Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 9

9
10010015
Spatial Distribution of Ambient BTEX Concentrations at an International Airport in South Africa
Abstract:

Air travel, and the use of airports, has experienced proliferative growth in the past few decades, resulting in the concomitant release of air pollutants. Air pollution needs to be monitored because of the known relationship between exposure to air pollutants and increased adverse effects on human health. This study monitored a group of volatile organic compounds (VOCs); specifically BTEX (viz. benzene, toluene, ethyl-benzene and xylenes), as many are detrimental to human health. Through the use of passive sampling methods, the spatial variability of BTEX within an international airport was investigated, in order to determine ‘hotspots’ where occupational exposure to BTEX may be intensified. The passive sampling campaign revealed BTEXtotal concentrations ranged between 12.95–124.04 µg m-3. Furthermore, BTEX concentrations were dispersed heterogeneously within the airport. Due to the slow wind speeds recorded (1.13 m.s-1); the hotspots were located close to their main BTEX sources. The main hotspot was located over the main apron of the airport. Employees working in this area may be chronically exposed to these emissions, which could be potentially detrimental to their health.

8
10001237
Damage to Strawberries Caused by Simulated Transport
Abstract:

The quality and condition of perishable products delivered to the market and their subsequent selling prices are directly affected by the care taken during harvesting and handling. Mechanical injury, in fact, occurs at all stages, from pre-harvest operations through post-harvest handling, packing and transport to the market. The main implications of this damage are the reduction of the product’s quality and economical losses related to the shelf life diminution. For most perishable products, the shelf life is relatively short and it is typically dictated by microbial growth related to the application of dynamic and static loads during transportation. This paper presents the correlation between vibration levels and microbiological growth on strawberries and woodland strawberries and detects the presence of volatile organic compounds (VOC) in order to develop an intelligent logistic unit capable of monitoring VOCs using a specific sensor system. Fresh fruits were exposed to vibrations by means of a vibrating table in a temperature-controlled environment. Microbiological analyses were conducted on samples, taken at different positions along the column of the crates. The values obtained were compared with control samples not exposed to vibrations and the results show that different positions along the column influence the development of bacteria, yeasts and filamentous fungi.

7
10001930
Alumina Supported Cu-Mn-Cr Catalysts for CO and VOCs Oxidation
Abstract:
This work studies the effect of chemical composition on the activity and selectivity of γ–alumina supported CuO/ MnO2/Cr2O3 catalysts toward deep oxidation of CO, dimethyl ether (DME) and methanol. The catalysts were prepared by impregnation of the support with an aqueous solution of copper nitrate, manganese nitrate and CrO3 under different conditions. Thermal, XRD and TPR analysis were performed. The catalytic measurements of single compounds oxidation were carried out on continuous flow equipment with a four-channel isothermal stainless steel reactor. Flow-line equipment with an adiabatic reactor for simultaneous oxidation of all compounds under the conditions that mimic closely the industrial ones was used. The reactant and product gases were analyzed by means of on-line gas chromatographs. On the basis of XRD analysis it can be concluded that the active component of the mixed Cu-Mn-Cr/γ–alumina catalysts consists of at least six compounds – CuO, Cr2O3, MnO2, Cu1.5Mn1.5O4, Cu1.5Cr1.5O4 and CuCr2O4, depending on the Cu/Mn/Cr molar ratio. Chemical composition strongly influences catalytic properties, this influence being quite variable with regards to the different processes. The rate of CO oxidation rapidly decrease with increasing of chromium content in the active component while for the DME was observed the reverse trend. It was concluded that the best compromise are the catalysts with Cu/(Mn + Cr) molar ratio 1:5 and Mn/Cr molar ratio from 1:3 to 1:4.
6
5712
Comparison of Indoor and Outdoor Air Quality in Children Homes at Prenatal Period and One Year Old
Abstract:
Abstract–Indoor air (VOCs) samples were collected simultaneously from variety of indoors (e.g. living rooms, baby-s rooms) and outdoor environments which were voluntarily selected from the houses in which pregnant residents live throughout Ankara. This is the first comprehensive study done in Turkey starting from prenatal period and continued till the babies had one year old. VOCs levels were measured over 76 homes. Air samples were collected in Tenax TA sorbent filled tubes with active sampling method and analyzed with Thermal Desorber and Gas Chromatography/Mass spectrometry (TD-GC/MS). At the first sampling period in the baby-s rooms maximum concentration of toluene was measured about 240.77μg.m-3 and in the living rooms maximum concentration of naphthalene was 180.24μg.m-3. At the second sampling period in the baby-s rooms maximum concentration of toluene was measured about 144.97μg.m-3 and in the living rooms maximum concentration of naphthalene was 247.89μg.m-3. Concentration of TVOCs in the first period was generally higher than the second period.
5
5306
Determination of Volatile Organic Compounds in Human Breath by Optical Fiber Sensing
Abstract:
This work proposes an optical fiber system (OF) for sensing various volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in human breath for the diagnosis of some metabolic disorders as a non-invasive methodology. The analyzed VOCs are alkanes (i.e., ethane, pentane, heptane, octane, and decane), and aromatic compounds (i.e., benzene, toluene, and styrene). The OF displays high analytical performance since it provides near real-time responses, rapid analysis, and low instrumentation costs, as well as it exhibits useful linear range and detection limits; the developed OF sensor is also comparable to a reference methodology (gas chromatography-mass spectrometry) for the eight tested VOCs.
4
14927
Absorption of Volatile Organic Compounds into Polydimethylsiloxane: Phase Equilibrium Computation at Infinite Dilution
Abstract:
Group contribution methods such as the UNIFAC are very useful to researchers and engineers involved in synthesis, feasibility studies, design and optimization of separation processes. They can be applied successfully to predict phase equilibrium and excess properties in the development of chemical and separation processes. The main focus of this work was to investigate the possibility of absorbing selected volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) using three selected UNIFAC group contribution methods. Absorption followed by subsequent stripping is the predominant available abatement technology of VOCs from flue gases prior to their release into the atmosphere. The original, modified and effective UNIFAC models were used in this work. The thirteen selected VOCs that have been considered in this research are: pentane, hexane, heptanes, trimethylamine, toluene, xylene, cyclohexane, butyl acetate, diethyl acetate, chloroform, acetone, ethyl methyl ketone and isobutyl methyl ketone. The computation was done for solute VOC concentration of 8.55x10-8 which is well in the infinite dilution region. The results obtained in this study compare very well with those published in literature obtained through both measurements and predictions. The phase equilibrium obtained in this study show that PDMS is a good absorbent for the removal of VOCs from contaminated air streams through physical absorption.
3
1238
Phase Equilibrium of Volatile Organic Compounds in Polymeric Solvents Using Group Contribution Methods
Authors:
Abstract:
Group contribution methods such as the UNIFAC are of major interest to researchers and engineers involved synthesis, feasibility studies, design and optimization of separation processes as well as other applications of industrial use. Reliable knowledge of the phase equilibrium behavior is crucial for the prediction of the fate of the chemical in the environment and other applications. The objective of this study was to predict the solubility of selected volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in glycol polymers and biodiesel. Measurements can be expensive and time consuming, hence the need for thermodynamic models. The results obtained in this study for the infinite dilution activity coefficients compare very well those published in literature obtained through measurements. It is suggested that in preliminary design or feasibility studies of absorption systems for the abatement of volatile organic compounds, prediction procedures should be implemented while accurate fluid phase equilibrium data should be obtained from experiment.
2
4103
A Novel and Green Approach to Produce Nano- Porous Materials Zeolite A and MCM-41 from Coal Fly Ash and their Applications in Environmental Protection
Abstract:

