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  • China has implemented strict emission control measures, but it is unclear how they affect black carbon (BC) aging and light absorption. Here, we use the Community Atmosphere Model version 6 (CAM6) with the four-mode version of the Modal Aerosol Module coupled with machine learning (MAM4-ML) to simulate BC aging during 2011-2018 and 2050/2100 following a carbon neutrality scenario (SSP1-2.6), respectively. During 2011-2018, the mass ratio of coatings to BC () widely increased (5.4% yr) over the east of China. The increased secondary organic aerosol (SOA) coatings dominate (88%) the increased , while the sulfate coatings decrease. The drivers of BC coating changes come from the different magnitudes of emission reductions in secondary aerosol precursors (i.e., volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and SO) and BC. During 2011-2018, the increased enhances the BC mass absorption cross section (MAC, 0.7% yr). In 2050/2100 for SSP1-2.6, emission control leads to further increased (95/145%) and BC MAC (12/17%). For both 2011-2018 and 2050/2100, the enhanced BC MAC partly offsets the declining direct radiative effect (DRE) of BC due to direct emission reduction. As a result, the full impact of direct emission reductions of BC on BC DRE is only 75% for 2011-2018 and 90/94% for 2050/2100.

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  • Significant efforts have been devoted to assess the effects of the poly-gamma-glutamic acid (γ-PGA) on crop growth, yield and quality, soil water retention and fertilizer use efficiency. However, few studies have evaluated the effects of γ-PGA on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and grain yield from paddy fields with different rice varieties.

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  • Excess agricultural biomass waste is increasing rapidly, leading to many environmental and governance issues. Therefore, increased attention has been paid to the recycling and value-added application of agricultural biomass waste. In recent years, the research of agricultural biomass waste utilization and derived functional materials has mainly included the following two aspects: ① the extraction of natural polymers and value-added applications and ② the direct preparation of new carbon-based materials, including adsorption, catalysis, energy storage electrode, and composite functional materials. The conversion of agricultural biomass waste into functional materials has been gradually realized and widely used. To enable industrial-scale production and the quality and safety of agricultural biomass waste derivatives and to develop highly feasible and cost-effective biomass waste conversion methods should be the focus of future studies.

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  • Black carbon (BC) is emitted into the atmosphere during combustion processes, often in conjunction with emissions such as Nitrogen oxides (NO) and Ozone (O), which are also by-products of combustion. In highly polluted regions, combustion processes are one of the main sources of aerosols and particulate matter (PM) concentrations, which affect the radiative budget. Despite the high relevance of this air pollution metric, BC monitoring is quite expensive in terms of instrumentation and of maintenance and servicing. With the aim to provide tools to estimate BC while minimising instrumentation costs, we use machine learning approaches to estimate BC from air pollution and meteorological parameters (NO, O, PM, relative humidity (RH), and solar radiation (SR)) from currently available networks. We assess the effectiveness of various machine learning models, such as random forest (RF), support vector regression (SVR), and multilayer perceptron (MLP) artificial neural network, for predicting black carbon (BC) mass concentrations in areas with high BC levels such as Northern Indian cities (Delhi and Agra), across different seasons. The results demonstrate comparable effectiveness among the models, with the multilayer perceptron (MLP) showing the most promising results. In addition, the comparability between estimated and monitored BC concentrations was high. In Delhi, the MLP shows high correlations between measured and modelled concentrations during winter (R: 0.85) and post-monsoon (R: 0.83) seasons, and notable metrics in the pre-monsoon (R: 0.72). The results from Agra are consistent with those from Delhi, highlighting the consistency of the neural network's performance. These results highlight the usefulness of machine learning, particularly MLP, as a valuable tool for predicting BC concentrations. This approach provides critical new opportunities for urban air quality management and mitigation strategies and may be especially valuable for megacities in medium- and low-income regions.

