Bayreuther Graduiertenschule für Mathematik und Naturwissenschaften (BayNAT)
Investigations towards a better understanding of arsenic-sulfur speciation in aquatic environments: Formation, stability, structural characterization, and conflicting analyses
- Arsenic is a widespread contaminant of global concerns due to its neurotoxicity and carcinogenicity. Particularly critical is the speciation of arsenic, influencing its mobility, toxicity and retention capability. Recently, it was analytically proven that arsenic-sulfur (As-S) species play a dominant role for arsenic cycling in sulfidic systems. The geochemistry of As-S species is not well investigated, yet, and especially the nature of these species, thioarsenites vs. thioarsenates, has been under intense debate. The major objective of the present PhD work was to improve the current knowledge about As-S species by structural characterization, investigations of their occurrence, formation and transformation, and evaluation of the analytical techniques, X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) and ion chromatography coupled to ICP-MS (IC-ICP-MS). By XAS it was shown that under strictly anoxic conditions thioarsenites form in arsenite-sulfide mixes with sulfide (SH-) excess and as co-occurring intermediates during acidic transformation of thioarsenates. Thioarsenites can be specified as highly labile, converting rapidly to thioarsenates in the presence of traces of oxygen, e.g. during standard IC-ICP-MS analyses. Excess hydroxide (OH-) either due to high pH or sample dilution in ultrapure water inhibits the formation of thioarsenites by SH--OH- competition. These facts make the current IC-ICP-MS method even under anoxic conditions unsuitable for thioarsenite analyses. However, thioarsenites were shown to be necessary intermediates for formation of thioarsenates. Thioarsenates determined in natural oxic systems are thus most likely the product of rapid in-situ thioarsenite oxidation. Direct thioarsenite determination is currently only possible by XAS with a limitation on > 5 mM-solutions for structural evaluations. The characteristic coordination and bond length (RAs-S 2.23-2.28 Å) makes thioarsenites distinguishable from thioarsenates (RAs-O 1.70 Å, RAs-S 2.13-2.18 Å). The individual thioarsenates are distinct in their coordination and absorption edge energies, successively decreasing about 1 eV per sulfur atom. Generally, the absorption edge energies decrease in the order arsenate > thioarsenates > arsenite > thioarsenites. This primary XAS-dataset enables the evaluation of (thio)arsenites and (thio)arsenates in mixed solutions. Despite the greater stability of thioarsenates vs. thioarsenites, they also have been shown to transform under certain conditions. Upon acidification they convert to thioarsenites (anoxic) or arsenite (oxic) with subsequent As-S precipitation. The presence of FeII in anoxic solutions or heating (80 °C) results in their decay to substantial amounts of arsenite. Thioarsenates are also easily oxidized by synthetic oxidants, air purging or naturally along hot spring drainage channels. For trithioarsenate, the major species of alkaline hot springs in Yellowstone National Park, two transformation processes have been identified: successive ligand exchange to arsenate, observed naturally and by using a strong oxidant, and the decay to arsenite (and trithioarsenate) in natural systems and under moderately reducing conditions. However, transformation under natural conditions was up to 500 times faster and is likely catalyzed by Thermocrinis spp.. Naturally important are also processes promoting mobilization or immobilization of arsenic from and at mineral surfaces. Arsenopyrite and orpiment belong to the most abundant (Fe-)As-S minerals with particular importance as host rocks for gold refractory. Oxidative leaching of both minerals yielded up to 50% thioarsenates. The release of thioarsenates from orpiment, at pH 7 and 12, is possibly caused by thioarsenite oxidation. Contrary, physisorption of OH- is the proposed mechanism for arsenopyrite with thioarsenate formation only at highly alkaline pH. The immobilization of monothioarsenate by sorption on ironhydroxide was less effective and kinetically slower compared to arsenate and arsenite. The presence of iron in As-S systems was hitherto considered to counteract thioarsenate occurrence. This was refuted by finding up to 17% thioarsenates in Czech spring waters. However, those Fe As S systems are a challenge for sample preservation. While acidification results in As-S precipitation and thioarsenate transformation, flash-freezing as preferred for thioarsenates induces ironhydroxide precipitation. An anoxic gas headspace, a strong matrix and an organic solvent supported the stability of pure thioarsenate solutions, whereas in the presence of iron a combination of EDTA-addition and cryo-preservation is required. Overall, the present PhD thesis reveals the importance of thioarsenites and thioarsenates for arsenic cycling. The results significantly increase the present knowledge on As-S geochemistry and help to define potential for future studies.
