Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Recycling of Indium From CIGS Photovoltaic Cells: Potential of Combining Acid-Resistant Nanofiltration with Liquid-Liquid Extraction.
Zimmermann, Y.S. ; Niewersch, C. ; Lenz, M. ; Corvini, P.F.X. ; Schäffer, A. ; Wintgens, T. - \ 2014
Environmental Science and Technology 48 (2014)22. - ISSN 0013-936X - p. 13412 - 13418.
electronic waste - nf membranes - recovery - metals - environment - mechanisms - management - rejection - solutes - water
Electronic consumer products such as smartphones, TV, computers, light-emitting diodes, and photovoltaic cells crucially depend on metals and metalloids. So-called “urban mining” considers them as secondary resources since they may contain precious elements at concentrations many times higher than their primary ores. Indium is of foremost interest being widely used, expensive, scarce and prone to supply risk. This study first investigated the capability of different nanofiltration membranes of extracting indium from copper–indium-gallium- selenide photovoltaic cell (CIGS) leachates under low pH conditions and low transmembrane pressure differences (98% by nanofiltration, separating it from parts of the Ag, Sb, Se, and Zn present. LLE using di-(2-ethylhexyl)phosphoric acid (D2EHPA) extracted 97% of the indium from the retentates, separating it from all other elements except for Mo, Al, and Sn. Overall, 95% (2.4 g m–2 CIGS) of the indium could be extracted to the D2EHPA phase. Simultaneously, by nanofiltration the consumption of D2EHPA was reduced by >60% due to the metal concentration in the reduced retentate volume. These results show clearly the potential for efficient scarce metal recovery from secondary resources. Furthermore, since nanofiltration was applicable at very low pH (=0.6), it may be applied in hydrometallurgy typically using acidic conditions.
Thin-Film Photovoltaic Cells: Long-Term Metal(loid) Leaching at Their End-of-Life
Zimmermann, Y.S. ; Schäffer, A. ; Corvini, P.F.X. ; Lenz, M. - \ 2013
Environmental Science and Technology 47 (2013)22. - ISSN 0013-936X - p. 13151 - 13159.
heterojunction solar-cells - daphnia-magna - comparative toxicity - aquatic environment - selenium toxicity - bulk zno - water - cadmium - health - fate
The photovoltaic effect of thin-film copper indium gallium selenide cells (CIGS) is conferred by the latter elements. Organic photovoltaic cells (OPV), relying on organic light-absorbing molecules, also contain a variety of metals (e.g., Zn, Al, In, Sn, Ag). The environmental impact of such technologies is largely unknown, in particular when the physical integrity deteriorates upon end-of-life, possibly facilitating cell constituent leaching. This study analyzed long-term inorganic leaching from damaged OPV and CIGS into different model waters. Leachate concentrations were put into perspective by calculating the predicted environmental concentrations (PEC) for several scenarios. Roof-top acidic rain runoff from CIGS was found to be the predominant emission source for metals and metalloids, with Cd released to such extents that PEC (173.4 µg Cd L–1) would considerably exceed acute toxicity concentrations for Daphnia magna. Other PEC for CIGS (9.9 mg Mo L–1 and 9.4 µg Se L–1) were in the range of teratogenic effects. In contrast, OPV released little metals with calculated PEC being below even conservative drinking water guidelines. Time-resolved single-particle ICP-MS indicated that some metals (Zn, Mo, Ag) were in nanoparticulate form, raising nanotoxicity concerns. Leaching kinetics called for revision of existing standardized (accelerated) leaching protocols because long-term release was most relevant.
ipso-Hydroxylation and Subsequent Fragmentation: a Novel Microbial Strategy To Eliminate Sulfonamide Antibiotics
Ricken, B. ; Corvini, P.F.X. ; Cichocka, D. ; Parisi, M. ; Lenz, M. ; Wyss, D. ; Martínez-Lavanchyd, P.M. ; Müller, J.M. ; Shahgaldiane, P. ; Tulli, L.G. ; Kohler, H.P.E. ; Kolvenbacha, B.A. - \ 2013
Applied and Environmental Microbiology 79 (2013)18. - ISSN 0099-2240 - p. 5550 - 5558.
waste-water treatment - sphingobium-xenophagum bayram - escherichia-coli - resistance genes - bisphenol-a - substitution - biodegradation - degradation - metabolism - cytochrome-p450
Sulfonamide antibiotics have a wide application range in human and veterinary medicine. Because they tend to persist in the environment, they pose potential problems with regard to the propagation of antibiotic resistance. Here, we identified metabolites formed during the degradation of sulfamethoxazole and other sulfonamides in Microbacterium sp. strain BR1. Our experiments showed that the degradation proceeded along an unusual pathway initiated by ipso-hydroxylation with subsequent fragmentation of the parent compound. The NADH-dependent hydroxylation of the carbon atom attached to the sulfonyl group resulted in the release of sulfite, 3-amino-5-methylisoxazole, and benzoquinone-imine. The latter was concomitantly transformed to 4-aminophenol. Sulfadiazine, sulfamethizole, sulfamethazine, sulfadimethoxine, 4-amino-N-phenylbenzenesulfonamide, and N-(4-aminophenyl)sulfonylcarbamic acid methyl ester (asulam) were transformed accordingly. Therefore, ipso-hydroxylation with subsequent fragmentation must be considered the underlying mechanism; this could also occur in the same or in a similar way in other studies, where biotransformation of sulfonamides bearing an amino group in the para-position to the sulfonyl substituent was observed to yield products corresponding to the stable metabolites observed by us.
