Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 889

Environmental and Ecological Engineering

Seasonal Influence on Environmental Indicators of Beach Waste
The environmental indicators and the classification of beach waste are essential tools to diagnose the current situation and to indicate ways to improve the quality of this environment. The purpose of this paper was to perform a quali-quantitative analysis of the beach waste on the Curva da Jurema Beach (Espírito Santo - Brazil). Three transects were used with equidistant positioning over the total length of the beach for the solid waste collection. Solid wastes were later classified according to their use and primary raw material from the low and high summer season. During the low season, average values of 7.10 items.m-1, 18.22 g.m-1 and 0.91 g.m-2 were found for the whole beach, and transect 3 contributed the most waste, with the total sum of items equal to 999 (49%), a total mass of 5.62 kg and a total volume of 21.31 L. During the high summer season, average values of 8.22 items.m-1, 54.40 g.m-1 and 2.72 g.m-2 were found, with transect 2 contributing the most to the total sum with 1,212 items (53%), a total mass of 10.76 kg and a total volume of 51.99 L. Of the total collected, plastic materials represented 51.4% of the total number of items, 35.9% of the total mass and 68% of the total volume. The implementation of reactive and proactive measures is necessary so that the management of the solid wastes on Curva da Jurema Beach is in accordance with principles of sustainability.
Trees for Air Pollution Tolerance to Develop Green Belts as an Ecological Mitigation
Air pollution both from point and non-point sources is difficult to control once released in to the atmosphere. There is no engineering method known available to ameliorate the dispersed pollutants. The only suitable approach is the ecological method of constructing green belts in and around the pollution sources. Air pollution in Muscat, Oman is a serious concern due to ever increasing vehicles on roads. Identifying the air pollution tolerance levels of species is important for implementing pollution control strategies in the urban areas of Muscat. Hence, in the present study, Air Pollution Tolerance Index (APTI) for ten avenue tree species was evaluated by analyzing four bio-chemical parameters, plus their Anticipated Performance Index (API) in field conditions. Based on the two indices, Ficus benghalensis was the most suitable one with the highest performance score. Conocarpus erectuse, Phoenix dactylifera, and Pithcellobium dulce were found to be good performers and are recommended for extensive planting. Azadirachta indica which is preferred for its dense canopy is qualified in the moderate category. The rest of the tree species expressed lower API score of less than 51, hence cannot be considered as suitable species for pollution mitigation plantation projects.
Occurrence of High Nocturnal Surface Ozone at a Tropical Urban Area

The occurrence of high nocturnal surface ozone over a tropical urban area (23̊ 32′16.99″ N and 87̊ 17′ 38.95″ E) is analyzed in this paper. Five incidences of nocturnal ozone maxima are recorded during the observational span of two years (June, 2013 to May, 2015). The maximum and minimum values of the surface ozone during these five occasions are 337.630 μg/m3 and 13.034 μg/m3 respectively. HYSPLIT backward trajectory analyses and wind rose diagrams support the horizontal transport of ozone from distant polluted places. Planetary boundary layer characteristics, concentration of precursor (NO2) and meteorology are found to play important role in the horizontal and vertical transport of surface ozone during nighttime.

Mercury and Selenium Levels in Swordfish (Xiphias gladius) Fished in the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Seychelles

Total mercury (Hg), selenium (Se) and Hg-Se ratios were analyzed in the white muscle, liver and gonads of swordfish, in order to compare concentration between the different tissues and sex, and also the effect of size (fork length). The results show significant difference between tissue types, with the liver having the highest concentration of both Hg and Se. Positive significant correlations between moles of Hg and Se were obtained in the liver and white muscle, but no relationship was obtained in the gonads. No difference in the concentration of Hg and Se was obtained between the sexes in the tissue types, except for Hg in the gonads, which were found to be higher in males. Significant negative relationships were obtained when the Hg-Se ratio was plotted against fork length in all three tissue types.

Impact of Egypt’s Energy Demand on Oil and Gas Power Systems Environment

This paper will explore the influence of energy sector in Arab Republic of Egypt which has shared its responsibilities of many environmental challenges as the second largest economy in the Middle East (after Iran). Air and water pollution, desertification, inadequate disposal of solid waste and damage to coral reefs are serious problems that influence environmental management in Egypt. The intensive reliance of high population density and strong industrial growth are wearing Egypt's resources, and the rapidly-growing population has forced Egypt to breakdown agricultural land to residential and relevant use of commercial ingestion. The depletion effects of natural resources impose the government to apply innovation techniques in emission control and focus on sustainability. The cogeneration will be presented to control thermal losses and increase efficiency of energy power system.