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  • Amidst the rapid development of the textile industry, wastewater problems also arise. High-performance materials for reactive black 5 (RB5) dye treatment by adsorption and photocatalysis were evolved using Titanium dioxide (TiO) nanoparticles on carbon media. Herein, the synthesis of spherical carbon via the water-in-oil emulsion method alongside a sol-gel process and the production of TiO nanoparticles using the precipitation procedure of Titanium isopropoxide and carbonization at 700-900°C for 2 h are a novel approach in this work. The characterization of these materials indicates that different temperatures result in distinct properties, for instance, raised pores on the surface of the media and changes in the crystal structure of TiO. The results show that the as-synthesized material carbonized at 900°C had distinguished dye adsorption, up to 430 ppm in 1 h, due to their high surface area and pore volume. On the contrary, the calcined 700°C condition had the prominent photocatalytic efficiency on account of the heterojunction band gap between anatase and rutile crystal structure. A mixed phase minimizes the charge recombination, subsequently increasing the photocatalytic capability.

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  • Microplastics and their interaction with microorganisms in Bosten Lake sediment.

    Microplastics (MPs), discovered in oceans, lakes, and rivers, can infiltrate the food chain through ingestion by organisms, potentially posing health risks. Our research is the first to study the composition and distribution of MPs in Bosten Lake's sediment. In May, the average abundance of MPs was 0.95±0.72 particles per 10 gs, and in October, it was 0.90±0.61 particles per 10 gs. Bohu Town had the highest MP abundance, with 1.75±0.35 particles per 10 gs in spring and 2 ± 0 particles per 10 gs in autumn. In May, 53 % of the MPs were transparent, while in October, black MPs constituted 58 %. The predominant morphology was fibrous, accounting for 61 % of the total. MPs in the size range of 0.2-1 mm made up 91 % and 66 % of the total in May and October, respectively. The most common types of MPs in May were polyethylene terephthalate (PET) at 40 % and polyethylene (PE) at 26 %. In October, PET was the most prevalent at 71 %, followed by poly(ether-ether-ketone)(PEEK) at 11 %. Certain microbial taxa, such as Actinobacteriota, Pseudomonas, and Vicinamibacteraceae, associated with MP degradation or complex carbon chain breakdown, were notably enriched in sediment areas with high MP concentrations. A significant positive correlation was observed between the abundance of MPs in sediments and Actinobacteriota. Additionally, the abundance of Thiobacillus, Ca.competibacter, and other bacteria involved in soil element cycling showed a significant positive correlation with the organic matter content in the sediments. Anaerobic bacteria like Thermoanaerobacterium displayed a significant positive correlation with water depth. Our study reveals the presence, composition, and distribution of MPs in Bosten Lake's sediments, shedding light on their potential ecological impact.

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  • Emissions were sampled from firing an M4 carbine rifle and a M9 (military issue of Beretta 75 FS 9 mm pistol) to develop sampling methods and assess potential exposures and range contamination issues. Breech and muzzle emissions were sampled from the rifle when firing M855A1 ammunition (lead (Pb)-free slugs) in single- and triple-shot burst mode and from single pistol shots when firing 9 mm XM1152 ammunition (not Pb-free). Emissions were sampled for carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO), methane, hydrogen cyanide, ammonia, particulate matter by size, polycylic aromatic hydrocarbons, and volatile organics. Analyses on the particles included elemental composition, size distribution, carbon composition (black, total, organic, and elemental carbon), and particle composition and morphology. Emission concentrations from both the rifle and pistol were characterized by CO/CO ratios between, approximately, 1/1 and 2/1, respectfully, indicating incomplete carbon oxidation. The initial particle size distribution was dominated in number by particles smaller than 40 nm but the high particle concentrations led to rapid agglomeration. The abundance of CO and metals of inhalable particle size are noteworthy and indicate that further assessment of exposure would determine potential inhalation health hazards, particularly in indoor firing ranges.

