Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Abstract Count: 53187

Environmental and Ecological Engineering

2302
94476
Urban Wastewater Governance in South Africa: A Case Study of Stellenbosch Town
Abstract:
Due to climate change, population growth and rapid urbanization the demand for water in South Africa is inevitably surpassing supply. To address similar challenges globally, there has been a paradigm shift from traditional urban water management practice namely ‘government’ to a ‘governance’ paradigm. From the governance ideology water management principles have emerged for, efficient urban water management. These principles include Integrated Urban Water Management (IUWM), a principle which seeks to manage the Urban Water System (UWS) in an integrated manner mimicking natural water systems. Since water as a single resource should satisfy contemporary concerns while adapting to future needs. This paper focused on the Stellenbosch municipality, which is the Water Service Authority of Stellenbosch town. The study investigated drivers of shifting the current urban wastewater management which follows a 'government' paradigm towards 'governance' which is informed by IUWM principles. The study was conducted through Interactive Management soft systems research methodology which follows a qualitative research design. A case study methodology was followed guided by realism research philosophy. Qualitative data gathered was analysed through interpretative structural modelling using Concept Star for Professional Decision-Making (CSPDM) version 3.64 tools. The model deduced that the main drivers in shifting the Stellenbosch municipal urban wastewater management towards IUWM is centred on the social component characterised by over ambitious expectations of the public on municipal water service delivery, which emanates from lack of water education in the community of both the rich and the poor. The Stellenbosch society’s frame of mind on water is that access to adequate clean water and sanitation is a human right. The water service authority i.e. the municipality) has the full responsibility of fulfilling this right according to the South African Constitution. Disruptive events such as the current draught emerged also as a strong driver which may raise an awareness on the value of water. Rapid urbanisation resulting in irregular projected population growth would require innovative ways to deal with wastewater management. Inefficient public participation which stems from a highly unequal society ranging from education, material possessions and interests emerged also as a strong driver as it creates a fertile ground for populism to influence the perceptions of the public in recycling urban wastewater. Poor public participation would influence urban wastewater management plans including the selection of technology to be employed for urban wastewater treatment. Once these strong drivers are addressed the alignment of governance and administration elements towards IUWM is achievable. Hence the point of departure for the desired paradigm shift is the change of serviced communities’ perceptions and behaviours towards urban wastewater management.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
2301
94234
Real-Time Radiological Monitoring of the Atmosphere Using an Autonomous Aerosol Sampler
Abstract:
An early and reliable detection of an increased radioactivity level in the atmosphere is one of the key aspects of atmospheric radiological monitoring. Although the standard laboratory procedures provide detection limits as low as few µBq/m³, their major drawback is the delayed result reporting: typically a few days. This issue is the main objective of the HAMRAD project, which gave rise to a prototype of an autonomous monitoring device. It is based on the idea of sequential aerosol sampling using a carrousel sample changer combined with a gamma-ray spectrometer. In our hardware configuration, the air is drawn through a filter positioned on the carrousel so that it could be rotated into the measuring position after a preset sampling interval. Filter analysis is performed via a 50% HPGe detector inside an 8.5cm lead shielding. The spectrometer output signal is then analyzed using DSP electronics and Gamwin software with preset nuclide libraries and other analysis parameters. After the counting, the filter is placed into a storage bin with a capacity of 250 filters so that the device can run autonomously for several months depending on the preset sampling frequency. The device is connected to a central server via GPRS/GSM where the user can view monitoring data including raw spectra and technological data describing the state of the device. All operating parameters can be remotely adjusted through a simple GUI. The flow rate is continuously adjustable up to 10 m³/h. The main challenge in spectrum analysis is the natural background subtraction. As detection limits are heavily influenced by the deposited activity of radon decay products and the measurement time is fixed, there must exist an optimal sample decay time (delayed spectrum acquisition). To solve this problem, we adopted a simple procedure based on sequential spectrum acquisition and optimal partial spectral sum with respect to the detection limits for a particular radionuclide. The prototyped device proved to be able to detect atmospheric contamination at the level of mBq/m³ per an 8h sampling.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