Iron in oxides, silicates and alloys under extreme pressure-temperature conditions
- (1) There is a general agreement, that magnesium silicate perovskite (Pv) comprises around 80 vol% of the Earth's lower-mantle, making it by volume the most abundant mineral in our planet, and and there is no doubt that Pv in the mantle contains Fe and Al. However, the exact concentrations are unknown, as well as the effect of pressure on physical properties of Pv at conditions of Earth lower mantle. In our study we investigate Pv with one of the less explored substitution Mg2+A+Si4+B→Fe3+A+Al3+B. Here we explore as a function of pressure and temperature the crystal structure of the material, the distribution of chemical elements between different crystallographic sites and the evolution the spin state of ferric iron, as one of crucial parameters determining electrical and radiative conductivity of the Earth's lower mantle. We perform single-crystal x-ray diffraction on magnesium silicate perovskite with the composition Mg0.63Fe0.37Si0.63Al0.37O3 (MgFeAlPv) using a combination of in-situ diamond anvil cell technique and laser heating in order to simulate the extreme conditions of the Earth's lower mantle. We provide a complete description of the behavior of MgFeAlPv in terms of crystal structure and ferric iron occupying its dodecahedral (A-)site. We observe no spin transition of ferric iron at A-site, confirming theoretical predictions and recent experimental observations. However, even upon heating MgFeAlPv samples to 1800 K at ~78 GPa we see no indication of a spin crossover or a pressure/temperature induced redistribution of ferric iron and aluminum between the different crystallographic sites as suggested previously. We combine these data with high pressure-high temperature measurements to obtain a thermal equation of state. (2) As a model Fe-O system, magnetite is a mixed valence iron oxide incorporating both ferric and ferrous iron. Being essential part of some sedimentary (banded iron formations) and igneous rocks, magnetite can be subjected to high pressure in natural systems, for instance, during subduction of oceanic crust, or during serpentinization (metamorphic reaction). In order to shed light on the complex physical properties of magnetite under compression we conducted a combined single crystal x-ray diffraction and Mössbauer spectroscopy at pressures below 25 GPa. We find no evidence for the transition from inverse to normal spinel in magnetite. Analyzing the collected Mössbauer data, we show that a high spin – intermediate spin transition cannot occur in magnetite in the pressure range of 10-20 GPa, and finally, based on a careful analysis of the data and results reported in the literature, we provide a model consistently describing the behavior of electronic and magnetic properties of magnetite in terms of a gradual charge delocalization induced by pressure. (3) Our study of wüstite (FexO) is focused on the high pressure – low temperature phase diagram of the Fe-end member in the (Mg,Fe)O system. We perform high resolution neutron diffraction experiments in order to investigate the low temperature phase diagram of Fe0.925O and Fe0.94O. We determine the critical temperatures of antiferromagnetic ordering (the Neél temperature TN) and structural transitions (TS) of the two compounds. We report divergence of TN and TS as a function of pressure. We argue that a modification of the defect structure in wüstite can be invoked explaining the drastically different response of Fe0.925O and Fe0.94O to compression. With that we show that although ferric iron is a minor structural component of wüstite, it is an essential component of defect structures and induces profound effects on the low temperature phase diagram of wüstite. (3) We investigate effect of pressure (P) on the elastic and electronic properties of Fe, Fe0.9Ni0.1 hcp phases below 70 GPa. After processing our experimental data, we report a gradual decrease in the ratio of the hcp lattice parameters c/a for Fe in the pressure range below 45-50 GPa, and a non-linear behavior of Mössbauer isomer shift for hcp phases of pure Fe and Fe0.9Ni0.1, suggesting an isostructural transition in these phases. We investigate paramagnetic hcp Fe under compression by employing state-of-art calculations (LDA+DMFT) and including many-body correlation effects. Based on the results of the calculations, we predict an electronic topological transition (ETT). After comparing data on materials with already known ETT with our observations and theoretical predictions, we conclude that results obtained from the independent experimental measurements can be explained in the framework of an ETT. (4) The development of a portable laser heating system was a necessary requirement for our work done on minerals at conditions of Earth’s lower mantle in general, and for the study of magnesium silicate perovskite containing iron and aluminum in particular. The main advantages of the system developed are compactness, versatility for different in-house and synchrotron based techniques, including high pressure measurements of resistivity, Raman spectroscopy, energy and time-resolved Mössbauer spectroscopy, powder and single crystal x-ray diffraction, nuclear inelastic x-ray scattering, and x-ray absorption. These advantages, the low times of assembly, stable and homogeneous conditions for heating, in-situ measurement of sample temperature, as well as the direct visual control over the heating area distinguish our system from similar, but bulkier devices.
Budget and fluxes of nitrogen in mountainous agroecosystems in a summer monsoonal climate under intensive land use
- A balanced nitrogen (N) cycle in intensively managed ecosystems is necessary as it underpins other ecosystem services. This study evaluated the agricultural practices in a typical mountainous catchment in South Korea in respect to N dynamics and their potential effect on water quality with the aim to develop options for a more sustainable catchment management.
In the 1st study, we used two approaches to calculate N budgets for the 5 key crops of the basin at the field scale. The gross and net N budgets for all crop types were found to be positive. Based on the small differences between the results of the two approaches we identified fertilizer N as well as soil Nmin as the dominant N input sources. As fertilizer N application was the major N input source (>50%), its reduction is the major scope of action for N savings at the field scale. A closely linked action is the synchronization of fertilizer N with soil Nmin. The large amount of fertilizer that is applied prior to planting (>60%) at the beginning of the monsoon season revealed that split applications could help reducing the fertilizer N additions and increase the low N use efficiencies (NUE). Based on the significant differences between gross and net N surplus for rice and bean fields, we identified the high amount of plant residues remaining after harvesting (>100 kg N ha-1) as a further factor for potential N savings. The 5 main crops accounted for over 80% of the total catchment N surplus (>400 Mg), even though their contribution to the area was only around 20%. A land use shift to perennial crops with lower N inputs was therefore found to be a possible but spatially limited chance to reduce N surpluses at the catchment scale. The comparison of catchment N surplus with stream N export revealed that 73-86% of the agricultural N surpluses were transported to water bodies in the catchment by either leaching or surface runoff.