Zeolite A and MCM-41 have extensive applications in basic science, petrochemical science, energy conservation/storage, medicine, chemical sensor, air purification, environmentally benign composite structure and waste remediation. However, the use of zeolite A and MCM-41 in these areas, especially environmental remediation, are restricted due to prohibitive production cost. Efficient recycling of and resource recovery from coal fly ash has been a major topic of current international research interest, aimed at achieving sustainable development of human society from the viewpoints of energy, economy, and environmental strategy. This project reported an original, novel, green and fast methods to produce nano-porous zeolite A and MCM-41 materials from coal fly ash. For zeolite A, this novel production method allows a reduction by half of the total production time while maintaining a high degree of crystallinity of zeolite A which exists in a narrower particle size distribution. For MCM-41, this remarkably green approach, being an environmentally friendly process and reducing generation of toxic waste, can produce pure and long-range ordered MCM-41 materials from coal fly ash. This approach took 24 h at 25 oC to produce 9 g of MCM-41 materials from 30 g of the coal fly ash, which is the shortest time and lowest reaction temperature required to produce pure and ordered MCM-41 materials (having the largest internal surface area) compared to the values reported in the literature. Performance evaluation of the produced zeolite A and MCM-41 materials in wastewater treatment and air pollution control were reported. The residual fly ash was also converted to zeolite Na-P1 which showed good performance in removal of multi-metal ions in wastewater. In wastewater treatment, compared to commercial-grade zeolite A, adsorbents produced from coal fly ash were effective in removing multi heavy metal ions in water and could be an alternative material for treatment of wastewater. In methane emission abatement, the zeolite A (produced from coal fly ash) achieved similar methane removal efficiency compared to the zeolite A prepared from pure chemicals. This report provides the guidance for production of zeolite A and MCM-41 from coal fly ash by a cost-effective approach which opens potential applications of these materials in environmental industry. Finally, environmental and economic aspects of production of zeolite A and MCM-41 from coal fly ash were discussed.

1
2075
Optimum Conditions for Effective Decomposition of Toluene as VOC Gas by Pilot-Scale Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer
Abstract:
Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer (RTO) is one of the best solutions for removal of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) from industrial processes. In the RTO, VOC in a raw gas are usually decomposed at 950-1300 K and the combustion heat of VOC is recovered by regenerative heat exchangers charged with ceramic honeycombs. The optimization of the treatment of VOC leads to the reduction of fuel addition to VOC decomposition, the minimization of CO2 emission and operating cost as well. In the present work, the thermal efficiency of the RTO was investigated experimentally in a pilot-scale RTO unit using toluene as a typical representative of VOC. As a result, it was recognized that the radiative heat transfer was dominant in the preheating process of a raw gas when the gas flow rate was relatively low. Further, it was found that a minimum heat exchanger volume to achieve self combustion of toluene without additional heating of the RTO by fuel combustion was dependent on both the flow rate of a raw gas and the concentration of toluene. The thermal efficiency calculated from fuel consumption and the decomposed toluene ratio, was found to have a maximum value of 0.95 at a raw gas mass flow rate of 1810 kg·h-1 and honeycombs height of 1.5m.
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