2300
94110
Passive Seismic in Hydrogeological Prospecting: The Case Study from Hard Rock and Alluvium Plain
Abstract:
Passive seismic, a wavefield interferometric imaging, low cost and rapid tool for subsurface investigation is used for various geotechnical purposes such as hydrocarbon exploration, seismic microzonation, etc. With the recent advancement, its application has also been extended to groundwater exploration by means of finding the bedrock depth. Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR)-National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI) has experimented passive seismic studies along with electrical resistivity tomography for groundwater in hard rock (Choutuppal, Hyderabad). Passive Seismic with Electrical Resistivity (ERT) can give more clear 2-D subsurface image for Groundwater Exploration in Hard Rock area. Passive seismic data were collected using a Tromino, a three-component broadband seismometer, to measure background ambient noise and processed using GRILLA software. The passive seismic results are found corroborating with ERT (Electrical Resistivity Tomography) results. For data acquisition purpose, Tromino was kept over 30 locations consist recording of 20 minutes at each station. These location shows strong resonance frequency peak, suggesting good impedance contrast between different subsurface layers (ex. Mica rich Laminated layer, Weathered layer, granite, etc.) This paper presents signature of passive seismic for hard rock terrain. It has been found that passive seismic has potential application for formation characterization and can be used as an alternative tool for delineating litho-stratification in an urban condition where electrical and electromagnetic tools cannot be applied due to high cultural noise. In addition to its general application in combination with electrical and electromagnetic methods can improve the interpreted subsurface model.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
2299
93838
Studying the Effect of Froude Number and Densimetric Froude Number on Local Scours around Circular Bridge Piers
Abstract:
A very large percentage of bridge failures are attributed to scouring around bridge piers and this directly influences public safety. Experiments are carried out in a 12-m long rectangular open channel flume made of transparent tempered glass. A 300 mm thick bed made up of sand particles is leveled horizontally to create the test bed and a 50 mm hollow plastic cylinder is used as a model bridge pier. Tests are carried out with varying flow depths and velocities. Data points of various scour parameters such as scour depth, width, and length are collected based on different flow conditions and visual observations of changes in the stream bed downstream the bridge pier are also made as the scour progresses. Result shows that all three major flow characteristics (flow depth, Froude number and densimetric Froude number) have one way or other affect the scour profile.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
2298
93589
Industrial and Environmental Safety in the Integrated Security Policy of the Industry: A Corporation and an Enterprise
Abstract:
Today, in the context of rapidly developing technosphere and hourly emerging new technologies, the industrial and environmental safety issue is ever more pressing. The article is devoted to the relationship of social, environmental, and industrial policies with industrial safety, occupational health and safety, environmental safety, and environmental protection. The author assesses the up-to-day situation through system analysis and on the basis of the existing practices. A complex system of the policies implementation without "gaps" and missing links ensures preservation of human lives, health and a favorable living environment. The author demonstrates that absence of an "environmental safety" high-priority link can lead to a significant loss of human lives and health and the global changes in the environment. The role of implementing the environmental policy of enterprises and organizations, and of economic sectors in the implementation of national environmental policy is shown. It was established that the system for implementing environmental policy should be based on a system analysis.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
2297
93028
Biodegradation of Chlorpyrifos in Real Wastewater by Acromobacter xylosoxidans SRK5 Immobilized in Calcium Alginate
Abstract:
Agrochemical industries produce huge amount of wastewater containing pesticides and other harmful residues. Environmental regulations make it compulsory to bring pesticides to a minimum level before releasing wastewater from industrial units.The present study was designed with the objective to investigate biodegradation of CP in real wastewater using bacterial cells immobilized in calcium alginate. Bacterial strain identified as Acromobacter xylosoxidans SRK5 (KT013092) using 16S rRNA nucleotide sequence analysis was used. SRK5 was immobilized in calcium alginate to make calcium alginate microspheres (CAMs). Real wastewater from industry having 50 mg L⁻¹ of CP was inoculated with free cells or CAMs and incubated for 96 h at 37˚C. CP removal efficiency with CAMs was 98% after 72 h of incubation, and no lag phase was observed. With free cells, 12h of lag phase was observed. After 96 h of incubation 87% of CP removal was observed when inoculated with free cells. No adsorption was observed on vacant CAMs. Phytotoxicity assay demonstrated considerable loss in toxicity. Almost complete COD removal was achieved at 96 h with CAMs. Study suggests the use of immobilized cells of SRK5 for bioaugmentation of industrial wastewater for CP degradation instead of free cells.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
2296
92954
An Investigation into Root Causes of Sabotage and Vandalism of Pipes: A Major Environmental Effluence in Niger Delta, Nigeria
Abstract:
Human’s activities could be pointed as the root cause of almost all environmental damages/ disasters as we contribute to the activities that are currently damaging the ozone layers (global warming), unusual environmental changes and extreme weather conditions (climate change) in recent times. Nigeria just as every other disaster-prone nation is faced with different types of disasters and environmental calamities, starting from terrorist displacement disasters, flood, drought and oil spill hazards. Oil spillage as an environmental disaster has great consequences not just on the environment but on human health, economy and the entire populace that might be involved, which deem necessary to look into the root causes of the incidents and how it can be curtailed. The different incidents of oil spillages and other oil production consequent on the environment is alarming in the Nigerian context and cannot be overemphasized without a critical investigation and synthesis. This paper investigates the root causes of environmental pollution induced by oil spill hazards from petroleum activities within Niger Delta communities of effects and detailed the potential solutions to reduce the causal factors and reoccurrence of the incidents. This study adopts a desk-based approach, interviews with key members of communities which consist of chiefs, youth leaders, and key women within the high environmental damaged communities. Also, Interviews were conducted with environmental expertise representatives from the oil and gas sectors and representatives from oil spill-related agency. Data were analyzed using thematic techniques. The study shows different influencing factors of sabotage and vandalism of oil facilities as such; marginalization, deprivation of resources utility and resource derivation principles were identified as major contributors to vandalism and sabotage act. The study proposed potential strategies to curtail the root causes of sabotage and vandalism as the major causes of environmental devastations in Nigeria.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
2295
92871
Inactivation of Root-Knot Nematode Eggs Meloidogyne enterolobii in Irrigation Water Treated with Ozone
Abstract:
Every year plant-parasitic nematodes diminish the yield of high-value crops worldwide causing important economic losses. Currently, Meloidogyne enterolobii has increased its importance due to its high aggressiveness, increasing geographical distribution and host range. Root-knot nematodes inhabit the rhizosphere soil around plant roots. However, they can come into contact with irrigation water. Thus, plant-parasitic nematodes can be transported by water, as eggs or juveniles. Due to their high resistance, common water disinfection methods are not effective for inactivating these parasites. Ozone is the most effective disinfectant for microbial inactivation. The objective of this study is to demonstrate that ozone treatment is an alternative method control in irrigation water of the root-knot nematode M. enterolobii. It has been shown that ozonation is an effective treatment for the inactivation of protozoan cysts and oocysts (Giardia and Cryptosporidium) and for other species of the genus Meloidogyne (M. incognita), but not for the enterolobii specie. In this study, the strain of M. enterolobii was isolated from tomatoes roots. For the tests, eggs were used and were inoculated in water with similar characteristics of irrigation water. Subsequently, the disinfection process was carried out in an ozonation unit. The performance of the treatments was evaluated through the egg's viability by assessing its structure by optical microscopy. As a result of exposure to ozone, the viability of the nematode eggs was reduced practically in its entirety; with dissolved ozone levels in water close to the standard concentration (equal to 0.4 mgO₃/L), but with high contact times (greater than 4 min): 0.2 mgO₃/L for 15 minutes or 0.55 mgO₃/L for 10 minutes. Additionally, the effect of temperature, alkalinity and organic matter of the water was evaluated. Ozonation is effective and a promising alternative for the inactivation of nematodes in irrigation water, which could contribute to diminish the agricultural losses caused by these organisms.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