Quantification of GHGs Emissions from Electricity and Diesel Fuel Consumption in Basalt Mining Industry in Thailand

The mineral and mining industry is necessary for countries to have an adequate and reliable supply of materials to meet their socio-economic development. Despite its importance, the environmental impacts from mineral exploration are hugely significant. This study aimed to investigate and quantify the amount of GHGs emissions emitted from both electricity and diesel vehicle fuel consumption in basalt mining in Thailand. Plant A, located in the northeastern region of Thailand, was selected as a case study. Results indicated that total GHGs emissions from basalt mining and operation (Plant A) were approximately 2,501,086 kgCO2e and 1,997,412 kgCO2e in 2014 and 2015, respectively. The estimated carbon intensity ranged between 1.824 kgCO2e to 2.284 kgCO2e per ton of rock product. Scope 1 (direct emissions) was the dominant driver of its total GHGs compared to scope 2 (indirect emissions). As such, transport related combustion of diesel fuels generated the highest GHGs emission (65%) compared to emissions from purchased electricity (35%). Some of the potential implications for mining entities were also presented.

Analysis of Causality between Economic Growth and Carbon Emissions: The Case of Mexico 1971-2011

This paper analyzes the Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) hypothesis to test the causality relationship between economic activity, trade openness and carbon dioxide emissions in Mexico (1971-2011). The results achieved in this research show that there are three long-run relationships between production, trade openness, energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. The EKC hypothesis was not verified in this research. Indeed, it was found evidence of a short-term unidirectional causality from GDP and GDP squared to carbon dioxide emissions, from GDP, GDP squared and TO to EC, and bidirectional causality between TO and GDP. Finally, it was found evidence of long-term unidirectional causality from all variables to carbon emissions. These results suggest that a reduction in energy consumption, economic activity, or an increase in trade openness would reduce pollution.

Study of Variation of Winds Behavior on Micro Urban Environment with Use of Fuzzy Logic for Wind Power Generation: Case Study in the Cities of Arraial do Cabo and São Pedro da Aldeia, State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
This work provides details on the wind speed behavior within cities of Arraial do Cabo and São Pedro da Aldeia located in the Lakes Region of the State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This region has one of the best potentials for wind power generation. In interurban layer, wind conditions are very complex and depend on physical geography, size and orientation of buildings and constructions around, population density, and land use. In the same context, the fundamental surface parameter that governs the production of flow turbulence in urban canyons is the surface roughness. Such factors can influence the potential for power generation from the wind within the cities. Moreover, the use of wind on a small scale is not fully utilized due to complexity of wind flow measurement inside the cities. It is difficult to accurately predict this type of resource. This study demonstrates how fuzzy logic can facilitate the assessment of the complexity of the wind potential inside the cities. It presents a decision support tool and its ability to deal with inaccurate information using linguistic variables created by the heuristic method. It relies on the already published studies about the variables that influence the wind speed in the urban environment. These variables were turned into the verbal expressions that are used in computer system, which facilitated the establishment of rules for fuzzy inference and integration with an application for smartphones used in the research. In the first part of the study, challenges of the sustainable development which are described are followed by incentive policies to the use of renewable energy in Brazil. The next chapter follows the study area characteristics and the concepts of fuzzy logic. Data were collected in field experiment by using qualitative and quantitative methods for assessment. As a result, a map of the various points is presented within the cities studied with its wind viability evaluated by a system of decision support using the method multivariate classification based on fuzzy logic.
Impact Analysis of Transportation Modal Shift on Regional Energy Consumption and Environmental Level: Focused on Electric Automobiles

Many governments have tried to reduce CO2 emissions which are believed to be the main cause for global warming. The deployment of electric automobiles is regarded as an effective way to reduce CO2 emissions. The Korean government has planned to deploy about 200,000 electric automobiles. The policy for the deployment of electric automobiles aims at not only decreasing gasoline consumption but also increasing electricity production. However, if an electricity consuming regions is not consistent with an electricity producing region, the policy generates environmental problems between regions. Hence, this paper has established the energy multi-region input-output model to specifically analyze the impacts of the deployment of electric automobiles on regional energy consumption and CO2 emissions. Finally, the paper suggests policy directions regarding the deployment of electric automobiles.