In the 2nd study, we followed the fate of fertilizer N in a ridge and furrow (R/F) cultivation with polyethylene (PE) mulch by using 15N tracer. N leaching was simulated with Hydrus 2D. The comparison of 4 N fertilization levels (0, 150, 250 and 350 kg N ha-1) revealed that already 150 kg N ha-1 is sufficient to reach the maximal yield of radishes. Based on the low results of fertilizer N use efficiency (FNUE), we recommend two applications during the first 25 days of growth and a further application around day 50. These split applications adjusted to the plants’ needs increase the FNUE of the radish and decrease the fertilizer N losses during the growing season. However, split applications might be impractical in plastic covered R/F cultivations because mechanical equipment to apply fertilizer under the PE mulch is required. Based on the finding that 15N retention in soil and nitrate concentration in seepage water decreased similarly for ridges and furrows during the entire growing season, we conclude that the PE mulch had no significant effect on 15N retention in soil and on nitrate concentration in seepage water and did therefore not effectively protect the fertilizer in the ridges from percolation. Based on the simulation results, we found that the ridges and furrows contributed approximately an equal amount of leached N to the total amount. We therefore conclude that the PE mulch provided little protection for the fertilizer N in the ridges during heavy rainfall. N leaching amounts were further found to increase linearly with an increase in N addition rate as it is well known for R/F cultivations without PE mulch. The PE mulch did therefore not prevent the linear increase in leaching with an increase in fertilizer N addition. We summarize that without the use of additional measures such as split applications of fertilizer, the application of PE mulch in a summer monsoon climate with heavy rainfall events does not positively influence the N leaching rates.
In the 3rd study, we monitored soil water dynamics in the field and used this data set to simulate the influence of PE mulch on water fluxes with Hydrus 2D. We simulated soil water dynamics in 1) conventional flat tillage (CT); 2) R/F cultivation without PE mulched ridges (RT); and 3) R/F cultivation with PE mulched ridges (RTpm). The comparison of the simulated pressure heads during dry and wet periods revealed that the PE mulch induced significant soil moisture patterns only during the dry periods. During monsoon events, the effect of the PE mulch was dependent on the soil texture and the hydraulic conductivity. Summarizing the advantages and disadvantages of the R/F cultivation with PE mulch on sloped fields, the practice was observed to have the lowest amount of drainage water, the lowest evaporation rates but also the highest surface runoff rates. Hence, PE mulching might be assessed as a tool to reduce percolating water, but it concurrently increases water contribution to the river network by surface runoff.
Mesostrukturierte Metalloxide und Polyoxometallate mittels Ionogener Diblockcopolymere - Synthese, Charakterisierung und Anwendung
- Das Ziel der vorliegenden Arbeit war es, Metalloxide und Polyoxometallate auf der Mesoebene mittels ionogener Diblockcopolymere zu strukturieren, zu charakterisieren und anwendungsspezifisch zu testen. Dabei wurden vor allem drei bisher bekannte Probleme, die mit der Mesostrukturierung von Metalloxiden einhergehen, umgangen.
Zum einen führt die schnelle Hydrolyse und Kondensation reaktiver Metallalkoxid-Precursoren zu unstrukturierbar großen Molekülen. Zum anderen ist oftmals ein direkter Zugang zu der gewünschten Morphologie aufgrund der mizellaren Dynamik des Templates, die von äußeren Einflüssen, wie pH-Wert, Konzentration oder Salzkonzentration abhängt, erschwert. Das dritte Problem ist die schlechte Anbindung des anorganischen Precursors an das organische Templat, was auf schwache, attraktive Wechselwirkungen zwischen beiden Materialien zurückzuführen ist. Generell müssen Hydrolyse, Kondensation und Hybridbildung zwingend synchron ablaufen, um eine Makrophasenseparation zuverlässig zu vermeiden.
Um diese Makrophasenseparation zu vermeiden, wurde am Lehrstuhl AC I ein neuartiges Konzept entwickelt, in dem alle drei Probleme adressiert und gelöst werden konnten. Diese Lösungsansätze werden nachfolgend entsprechend ihrer oben aufgeführten Reihenfolge erklärt. Zunächst wurden anionische oligomere Cluster oder pre-synthetisierte Kolloide als anorganische Precursoren verwendet, anstelle schnell hydrolyisierender und kondensierender Metallalkoxide. Die Cluster besetzen energetische Minima auf dem Weg zu ausgedehnten Oxidstrukturen und neigen somit nicht zur Kondensation. Weiterhin konnte mit 1-dimensionalen kernquervernetzten Polymerbürsten die mizellare Dynamik umgangen werden, da die rigiden zylindrischen Polymerbürsten invariant gegenüber äußeren Einflüssen sind. Außerdem besitzen diese 1-dimensionalen Nanoobjekte ionisierbare Seitenarme, welche einfach protoniert werden können und somit über starke Coulomb-Wechselwirkungen eine stabile Anbindung der anorganischen Oxide an das organische Templat gewährleisten.
Dieses Konzept der ladungsinduzierten Mesostrukturierung mittels molekularer oxidischer Precursoren wurde innerhalb dieser Doktorarbeit weitergeführt, deren Ergebnisse nachfolgend kurz dargestellt werden.