2294
92543
Separation Characteristics of the Hollow Fiber Membrane Module Using Water Mixed with Small Sized Bubbles Composed of Synthesized Exhalations
Abstract:
Fish can breathe freely under water using dissolved oxygen and survive for a long time without going out on the water. A human can also survive under water using dissolved oxygens, if properly used. He needs more dissolved oxygens than the fish, so efficient separation device is required. Since the amount of oxygen contained in water is weak, a person needs a lot of surface area to breathe in water, which leads to a large-sized device. It can be applied to various fields if it is developed as a device which is advantageous to carry in small size. In this paper, we have carried out a study on the effective use of exhalations and proposed the separation characteristics of the gas containing dissolved oxygen in the state of mixed gas considering the components of exhalation. The system was configured to have a fine bubble when the gas mixture was injected into the front end of the separator. While the fluid containing the fine bubbles was supplied to the separator, the dissolved gas contained in water was separated using a vacuum pump. The gas separation amount of the separating apparatus with respect to the supplied mixed gas was measured. The amounts of separation of dissolved gas were increased as the amounts of mixed gas supplied were increased.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
2293
92414
Dairy Wastewater Remediation Using Electrochemical Oxidation on Boron Doped Diamond (BDD) Anode
Abstract:
Treated wastewater reuse has been considered recently as one of the successful management strategies to overcome water shortage in countries suffering from water scarcity. The non-readily biodegradable and recalcitrant pollutants in wastewater cannot be destructed by conventional treatment methods. This paper deals with the electrochemical treatment of dairy wastewater using a promising non-conventional Boron-Doped Diamond (BDD) anode. During the electrochemical process, different operating parameters were investigated, such as electrolysis time, current density, supporting electrolyte, chemical oxygen demand (COD), turbidity as well as absorbance/color. The experimental work revealed that electrochemical oxidation carried out with no added electrolyte has significantly reduced the COD, turbidity, and color (absorbance) by 72%, 76%, and 78% respectively. Results also showed that raising the current density from 5.1 mA/cm² to 7.7 mA/cm² has boosted COD, and color removal to 82.5%, and 83% respectively. However, the current density did not show any significant effect on the turbidity. Interestingly, it was observed that adding Na₂SO₄ and FeCl₃ as supporting electrolytes brought the COD removal to 91% and 97% respectively. Likewise, turbidity and color removal has been enhanced by the addition of the same supporting electrolytes.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
2292
92337
A Sustainable and Low-Cost Filter to Treat Pesticides in Water
Abstract:
Pesticide contamination in water supply is a common environmental problem in rural agricultural communities. Advanced water treatment processes such as membrane filtration and adsorption on activated carbon only remove pesticides from water without degrading them into less toxic/easily degradable compounds leaving behind contaminated brine and activated carbon that need to be managed. Rural communities which normally cannot afford expensive water treatment technologies need an economical and sustainable filter which not only treats pesticides from water but also degrades them into benign products. In this study, iron turning waste experimented as potential point-of-use filtration media for the removal/degradation of a mixture of six chlorinated pesticides (lindane, heptachlor, endosulfan, dieldrin, endrin, and DDT) in water. As a common and traditional medium for water filtration, sand was also tested along with iron turning waste. Iron turning waste was characterized using scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-Ray analyzer. Four glass columns with different filter media layer configurations were set up: (1) only sand, (2) only iron turning, (3) sand and iron turning (two separate layers), and (4) sand, iron turning and sand (three separate layers). The initial pesticide concentration and flow rate were 2 μg/L and 10 mL/min. Results indicate that sand filtration was effective only for the removal of DDT (100%) and endosulfan (94-96%). Iron turning filtration column effectively removed endosulfan, endrin, and dieldrin (85-95%) whereas the lindane and DDT removal were 79-85% and 39-56%, respectively. The removal efficiencies for heptachlor, endosulfan, endrin, dieldrin, and DDT were 90-100% when sand and iron turning waste (two separate layers) were used. However, better removal efficiencies (93-100%) for five out of six pesticides were achieved, when sand, iron turning and sand (three separate layers) were used as filtration media. Moreover, the effects of water pH, amounts of media, and minerals present in water such as magnesium, sodium, calcium, and nitrate on the removal of pesticides were examined. Results demonstrate that iron turning waste efficiently removed all the pesticides under studied parameters. Also, it completely de-chlorinated all the pesticides studied and based on the detection of by-products, the degradation mechanisms for all six pesticides were proposed.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
