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Environmental chemistry articles from across Nature Portfolio

Environmental chemistry is the study of chemical processes that occur in water, air, terrestrial and living environments, and the effects of human activity on them. It includes topics such as astrochemistry, atmospheric chemistry, environmental modelling, geochemistry, marine chemistry and pollution remediation.

research paper on environmental chemistry

A fast evaporative method for extracting lithium from brines

An array of fibre crystallizers quickly evaporates water and selectively extracts lithium from brines.

  • Ryan M. DuChanois

Related Subjects

  • Astrochemistry
  • Atmospheric chemistry
  • Environmental monitoring
  • Geochemistry
  • Marine chemistry
  • Pollution remediation

Latest Research and Reviews

research paper on environmental chemistry

Involvement of silver and palladium with red peanuts skin extract for cotton functionalization

  • Hossam E. Emam
  • Nancy S. El-Hawary
  • Hanan B. Ahmed

research paper on environmental chemistry

Remote sensing and model analysis of biomass burning smoke transported across the Atlantic during the 2020 Western US wildfire season

  • Xavier Ceamanos
  • Quentin Coopman
  • Cathy Clerbaux

research paper on environmental chemistry

Investigating the role of bulking agents in compost maturity

  • Khadija Zahra
  • Muhammad Farhan
  • Gul Zareen Ghafoor

research paper on environmental chemistry

Hydrolase mimic via second coordination sphere engineering in metal-organic frameworks for environmental remediation

Enzymatic degradation of pollutants under mild conditions is promising for efficient degradation of environmental contaminants under facile operation conditions, but natural enzymes tend to lose enzymatic activity in environmental application scenarios. Here, the authors report a metal-organic frameworks-based artificial enzyme system to achieve high hydrolytic activity under mild conditions.

  • Xiaoling Wu
  • Wenyong Lou

research paper on environmental chemistry

Effect of forest-based biochar on maturity indices and bio-availability of heavy metals during the composting process of organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OFMSW)

  • Omid Hassanzadeh Moghimi
  • Gholamreza Nabi Bidhendi
  • Amir Nabi Bidhendi

research paper on environmental chemistry

Ultra-fast adsorption of radioactive technetium ( 99m Tc) by using mining waste clay samples, Abu-Tartur, Egypt

  • Ahmed Saleh Ahmed
  • Walaa Ali Hassan
  • Mostafa Ragab Abukhadra


News and Comment

research paper on environmental chemistry

Guidelines for measuring and reporting particle removal efficiency in fibrous media

Adopting standardized and reliable methodologies to accurately measure particle removal efficiency when developing fibrous materials for controlling airborne contamination is crucial. Here, the authors recommend best practices for experimental assessments and reporting to ensure a reliable evaluation of new airborne particle filtration media and technologies.

  • Paolo Tronville
  • Vincenzo Gentile
  • Jesus Marval

Emissions from natural hydrogen

  • James Gallagher

research paper on environmental chemistry

Arctic rivers tell tales of change

Two decades of measurements across large Arctic rivers reveal unexpectedly divergent biogeochemical changes that have important implications for the Arctic Ocean. This calls for an improved understanding of current disruptions over the boundless Arctic landscape.

  • Fabrice Lacroix

research paper on environmental chemistry

Modern chemistry is rubbish

To combat worsening environmental crises, chemistry needs a redesign. We see the need for a triple focus on efficiency, safety and circularity as a prerequisite for chemistry to serve sustainability and ensure that essential chemical products and processes are waste-free, functional and safe for both humans and the environment.

  • Hannah Flerlage
  • J. Chris Slootweg

research paper on environmental chemistry

Perry L. McCarty 1931–2023

Perry L. McCarty, a pioneer in environmental biotechnology, passed away at the age of 91. His contributions to environmental engineering will live on.