Zuerst wurde am Beispiel von pre-synthetisierten Rutil- und Anatas-Kolloiden gezeigt, dass nicht nur anionische oligomere Cluster, sondern auch Kolloide in 1-dimensionale Poylmerstrukturen eingelagert werden können. Die Kristallstruktur von Rutil und Anatas konnte durch Verwendung unterschiedlicher Säuren (HCl: Rutil; Essigsäure: Anatas) bei der Hydrolyse des Titanalkoxid-Precursors gezielt eingestellt werden. Diese TiO2-Polymorphe besitzen bei niedrigen pH-Werten eine positive Oberflächenladung. Polystyrolsulfonsäure-block-polyallylmethacrylat (PSS-b-PAMA) wurde in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Lehrstuhl MCII als zylindrischer anionischer Antagonist synthetisiert. Die PSS-Seitenarme sind selbst bei niedrigen pH-Werten noch negativ geladen. Die resultierenden 1-dimensionalen Hybridmaterialien besaßen dieselbe Kristallstruktur wie der Precursor, eine homogene Verteilung der Nanopartikel in der Polymermatrix und nach Trocknung eine verschlaufte, sphaghetti-ähnliche Mikrostruktur mit relativ hoher spezifischer Oberfläche.
In einer detaillierteren Studie wurde zusätzlich der Einfluss der Länge der zylindrischen Template auf die Packung der 1-dimensionalen Nanoobjekte und auf die daraus resultierende spezifische Oberfläche untersucht. Dabei wurden zylindrische Hybridmaterialien aus Heteropolysäuren des Keggin-Typ Polyoxometallates (Keggin POM), die in 1-dimensionale Polybutadien-block-poly(2-vinylpyridin) (PB-b-P2VP) Polymerbürsten eingelagert wurden, verwendet. Hierbei zeigte sich insbesondere, dass eine kurze Ultraschallbehandlungsdauer das Aspektverhältnis der 1-dimensionalen Strukturen nur gering verändert, die Dispersion der anisotropen Hybridmaterialien perfektioniert und die interpartikulären Kontaktpunkte innerhalb der Mikrostruktur minimiert. Als Ergebnis wurde hierfür die maximal zugängliche spezifische Oberfläche erhalten. Eine Ausweitung dieses Syntheseprotokolls auf Keggin POMs mit unterschiedlicher Ladung, Heteroatomen und Metallkationen konnte auch erfolgreich durchgeführt werden. Katalysetests dieser Hybridzylinder offenbarten dabei Unterschiede in der Aktivität dieser Nanostäbchen in der sauer katalysierten Zersetzung von Isopropanol.
Angliedernd an die ladungsinduzierten Mesostrukturierung wurde ein neues Synthesekonzept zu invers hexagonal geordneten Polymer/ Keggin POM Mesostrukturen erarbeitet. Als organisches Templat wurde Polybutadien-block-poly(2-dimethylaminoethylmethacrylat) (PB-b-PDMAEMA) mit einem hohen Polymerisations-grad des PB-Blockes synthetisiert. Als weitere Schlüsselfaktoren erwiesen sich neben diesem hohen Polymerisationsgrad des PB-Blockes die Wahl des Lösungsmittel und der Keggin POM-Anteil. Um dieses Material auch für Anwendungen wie der Katalyse ansprechend zu machen, muss das polymere Templat am besten vollständig entfernt werden, um eine möglichst hohe Zugänglichkeit der aktiven Zentren zu gewährleisten. Dies wurde sowohl thermisch als auch mit aggressiveren Methoden versucht. Zum einen wurde durch systematische Studien zur thermischen Entfernung des Templates gezeigt, dass die Mesostruktur kollabiert bevor der Kohlenstoff komplett entfernt werden kann. Zum anderen wurde durch aggressivere Methoden, wie Plasmaätzen, erfolgreich der Zugang zu den Mesoporen an Ultradünnschnitten (<50 nm) realisiert. An die thermische Behandlung reihte sich auch die Umwandlung der geordneten Mesophasen in geordnete Carbid/ Kohlenstoff-Nanokomposite an. Letztere sind für Katalyse oder Ladungsspeicherung auch wissenschaftlich interessant. Für die Umwandlung der geordneten oxidischen Mesophasen in Carbid/ Kohlenstoff Nanokomposite wurde nicht versucht das polymere Templat in den Poren zu entfernen, sondern es wurde zum ersten Mal als Kohlenstoffquelle in der Carbidisierungsreaktion verwendet. Folglich lieferten die hergestellten geordneten Mesophasen einen direkten und einfachen Zugang zu porösen Carbid/ Kohlenstoff Nanokompositen und zeigten katalytische Aktivität in der Zersetzung von Ammoniak.
Diese Arbeit ist eine kumulative Dissertation. Die detaillierten Ergebnisse werden in den angehängten Publikationen beschrieben.
The origins of olivine fabric transitions and their effects on seismic anisotropy in the upper mantle
- Convecting mantle plays a central role in the thermal and geochemical evolution of the Earth. It provides the principal force responsible for major geological features such as mountains and ocean basins. Plate tectonics and its violent consequences such as earthquakes and volcanoes are all manifestations of the dynamics of the convective mantle. Shearing forces generated by mantle convection leads to lattice preferred orientation (LPO) of the major upper mantle mineral phases. LPO that develops in this way is thought to be the principal cause behind seismic anisotropy in the upper mantle, which can consequently be used to chart convective flow of the mantle.