Spatial and Temporal Variability of Fog Over the Indo-Gangetic Plains, India

The aim of the paper is to analyze the characteristics of winter fog in terms of its trend and spatial-temporal variability over Indo-Gangetic plains. The study reveals that during last four and half decades (1971-2015), an alarming increasing trend in fog frequency has been observed during the winter months of December and January over the study area. The frequency of fog has increased by 118.4% during the peak winter months of December and January. It has also been observed that on an average central part of IGP has 66.29% fog days followed by west IGP with 41.94% fog days. Further, Empirical Orthogonal Function (EOF) decomposition and Mann-Kendall variation analysis are used to analyze the spatial and temporal patterns of winter fog. The findings have significant implications for the further research of fog over IGP and formulate robust strategies to adapt the fog variability and mitigate its effects. The decision by Delhi Government to implement odd-even scheme to restrict the use of private vehicles in order to reduce pollution and improve quality of air may result in increasing the alarming increasing trend of fog over Delhi and its surrounding areas regions of IGP.

Hydro-Geochemistry of Qare-Sou Catchment and Gorgan Gulf, Iran: Examining Spatial and Temporal Distribution of Major Ions and Determining the River’s Hydro-Chemical Type

This study examined the hydro-geochemistry of Qare-Sou catchment and Gorgan Gulf in order to determine the spatial distribution of major ions. In this regard, six hydrometer stations in the catchment and four stations in Gorgan Gulf were chosen and the samples were collected. Results of spatial and temporal distribution of major ions have shown similar variation trends for calcium, magnesium, and bicarbonate ions. Also, the spatial trend of chloride, sulfate, sodium and potassium ions were same as Electrical Conductivity (EC) and Total Dissolved Solid (TDS). In Nahar Khoran station, the concentrations of ions were more than other stations which may be related to human activities and the role of geology. The Siah Ab station’s ions showed high concentration which is may be related to the station’s close proximity to Gorgan Gulf and the return of water to Qare-Sou River. In order to determine the interaction of water and rock, the Gibbs diagram was used and the results showed that water of the river falls in the rock range and it is affected more by weathering and reaction between water and stone and less by evaporation and crystallization. Assessment of the quality of river water by using graphic methods indicated that the type of water in this area is Ca-HCO3-Mg. Major ions concentration in Qare-Sou in the universal average was more than but not more than the allowed limit by the World Health Organization and China Standard Organization. A comparison of ions concentration in Gorgan Gulf, seas and oceans showed that the pH in Gorgan Gulf was more than the other seas but in Gorgan Gulf the concentration of anion and cation was less than other seas.

Development of Total Maximum Daily Load Using Water Quality Modelling as an Approach for Watershed Management in Malaysia

River is one of important water sources for many activities including industrial and domestic usage such as daily usage, transportation, power supply and recreational activities. However, increasing activities in a river has grown the sources of pollutant enters the water bodies, and degraded the water quality of the river. It becomes a challenge to develop an effective river management to ensure the water sources of the river are well managed and regulated. In Malaysia, several approaches for river management have been implemented such as Integrated River Basin Management (IRBM) program for coordinating the management of resources in a natural environment based on river basin to ensure their sustainability lead by Department of Drainage and Irrigation (DID), Malaysia. Nowadays, Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) is one of the best approaches for river management in Malaysia. TMDL implementation is regulated and implemented in the United States. A study on the development of TMDL in Malacca River has been carried out by doing water quality monitoring, the development of water quality model by using Environmental Fluid Dynamic Codes (EFDC), and TMDL implementation plan. The implementation of TMDL will help the stakeholders and regulators to control and improve the water quality of the river. It is one of the good approaches for river management in Malaysia.

Annual and Seasonal Variations in Air Quality Index of the National Capital Region, India

Air Quality Index (AQI) is used as a tool to indicate the level of severity and disseminate the information on air pollution to enable the public to understand the health and environmental impacts of air pollutant concentration levels. The annual and seasonal variation of criteria air pollutants concentration based on the National Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Programme has been conducted for a period of nine years (2006-2014) using the AQI system. AQI was calculated using IND-AQI methodology and Maximum Operator Concept is applied. An attempt has been made to quantify the variations in AQI on an annual and seasonal basis over a period of nine years. Further, year-wise frequency of occurrence of AQI in each category for all the five stations is analysed, which presents in depth analysis of trends over the period of study. The best air quality was observed in the Noida residential area, followed by Noida industrial area during the study period; whereas, Bulandshahar industrial area and Faridabad residential area were observed to have the worst air quality. A shift in the worst air quality from winter to summer season has also been observed during the study period. Further, the level of Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter was found to be above permissible limit at all the stations. The present study helps in enhancing public awareness and calls for the need of immediate measures to be taken to counter-effect the cause of the increasing level of air pollution.

