pb and As were determined in both biomonitors and the elevated values indicated the impact of the copper smelter and surrounding roads. Our study revealed that webs were more sensitive than lichens to emissions of pollutants, and for all of the studied elements, the determined concentrations were much higher for spider webs. The results of similarity tests showed a clear difference among the concentrations of Cu, Zn, Ni and As in lichens and spider webs, with the exception of Pb, suggesting that this element could be accumulated in a similar way by both bioindicators. These differences are probably due to their morphological and ecological dissimilarities suggesting that spider webs should be favorably applied where the use of lichens is improper due to the drought, which is an unfavorable condition for accumulation of elements in lichens, or their limited uptake of elements. Full article
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Article
Assessment of the Odour Impact Range of a Selected Agricultural Processing Plant
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7289; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12187289 - 05 Sep 2020
Viewed by 616
Abstract
Within the research, on the premises of an agricultural plant, the odour concentration was measured, and the odour emission was determined. The obtained values allowed us to analyse the odour distribution using the Polish reference mathematical model for four different scenarios, including (1) [...] Read more.
Within the research, on the premises of an agricultural plant, the odour concentration was measured, and the odour emission was determined. The obtained values allowed us to analyse the odour distribution using the Polish reference mathematical model for four different scenarios, including (1) all identified emission sources, i.e., point and surface: scenarios 1 and 2, and (2) only point sources, scenario 3 and 4. The values of the comparative level and the frequency of exceedances in scenarios 1 and 3 were based on the Polish draft act on counteracting odour nuisance, while the Dutch guidelines were used for scenarios 2 and 4. Model calculations showed the potential impact of the tested structure on adjacent residential areas, i.e., in scenarios 1 and 2, the permissible value of the frequency of exceedances was exceeded at all points representing residential buildings. The exceedances for scenario 3 and 4 took place in seven out of eight and two out of eight points, respectively. The results indicated that to accurately and reliably assess the odour impact and to determine the measures to prevent and reduce odour emissions, it is necessary to consider all types of emission sources in the facilities potentially causing odour nuisance. Full article
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Article
Strongly and Loosely Bound Water in Ambient Particulate Matter—Qualitative and Quantitative Determination by Karl Fischer Coulometric Method
Sustainability 2020, 12(15), 6196; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12156196 - 31 Jul 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 952
Abstract
Simple physical characterization of water evaporation can provide detailed information regarding its component distribution in particulate matter (PM) samples. The water presence in PM can greatly influence its polarity and subsequent reaction activity, for example, in secondary inorganic and organic matter formation. In [...] Read more.
Simple physical characterization of water evaporation can provide detailed information regarding its component distribution in particulate matter (PM) samples. The water presence in PM can greatly influence its polarity and subsequent reaction activity, for example, in secondary inorganic and organic matter formation. In this study, the presence of PM-bound water is detected using the Karl Fischer titration method in a temperature gradient with an aim to quantitatively assess different types of water occurrence. The analyses were initiated by testing two reference materials, namely urban particulate matter 1648a and urban dust 1649b (NIST). Four different types of water were found in both NIST materials, which helped to optimize the temperature ramp program and its adjustment for real PM samples. It was found that water contents in total suspended particles (TSP) are similar to those typically occurring in urban background stations—approximately 7.12–45.13% of the TSP mass, differentiated into the following water mass contributions: 48.5% of the total water found was loosely bound water; 23.3% was attributed to the absorption water; while the missing 20% could be probably attributed to crystal water removed only above 180 °C and artifacts connected with the drift correction problem. By comparing water release curves for single PM-compounds like pure SiO2; Al2O3; NH4NO3; (NH4)2SO4 and NH4Cl with water spectra obtained for real PM samples, it was found that water in particulate matter mainly comes from the dehydration of TSP-bound crystalline like Al2O3, SiO2 and to a lesser extent from salts like NH4NO3; (NH4)2SO4 and NH4Cl. A newly used thermal ramp method was able to assess water contents from Teflon–polypropylene baked filters characterized by low melting points and therefore filter degradation even under temperatures oscillating around 200 °C. The advantage of this new work is the separation of different types of TSP-bound water contributions, facilitating and promoting further research on the origin of PM-bound water and its role in atmospheric chemistry, secondary aerosol formation and visibility. Full article
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Article
Odor Annoyance Assessment by Using Logistic Regression on an Example of the Municipal Sector
Sustainability 2020, 12(15), 6102; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12156102 - 29 Jul 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 679
Abstract
Around the sewage treatment plant, in the area affected by a large number of complaints about odor annoyance, field measurements of odor properties and questionnaires were carried out. It was confirmed that the inhabitants of the zone closest to the plant are most [...] Read more.