Strong changes in seismic anisotropy occur in the top 300 km of the upper mantle where olivine is the principal mineral. In this study a solid media high pressure deformation apparatus, called the deformation-DIA or D-DIA, has been used to deform aggregates of San Carlos olivine in simple shear geometry at pressures between 3 and 8.5 GPa and temperatures from 1300-1500°C. As part of this project a high pressure and temperature solid-media cubic assembly was developed to facilitate these experiment that employed alumina pistons cut at 45° to shear the sample but minimized cold deformation of the sample by employing initially porous alumina in the sample column. Once stable high pressures and temperature were reached the cubic assembly was deformed by compressing two vertically oriented anvils of the D-DIA, while the four horizontally oriented anvils were maintained at a constant loading force. This assembly shortening led to shearing of the olivine sample. Recovered samples were analyzed for fabric development employing electron backscattered diffraction (EBSD) and microstructure was observed using transmission electron microscopy (TEM).
Experiments were performed at each pressure and temperature as a function of strain rate and H2O content. In dry olivine deformation experiments performed at slower strain rates an A-type fabric dominated at all pressures and temperatures, implying deformation by dislocation glide through the (010) slip system. At higher strain rates evidence for the B-type fabric was observed, suggesting increased activity of the (010) slip system at higher stresses. Recrystallization grains size and dislocation densities were used to estimate stresses in the samples and a good correlation was observed between strain rate and estimated flow stresses. Dry experiments from 8.5 GPa and 1500°C exhibited no LPO, which may be an indication for deformation through diffusion accommodated grain boundary sliding at these conditions. No indication was found that pressure influences the dominant slip system in olivine, in contrast to previous studies. It is considered that previously reported incidences of pressure effects can in fact be attributed to the development of higher stresses in experiments performed at higher pressures.
Fabrics in H2O bearing olivine deformed at similar conditions revealed the overriding dominance of the C-type fabric, developed through action of the (100) slip system. Variations in pressure, temperature and strain rate had little influence on this fabric development. TEM observations confirmed the presence of dislocations with slip systems consistent with the development of the macroscopic fabrics. Viscoplastic self consistent modeling was employed to understand the development of fabric in the samples and to estimate the relative contributions of variations slip systems to the developed fabrics.
These results are used to construct an olivine fabric map which is found to be consistent with some previous studies at lower pressures. It is argued that the decrease in seismic anisotropy observed in the top 300 km of the upper mantle cannot originate from a pressure induced change in the dominant olivine deformation fabric. Instead it is argued that changes in the H2O content of olivine with depth cause a shift in the dominant fabric from A-type to C-type, with a possible excursion through the E-type fabric, dominant slip system (001), which was, however, not observed in this study. Modeling is used to show that this variation in fabric with depth can cause the observed weakening the seismic anisotropy in the upper mantle if the olivine H2O content increases from below 100 ppm at 50 km to 250 ppm at 300 km. Rather than implying an increased in the H2O content of the mantle with depth, however, it is argued that this change in olivine H2O content can be caused by changes in the H2O olivine-pyroxene partition coefficients with depth, for a fixed bulk mantle H2O content of 200 ppm.
Similar deformation experiments performed on a peridotite assemblage at 8.5 GPa and 1300°C indicate identical olivine fabrics to those observed in monomineralic experiments at the same conditions. Fabrics for diopside and enstatite were found to be similar to those found in previously performed lower pressure experiments.
Experiments on a piezoelectric single crystal of GaPO4 were performed in the D-DIA and 6-ram MAVO press at high pressures in order to measure charge on the crystal developed through the application of deviatoric stresses. Electrical charges were measured through the use of an operational amplifier. Experiments performed at room temperature using a developed cubic assembly were successful in measuring quantifiable electrical charges resulting from the advancement of the deformation anvils by as little as 0.5 µm. Although the piezoelectric constant for this material is not yet calibrated at high pressures, stresses were estimated from the measured charges and measureable values were in the range 4-350 MPa.
Comparisons of N2O and CH4 fluxes as affected by land use systems and climate in small catchments in Korea
- In the course of global and climate change humankind has to face extreme weather events with increased intensity and frequency and it has to deal with feeding an increasing number of people which is accompanied by shortage of resources such as water. Since half of humankind directly depends on freshwater and other ecosystem services provided by mountainous areas, it is essential to study such complex terrains and how natural as well as agricultural systems react to climatic and other anthropogenic changes.
Emissions of greenhouse gases like Nitrous oxide (N2O) and Methane (CH4) are of global concern, too, because they are involved in global warming and therewith: climate change. Major sources of N2O are agriculturally managed soils, and very important sources of CH4 are rice paddies. Thus, it is of great importance to study intensively managed agricultural systems and the effects of the management practices on greenhouse gas emissions.
The major focus of this thesis is to quantify dry crop fields’ and forests’ N2O emissions as well as rice paddies’ N2O and CH4 emissions and to identify climatic as well as management related factors and underlying processes which are driving the N2O fluxes in a complex terrain.
A prolonged early summer drought in 2010 led to significant N2O consumption in soil of three different forest sites. The following above-average monsoon rainfall period indeed turned the N2O consumption into emission but could not turn the N2O balance of a forest on sandy-loam substrate from negative into a positive one, which means that for the first time a negative N2O balance was observed for a forest soil during the growing season. The N2O emissions of those forest sites were clearly driven by soil moisture and temperature and there appeared to be an effect of the substrate on N2O emissions as well, as it is increasingly often observed that sandy-loam soils show significant N2O consumption.