Optimal Consume of NaOH in Starches Gelatinization for Froth Flotation

Starches are widely used as depressant in froth flotation operations in Brazil due to their efficiency, increasing the selectivity in the inverse flotation of quartz depressing iron ore. Starches market have been growing and improving in recent years, leading to better products attending the requirements of the mineral industry. The major source of starch used for iron ore is corn starch, which needs to be gelatinized with sodium hydroxide (NaOH) prior to use. This stage has a direct impact on industrials costs, once the lowest consumption of NaOH in gelatinization provides better control of the pH in the froth flotation and reduces the amount of electrolytes present in the pulp. In order to evaluate the gelatinization degree of different starches and flour were subjected to the addiction of NaOH and temperature variation experiments. Samples of starch (corn, cassava, HIPIX 100, HIPIX 101 and HIPIX 102 commercialized by Ingredion) and flour (cassava and potato) were tested. The starch samples were characterized through Scanning Electronic Microscopy and the amylose content were determined through spectrometry, swelling and solubility tests. The gelatinization was carried out through titration with NaOH, keeping the solution temperature constant at 40 oC. At the end of the tests, the optimal amount of NaOH consumed to gelatinize the starch or flour from different botanical sources was established and a correlation between the content of amylopectin in the starch and the starch/NaOH ratio needed for its gelatinization.

Investigation of Wood Chips as Internal Carbon Source Supporting Denitrification Process in Domestic Wastewater Treatment

Nitrogen removal from wastewater is accomplished by nitrification and denitrification processes. Successful denitrification requires carbon, therefore, if placed after biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and nitrification process, a carbon source has to be re-introduced into the water. To avoid adding a carbon source, denitrification is usually placed before BOD and nitrification processes. This process however involves recycling the nitrified effluent. In this study wood chips were used as internal carbon source which enabled placement of denitrification after BOD and nitrification process without effluent recycling. To investigate the efficiency of a wood packed aerobic-anaerobic baffled reactor on carbon and nutrients removal from domestic wastewater, a three compartment baffled reactor was presented. Each of the three compartments was packed with 329 g wood chips 1x1cm acting as an internal carbon source for denitrification. The proposed mode of operation was aerobic-anoxic-anaerobic (OAA) with no effluent recycling. The operating temperature, hydraulic retention time (HRT), dissolved oxygen (DO) and pH were 24 ± 2 ℃, 24 h, less than 4 mg/L and 7 ± 1 respectively. The removal efficiencies of chemical oxygen demand (COD), ammonia nitrogen (NH4+-N) and total nitrogen (TN) attained was 99, 87 and 83% respectively. TN removal rate was limited by nitrification as 97% of ammonia converted into nitrate and nitrite was denitrified. These results show that application of wood chips in wastewater treatment processes is an efficient internal carbon source. 

Logistical Optimization of Nuclear Waste Flows during Decommissioning

An important number of technological equipment and high-skilled workers over long periods of time have to be mobilized during nuclear decommissioning processes. The related operations generate complex flows of waste and high inventory levels, associated to information flows of heterogeneous types. Taking into account that more than 10 decommissioning operations are on-going in France and about 50 are expected toward 2025: A big challenge is addressed today. The management of decommissioning and dismantling of nuclear installations represents an important part of the nuclear-based energy lifecycle, since it has an environmental impact as well as an important influence on the electricity cost and therefore the price for end-users. Bringing new technologies and new solutions into decommissioning methodologies is thus mandatory to improve the quality, cost and delay efficiency of these operations. The purpose of our project is to improve decommissioning management efficiency by developing a decision-support framework dedicated to plan nuclear facility decommissioning operations and to optimize waste evacuation by means of a logistic approach. The target is to create an easy-to-handle tool capable of i) predicting waste flows and proposing the best decommissioning logistics scenario and ii) managing information during all the steps of the process and following the progress: planning, resources, delays, authorizations, saturation zones, waste volume, etc. In this article we present our results from waste nuclear flows simulation during decommissioning process, including discrete-event simulation supported by FLEXSIM 3-D software. This approach was successfully tested and our works confirms its ability to improve this type of industrial process by identifying the critical points of the chain and optimizing it by identifying improvement actions. This type of simulation, executed before the start of the process operations on the basis of a first conception, allow ‘what-if’ process evaluation and help to ensure quality of the process in an uncertain context. The simulation of nuclear waste flows before evacuation from the site will help reducing the cost and duration of the decommissioning process by optimizing the planning and the use of resources, transitional storage and expensive radioactive waste containers. Additional benefits are expected for the governance system of the waste evacuation since it will enable a shared responsibility of the waste flows.