Around the sewage treatment plant, in the area affected by a large number of complaints about odor annoyance, field measurements of odor properties and questionnaires were carried out. It was confirmed that the inhabitants of the zone closest to the plant are most exposed to the smell, the most intense smell comes from the sludge dryer building, and smells from primary settling tanks and sediment plots are perceived as unpleasant. The analysis of surveys confirmed the problem of odor nuisance, especially in the immediate vicinity, where over 50% of respondents considered odor annoyance as extreme. A division of respondents was introduced into those experiencing severe nuisance and those for whom the smell was not annoying. Then, to relate the probability of occurrence of odor nuisance with a group of independent variables, logistic regression was used to describe the impact of independent variables on the dichotomous dependent variable. It has been shown that the likelihood of experiencing odor nuisance increases with the increase in the intensity of current odors, the parallel noise, and in people who focus on the existing smell, and decreases with increasing satisfaction with their health and in the case of regularly occurring odor. Full article
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Article
Simultaneous NOx and Dioxin Removal in the SNCR Process
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5766; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12145766 - 17 Jul 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 776
Abstract
Nitrogen oxides, polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, and polychlorinated dibenzofurans are pollutants formed during thermal processes, in particular during the combustion of various fuels, including waste. They are classified as dangerous and highly toxic environmental pollutants whose emissions are strictly regulated. Many methods for reducing their [...] Read more.
Nitrogen oxides, polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, and polychlorinated dibenzofurans are pollutants formed during thermal processes, in particular during the combustion of various fuels, including waste. They are classified as dangerous and highly toxic environmental pollutants whose emissions are strictly regulated. Many methods for reducing their emissions are known, but all involve additional production costs. For this reason, effective and cheap methods for removing these pollutants from exhaust gases are still sought. Selective non-catalytic reduction of nitrogen oxides is one of the more effective and cheaper methods for reducing these emissions. However, an alternative to expensive methods for dioxin and furan removal (catalysis, adsorption, etc.) may include using dioxin synthesis inhibitors. The authors propose a method for the simultaneous removal of both pollutants from flue gases using selective non-catalytic reduction technologies with dioxin synthesis inhibitors used as reducing agents. Full article
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Article
Assessment of Ventilation Efficiency in School Classrooms Based on Indoor–Outdoor Particulate Matter and Carbon Dioxide Measurements
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5600; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12145600 - 12 Jul 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 825
Abstract
The concentration of indoor suspended particulate matter is considered to be one of the main factors that affect health and quality of life. In Poland, in response to the pressure of public opinion, a few thousand air purifiers have been installed in public [...] Read more.
The concentration of indoor suspended particulate matter is considered to be one of the main factors that affect health and quality of life. In Poland, in response to the pressure of public opinion, a few thousand air purifiers have been installed in public buildings where children spend time. However, another factor that also impacts upon the quality of indoor air, namely increased CO2 mixing ratios, is frequently overlooked. The only way to remove CO2 excess from interiors is through intensive ventilation. This is often an action at odds with the need to maintain low concentrations of particulate matter in indoor air. Two methods are presented to assess the rate of air exchange using CO2 or particulate matter as a tracer. One of the methods using indoor/outdoor PM (particulate matter) concentrations is based on the use of box models for analysis. The second one uses indoor CO2 concentration change analysis. At the tested locations, they showed large deviations of the determined values of the air exchange coefficients from its limits. Both methods showed consistent ventilation parameters estimation. Full article
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Article
The Impact of Technological Processes on Odorant Emissions at Municipal Waste Biogas Plants
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5457; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12135457 - 07 Jul 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 838
Abstract
Municipal waste treatment is inherently associated with odour emissions. The compounds characteristic of the processes used for this purpose, and at the same time causing a negative olfactory sensation, are organic and inorganic sulphur and nitrogen compounds. The tests were carried out at [...] Read more.