2291
92234
Electrochemical Inactivation of Toxic Cyanobacteria and Degradation of Cyanotoxins
Abstract:
The potential risks associated with toxic cyanobacteria have raised growing environmental and public health concerns leading to an increasing effort into researching ways to bring about their removal from water, together with destruction of their associated cyanotoxins. A variety of toxins are synthesized by cyanobacteria and include hepatotoxins, neurotoxins, and cytotoxins which can cause a range of symptoms in humans from skin irritation to serious liver and nerve damage. Therefore drinking water treatment processes should ensure the consumers’ safety by removing both cyanobacterial cells, and cyanotoxins from the water. Cyanobacterial cells and cyanotoxins presented challenges to the conventional water treatment systems; their accumulation within drinking water treatment plants has been reported leading to plants shut down. Thus, innovative and effective water purification systems to tackle cyanobacterial pollution are required. In recent years there has been increasing attention to the electrochemical oxidation process as a feasible alternative disinfection method which is able to generate in situ a variety of oxidants that would achieve synergistic effects in the water disinfection process and toxin degradation. By utilizing only electric current, the electrochemical process through electrolysis can produce reactive oxygen species such as hydroxyl radicals from the water, or other oxidants such as chlorine from chloride ions present in the water. From extensive physiological and morphological investigation of cyanobacterial cells during electrolysis, our results show that these oxidants have significant impact on cell inactivation, simultaneously with cyanotoxins removal without the need for chemicals addition. Our research aimed to optimize existing electrochemical oxidation systems and develop new systems to treat water containing toxic cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins. The research covers detailed mechanism study on oxidants production and cell inactivation in the treatment under environmental conditions. Overall, our study suggests that the electrochemical treatment process e is an effective method for removal of toxic cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
2290
92225
Divalent Iron Oxidative Process for Degradation of Carbon and Nitrogen Based Pollutants from Dye Intermediate Industrial Wastewater
Abstract:
Water pollution resulting from discharge of partial/not treated textile wastewater containing high carbon and nitrogen pollutants pose a huge threat to the environment, ecosystem, and human health. It is essential to remove carbon- and nitrogen-based organic pollutants more effectively from industrial wastewater before discharging. The present study focuses on removal of carbon-based pollutant in particular COD (chemical oxygen demand) and nitrogen-based pollutants, in particular, ammoniacal nitrogen by Fenton oxidation process using Fe²⁺ and H₂O₂ as reagents. The study was carried out with high strength wastewater containing initial COD 5632 mg/L and NH⁴⁺-N 1372 mg/L. The major operating condition like pH was varied between 1.0 to 4.0. The maximum degradation was obtained at pH 3.0 taking the molar ratio of Fe²⁺/H₂O₂ as 1:1. At this pH, the removal efficiencies of COD and ammoniacal nitrogen were found to be 77.27% and 74.9%, respectively. The Fenton process can be the best alternative for the simultaneous removal of COD and NH4+-N from industrial wastewater.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
2289
92105
A Hybrid of BioWin and Computational Fluid Dynamics Based Modeling of Biological Wastewater Treatment Plants for Model-Based Control
Abstract:
Modeling of Biological Wastewater Treatment Plants requires several parameters for kinetic rate expressions, thermo-physical properties, and hydrodynamic behavior. The kinetics and associated mechanisms become complex due to several biological processes taking place in wastewater treatment plants at varying times and spatial scales. A dynamic process model that incorporated the complex model for activated sludge kinetics was developed using the BioWin software platform for an Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant in Valrico, Florida. Due to the extensive number of tunable parameters, an experimental design was employed for judicious selection of the most influential parameter sets and their bounds. The model was tuned using both the influent and effluent plant data to reconcile and rectify the forecasted results from the BioWin Model. Amount