Long-Term Monitoring and Seasonal Analysis of PM10-Bound Benzo(a)pyrene in the Ambient Air of Northwestern Hungary
Atmospheric aerosols have several important environmental impacts and health effects in point of air quality. Monitoring the PM10-bound polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) could have important environmental significance and health protection aspects. Benzo(a)pyrene (BaP) is the most relevant indicator of these PAH compounds. In Hungary, the Hungarian Air Quality Network provides air quality monitoring data for several air pollutants including BaP, but these data show only the annual mean concentrations and maximum values. Seasonal variation of BaP concentrations comparing the heating and non-heating periods could have important role and difference as well. For this reason, the main objective of this study was to assess the annual concentration and seasonal variation of BaP associated with PM10 in the ambient air of Northwestern Hungary seven different sampling sites (six urban and one rural) in the sampling period of 2008–2013. A total of 1475 PM10 aerosol samples were collected in the different sampling sites and analyzed for BaP by gas chromatography method. The BaP concentrations ranged from undetected to 8 ng/m3 with the mean value range of 0.50-0.96 ng/m3 referring to all sampling sites. Relatively higher concentrations of BaP were detected in samples collected in each sampling site in the heating seasons compared with non-heating periods. The annual mean BaP concentrations were comparable with the published data of the other Hungarian sites.
Characterization of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Ambient Air PM2.5 in an Urban Site of Győr, Hungary
In Hungary, the measurement of ambient PM10-bound polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) concentrations is great importance for a number of reasons related to human health, the environment and compliance with European Union legislation. However, the monitoring of PAHs associated with PM2.5 aerosol fraction is still incomplete. Therefore, the main aim of this study was to investigate the concentration levels of PAHs in PM2.5 urban aerosol fraction. PM2.5 and associated PAHs were monitored in November 2014 in an urban site of Győr (Northwest Hungary). The aerosol samples were collected every day for 24-hours over two weeks with a high volume air sampler provided with a PM2.5 cut-off inlet. The levels of 19 PAH compounds associated with PM2.5 aerosol fraction were quantified by a gas chromatographic method. Polluted air quality for PM2.5 (>25 g/m3) was indicated in 50% of the collected samples. The total PAHs concentrations ranged from 2.1 to 37.3 ng/m3 with the mean value of 12.4 ng/m3. Indeno(123-cd)pyrene (IND) and sum of three benzofluoranthene isomers were the most dominant PAH species followed by benzo(ghi)perylene and benzo(a)pyrene (BaP). Using BaP-equivalent approach on the concentration data of carcinogenic PAH species, BaP, and IND contributed the highest carcinogenic exposure equivalent (1.50 and 0.24 ng/m3 on average). A selected number of concentration ratios of specific PAH compounds were calculated to evaluate the possible sources of PAH contamination. The ratios reflected that the major source of PAH compounds in the PM2.5 aerosol fraction of Győr during the study period was fossil fuel combustion from automobiles.
A Consumption-Based Hybrid Life Cycle Assessment of Carbon Footprints in California: High Footprints in Small Urban Households
Higher density reduces distances, private car dependency and thus reduces greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). As a result, increased density has been given a central role among urban development targets. However, it is not just travel behavior that changes along with density. Rather, the consumption patterns, or overall lifestyles, change along with changing urban structure, particularly with changing housing types and consumption opportunities. Furthermore, elevated consumption of services, more frequent flying and less intra-household sharing have been shown to potentially outweigh the gains from reduced driving in more dense urban settlements. In this study, the geography of carbon footprints (CFs) in California is analyzed paying close attention to the household size differences and the resulting economies-of-scale advantages and disadvantages. A hybrid life cycle assessment (LCA) framework is employed together with consumer expenditure data to assess the CFs. According to the study, small urban households have the highest CFs in California. Their transport related emissions are significantly lower than those of the residents of less urbanized areas, but higher emissions from other consumption categories, together with the low degree of sharing of goods, overweigh the gains. Two functional units, per capita and per household, are used to analyze the CFs and to demonstrate the importance of household size. The lifestyle impacts visible through the consumption data are also discussed. The study suggests that there are still significant gaps in our understanding of the premises of low-carbon human settlements.
Carbon-Based Electrochemical Detection of Pharmaceuticals from Water