Plastic mulching – a worldwide used method in agriculture to increase crop production by enhancing soil temperature, creating more stable soil moisture conditions and restricting arable weed growth – turned out to have a mitigating effect on N2O emissions. DNDC (Denitrification and Decomposition) modeling results matched best with the measurement results when the maximum daily soil temperature and half of the daily precipitation was assumed to occur as dominating climate conditions underneath the impervious polyethylene (PE) film, suggesting that N2O production underneath the plastic cover was driven by soil moisture and temperature. N2O emissions from a non-fertilized soy bean field, which has Nitrogen fixation as an additional Nitrogen source, were similar to the N2O emissions from a radish field after application of an intermediate amount of N fertilizer of 200 kg ha-1.
Comparing N2O and CH4 emissions from rice paddies under different water management practices showed that intermittent irrigation (II) (no continuous flooding, no water logging)
had the least global warming potential (GWP) which was only 30% of the global warming potential (GWP) of a traditionally irrigated (TI) paddy (continuous flooding and water logging). Another practice of 2.5 months of continuous flooding, followed by midseason drainage and reflooding which created moist but non-water logged conditions (FDFM) lead to 66% of the traditionally irrigated paddies combined CH4 and N2O emissions. These results suggest that a trend towards less flooding has a great potential to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from a sandy or sandy-loam substrate, respectively. Studying the three paddies’ subsoil conditions revealed that N2O production and consumption processes had mainly taken place between 25 and 50 cm soil depth judging by N2O concentrations and δ15N-N2O values along the soil profiles of all the investigated paddies as well as gene abundances of denitrifying and nitrifying bacteria of the FDFM paddy.
Apart from these important findings on N2O flux dynamics of three different land use systems, it is noticeable that the N2O emissions of the study region are in general very low which is very pleasing and implies that the area deals with global change challenges and associated intensive agriculture in a way that comparatively only small amounts of N2O degas. But this raises the question after the “why?” considering that large amounts of fertilizer are applied on the fields. This thesis does not have a final answer to that question but it discusses whether the sandy substrate may play a major role for the N dynamics of the whole area. There is evidence that NO3- - as the substrate for denitrification - leaches easily due to the soil conditions. To finally figure out why the N2O emissions are that low a more detailed investigation on the fate of NO3- would be desirable.
Charge and excitation-energy transfer in time-dependent density functional theory
- Learning about and understanding the mechanisms and pathways of charge and excitation-energy transfer of natural molecular complexes is a promising approach for the tailored design of new artificial energy-converting materials. Therefore, next to extensive experimental investigations, a theoretical method that is able to reliably describe and predict these phenomena from first principles is of practical relevance. In principle, density functional theory (DFT) and time-dependent density functional theory (TDDFT) appear as natural choices to study the relevant sizable molecules on a first-principles scale at bearable computational cost. However, the application of standard local and semilocal density functional approximations suffers from well-known deficiencies, in particular, as far as the simulation of charge-transfer phenomena is concerned. The present thesis approaches charge and excitation-energy transfer with the objective of improving the predictive power and extending the range of applicability of (TD)DFT.
The deficiencies of standard density functional approximations have been related to self-interaction. Hence, one major aspect of this work is the extension of the self-interaction correction in Kohn-Sham DFT that is based on the generalized optimized effective potential to TDDFT using a real-time propagation approach. The multiplicative Kohn-Sham potential allows for a transparent analysis of the exchange-correlation potential during time evolution. It reveals frequency-dependent field-counteracting behavior and step structures that appear in dynamic charge-transfer situations. The latter are important for the proper description of charge transfer. Self-interaction correction allows to access many cases that are difficult for standard TDDFT ranging from chain-like systems over excitonic excitations in semiconductor nanoclusters to short- and long-range charge-transfer excitations. At the same time, it does not spoil the reasonable accuracy that already (semi)local functionals exhibit for local excitations. Moreover, the TDDFT perspective on self-interaction correction sheds new light also on the ground-state formalism. Complex degrees of freedom in the energy-minimizing transformation of the generalized optimized effective potential approach yield smoother orbital densities that appear more reasonable when inserted into approximate functionals in the self-interaction correction formalism. This work provides new insight into the use of different functional approximations. Last but not least, the influence of spin-symmetry breaking and step structures of the potential on the preference to transfer integer units of the elementary electric charge between largely separated donor and acceptor moieties is illustrated when static external electric fields are applied. This work has been reported in three publications and one submitted manuscript.
In the field of excitation-energy transfer, recent discoveries of quantum coherence effects shed new light on the mechanisms behind energy-transfer rates. The latter are affected by a number of different properties of the isolated molecules, but involve also effects due to the environment of the system. This thesis addresses excitation-energy transfer phenomena from two perspectives. First, I use real-time propagation TDDFT to investigate the intermolecular coupling strength and the coupling mechanism between single fragments of supermolecular setups. These investigations base on standard closed quantum system TDDFT and exploit the coherent oscillation of excitation energy between separated molecules after the initial excitation process. Second, I use open quantum system ideas in the framework of TDDFT to study the influence of the system’s environment on the energy-transfer time scales and pathways in a circular arrangement of molecules using an effective energy-dissipation mechanism. The first part of these results is published. The second part is presented in this thesis and includes work in progress.
Flow and transport processes as affected by tillage management under monsoonal conditions in South Korea
- A sustainable agriculture, which provides enough yields to satisfy the food demand and minimizes the impacts on ecosystem services such as provision of high water quality, is challenging especially in monsoon regions. In this thesis, plastic mulched ridge cultivation (RTpm) under monsoonal conditions and its impact on flow processes and nitrate transport was investigated.