of mixed liquor suspended solids in the oxidation ditch, aeration rates and recycle rates were adjusted accordingly. The experimental analysis and plant SCADA data were used to predict influent wastewater rates and composition profiles as a function of time for extended periods. The lumped dynamic model development process was coupled with Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modeling of the key units such as oxidation ditches in the plant. Several CFD models that incorporate the nitrification-denitrification kinetics, as well as, hydrodynamics was developed and being tested using ANSYS Fluent software platform. These realistic and verified models developed using BioWin and ANSYS were used to plan beforehand the operating policies and control strategies for the biological wastewater plant accordingly that further allows regulatory compliance at minimum operational cost. These models, with a little bit of tuning, can be used for other biological wastewater treatment plants as well. The BioWin model mimics the existing performance of the Valrico Plant which allowed the operators and engineers to predict effluent behavior and take control actions to meet the discharge limits of the plant. Also, with the help of this model, we were able to find out the key kinetic and stoichiometric parameters which are significantly more important for modeling of biological wastewater treatment plants. One of the other important findings from this model were the effects of mixed liquor suspended solids and recycle ratios on the effluent concentration of various parameters such as total nitrogen, ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, etc. The ANSYS model allowed the abstraction of information such as the formation of dead zones increases through the length of the oxidation ditches as compared to near the aerators. These profiles were also very useful in studying the behavior of mixing patterns, effect of aerator speed, and use of baffles which in turn helps in optimizing the plant performance.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
2288
91874
The Use of Microorganisms in the Bioleaching of Soils Polluted with Heavy Metals
Abstract:
This paper shows researches in order to extract Cr, Cu and Ni from the polluted soils. Research is based on preliminary studies regarding the usage of Thiobacillus ferrooxidans bacteria (a liquid nutrient of 9K medium) for bioleaching of soil polluted with heavy metal (Cu, Cr and Ni). The microorganisms (Thiobacillus ferooxidans) selected directly from polluted soil samples were used in this experimental work. Soil samples used in the experimental research were taken from an area polluted with heavy metals from Romania. The soil samples are subjected to the cleaning process using the 9K medium extraction solution (20 mL, respectively 40 mL), stirred 200 rpm for 20 hours at a controlled temperature (30˚C). During the experiment (0, 2, 4, 8 and 20 h), liquid samples have been extracted and analyzed using the Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer AA-6800 (AAS) in order to determine the Cr, Cu and Ni concentration. Experiments led to the conclusion that these soils can be depolluted by bioleaching, being a biological treatment method involving the use of microorganisms to favor the extraction of Cr, Cu and Ni from polluted soils.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
2287
91689
Comparative Analysis of the Impact of Urbanization on Land Surface Temperature in the United Arab Emirates
Abstract:
The aim of this study is to investigate and compare the changes in the Land Surface Temperature (LST) as a function of urbanization, particularly land use/land cover changes, in three cities in the UAE, mainly Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Al Ain. The scale of this assessment will be at the macro- and micro-levels. At the macro-level, a comparative assessment will take place to compare between the four cities in the UAE. At the micro-level, the study will compare between the effects of different land use/land cover on the LST. This will provide a clear and quantitative city-specific information related to the relationship between urbanization and local spatial intra-urban LST variation in three cities in the UAE. The main objectives of this study are 1) to investigate the development of LST on the macro- and micro-level between and in three cities in the UAE over two decades time period, 2) to examine the impact of different types of land use/land cover on the spatial distribution of LST. Because these three cities are facing harsh arid climate, it is hypothesized that (1) urbanization is affecting and connected to the spatial changes in LST; (2) different land use/land cover have different impact on the LST; and (3) changes in spatial configuration of land use and vegetation concentration over time would control urban microclimate on a city scale and control macroclimate on the country scale. This study will be carried out over a 20-year period (1996-2016) and throughout the whole year. The study will compare between two distinct periods with different thermal characteristics which are the cool/cold period from