Organic photovoltaics: Potential fate and effects in the environment
Zimmermann, Y.S. ; Schäffer, A. ; Hugi, C. ; Fent, K. ; Corvini, P.F.X. ; Lenz, M. - \ 2012
Environment International 49 (2012). - ISSN 0160-4120 - p. 128 - 140.
polymer solar-cells - indium-tin-oxide - fullerene water suspensions - life-cycle analysis - polyethylene terephthalate - engineered nanoparticles - biodegradable polymers - aquatic organisms - manufactured nanoparticles - degradation mechanisms
In times of dwindling fossil fuels it is particularly crucial to develop novel “green” technologies in order to cover the increasing worldwide demand for energy. Organic photovoltaic solar cells (OPVs) are promising as a renewable energy source due to low energy requirement for production, low resource extraction, and no emission of greenhouse gasses during use. In contrast to silicium-based solar cells, OPVs offer the advantages of light-weight, semi-transparency and mechanical flexibility. As to a possible forthcoming large-scale production, the environmental impact of such OPVs should be assessed and compared to currently best available technologies. For the first time, this review compiles the existing knowledge and identifies gaps regarding the environmental impact of such OPVs in a systematic manner. In this regard, we discuss the components of a typical OPV layer by layer. We discuss the probability of enhanced release of OPV-borne components into the environment during use-phase (e.g. UV- and biodegradation) and end-of-life phase (e.g. incineration and waste disposal). For this purpose, we compiled available data on bioavailability, bioaccumulation, biodegradation, and ecotoxicity. Whereas considerable research has already been carried out concerning the ecotoxicity of certain OPV components (e.g. nanoparticles and fullerenes), others have not been investigated at all so far. In conclusion, there is a general lack of information about fate, behavior as well as potential ecotoxicity of most of the main OPV components and their degradation/transformation products. So far, there is no evidence for a worrying threat coming from OPVs, but since at present, no policy and procedures regarding recycling of OPVs are in action, in particular improper disposal upon end-of-life might result in an adverse effect of OPVs in the environment when applied in large-scale.
Online Preconcentration-IC-ICP-MS for Selenium Quantification and Speciation at Ultratraces
Lenz, M. ; Floor, G.H. ; Winkel, L.H.E. ; Román-Ross, G. ; Corvini, P.F.X. - \ 2012
Environmental Science and Technology 46 (2012)21. - ISSN 0013-936X - p. 11988 - 11994.
plasma-mass spectrometry - water samples - environmental-samples - chromatography - food - soil - interferences - extraction - behavior - coal
Selenium (Se) is of key importance to human health with a very narrow concentration range of optimal dietary intake. Due to the inherent analytical challenge linked with the low natural abundance, information on precise and accurate Se speciation in deficient environments is hardly existent. This study presents a novel approach to determine Se species-specifically at ultratraces, by online coupling of a preconcentration (trap) column to an ion chromatography inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (IC-ICP-MS) system. It is demonstrated that with this robust and work/time efficient method, the predominant selenium oxyanions, selenite (SeIV) and selenate (SeVI), can be quantified down to 7.3 and 8.3 picogram total Se, respectively, in an overall analytical time of 420 s, only. The applicability for environmental samples was proven on pristine volcanic ashes collected from seven different volcanoes. The high sensitivity of the novel approach allowed to determine speciation in samples that were strongly depleted in total selenium (
Shedding Light on Selenium Biomineralization: Proteins Associated with Bionanominerals
Lenz, M. ; Kolvenbach, B. ; Gygax, B. ; Moes, S. ; Corvini, P.F.X. - \ 2011
Applied and Environmental Microbiology 77 (2011)13. - ISSN 0099-2240 - p. 4676 - 4680.
rhodospirillum-rubrum - respiring bacteria - nanoparticles - reduction - hydrogenase - tolerance - features
Selenium reducing microorganisms produce elemental selenium nanoparticles with particular physico-chemical properties being due to an associated organic fraction. This study identified high affinity proteins being associated with such bionanominerals and with non-biogenic elemental selenium. Proteins with an anticipated functional role in selenium reduction, such as a metalloid reductase, were found associated with nanoparticles formed by one selenium respirer, Sulfurospirillum barnesii.