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  • This work reports the production of biocompatible thin layers for biomedical applications based on a graphene-like material (GL), a graphene-related material (GRM) obtained from carbon black. GL was combined in a hybrid fashion with polydopamine (pDA), a mussel-inspired water-resistant wet adhesive bonding obtained by the oxidative polymerization of dopamine (DA), and polyvinyl pyrrolidinone (PVP), a nontoxic synthetic polymer with intrinsic adhesion properties, to obtain a tighter adhesion of the thin layer to the substrate (silicone slices). Matrix-assisted pulsed laser evaporation (MAPLE) was used to coat PDMS slices with thin films of GL-pDA and GL-PVP directly from their frozen suspensions in water. The results indicate that the relevant chemical-physical characteristics of both thin films (evidenced by FTIR and AFM) were maintained after MAPLE deposition and that the films exhibit uniformity also at the nanometric level. After deposition, the GL-pDA and GL-PVP films underwent a biological survey toward murine fibroblasts (NIH3T3), human keratinocytes (HaCAT), and human cervical adenocarcinoma epithelial-like (HeLa) cells to assess the feasibility of this approach. Results indicate that both the GL-pDA and GL-PVP films did not perturb the biological parameters evaluated, including cytoskeleton alterations. Both hybrid films enhanced the effects of GL on cellular vitality across all cell lines. Specifically, the GL-pDA film exhibited a more stable effect over time (up to 72 h), whereas the GL-PVP film behaved similarly to the GL film in NIH3T3 and HeLa cell lines after long-term exposure. These promising results make the GL-pDA and GL-PVP films potential candidates for the manufacture of coated flexible devices for biomedical applications.

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  • This study aims to assess the amount of organic carbon stored in soils, as it is an intention of knowing the sustainable soil management, by using two common methods for determining soil organic matter (SOM), namely oxidation with acidified wet dichromate (Walkley-Black method-WB) and loss on ignition (LOI). The study was carried with soil samples collected from a depth of 0 to 30 cm in the Saharan arid region of Ghardaïa (Algeria), with different land uses: agricultural, forest and pastoral. The results obtained from the LOI and WB methods were subjected to statistical analysis, and the relations between both methods were tested to investigate their relationship. The mean percentage of SOM values were 1.86, 2.42, 1.54 by using LOI, but, lower values of 0.34, 0.33, 0.36 were determined by using WB method, for agricultural, forest and pastoral soils respectively. A weak linear relationship between the two analytical procedures was obtained (R of 0.19 and 0.13 for agricultural and forest soils), while a medium relationship (R = 0.65) was found for pastoral soils when using linear adjustment. However, the opposite behaviour was found when we use the logarithmic adjustment. The study outcomes indicated discrepancies in the measurements of SOM values between the two methods, been higher those estimated with LOI. Finally, in order to identify the best methodology to measure soil organic matter in arid soils, more research is required in these extreme arid regions as they are a gap in world soil organic matter maps.

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  • Catalytic effects of graphene structures on Pt/graphene catalysts.

    Pt/C catalysts have been considered the ideal cathodic catalyst for proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) due to their superior oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) catalytic activity at low temperatures. However, oxidation and corrosion of the carbon black support at the cathode result in the agglomeration of Pt particles, which reduces the active sites in the Pt/C catalyst. Graphene supports have shown great promise to address this issue, and therefore, finding out the main structural features of the graphene support is of great significance for guiding the rational construction of graphene-based Pt (Pt/graphene) catalysts for optimized ORR catalysts. In order to systematically study the influence of the structural features of the graphene support on the electro-catalytic properties of Pt/graphene catalysts, we prepared porous nitrogen-doped reduced graphene oxide (P-NRGO), nitrogen-doped reduced graphene oxide (NRGO), treated P-NRGO (TP-NRGO) and reduced graphene oxide (RGO) with different nitrogen species contents (7.76, 7.54, 3.24, and 0.14 at%), oxygen species contents (18.68, 18.12, 6.34 and 21.12 at%), specific surface areas (370.4, 70.6, 347.7 and 276.2 m g) and pore volumes (1.366, 0.1424, 1.3299 and 1.0414 cm g). The ORR activity of the four Pt/graphene catalysts when listed in the order of their half-wave potentials ( ) and peak power densities was found to be as Pt/P-NRGO > Pt/NRGO > Pt/TP-NRGO > Pt/RGO. The long-term durability of Pt/P-NRGO for the operation of H-air PEMFCs is better than that of commercial Pt/C catalysts. The excellent ORR catalytic performance of Pt/P-NRGO compared to that of the other three Pt/graphene catalysts is ascribed to the high nitrogen species content of P-NRGO that can facilitate the uniform dispersion of Pt particles and provide accessible active sites for ORR. The results indicate that the specific surface area (SSA) and heteroatom dopants have strong influence on the Pt particle size, and that the nitrogen species of graphene supports play a more important role than the oxygen species, specific surface area and pore volume for the Pt/graphene catalysts in providing accessible active sites.

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