  • Craig S. Criddle
  • Richard G. Luthy
  • Chungheon Shin

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research paper on environmental chemistry

Royal Society of Chemistry

2019 Best Papers published in the Environmental Science journals of the Royal Society of Chemistry

ORCID logo

In 2019, the Royal Society of Chemistry published 180, 196 and 293 papers in Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts , Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology , and Environmental Science: Nano , respectively. These papers covered a wide range of topics in environmental science, from biogeochemical cycling to water reuse to nanomaterial toxicity. And, yes, we also published papers on the topic of the environmental fate, behavior, and inactivation of viruses. 1–10 We are extremely grateful that so many authors have chosen our journals as outlets for publishing their research and are equally delighted at the high quality of the papers that we have had the privilege to publish.

Our Associate Editors, Editorial Boards, and Advisory Boards were enlisted to nominate and select the best papers from 2019. From this list, the three Editors-in-Chief selected an overall best paper from the entire Environmental Science portfolio. It is our pleasure to present the winners of the Best Papers in 2019 to you, our readers.

Overall Best Paper

In this paper, Johansson et al. examine sea spray aerosol as a potential transport vehicle for perfluoroalkyl carboxylic and sulfonic acids. The surfactant properties of these compounds are well known and, in fact, key to many of the technical applications for which they are used. The fact that these compounds are enriched at the air–water interface makes enrichment in sea spray aerosols seem reasonable. Johansson et al. systematically tested various perfluoroalkyl acids enrichment in aerosols under conditions relevant to sea spray formation, finding that longer chain lengths lead to higher aerosol enrichment factors. They augmented their experimental work with a global model, which further bolstered the conclusion that global transport of perfluoroalkyl acids by sea spray aerosol is and will continue to be an important process in determining the global distribution of these compounds.

Journal Best Papers

Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts

First Runner-up Best Paper: Yamakawa, Takami, Takeda, Kato, Kajii, Emerging investigator series: investigation of mercury emission sources using Hg isotopic compositions of atmospheric mercury at the Cape Hedo Atmosphere and Aerosol Monitoring Station (CHAAMS), Japan , Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts , 2019, 21 , 809–818, DOI: 10.1039/C8EM00590G .

Second Runner-up Best Paper: Avery, Waring, DeCarlo, Seasonal variation in aerosol composition and concentration upon transport from the outdoor to indoor environment , Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts , 2019, 21 , 528–547, DOI: 10.1039/C8EM00471D .

Best Review Article: Cousins, Ng, Wang, Scheringer, Why is high persistence alone a major cause of concern? Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts , 2019, 21 , 781–792, DOI: 10.1039/C8EM00515J .

Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology

First Runner-up Best Paper: Yang, Lin, Tse, Dong, Yu, Hoffmann, Membrane-separated electrochemical latrine wastewater treatment , Environ. Sci.: Water Res. Technol. , 2019, 5 , 51–59, DOI: 10.1039/C8EW00698A .

Second Runner-up Best Paper: Genter, Marks, Clair-Caliot, Mugume, Johnston, Bain, Julian, Evaluation of the novel substrate RUG™ for the detection of Escherichia coli in water from temperate (Zurich, Switzerland) and tropical (Bushenyi, Uganda) field sites , Environ. Sci.: Water Res. Technol. , 2019, 5 , 1082–1091, DOI: 10.1039/C9EW00138G .

Best Review Article: Okoffo, O’Brien, O’Brien, Tscharke, Thomas, Wastewater treatment plants as a source of plastics in the environment: a review of occurrence, methods for identification, quantification and fate , Environ. Sci.: Water Res. Technol. , 2019, 5 , 1908–1931, DOI: 10.1039/C9EW00428A .

Environmental Science: Nano

First Runner-up Best Paper: Janković, Plata, Engineered nanomaterials in the context of global element cycles , Environ. Sci.: Nano , 2019, 6 , 2697–2711, DOI: 10.1039/C9EN00322C .

Second Runner-up Best Paper: González-Pleiter, Tamayo-Belda, Pulido-Reyes, Amariei, Leganés, Rosal, Fernández-Piñas, Secondary nanoplastics released from a biodegradable microplastic severely impact freshwater environments , Environ. Sci.: Nano , 2019, 6 , 1382–1392, DOI: 10.1039/C8EN01427B .

Best Review Article: Lv, Christie, Zhang, Uptake, translocation, and transformation of metal-based nanoparticles in plants: recent advances and methodological challenges , Environ. Sci.: Nano , 2019, 6 , 41–59, DOI: 10.1039/C8EN00645H .