Municipal waste treatment is inherently associated with odour emissions. The compounds characteristic of the processes used for this purpose, and at the same time causing a negative olfactory sensation, are organic and inorganic sulphur and nitrogen compounds. The tests were carried out at the waste management plant, which in the biological part, uses the methane fermentation process and is also equipped with an installation for the collection, treatment, and energetic use of biogas. The tests include measurements of the four odorant concentrations and emissions, i.e., volatile organic compounds (VOCs), ammonia (NH3), hydrogen sulphide (H2S), and methanethiol (CH3SH). Measurements were made using a MultiRae Pro portable gas detector sensor. The tests were carried out in ten series for twenty measurement points in each series. The results show a significant impact of technological processes on odorant emissions. The types of waste going to the plant are also important in shaping this emission. On the one hand, it relates to the waste collection system and, on the other hand, the season of year. In addition, it has been proved that the detector used during the research is a valuable tool enabling the control of technological processes in municipal waste processing plants. Full article
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Article
The Effect of Emission Inventory on Modelling of Seasonal Exposure Metrics of Particulate Matter and Ozone with the WRF-Chem Model for Poland
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5414; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12135414 - 04 Jul 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 860
Abstract
In Poland, high concentrations of particulate matter (with a diameter smaller than 2.5 or 10 μm) exceeding the WHO threshold values are often measured in winter, while ozone (O3) concentrations are high in spring. In winter high PM2.5 and PM10 concentrations [...] Read more.
In Poland, high concentrations of particulate matter (with a diameter smaller than 2.5 or 10 μm) exceeding the WHO threshold values are often measured in winter, while ozone (O3) concentrations are high in spring. In winter high PM2.5 and PM10 concentrations are linked to high residential combustion and road transport. The main objective of this study was to assess performance of the Weather Research and Forecasting model with Chemistry (WRF-Chem) model in reproducing observations for a period of 2017-2018 covering various meteorological conditions. We compare modelled and observed exposure metrics for PM2.5, PM10 and O3 for two sets of the WRF-Chem model runs: with coarse and fine resolution emission inventory (European Monitoring and Evaluation Programme (EMEP) and Chief Inspectorate of Environmental Protection (CIEP), respectively). CIEP run reduces the negative bias of PM2.5 and PM10 and improves the model performance for number of days with exceedance of WHO (World Health Organization) threshold for PM2.5 and PM10 24-h mean concentration. High resolution emission inventory for primary aerosols helps to better distinguish polluted urban areas from non-urban ones. There are no large differences for the model performance for O3 and secondary inorganic aerosols, and high-resolution emission inventory does not improve the results in terms of 8-h rolling mean concentrations of ozone. Full article
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Article
Biomass Growth and Its Control in the Process of Biofiltration of Air Contaminated with Xylene on a Biotrickling Column Filled with Expanded Clay
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5412; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12135412 - 04 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 749
Abstract
Biofiltration of air polluted with xylene vapors was carried out for nearly two years in a large laboratory-scale installation with a volume of the bed of expanded clay equal to 32 dm3. During the experiment, different xylene inlet concentrations were applied, [...] Read more.