On hillslopes, we monitored surface and subsurface flow processes in four plastic mulched potato fields using a network of tensiometers, FDR sensors, runoff collectors and flow dividers as well as Brilliant Blue FCF tracer experiments. The obtained datasets were used to calibrate the process-based models HYDRUS 2/3D and EROSION 3D in order to quantify drainage water fluxes, surface runoff and erosion rates of RTpm compared to ridge tillage without coverage (RT) and conventional flat tillage (CT). In a flat terrain, N fate under fertilizer rates at 50, 150, 250 and 350 kg NO3− ha−1 was investigated in a plastic mulched radish field using suction lysimeters, tensiometers and a 15N tracer experiment. We used datasets of nitrate concentrations and matric potentials to calibrate a water flow and solute transport model using the numerical code HydroGeoSphere.
RTpm affects soil water dynamics dominantly during dry periods, when ridge soil was drier compared to furrow soil caused by the protective plastic coverage and root water uptake in ridges. Hence, pressure head gradients induced lateral flow from furrows to ridges. Under monsoonal conditions, soil was fully saturated and down slope lateral flow occurred in the coarse textured topsoil. The dye tracer experiments showed that matrix flow dominated in the sandy topsoil. Lateral funnel flow above the tillage pan was the prominent preferential flow path. Unexpectedly, macropore flow in deeper soil horizons was not detected. The field and modeling studies revealed that surface runoff was substantially increased under RTpm compared to RT and CT. However, the field topography primarily controlled surface runoff and erosion rates. The concavity of the field led to flow accumulation and high erosion losses in the center of the field, while a convex shape resulted in less soil erosion.
NO3− leaching was found to be the prominent pathway especially during the early season. Furthermore, the biomass production did not significantly differ between NO3− fertilizer rates of 150 to 350 kg ha−1. Hence, we recommend NO3− fertilizer application of 150 kg ha−1, a better fertilizer placement and split applications. We simulated whether the given recommendations on fertilizer best management practices (FBMPs) decreased NO3− leaching amounts. Compared to RT under conventional fertilization in ridges and furrows, the simulations showed that NO3− leaching can be considerably reduced up to 82% by combining RTpm, fertilizer placement only in ridges and split applications with a total fertilizer NO3− amount of 150 kg ha−1.
Based on these findings, the impact of RTpm on flow and transport processes has to be evaluated differently depending on terrain complexity. In a flat terrain, where surface runoff processes are absent or minimal, RTpm has several advantages. Beside functions such as weed control, and earlier plant emergence due to higher temperatures, plastic mulching decreases drainage water and NO3− leaching. Thus, RTpm enhances nutrient retention below the plastic mulch and reduces NO3− groundwater contamination risk. On slopes, where precipitation contributes substantially to surface runoff, RTpm even increases runoff, soil erosion and surface leaching of agrochemicals into aquatic systems.
This thesis provides several recommendations, aiming to minimize environmental impacts and to decrease costs of fertilizer and herbicide inputs. To reduce surface runoff and soil erosion at sloped fields, we suggest applying perforated plastic mulch and a ridge configuration following contours of the field. Furthermore, we recommend omitting application of herbicides in furrows to allow weed growth, which slows down runoff processes. These suggestions would increase infiltration and subsurface flow processes automatically become more important. However, absent preferential flow to deeper soil layers indicated a low groundwater contamination risk. Since funnel flow above the tillage pan was found to be the most important preferential flow path, we propose the establishment of riparian buffer zones. This would also help to reduce the discharge of sediments and fertilizers via surface runoff into the streams. Finally, FBMPs such as fertilizer placement only in ridges and split applications were found to decrease nitrate leaching considerably. Hence, we suggest applying FBMPs with impermeable plastic mulch in flat terrain, while on hill slopes FBMPs should be applied with perforated plastic mulch. To reduce the leaching and erosion risk after harvest when the plastic mulched ridges are removed, we recommend cultivating cover crops.
Soil erosion and conservation potential of row crop farming in mountainous landscapes of South Korea
- Soils play an essential role for mankind because they provide fundamental ecosystem services required for human life, primarily for the production of food by providing the environment for plant growth. However, soils worldwide became highly threatened by human induced degradation, especially as a consequence of accelerated erosion by water during recent decades. In consideration of climate change and an increasing food demand of a rising population, there is an urgent need to conserve the soil resources by implementing effective erosion control measures for agricultural production. The effective implementation of those measures strongly depends on the specific conditions of particular regions and requires the analysis of the existing farming systems and their capability for erosion control.