Combined Speciation Analysis by X-ray Absorption Near-Edge Structure Spectroscopy, Ion Chromatography, and Solid-Phase Microextraction Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry To Evaluate Biotreatment of Concentrated Selenium Wastewaters
Lenz, M. ; Hullebusch, E.D. van; Farges, F. ; Nikitenko, S. ; Corvini, P.F.X. ; Lens, P.N.L. - \ 2011
Environmental Science and Technology 45 (2011)3. - ISSN 0013-936X - p. 1067 - 1073.
anaerobic granular sludge - reducing bacterial biofilms - agricultural drainage - waste-water - selenate - removal - bioremediation - reduction - oxyanions - sediments
In this study we evaluate the potential of anaerobic granular sludge as an inoculum for the bioremediation of selenium-contaminated waters using species-specific analytical methods. Solid species formed by microbial reduction were investigated using X-ray absorption near-edge structure (XANES) spectroscopy at the selenium K-edge. Furthermore, dissolved selenium species were specifically determined by ion chromatography (IC) and solid-phase microextraction gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (SPME-GC-MS). Least-squares linear combination of the XANES spectra for samples incubated with the highest selenate/selenite concentrations (10(-3) M) show the predominance of elemental selenium and a Se(-I) selenide, such as ferroselite, the thermodynamically most stable iron selenide. In contrast, elemental selenium and Se(-II) selenides are the main species detected at the lower selenate/selenite concentrations. In each repeated fed batch incubation, most aqueous selenite anions were converted into solid selenium species, regardless of the type of electron donor used (acetate or H(2)/CO(2)) and the selenium concentration applied. On the other hand, at higher concentrations of selenate (10(-4) and 10(-3) M), significant amounts of the oxyanion remained unconverted after consecutive incubations. SPME-GC-MS demonstrated selenium alkylation with both electron donors investigated, as dimethyl selenide (DMSe) and dimethyl diselenide (DMDSe). Selenite was even more alkylated in the presence of H(2)/CO(2) (maximum 2156 µg of Se/L of DMSe + DMDSe) as compared to acetate (maximum 50 µg of Se/L). In contrast, selenate was less alkylated using both electron donors (maximum 166 and 3 µg of Se/L, respectively). The high alkylation potential for selenite limits its bioremediation in selenium laden waters involving H(2)/CO(2) as the electron donor despite the fact that nontoxic elemental selenium and thermodynamically stable metal selenide species are formed
Selenate removal in methanogenic and sulfate-reducing upflow anaerobic sludge bed reactors
Lenz, M. ; Hullebusch, E.D. van; Hommes, G. ; Corvini, P.F.X. ; Lens, P.N.L. - \ 2008
Water Research 42 (2008)8-9. - ISSN 0043-1354 - p. 2184 - 2194.
afvalwaterbehandeling - bioreactoren - slib - selenium - verwijdering - efficiëntie - biologische filtratie - slibzuivering - sulfaatreductie - waste water treatment - bioreactors - sludges - removal - efficiency - biological filtration - sludge treatment - sulfate reduction - acid-mine drainage - granular sludge - elemental selenium - respiring bacteria - waste-water - se - reduction - sediments - coal - particulate
This paper evaluates the use of upflow anaerobic sludge bed (UASB) bioreactors (30 degrees C, pH = 7.0) to remove selenium oxyanions from contaminated waters (790 mu g Se L-1) under methanogenic and sulfate-reducing conditions using lactate as electron donor. One UASB reactor received sulfate at different sulfate to selenate ratios, while another UASB was operated under methanogenic conditions for 132 days without sulfate in the influent. The selenate effluent concentrations in the sulfate-reducing and methanogenic reactor were 24 and 8 mu gSeL(-1), corresponding to removal efficiencies of 97% and 99%, respectively. X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis and sequential extractions showed that selenium was mainly retained as elemental selenium in the biomass. However, the total dissolved selenium effluent concentrations amounted to 73 and 80 mu gSeL(-1), respectively, suggesting that selenate was partly converted to another selenium compound, most likely colloidally dispersed Sea nanoparticles. Possible intermediates of selenium reduction (selenite, dimethylselenide, dimethyldiselenide, H2Se) could not be detected. Sulfate reducers removed selenate at molar excess of sulfate to selenate (up to a factor of 2600) and elevated dissolved sulfide concentrations (up to 168mgL(-1)), but selenium removal efficiencies were limited by the applied sulfate-loading rate. in the methanogenic bioreactor, selenate and dissolved selenium removal were independent of the sulfate load, but inhibited by sulfide (101 mg L-1). The selenium removal efficiency of the methanogenic UASB abruptly improved after 58 days of operation, suggesting that a specialized selenium-converting population developed in the reactor. This paper demonstrates that both sulfate-reducing and methanogenic UASB reactors can be applied to remove selenate from contaminated natural waters and anthropogenic waste streams, e.g. agricultural drainage waters, acid mine drainage and flue gas desulfurization bleeds.
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