Biofiltration of air polluted with xylene vapors was carried out for nearly two years in a large laboratory-scale installation with a volume of the bed of expanded clay equal to 32 dm3. During the experiment, different xylene inlet concentrations were applied, within the range from 300 to over 1500 mg/m3 at a linear gas flow rate of 0.008, 0.016, and 0.033 m/s, as well as 0.12 and 0.24 dm3 of medium dispensed every 3 h on top of the bed. The progress of the process was followed by measuring the xylene concentration at the inlet and outlet of the column, column mass, and gas flow resistance. The capability to purify air polluted with xylene with an average efficiency of approx. 90% was demonstrated. The process was interrupted by a significant increase in gas flow resistance, caused by a large growth of biomass, resulting in an increase in the mass of the bed by more than 45%. Both intensive rinsing of the bed with a stream of water, causing its fluidization, and rinsing and mixing after removing the bed from the column allowed to reduce flow resistance to a value close to the initial one. To ensure the supply of biogenic elements, it was necessary to periodically spray the bed with a solution of the medium in an amount of up to about 0.1 dm3/h/m3 of purified air. Full article
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Article
Assessment of the Equivalence of Low-Cost Sensors with the Reference Method in Measuring PM10 Concentration Using Selected Correction Functions
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5368; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12135368 - 02 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 689
Abstract
The aim of the work is to demonstrate the possibility of building models to correct the results of measurements of particulate matter PM10 concentrations obtained using low-cost devices. Such devices apply the optical method to values comparable with those obtained using the [...] Read more.
The aim of the work is to demonstrate the possibility of building models to correct the results of measurements of particulate matter PM10 concentrations obtained using low-cost devices. Such devices apply the optical method to values comparable with those obtained using the reference gravimetric method. An additional goal is to show that the results corrected in this way can be used to carry out the procedure for testing equivalence of these methods. The study used generalized regression models (GRMs) to construct corrective functions. The constructed models were assessed using the coefficients of determination and the methodology of calculating the measurement uncertainty of the device. Measurement data from the two tested devices and the reference method were used to estimate model parameters. The measurement data were collected on a daily basis from 1 February to 30 June 2018 in Nowy Sącz. Regression allowed building multiple models with various functional forms and very promising statistical properties as well as good ability to describe the variability of reference measurements. These models also had very low values of measurement uncertainty. Of all the models constructed, a linear model using the original PM10 concentrations from the tested devices, air humidity, and wind speed was chosen as the most accurate and simplest model. Apart from the coefficient of determination, expanded relative uncertainty served as the measure of quality of the obtained model. Its small value, much lower than 25%, indicates that after correcting the results it is possible to carry out the equivalence testing procedure for the low-cost devices and confirm the equivalence of the tested method with the reference method. Full article
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Article
The Content of Selected Heavy Metals and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in PM10 in Urban-Industrial Area
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5284; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12135284 - 30 Jun 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 694
Abstract
This research concerns the measurement of daily PM10 concentrations and the assessment of heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The measurements were carried out in the urban-industrial area in southern Poland in the period from February to December 2019 (covering heating [...] Read more.
This research concerns the measurement of daily PM10 concentrations and the assessment of heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The measurements were carried out in the urban-industrial area in southern Poland in the period from February to December 2019 (covering heating and non-heating seasons). The metal content of As, Cd, Pb, Ni, Co, Cr, Cu, Zn, V, was estimated using mass spectrometry with inductively excited plasma (ICP-MS), and that of Au and Mg using atomic emission spectrometry with induced plasma (ICP-OES). Analysis of selected PAHs (Naph, Acy, Ace, Fl, Phen, An, Fluo, Pyr, BaA, Chry, BbF, BkF, BaP, IcdP, DahA, BghiP) was performed using a gas chromatograph coupled with mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The share of the analyzed metals in PM10 concentrations was ~1.37% in the entire measurement period, ~1.09% in the heating season and ~1.55% in the non-heating one. High concentrations of aluminum and chromium, observed over the measurement period, indicate the presence of strong anthropogenic sources of both metals. In the case of PAHs in PM10, the average total share of the analyzed was ~1.25%, while this share slightly increased in the heating season (average: ~2.19%) compared to non-heating (average: ~0.63%). Full article
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