Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 278

278
10008955
Design and Experiment of Orchard Gas Explosion Subsoiling and Fertilizer Injection Machine
Abstract:

At present, the orchard ditching and fertilizing technology has a series of problems, such as easy tree roots damage, high energy consumption and uneven fertilizing. In this paper, a gas explosion subsoiling and fertilizer injection machine was designed, which used high pressure gas to shock soil body and then injected fertilizer. The drill pipe mechanism with pneumatic chipping hammer excitation and hydraulic assistance was designed to drill the soil. The operation of gas and liquid fertilizer supply was controlled by PLC system. The 3D model of the whole machine was established by using SolidWorks software. The machine prototype was produced, and field experiments were carried out. The results showed that soil fractures were created and diffused by gas explosion, and the subsoiling effect radius reached 40 cm under the condition of 0.8 MPa gas pressure and 30 cm drilling depth. What’s more, the work efficiency is 0.048 hm2/h at least. This machine could meet the agronomic requirements of orchard, garden and city greening fertilization, and the tree roots were not easily damaged and the fertilizer evenly distributed, which was conducive to nutrient absorption of root growth.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
277
10008868
Lead in The Soil-Plant System Following Aged Contamination from Ceramic Wastes
Abstract:

Lead contamination of agricultural land mainly vegetated with perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) has been investigated. The metal derived from the discharge of sludge from a ceramic industry in the past had used lead paints. The results showed very high values of lead concentration in many soil samples. In order to assess the lead soil contamination, a sequential extraction with H2O, KNO3, EDTA was performed, and the chemical forms of lead in the soil were evaluated. More than 70% of lead was in a potentially bioavailable form. Analysis of Lolium perenne showed elevated lead concentration. A Freundlich-like model was used to describe the transferability of the metal from the soil to the plant.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
276
10008743
A Resource Survey of Lateritic Soils and Impact Evaluation toward Community Members Living Nearby the Excavation Pits
Abstract:

The objectives of the research are to find the basic engineering properties of lateritic soil and to predict the impact on community members who live nearby the excavation pits in the area of Amphur Pak Thor, Ratchaburi Province in the western area of Thailand. The research was conducted by collecting soil samples from four excavation pits for basic engineering properties, testing and collecting questionnaire data from 120 community members who live nearby the excavation pits, and applying statistical analysis. The results found that the basic engineering properties of lateritic soil can be classified into silt soil type which is cohesionless as the loess or collapsible soil which is not suitable to be used for a pavement structure for commuting highway because it could lead to structural and functional failure in the long run. In terms of opinion from community members toward the impact, the highest impact was on the dust from excavation activities. The prediction from the logistic regression in terms of impact on community members was at 84.32 which can be adapted and applied onto other areas with the same context as a guideline for risk prevention and risk communication since it could impact the infrastructures and also impact the health of community members.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
275
10008902
Legal Basis for Water Resources Management in Brazil: Case Study of the Rio Grande Basin
Abstract:

The water crisis, a major problem of the 21st century, occurs mainly due to poor management. The central issue that should govern the management is the integration of the various aspects that interfere with the use of water resources and their protection, supported by legal basis. A watershed is a unit of water interacting with the physical, biotic, social, economic and cultural variables. The Brazilian law recognized river basin as the territorial management unit. Based on the diagnosis of the current situation of the water resources of the Rio Grande Basin, a discussion informed in the Brazilian legal basis was made to propose measures to fight or mitigate damages and environmental degradation in the Basin. To manage water resources more efficiently, conserve water and optimize their multiple uses, the integration of acquired scientific knowledge and management is essential. Moreover, it is necessary to monitor compliance with environmental legislation.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
274
10008529
Application of Artificial Neural Network in Assessing Fill Slope Stability
Abstract:

This paper details the utilization of artificial intelligence (AI) in the field of slope stability whereby quick and convenient solutions can be obtained using the developed tool. The AI tool used in this study is the artificial neural network (ANN), while the slope stability analysis methods are the finite element limit analysis methods. The developed tool allows for the prompt prediction of the safety factors of fill slopes and their corresponding probability of failure (depending on the degree of variation of the soil parameters), which can give the practicing engineer a reasonable basis in their decision making. In fact, the successful use of the Extreme Learning Machine (ELM) algorithm shows that slope stability analysis is no longer confined to the conventional methods of modeling, which at times may be tedious and repetitive during the preliminary design stage where the focus is more on cost saving options rather than detailed design. Therefore, similar ANN-based tools can be further developed to assist engineers in this aspect.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
273
10008550
Application of Metarhizium anisopliae against Meloidogyne javanica in Soil Amended with Oak Debris
Abstract:

Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) is one of the most popular, widely grown and the second most important vegetable crop, after potatoes. Nematodes have been identified as one of the major pests affecting tomato production throughout the world. The most destructive nematodes are the genus Meloidogyne. Most widespread and devastating species of this genus are M. incognita, M. javanica, and M. arenaria. These species can cause complete crop loss under adverse growing conditions. There are several potential methods for management of the root knot nematodes. Although the chemicals are widely used against the phytonematodes, because of hazardous effects of these compounds on non-target organisms and on the environment, there is a need to develop other control strategies. Nowadays, non-chemical measures are widely used to control the plant parasitic nematodes. Biocontrol of phytonematodes is an important method among environment-friendly measures of nematode management. There are some soil-inhabiting fungi that have biocontrol potential on phytonematodes, which can be used in nematode management program. The fungus Metarhizium anisopliae, originally is an entomopathogenic bioagent. Biocontrol potential of this fungus on some phytonematodes has been reported earlier. Recently, use of organic soil amendments as well as the use of bioagents is under special attention in sustainable agriculture. This research aimed to reduce the pesticide use in control of root-knot nematode, Meloidogyne javanica in tomato. The effects of M. anisopliae IMI 330189 and different levels of oak tree debris on M. javanica were determined. The combination effect of the fungus as well as the different rates of soil amendments was determined. Pots were filled with steam pasteurized soil mixture and the six leaf tomato seedlings were inoculated with 3000 second stage larvae of M. javanica/kg of soil. After eight weeks, plant growth parameters and nematode reproduction factors were compared. Based on the results of our experiment, combination of M. anisopliae IMI 330189 and oak debris caused more than 90% reduction in reproduction factor of nematode, at the rates of 100 and 150 g/kg soil (P ≤ 0.05). As compared to control, the reduction in number of galls was 76%. It was 86% for nematode reproduction factor, showing the significance of combined effect of both tested agents. Our results showed that plant debris can increase the biological activity of the tested bioagent. It was also proved that there was no adverse effect of oak debris, which potentially has antimicrobial activity, on antagonistic power of applied bioagent.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
272
10008558
Impact of Interface Soil Layer on Groundwater Aquifer Behaviour
Abstract:

The geological environment where the groundwater is collected represents the most important element that affects the behaviour of groundwater aquifer. As groundwater is a worldwide vital resource, it requires knowing the parameters that affect this source accurately so that the conceptualized mathematical models would be acceptable to the broadest ranges. Therefore, groundwater models have recently become an effective and efficient tool to investigate groundwater aquifer behaviours. Groundwater aquifer may contain aquitards, aquicludes, or interfaces within its geological formations. Aquitards and aquicludes have geological formations that forced the modellers to include those formations within the conceptualized groundwater models, while interfaces are commonly neglected from the conceptualization process because the modellers believe that the interface has no effect on aquifer behaviour. The current research highlights the impact of an interface existing in a real unconfined groundwater aquifer called Dibdibba, located in Al-Najaf City, Iraq where it has a river called the Euphrates River that passes through the eastern part of this city. Dibdibba groundwater aquifer consists of two types of soil layers separated by an interface soil layer. A groundwater model is built for Al-Najaf City to explore the impact of this interface. Calibration process is done using PEST 'Parameter ESTimation' approach and the best Dibdibba groundwater model is obtained. When the soil interface is conceptualized, results show that the groundwater tables are significantly affected by that interface through appearing dry areas of 56.24 km² and 6.16 km² in the upper and lower layers of the aquifer, respectively. The Euphrates River will also leak water into the groundwater aquifer of 7359 m³/day. While these results are changed when the soil interface is neglected where the dry area became 0.16 km², the Euphrates River leakage became 6334 m³/day. In addition, the conceptualized models (with and without interface) reveal different responses for the change in the recharge rates applied on the aquifer through the uncertainty analysis test. The aquifer of Dibdibba in Al-Najaf City shows a slight deficit in the amount of water supplied by the current pumping scheme and also notices that the Euphrates River suffers from stresses applied to the aquifer. Ultimately, this study shows a crucial need to represent the interface soil layer in model conceptualization to be the intended and future predicted behaviours more reliable for consideration purposes.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
271
10008620
Soil Moisture Control System: A Product Development Approach
Abstract:

In this work, we propose the concept and geometrical design of a soil moisture control system (SMCS) module by following the product development approach to develop an inexpensive, easy to use and quick to install product targeted towards agriculture practitioners. The module delivers water to the agricultural land efficiently by sensing the soil moisture and activating the delivery valve. We start with identifying the general needs of the potential customer. Then, based on customer needs we establish product specifications and identify important measuring quantities to evaluate our product. Keeping in mind the specifications, we develop various conceptual solutions of the product and select the best solution through concept screening and selection matrices. Then, we develop the product architecture by integrating the systems into the final product. In the end, the geometric design is done using human factors engineering concepts like heuristic analysis, task analysis, and human error reduction analysis. The result of human factors analysis reveals the remedies which should be applied while designing the geometry and software components of the product. We find that to design the best grip in terms of comfort and applied force, for a power-type grip, a grip-diameter of 35 mm is the most ideal.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
270
10008627
A Study of Combined Mechanical and Chemical Stabilisation of Fine Grained Dredge Soil of River Jhelum
Abstract:

After the recent devastating flood in Kashmir in 2014, dredging of the local water bodies, especially Jhelum River has become a priority for the government. Local government under the project name of 'Comprehensive Flood Management Programme' plans to undertake an increase in discharge of existing flood channels by removal of encroachments and acquisition of additional land, dredging and other works of the water bodies. The total quantity of soil to be dredged will be 16.15 lac cumecs. Dredged soil is a major component that would result from the project which requires disposal/utilization. This study analyses the effect of cement and sand on the engineering properties of soil. The tests were conducted with variable additions of sand (10%, 20% and 30%), whereas cement was added at 12%. Samples with following compositions: soil-cement (12%) and soil-sand (30%) were tested as well. Laboratory experiments were conducted to determine the engineering characteristics of soil, i.e., compaction, strength, and CBR characteristics. The strength characteristics of the soil were determined by unconfined compressive strength test and direct shear test. Unconfined compressive strength of the soil was tested immediately and for a curing period of seven days. CBR test was performed for unsoaked, soaked (worst condition- 4 days) and cured (4 days) samples.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
269
10008708
Determining G-γ Degradation Curve in Cohesive Soils by Dilatometer and in situ Seismic Tests
Abstract:

This article discusses the possibility of using dilatometer tests (DMT) together with in situ seismic tests (MASW) in order to get the shape of G-g degradation curve in cohesive soils (clay, silty clay, silt, clayey silt and sandy silt). MASW test provides the small soil stiffness (Go from vs) at very small strains and DMT provides the stiffness of the soil at ‘work strains’ (MDMT). At different test locations, dilatometer shear stiffness of the soil has been determined by the theory of elasticity. Dilatometer shear stiffness has been compared with the theoretical G-g degradation curve in order to determine the typical range of shear deformation for different types of cohesive soil. The analysis also includes factors that influence the shape of the degradation curve (G-g) and dilatometer modulus (MDMT), such as the overconsolidation ratio (OCR), plasticity index (IP) and the vertical effective stress in the soil (svo'). Parametric study in this article defines the range of shear strain gDMT and GDMT/Go relation depending on the classification of a cohesive soil (clay, silty clay, clayey silt, silt and sandy silt), function of density (loose, medium dense and dense) and the stiffness of the soil (soft, medium hard and hard). The article illustrates the potential of using MASW and DMT to obtain G-g degradation curve in cohesive soils.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
268
10008394
Experimental Investigation on the Efficiency of Expanded Polystyrene Geofoam Post and Beam System in Protecting Lifelines
Abstract:
Expanded polystyrene (EPS) geofoam is a cellular geosynthetic material that can be used to protect lifelines (e.g. pipelines, electricity cables, etc.) below ground. Post and beam system is the most recent configuration of EPS blocks which can be implemented for this purpose. It provides a void space atop lifelines which allows settlement of the loading surface with imposing no pressure on the lifelines system. This paper investigates the efficiency of the configuration of post-beam system subjected to static loading. To evaluate the soil surface settlement, beam deformation and transferred pressure over the beam, laboratory tests using two different densities for EPS blocks are conducted. The effect of geogrid-reinforcing the cover soil on system response is also investigated. The experimental results show favorable performance of EPS post and beam configuration in protecting underground lifelines. 
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
267
10007984
Total and Leachable Concentration of Trace Elements in Soil towards Human Health Risk, Related with Coal Mine in Jorong, South Kalimantan, Indonesia
Abstract:

Coal mining is well known to cause considerable environmental impacts, including trace element contamination of soil. This study aimed to assess the trace element (As, Cd, Co, Cu, Ni, Pb, Sb, and Zn) contamination of soil in the vicinity of coal mining activities, using the case study of Asam-asam River basin, South Kalimantan, Indonesia, and to assess the human health risk, incorporating total and bioavailable (water-leachable and acid-leachable) concentrations. The results show the enrichment of As and Co in soil, surpassing the background soil value. Contamination was evaluated based on the index of geo-accumulation, Igeo and the pollution index, PI. Igeo values showed that the soil was generally uncontaminated (Igeo ≤ 0), except for elevated As and Co. Mean PI for Ni and Cu indicated slight contamination. Regarding the assessment of health risks, the Hazard Index, HI showed adverse risks (HI > 1) for Ni, Co, and As. Further, Ni and As were found to pose unacceptable carcinogenic risk (risk > 1.10-5). Farming, settlement, and plantation were found to present greater risk than coal mines. These results show that coal mining activity in the study area contaminates the soils by particular elements and may pose potential human health risk in its surrounding area. This study is important for setting appropriate countermeasure actions and improving basic coal mining management in Indonesia.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
266
10008066
Soil Stress State under Tractive Tire and Compaction Model
Abstract:

Soil compaction induced by a tractor towing trailer becomes a major problem associated to sugarcane productivity. Soil beneath the tractor’s tire is not only under compressing stress but also shearing stress. Therefore, in order to help to understand such effects on soil, this research aimed to determine stress state in soil and predict compaction of soil under a tractive tire. The octahedral stress ratios under the tires were higher than one and much higher under higher draft forces. Moreover, the ratio was increasing with increase of number of tire’s passage. Soil compaction model was developed using data acquired from triaxial tests. The model was then used to predict soil bulk density under tractive tire. The maximum error was about 4% at 15 cm depth under lower draft force and tended to increase with depth and draft force. At depth of 30 cm and under higher draft force, the maximum error was about 16%.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
265
10007890
Experimental Simulation of Soil Boundary Condition for Dynamic Studies
Abstract:
This paper studies the free-field response by adopting a flexible membrane container as soil boundary for experimental shaking table tests. The influence of the soil container boundary on the soil behaviour and the dynamic soil properties under seismic effect were examined. A flexible container with 1/50 scale factor was adopted in the experimental tests, including construction, instrumentation, and determination of the results of dynamic tests on a shaking table. Horizontal face displacements and accelerations were analysed to determine the influence of the container boundary on the performance of the soil. The outputs results show that the flexible boundary container allows more displacement and larger accelerations. The soil in a rigid wall container cannot deform as similar as the soil in the real field does. Therefore, the response of flexible container tested is believed to be more reliable for soil boundary than that in the rigid container.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
264
10007920
Mineralogical Characterization and Petrographic Classification of the Soil of Casablanca City
Abstract:

The treatment of the geotechnical database of the region of Casablanca was difficult to achieve due to the heterogeneity of the nomenclature of the lithological formations composing its soil. It appears necessary to harmonize the nomenclature of the facies and to produce cartographic documents useful for construction projects and studies before any investment program. To achieve this, more than 600 surveys made by the Public Laboratory for Testing and Studies (LPEE) in the agglomeration of Casablanca, were studied. Moreover, some local observations were made in different places of the metropolis. Each survey was the subject of a sheet containing lithological succession, macro and microscopic description of petrographic facies with photographic illustration, as well as measurements of geomechanical tests. In addition, an X-ray diffraction analysis was made in order to characterize the surficial formations of the region.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
263
10008058
Estimation of Subgrade Resilient Modulus from Soil Index Properties
Abstract:

Determination of Resilient Modulus (MR) is quite important for characterizing materials in pavement design and evaluation. The main focus of this study is to develop a correlation that predict the resilient modulus of subgrade soils from simple and easy measured soil index properties. To achieve this objective, three subgrade soils representing typical Khartoum soils were selected and tested in the laboratory for measuring resilient modulus. Other basic laboratory tests were conducted on the soils to determine their physical properties. Several soil samples were prepared and compacted at different moisture contents and dry densities and then tested using resilient modulus testing machine. Based on experimental results, linear relationship of MR with the consistency factor ‘Fc’ which is a combination of dry density, void ratio and consistency index had been developed. The results revealed that very good linear relationship found between the MR and the consistency factor with a coefficient of linearity (R2) more than 0.9. The consistency factor could be used for the prediction of the MR of compacted subgrade soils with precise and reliable results.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
262
10008090
The Use of Thermal Infrared Wavelengths to Determine the Volcanic Soils
Abstract:

In this study, an application was carried out to determine the Volcanic Soils by using remote sensing.  The study area was located on the Golcuk formation in Isparta-Turkey. The thermal bands of Landsat 7 image were used for processing. The implementation of the climate model that was based on the water index was used in ERDAS Imagine software together with pixel based image classification. Soil Moisture Index (SMI) was modeled by using the surface temperature (Ts) which was obtained from thermal bands and vegetation index (NDVI) derived from Landsat 7. Surface moisture values were grouped and classified by using scoring system. Thematic layers were compared together with the field studies. Consequently, different moisture levels for volcanic soils were indicator for determination and separation. Those thermal wavelengths are preferable bands for separation of volcanic soils using moisture and temperature models.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
261
10008355
Image Processing on Geosynthetic Reinforced Layers to Evaluate Shear Strength and Variations of the Strain Profiles
Abstract:
This study investigates the reinforcement function of geosynthetics on the shear strength and strain profile of sand. Conducting a series of simple shear tests, the shearing behavior of the samples under static and cyclic loads was evaluated. Three different types of geosynthetics including geotextile and geonets were used as the reinforcement materials. An image processing analysis based on the optical flow method was performed to measure the lateral displacements and estimate the shear strains. It is shown that besides improving the shear strength, the geosynthetic reinforcement leads a remarkable reduction on the shear strains. The improved layer reduces the required thickness of the soil layer to resist against shear stresses. Consequently, the geosynthetic reinforcement can be considered as a proper approach for the sustainable designs, especially in the projects with huge amount of geotechnical applications like subgrade of the pavements, roadways, and railways.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
260
10007563
Different Tillage Possibilities for Second Crop in Green Bean Farming
Abstract:

In this study, determining of reduced tillage techniques in green bean farming as a second crop after harvesting wheat was targeted. To this aim, four different soil tillage methods namely, heavy-duty disc harrow (HD), rotary tiller (ROT), heavy-duty disc harrow plus rotary tiller (HD+ROT) and no-tillage (NT) (seeding by direct drill) were examined. Experiments were arranged in a randomized block design with three replications. The highest green beans yields were obtained in HD+ROT and NT as 5,862.1 and 5,829.3 Mg/ha, respectively. The lowest green bean yield was found in HD as 3,076.7 Mg/ha. The highest fuel consumption was measured 30.60 L ha-1 for HD+ROT whereas the lowest value was found 7.50 L ha-1 for NT. No tillage method gave the best results for fuel consumption and effective power requirement. It is concluded that no-tillage method can be used in second crop green bean in the Thrace Region due to economic and erosion conditions.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
259
10007762
Landcover Mapping Using Lidar Data and Aerial Image and Soil Fertility Degradation Assessment for Rice Production Area in Quezon, Nueva Ecija, Philippines
Abstract:

Land-cover maps were important for many scientific, ecological and land management purposes and during the last decades, rapid decrease of soil fertility was observed to be due to land use practices such as rice cultivation. High-precision land-cover maps are not yet available in the area which is important in an economy management. To assure   accurate mapping of land cover to provide information, remote sensing is a very suitable tool to carry out this task and automatic land use and cover detection. The study did not only provide high precision land cover maps but it also provides estimates of rice production area that had undergone chemical degradation due to fertility decline. Land-cover were delineated and classified into pre-defined classes to achieve proper detection features. After generation of Land-cover map, of high intensity of rice cultivation, soil fertility degradation assessment in rice production area due to fertility decline was created to assess the impact of soils used in agricultural production. Using Simple spatial analysis functions and ArcGIS, the Land-cover map of Municipality of Quezon in Nueva Ecija, Philippines was overlaid to the fertility decline maps from Land Degradation Assessment Philippines- Bureau of Soils and Water Management (LADA-Philippines-BSWM) to determine the area of rice crops that were most likely where nitrogen, phosphorus, zinc and sulfur deficiencies were induced by high dosage of urea and imbalance N:P fertilization. The result found out that 80.00 % of fallow and 99.81% of rice production area has high soil fertility decline.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
258
10007952
Using Micropiles to Improve the Anzali's Saturated Loose Silty Sand
Abstract:

Today, with the daily advancement of geotechnical engineering on soil improvement and modification of the physical properties and shear strength of soil, it is now possible to construct structures with high-volume and high service load on loose sandy soils. One of such methods is using micropiles, which are mostly used to control asymmetrical subsidence, increase bearing capacity, and prevent soil liquefaction. This study examined the improvement of Anzali's saturated loose silty sand using 192 micropiles with a length of 8 meters and diameter of 75 mm. Bandar-e Anzali is one of Iran's coastal populated cities which are located in a high-seismicity region. The effects of the insertion of micropiles on prevention of liquefaction and improvement of subsidence were examined through comparison of the results of Standard Penetration Test (SPT) and Plate Load Test (PLT) before and after implementation of the micropiles. The results show that the SPT values and the ultimate bearing capacity of silty sand increased after the implementation of the micropiles. Therefore, the installation of micropiles increases the strength of silty sand improving the resistance of soil against liquefaction.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
257
10007117
Identifying Dynamic Structural Parameters of Soil-Structure System Based on Data Recorded during Strong Earthquakes
Abstract:

In many applied engineering problems, structural analysis is usually conducted by assuming a rigid bed, while imposing the effect of structure bed flexibility can affect significantly on the structure response. This article focuses on investigation and evaluation of the effects arising from considering a soil-structure system in evaluation of dynamic characteristics of a steel structure with respect to elastic and inelastic behaviors. The recorded structure acceleration during Taiwan’s strong Chi-Chi earthquake on different floors of the structure was our evaluation criteria. The respective structure is an eight-story steel bending frame structure designed using a displacement-based direct method assuring weak beam - strong column function. The results indicated that different identification methods i.e. reverse Fourier transform or transfer functions, is capable to determine some of the dynamic parameters of the structure precisely, rather than evaluating all of them at once (mode frequencies, mode shapes, structure damping, structure rigidity, etc.). Response evaluation based on the input and output data elucidated that the structure first mode is not significantly affected, even considering the soil-structure interaction effect, but the upper modes have been changed. Also, it was found that the response transfer function of the different stories, in which plastic hinges have occurred in the structure components, provides similar results.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
256
10007184
Impact of Long Term Application of Municipal Solid Waste on Physicochemical and Microbial Parameters and Heavy Metal Distribution in Soils in Accordance to Its Agricultural Uses
Abstract:

Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), being a rich source of organic materials, can be used for agricultural applications as an important source of nutrients for soil and plants. This is also an alternative beneficial management practice for MSW generated in developing countries. In the present study, MSW treated soil samples from last four to six years at farmer’s field in Rohtak and Gurgaon states (Haryana, India) were collected. The samples were analyzed for all-important agricultural parameters and compared with the control untreated soil samples. The treated soil at farmer’s field showed increase in total N by 48 to 68%, P by 45.7 to 51.3%, and K by 60 to 67% compared to untreated soil samples. Application of sewage sludge at different sites led to increase in microbial biomass C by 60 to 68% compared to untreated soil. There was significant increase in total Cu, Cr, Ni, Fe, Pb, and Zn in all sewage sludge amended soil samples; however, concentration of all the metals were still below the current permitted (EU) limits. To study the adverse effect of heavy metals accumulation on various soil microbial activities, the sewage sludge samples (from wastewater treatment plant at Gurgaon) were artificially contaminated with heavy metal concentration above the EU limits. They were then applied to soil samples with different rates (0.5 to 4.0%) and incubated for 90 days under laboratory conditions. The samples were drawn at different intervals and analyzed for various parameters like pH, EC, total N, P, K, microbial biomass C, carbon mineralization, and diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (DTPA) exactable heavy metals. The results were compared to the uncontaminated sewage sludge. The increasing level of sewage sludge from 0.5 to 4% led to build of organic C and total N, P and K content at the early stages of incubation. But, organic C was decreased after 90 days because of decomposition of organic matter. Biomass production was significantly increased in both contaminated and uncontaminated sewage soil samples, but also led to slight increases in metal accumulation and their bioavailability in soil. The maximum metal concentrations were found in treatment with 4% of contaminated sewage sludge amendment.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
255
10007212
Influence of Local Soil Conditions on Optimal Load Factors for Seismic Design of Buildings
Abstract:

Optimal load factors (dead, live and seismic) used for the design of buildings may be different, depending of the seismic ground motion characteristics to which they are subjected, which are closely related to the type of soil conditions where the structures are located. The influence of the type of soil on those load factors, is analyzed in the present study. A methodology that is useful for establishing optimal load factors that minimize the cost over the life cycle of the structure is employed; and as a restriction, it is established that the probability of structural failure must be less than or equal to a prescribed value. The life-cycle cost model used here includes different types of costs. The optimization methodology is applied to two groups of reinforced concrete buildings. One set (consisting on 4-, 7-, and 10-story buildings) is located on firm ground (with a dominant period Ts=0.5 s) and the other (consisting on 6-, 12-, and 16-story buildings) on soft soil (Ts=1.5 s) of Mexico City. Each group of buildings is designed using different combinations of load factors. The statistics of the maximums inter-story drifts (associated with the structural capacity) are found by means of incremental dynamic analyses. The buildings located on firm zone are analyzed under the action of 10 strong seismic records, and those on soft zone, under 13 strong ground motions. All the motions correspond to seismic subduction events with magnitudes M=6.9. Then, the structural damage and the expected total costs, corresponding to each group of buildings, are estimated. It is concluded that the optimal load factors combination is different for the design of buildings located on firm ground than that for buildings located on soft soil.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
254
10007451
Sustainable Cities: Viability of a Hybrid Aeroponic/Nutrient Film Technique System for Cultivation of Tomatoes
Abstract:

Growing environmental and sustainability concerns have driven continual modernization of horticultural practices, especially for urban farming. Controlled environment and soilless production methods are increasing in popularity because of their efficient resource use and intensive cropping capabilities. However, some popular substrates used for hydroponic cultivation, particularly rock wool, represent a large environmental burden in regard to their manufacture and disposal. Substrate-less hydroponic systems are effective in producing short cropping cycle plants such as lettuce or herbs, but less information is available for the production of plants with larger root-systems and longer cropping times. Here, we investigated the viability of a hybrid aeroponic/nutrient film technique (AP/NFT) system for the cultivation of greenhouse tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum ‘Panovy’). The plants grown in the AP/NFT system had a more compact phenotype, accumulated more Na+ and less P and S than the rock wool grown counterparts. Due to forced irrigation interruptions, we propose that the differences observed were cofounded by the differing severity of water-stress for plants with and without substrate. They may also be caused by a higher root zone temperature predominant in plants exposed to AP/NFT. However, leaf area, stem diameter, and number of trusses did not differ significantly. The same was found for leaf pigments and plant photosynthetic efficiency. Overall, the AP/NFT system appears to be viable for the production of greenhouse tomato, enabling the environment to be relieved by way of lessening rock wool usage.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
253
10007513
Qualitative and Quantitative Characterization of Generated Waste in Nouri Petrochemical Complex, Assaluyeh, Iran
Abstract:

In recent years, different petrochemical complexes have been established to produce aromatic compounds. Among them, Nouri Petrochemical Complex (NPC) is the largest producer of aromatic raw materials in the world, and is located in south of Iran. Environmental concerns have been raised in this region due to generation of different types of solid waste generated in the process of aromatics production, and subsequently, industrial waste characterization has been thoroughly considered. The aim of this study is qualitative and quantitative characterization of industrial waste generated in the aromatics production process and determination of the best method for industrial waste management. For this purpose, all generated industrial waste during the production process was determined using a checklist. Four main industrial wastes were identified as follows: spent industrial soil, spent catalyst, spent molecular sieves and spent N-formyl morpholine (NFM) solvent. The amount of heavy metals and organic compounds in these wastes were further measured in order to identify the nature and toxicity of such a dangerous compound. Then industrial wastes were classified based on lab analysis results as well as using different international lists of hazardous waste identification such as EPA, UNEP and Basel Convention. Finally, the best method of waste disposal is selected based on environmental, economic and technical aspects. 

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
252
10006767
Characterization of Organic Matter in Spodosol Amazonian by Fluorescence Spectroscopy
Abstract:

Soil organic matter (SOM) plays an important role in maintaining soil productivity and accounting for the promotion of biological diversity. The main components of the SOM are the humic substances which can be fractionated according to its solubility in humic acid (HA), fulvic acids (FA) and humin (HU). The determination of the chemical properties of organic matter as well as its interaction with metallic species is an important tool for understanding the structure of the humic fractions. Fluorescence spectroscopy has been studied as a source of information about what is happening at the molecular level in these compounds. Specially, soils of Amazon region are an important ecosystem of the planet. The aim of this study is to understand the molecular and structural composition of HA samples from Spodosol of Amazonia using the fluorescence Emission-Excitation Matrix (EEM) and Time Resolved Fluorescence Spectroscopy (TRFS). The results showed that the samples of HA showed two fluorescent components; one has a more complex structure and the other one has a simpler structure, which was also seen in TRFS through the evaluation of each sample lifetime. Thus, studies of this nature become important because it aims to evaluate the molecular and structural characteristics of the humic fractions in the region that is considered as one of the most important regions in the world, the Amazon.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
251
10007278
Characterization of the Microbial Induced Carbonate Precipitation Technique as a Biological Cementing Agent for Sand Deposits
Abstract:

The population increase in Egypt is urging for horizontal land development which became a demand to allow the benefit of different natural resources and expand from the narrow Nile valley. However, this development is facing challenges preventing land development and agriculture development. Desertification and moving sand dunes in the west sector of Egypt are considered the major obstacle that is blocking the ideal land use and development. In the proposed research, the sandy soil is treated biologically using Bacillus pasteurii bacteria as these bacteria have the ability to bond the sand partials to change its state of loose sand to cemented sand, which reduces the moving ability of the sand dunes. The procedure of implementing the Microbial Induced Carbonate Precipitation Technique (MICP) technique is examined, and the different factors affecting on this process such as the medium of bacteria sample preparation, the optical density (OD600), the reactant concentration, injection rates and intervals are highlighted. Based on the findings of the MICP treatment for sandy soil, conclusions and future recommendations are reached.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
250
10007367
Conservation Agriculture Practice in Bangladesh: Farmers’ Socioeconomic Status and Soil Environment Perspective
Abstract:

The study was conducted to assess the impact of conservation agriculture practice on farmers’ socioeconomic condition and soil environmental quality in Bangladesh. A total of 450 (i.e., 50 focal, 150 proximal and 250 control) farmers from five districts were selected for this study. Descriptive statistics like sum, averages, percentages, etc. were calculated to evaluate the socioeconomic data. Using Enyedi’s crop productivity index, it was found that the crop productivity of focal, proximal and control farmers was increased by 0.9, 1.2 and 1.3 percent, respectively. The result of DID (Difference-in-difference) analysis indicated that the impact of conservation agriculture practice on farmers’ average annual income was significant. Multidimensional poverty index (MPI) indicates that poverty in terms of deprivation of health, education and living standards was decreased; and a remarkable improvement in farmers’ socioeconomic status was found after adopting conservation agriculture practice. Most of the focal and proximal farmers stated about increased soil environmental condition where majority of control farmers stated about constant environmental condition in this regard. The Probit model reveals that minimum tillage operation, permanent organic soil cover, and application of compost and vermicompost were found significant factors affecting soil environmental quality under conservation agriculture. Input support, motivation, training programmes and extension services are recommended to implement in order to raise the awareness and enrich the knowledge of the farmers on conservation agriculture practice.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
249
10007754
Removal of Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons from Contaminated Soils by Electrochemical Method
Abstract:

Soil contamination phenomena are a wide world issue that has received the important attention in the last decades. The main pollutants that have affected soils are especially those resulted from the oil extraction, transport and processing. This paper presents results obtained in the framework of a research project focused on the management of contaminated sites with petroleum products/ REMPET. One of the specific objectives of the REMPET project was to assess the electrochemical treatment (improved with polarity change respect to the typical approach) as a treatment option for the remediation of total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPHs) from contaminated soils. Petroleum hydrocarbon compounds attach to soil components and are difficult to remove and degrade. Electrochemical treatment is a physicochemical treatment that has gained acceptance as an alternative method, for the remediation of organic contaminated soils comparing with the traditional methods as bioremediation and chemical oxidation. This type of treatment need short time and have high removal efficiency, being usually applied in heterogeneous soils with low permeability. During the experimental tests, the following parameters were monitored: pH, redox potential, humidity, current intensity, energy consumption. The electrochemical method was applied in an experimental setup with the next dimensions: 450 mm x 150 mm x 150 mm (L x l x h). The setup length was devised in three electrochemical cells that were connected at two power supplies. The power supplies configuration was provided in such manner that each cell has a cathode and an anode without overlapping. The initial value of TPH concentration in soil was of 1420.28 mg/kgdw. The remediation method has been applied for only 21 days, when it was already noticed an average removal efficiency of 31 %, with better results in the anode area respect to the cathode one (33% respect to 27%). The energy consumption registered after the development of the experiment was 10.6 kWh for exterior power supply and 16.1 kWh for the interior one. Taking into account that at national level, the most used methods for soil remediation are bioremediation (which needs too much time to be implemented and depends on many factors) and thermal desorption (which involves high costs in order to be implemented), the study of electrochemical treatment will give an alternative to these two methods (and their limitations).

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
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