The presence of pharmaceuticals in the environment and especially in water has gained increasing attention. They are included in emerging class of pollutants, and for most of them, legal limits have not been set-up due to their impact on human health and ecosystem was not determined and/or there is not the advanced analytical method for their quantification. In this context, the development of various advanced analytical methods for the quantification of pharmaceuticals in water is required. The electrochemical methods are known to exhibit the great potential for high-performance analytical methods but their performance is in direct relation to the electrode material and the operating techniques. In this study, two types of carbon-based electrodes materials, i.e., boron-doped diamond (BDD) and carbon nanofiber (CNF)-epoxy composite electrodes have been investigated through voltammetric techniques for the detection of naproxen in water. The comparative electrochemical behavior of naproxen (NPX) on both BDD and CNF electrodes was studied by cyclic voltammetry, and the well-defined peak corresponding to NPX oxidation was found for each electrode. NPX oxidation occurred on BDD electrode at the potential value of about +1.4 V/SCE (saturated calomel electrode) and at about +1.2 V/SCE for CNF electrode. The sensitivities for NPX detection were similar for both carbon-based electrode and thus, CNF electrode exhibited superiority in relation to the detection potential. Differential-pulsed voltammetry (DPV) and square-wave voltammetry (SWV) techniques were exploited to improve the electroanalytical performance for the NPX detection, and the best results related to the sensitivity of 9.959 µA·µM-1 were achieved using DPV. In addition, the simultaneous detection of NPX and fluoxetine -a very common antidepressive drug, also present in water, was studied using CNF electrode and very good results were obtained. The detection potential values that allowed a good separation of the detection signals together with the good sensitivities were appropriate for the simultaneous detection of both tested pharmaceuticals. These results reclaim CNF electrode as a valuable tool for the individual/simultaneous detection of pharmaceuticals in water.