Objective of this thesis is the analysis of the major agricultural practices applied for row crop cultivation in mountainous watersheds of South Korea with respect to water erosion and the identification of their conservation potential. Our first two studies analyze the subsurface flow processes, the runoff patterns, and the associated erosion rates of the widely applied plastic covered ridge-furrow system (plastic mulch), and our third study investigates the impact of herbicide applications on erosion associated with conventional and organic farming. To analyze the flow processes induced by the plastic mulch cultivation, we conducted four irrigation experiments on potato fields that represent a smooth surface, uncovered ridges, and plastic covered ridges with and without a developed crop canopy. With an automatic sprinkler, we irrigated small plots with a dye tracer solution of Brilliant Blue and potassium iodide, collected surface runoff, and excavated soil profiles to visualize the subsurface flow patterns, which were subsequently analyzed by image index functions. We found that the ridge-furrow system, especially when ridges are covered with plastic, decreased infiltration and generated high amounts of surface runoff, whereas a developed crop canopy increased infiltration due to interception and stem flow. The analyses of the subsurface flow patterns show that the plastic covered ridge-furrow system induces preferential infiltration in furrows and planting holes due to its topography and the impermeable covers, but that the impact on flow processes in the soils is relatively small compared to the impact on runoff generation. To identify the patterns of overland flow and the erosion rates associated with the plastic mulch system, we installed runoff collectors to monitor runoff and sediment transport of two potato fields with concave and convex topographies, and we applied the EROSION 3D model to compare the plastic covered ridge-furrow system to uncovered ridges and a smooth surface. We found that plastic mulch cultivation considerably increases soil erosion compared to uncovered ridges as a consequence of high amounts of surface runoff. Our results show that the ridge-furrow system concentrated overland flow on the concave field, resulting in severe gully erosion, but prevented flow accumulation and reduced erosion on the convex field, which demonstrates that the effect of this cultivation strategy is primarily controlled by the field topography and its orientation. To analyze the effects of conventional and organic farming on water erosion, we measured multiple vegetation parameters of crops and weeds of conventional and organic farms cultivating bean, potato, radish, and cabbage, and we simulated long-term soil loss rates with the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE). We found that organic farming reduced erosion for radish, as a result of an increased weed biomass due to the absence of herbicides, but that it increased erosion for potato due to lower crop coverage, presumably as a consequence of crop-weed competition or herbivory associated with the absence of agricultural chemicals. Although we demonstrated that a developed weed cover in the furrows can potentially decrease the erosion risk for row crops, our results show that the average annual erosion rates of both farming systems exceed by far any tolerable soil loss.
In consideration of the generally high soil loss found in our studies, we conclude that the applied farming practices are not capable for effective erosion control and soil conservation in this region. However, based on our findings, we could identify possible modifications of those practices that can help to reduce the risk of erosion in the future. We recommend perforated plastic covers for ridges to reduce runoff generation, and the orientation of the ridge-furrow system along the contours or towards field edges to prevent flow accumulation and gully formation. Additionally, we suggest residue mulching of furrows to protect the soil surface from overland flow, and the cultivation of winter cover crops after harvest to maintain a better soil cover throughout the year.
"The New Chemistry" - Sustainable Catalysis with Alcohols
- Subject of the thesis are new iridium complexes stabilized by anionic P,N- or P,N,P-ligands. These complexes were used in homogeneous catalysis. Furthermore, mechanistic studies were performed to provide an insight into the catalytic cycles. Synthesis protocols for a multitude of different product classes have been developed.
The iridium complex 1, stabilized by a neutral P,N-ligand, reacts under basic conditions with 2-aminopyridines. By elimination of dipyridylamine the new catalyst species 2a was formed, which is more stable than catalyst 1.
Based on this finding eight new anionic P,N-ligands and the resulting iridium complexes were synthesized.
After optimization of the reaction conditions (solvent, base, temperature and catalyst loading) these catalysts were used in BH (borrowing hydrogen)/HA (hydrogen autotransfer) reactions. The selective monoalkylation of anilines with primary alcohols was investigated. In comparative experiments the superiority of the new class of catalysts versus the original catalyst 1 was clearly shown. Under mild reaction conditions (70 °C) the selectivity profile with respect to the monoalkylation has been preserved.
The catalytic protocol was subsequently extended to the alkylation of aromatic diamines. Therefore various diaminobenzenes were used as substrates. Also Dapsone®, an important drug in treatment of leprosy could be used as starting material. We succeeded in both symmetric and unsymmetric monoalkylations of diamines. Due to the selectivity profile of the catalyst regarding aromatic amines, also unprotected amino alcohols could be used as alkylating reagents.
By the use of tridentate P,N,P-ligands, a novel class of more stable catalysts compared to complexes 2a-9a, could be developed. Due to sealing the synthesis reactor with a semipermeable membrane, the retransfer of the “borrowed” hydrogen could be prevented and H2 is released. Dehydrogenation and condensation steps are now possible instead of BH/HA. By reacting secondary alcohols with β-amino alcohols, pyrroles were accessible.
After adapting the synthesis protocol to this new class of products the tolerance of functional groups was tested. Diversely functionalized alcohols were used. Under mild reaction conditions (90 °C) and very low catalyst loadings (down to 0.03 mol% iridium), a large number of novel pyrroles was accessible. Using this protocol 21 differently substituted α,α-pyrroles, 12 bicyclic pyrroles, symmetrically as well as non-symmetrically substituted oligopyrroles and three β-aminopyrroles were synthesized. The catalyst resting state was identified by NMR experiments and X-ray structure analysis to be an iridium trihydride. This trihydride is formed under catalytic conditions, by treatment of the pre-catalyst with alcohols or in hydrogen atmosphere.
In the final part of the work, a catalytic pyridine synthesis was developed. In this so far unknown heterocycle synthesis up to four different substituents could be introduced within a single reaction step. 2,6-, 2,5-, 2,4- and 2,3-substituted pyridines were synthesized selectively by using variously substituted primary or secondary alcohols and γ-amino alcohols. Furthermore, both the synthesis of bicyclic pyridines as well as the synthesis of pyridines that bear chiral substituents is possible.