Congratulations to the authors of these papers and a hearty thanks to all of our authors. As one can clearly see from the papers listed above, environmental science is a global effort and we are thrilled to have contributions from around the world. In these challenging times, we are proud to publish research that is not only great science, but also relevant to the health of the environment and the public. Finally, we also wish to extend our thanks to our community of editors, reviewers, and readers. We look forward to another outstanding year of Environmental Science , reading the work generated not just from our offices at home, but also from back in our laboratories and the field.

Kris McNeill, Editor-in-Chief

Paige Novak, Editor-in-Chief

Peter Vikesland, Editor-in-Chief

  • A. B Boehm, Risk-based water quality thresholds for coliphages in surface waters: effect of temperature and contamination aging, Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts , 2019, 21 , 2031–2041,   10.1039/C9EM00376B .
  • L. Cai, C. Liu, G. Fan, C Liu and X. Sun, Preventing viral disease by ZnONPs through directly deactivating TMV and activating plant immunity in Nicotiana benthamiana , Environ. Sci.: Nano , 2019, 6 , 3653–3669,   10.1039/C9EN00850K .
  • L. W. Gassie, J. D. Englehardt, N. E. Brinkman, J. Garland and M. K. Perera, Ozone-UV net-zero water wash station for remote emergency response healthcare units: design, operation, and results, Environ. Sci.: Water Res. Technol. , 2019, 5 , 1971–1984,   10.1039/C9EW00126C .
  • L. M. Hornstra, T. Rodrigues da Silva, B. Blankert, L. Heijnen, E. Beerendonk, E. R. Cornelissen and G. Medema, Monitoring the integrity of reverse osmosis membranes using novel indigenous freshwater viruses and bacteriophages, Environ. Sci.: Water Res. Technol. , 2019, 5 , 1535–1544,   10.1039/C9EW00318E .
  • A. H. Hassaballah, J. Nyitrai, C. H. Hart, N. Dai and L. M. Sassoubre, A pilot-scale study of peracetic acid and ultraviolet light for wastewater disinfection, Environ. Sci.: Water Res. Technol. , 2019, 5 , 1453–1463,   10.1039/C9EW00341J .
  • W. Khan, J.-Y. Nam, H. Woo, H. Ryu, S. Kim, S. K. Maeng and H.-C. Kim, A proof of concept study for wastewater reuse using bioelectrochemical processes combined with complementary post-treatment technologies, Environ. Sci.: Water Res. Technol. , 2019, 5 , 1489–1498,   10.1039/C9EW00358D .
  • J. Heffron, B. McDermid and B. K. Mayer, Bacteriophage inactivation as a function of ferrous iron oxidation, Environ. Sci.: Water Res. Technol. , 2019, 5 , 1309–1317,   10.1039/C9EW00190E .
  • S. Torii, T. Hashimoto, A. T. Do, H. Furumai and H. Katayama, Impact of repeated pressurization on virus removal by reverse osmosis membranes for household water treatment, Environ. Sci.: Water Res. Technol. , 2019, 5 , 910–919,   10.1039/C8EW00944A .
  • J. Miao, H.-J. Jiang, Z.-W. Yang, D.-y. Shi, D. Yang, Z.-Q. Shen, J. Yin, Z.-G. Qiu, H.-R. Wang, J.-W. Li and M. Jin, Assessment of an electropositive granule media filter for concentrating viruses from large volumes of coastal water, Environ. Sci.: Water Res. Technol. , 2019, 5 , 325–333,   10.1039/C8EW00699G .
  • K. L. Nelson, A. B. Boehm, R. J. Davies-Colley, M. C. Dodd, T. Kohn, K. G. Linden, Y. Liu, P. A. Maraccini, K. McNeill, W. A. Mitch, T. H. Nguyen, K. M. Parker, R. A. Rodriguez, L. M. Sassoubre, A. I. Silverman, K. R. Wigginton and R. G. Zepp, Sunlight mediated inactivation of health relevant microorganisms in water: a review of mechanisms and modeling approaches, Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts , 2018, 20 , 1089–1122,   10.1039/C8EM00047F .


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