Potential of Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) for Phytoremediation of Soils Contaminated with Heavy Metals
A field study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of the sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) for phytoremediation of contaminated soils. The experiment was performed on an agricultural field contaminated by the Non-Ferrous-Metal Works near Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Field experiments with a randomized, complete block design with five treatments (control, compost amendments added at 20 and 40 t/daa, and vemicompost amendments added at 20 and 40 t/daa) were carried out. The accumulation of heavy metals in the sunflower plant and the quality of the sunflower oil (heavy metals and fatty acid composition) were determined. The tested organic amendments significantly influenced the uptake of Pb, Zn and Cd by the sunflower plant. The incorporation of 40 t/decare of compost and 20 t/decare of vermicompost to the soil led to an increase in the ability of the sunflower to take up and accumulate Cd, Pb and Zn. Sunflower can be subjected to the accumulators of Pb, Zn and Cd and can be successfully used for phytoremediation of contaminated soils with heavy metals. The 40 t/daa compost treatment led to a decrease in heavy metal content in sunflower oil to below the regulated limits. Oil content and fatty acids composition were affected by compost and vermicompost amendment treatments. Adding compost and vermicompost increased the oil content in the seeds. Adding organic amendments increased the content of stearic, palmitoleic and oleic acids, and reduced the content of palmitic and gadoleic acids in sunflower oil. The possibility of further industrial processing of seeds to oil and use of the obtained oil will make sunflowers economically interesting crops for farmers of phytoremediation technology.
Bioremediation of Phenanthrene by Monocultures and Mixed Culture Bacteria Isolated from Contaminated Soil
Three different bacteria capable of degrading phenanthrene were isolated from hydrocarbon contaminated site. In this study, the phenanthrene-degrading activity by defined monoculture was determined and mixed culture was identified as Acinetobacter sp. P3d, Bacillus sp. P4a and Pseudomonas sp. P6. All bacteria were able to grow in a minimal salt medium saturated with phenanthrene as the sole source of carbon and energy. Phenanthrene degradation efficiencies by different combinations (consortia) of these bacteria were investigated and their phenanthrene degradation was evaluated by gas chromatography. Among the monocultures, Pseudomonas sp. P6 exhibited 58.71% activity compared to Acinetobacter sp. P3d and Bacillus sp. P4a which were 56.97% and 53.05%, respectively after 28 days of cultivation. All consortia showed high phenanthrene elimination which were 95.64, 79.37, 87.19, 79.21% for Consortia A, B, C and D, respectively. The results indicate that all of the bacteria isolated may effectively degrade target chemical and have a promising application in bioremediation of hydrocarbon contaminated soil purposes.
Role of Non-Renewable and Renewable Energy for Sustainable Electricity Generation in Malaysia
The main objective of this paper is to give a comprehensive review of non-renewable energy and renewable energy utilization in Malaysia, including hydropower, solar photovoltaic, biomass and biogas technologies. Malaysia mainly depends on non-renewable energy (natural gas, coal and crude oil) for electricity generation. Therefore, this paper provides a comprehensive review of the energy sector and discusses diversification of electricity generation as a strategy for providing sustainable energy in Malaysia. Energy policies and strategies to protect the non-renewable energy utilization also are highlighted, focusing in the different sources of energy available for high and sustained economic growth. Emphasis is also placed on a discussion of the role of renewable energy as an alternative source for the increase of electricity supply security. It is now evident that to achieve sustainable development through renewable energy, energy policies and strategies have to be well designed and supported by the government, industries (firms), and individual or community participation. The hope is to create a positive impact on sustainable development through renewable sources for current and future generations.
Regulation of Water Balance of the Plant from the Different Geo-Environmental Locations
Under the drought stress condition, the plants would grow slower. Temperature is one of the most important abiotic factors which suppress the germination processes. However, the processes of transpiration are regulated directly by the cell water, which followed to an increase in volume of vacuoles. During stretching under the influence of water pressure, the cell goes into the state of turgor. In our experiments, lines of the semi-dental sweet maize of Armenian population from various zones of growth under mild and severe drought stress were tested. According to results, the value of the water balance of the plant cells may reflect the ability of plants to adapt to drought stress. It can be assumed that the turgor allows evaluating the number of received dissolved substance in cell.
Water Quality Assessment Based on Operational Indicator in West Coastal Water of Malaysia
In this study, water monitoring was performed from Nov. 2012 to Oct. 2013 to assess water quality and evaluate the spatial and temporal distribution of physicochemical and biological variables in water. Water samples were collected from 10 coastal water stations of West Port. In the case of water-quality assessment, multi-metric indices and operational indicators have been proposed to classify the trophic status at different stations. The trophic level of West Port coastal water ranges from eutrophic to hypertrophic. Chl-a concentration was used to estimate the biological response of phytoplankton biomass and indicated eutrophic conditions in West Port and mesotrophic conditions at the control site. During the study period, no eutrophication events or secondary symptoms occurred, which may be related to hydrodynamic turbulence and water exchange, which prevent the development of eutrophic conditions in the West Port.
Application of Various Methods for Evaluation of Heavy Metal Pollution in Soils around Agarak Copper-Molybdenum Mine Complex, Armenia

The present study was aimed in assessing the heavy metal pollution of the soils around Agarak copper-molybdenum mine complex and related environmental risks. This mine complex is located in the south-east part of Armenia, and the present study was conducted in 2013. The soils of the five riskiest sites of this region were studied: surroundings of the open mine, the sites adjacent to processing plant of Agarak copper-molybdenum mine complex, surroundings of Darazam active tailing dump, the recultivated tailing dump of “ravine - 2”, and the recultivated tailing dump of “ravine - 3”. The mountain cambisol was the main soil type in the study sites. The level of soil contamination by heavy metals was assessed by Contamination factors (Cf), Degree of contamination (Cd), Geoaccumulation index (I-geo) and Enrichment factor (EF). The distribution pattern of trace metals in the soil profile according to Cf, Cd, I-geo and EF values shows that the soil is much polluted. Almost in all studied sites, Cu, Mo, Pb, and Cd were the main polluting heavy metals, and this was conditioned by Agarak copper-molybdenum mine complex activity. It is necessary to state that the pollution problem becomes pressing as some parts of these highly polluted region are inhabited by population, and agriculture is highly developed there; therefore, heavy metals can be transferred into human bodies through food chains and have direct influence on public health. Since the induced pollution can pose serious threats to public health, further investigations on soil and vegetation pollution are recommended. Finally, Cf calculating based on distance from the pollution source and the wind direction can provide more reasonable results.

Co-Composting of Poultry Manure with Different Organic Amendments

To study the influence of different organic amendments on the quality of poultry manure compost, three pilot composting trials were carried out with different mixes: poultry manure/carcasse meal/ashes/grape pomace (Pile 1), poultry manure/ cellulosic sludge (Pile 2) and poultry manure (Pile 3). For all piles, wood chips were applied as bulking agent. The process was monitored, over time, by evaluating standard physical and chemical parameters, such as, pH, electric conductivity, moisture, organic matter and ash content, total carbon and total nitrogen content, carbon/nitrogen ratio (C/N) and content in mineral elements. Piles 1 and 2 reached a thermophilic phase, however having different trends. Pile 1 reached this phase earlier than Pile 2. For both, the pH showed a slight alkaline character and the electric conductivity was lower than 2 mS/cm. Also, the initial C/N value was 22 and reached values lower than 15 at the end of composting process. The total N content of the Pile 1 increased slightly during composting, in contrast with the others piles. At the end of composting process, the phosphorus content ranged between 54 and 236 mg/kg dry matter, for Pile 2 and 3, respectively. Generally, the Piles 1 and 3 exhibited similar heavy metals content. This study showed that organic amendments can be used as carbon source, given that the final composts presented parameters within the range of those recommended in the 2nd Draft of EU regulation proposal (DG Env.A.2 2001) for compost quality.

Relocation of the Air Quality Monitoring Stations Network for Aburrá Valley Based on Local Climatic Zones
The majority of the urban areas in Latin America face the challenges associated with city planning and development problems, attributed to human, technical, and economical factors; therefore, we cannot ignore the issues related to climate change because the city modifies the natural landscape in a significant way transforming the radiation balance and heat content in the urbanized areas. These modifications provoke changes in the temperature distribution known as “the heat island effect”. According to this phenomenon, we have the need to conceive the urban planning based on climatological patterns that will assure its sustainable functioning, including the particularities of the climate variability. In the present study, it is identified the Local Climate Zones (LCZ) in the Metropolitan Area of the Aburrá Valley (Colombia) with the objective of relocate the air quality monitoring stations as a partial solution to the problem of how to measure representative air quality levels in a city for a local scale, but with instruments that measure in the microscale.
Investigating Climate Change Trend Based on Data Simulation and IPCC Scenario during 2010-2030 AD: Case Study of Fars Province
The development of industrial activities, increase in fossil fuel consumption, vehicles, destruction of forests and grasslands, changes in land use, and population growth have caused to increase the amount of greenhouse gases especially CO2 in the atmosphere in recent decades. This has led to global warming and climate change. In the present paper, we have investigated the trend of climate change according to the data simulation during the time interval of 2010-2030 in the Fars province. In this research, the daily climatic parameters such as maximum and minimum temperature, precipitation and number of sunny hours during the 1977-2008 time interval for synoptic stations of Shiraz and Abadeh and during 1995-2008 for Lar stations and also the output of HADCM3 model in 2010-2030 time interval have been used based on the A2 propagation scenario. The results of the model show that the average temperature will increase by about 1 degree centigrade and the amount of precipitation will increase by 23.9% compared to the observational data. In conclusion, according to the temperature increase in this province, the amount of precipitation in the form of snow will be reduced and precipitations often will occur in the form of rain. This 1-degree centigrade increase during the season will reduce production by 6 to 10% because of shortening the growing period of wheat.
Evaluation of Fluoride Contents of Kirkuk City's Drinking Water and Its Source: Lesser Zab River and Its Effect on Human Health
In this study, forty samples had been collected from water of Lesser Zab River and drinking water to determine fluoride concentration and show the impact of fluoride on general health of society of Kirkuk city. Estimation of fluoride concentration and determination of its proportion in water samples were performed attentively using a fluoride ion selective electrode. The fluoride concentrations in the Lesser Zab River samples were between 0.0265 ppm and 0.0863 ppm with an average of 0.0451 ppm, whereas the average fluoride concentration in drinking water samples was 0.102 ppm and ranged from 0.010 to 0.289 ppm. A comparison between results obtained with World Health Organization (WHO) show a low concentration of fluoride in the samples of the study. Thus, for health concerns we should increase the concentration of this ion in water of Kirkuk city at least to about (1.0 ppm) and this will take place after fluorination process.
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