November to March and warm/hot period between April and October. The best practice research method for this topic is to use remote sensing data to target different aspects of natural and anthropogenic systems impacts. The project will follow classical remote sensing and mapping techniques to investigate the impact of urbanization, mainly changes in land use/land cover, on LST. The investigation in this study will be performed in two stages. Stage one remote sensing data will be used to investigate the impact of urbanization on LST on a macroclimate level where the LST and Urban Heat Island (UHI) will be compared in the three cities using data from the past two decades. Stage two will investigate the impact on microclimate scale by investigating the LST and UHI using a particular land use/land cover type. In both stages, an LST and urban land cover maps will be generated over the study area. The outcome of this study should represent an important contribution to recent urban climate studies, particularly in the UAE. Based on the aim and objectives of this study, the expected outcomes are as follow: i) to determine the increase or decrease of LST as a result of urbanization in these four cities, ii) to determine the effect of different land uses/land covers on increasing or decreasing the LST.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
2286
91392
Phytoextraction of Copper and Zinc by Willow Varieties in a Pot Experiment
Abstract:
Soil and water contamination by heavy metals is a major challenging issue for the environment. Phytoextraction is an emerging, environmentally friendly and cost-efficient technology in which plants are used to eliminate pollutants from the soil and water. We aimed to assess the copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn) removal efficiency by two willow varieties such as Klara (S. viminalis x S. schwerinii x S. dasyclados) and Karin ((S.schwerinii x S. viminalis) x (S. viminalis x S.burjatica)) under different soil treatments (control/unpolluted, polluted, lime with polluted, wood ash with polluted). In 180 days of pot experiment, these willow varieties were grown in a highly polluted soil collected from Pyhasalmi mining area in Finland. The lime and wood ash were added to the polluted soil to improve the soil pH and observe their effects on metals accumulation in plant biomass. The Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometer (ELAN 6000 ICP-EOS, Perkin-Elmer Corporation) was used in this study to assess the heavy metals concentration in the plant biomass. The result shows that both varieties of willow have the capability to accumulate the considerable amount of Cu and Zn varying from 36.95 to 314.80 mg kg⁻¹ and 260.66 to 858.70 mg kg⁻¹, respectively. The application of lime and wood ash substantially affected the stimulation of the plant height, dry biomass and deposition of Cu and Zn into total plant biomass. Besides, the lime application appeared to upsurge Cu and Zn concentrations in the shoots and leaves in both willow varieties when planted in polluted soil. However, wood ash application was found more efficient to mobilize the metals in the roots of both varieties. The study recommends willow plantations to rehabilitate the Cu and Zn polluted soils.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
2285
91378
Outcome-Based Water Resources Management in the Gash River Basin, Eastern Sudan
Abstract:
This paper responds to one of the key national development strategies and a typical challenge in the Gash Basin as well as in different parts of Sudan, namely managing water scarcity in view of climate change impacts in minor water systems sustaining over 50% of the Sudan population. While now focusing on the Gash river basin, the ultimate aim is to replicate the same approach in similar water systems in central and west Sudan. The key objective of the paper is the identification of outcome-based water governance interventions in Gash Basin, guided by the global Sustainable Development Goal six (SDG 6 on water and sanitation) and the Sudan water resource policy framework. The paper concluded that improved water resources management of the Gash Basin is a prerequisite for ensuring desired policy outcomes of groundwater use and flood risk management purposes. Analysis of various water governance dimensions in the Gash indicated that the operationalization of a Basin-level institutional reform is critically focused on informed actors and adapted practices through knowledge and technologies along with the technical data and capacity needed to make that. Adapting the devolved Institutional structure at state level is recommended to strengthen the Gash basin regulatory function and improve compliance of groundwater users.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
2284
91364
Kinetic Study of C₃N₄/CuWO₄: Photocatalyst towards Solar Light Inactivation of Mixed Populated Bacteria
Abstract:
Microbial contamination is one of the major concerns in the field of water treatment. AOP (advanced oxidation processes) is well-established method to resolve the issue of removal of contaminants in water. A Z-scheme composite g-C₃N₄/CuWO₄ was synthesized by sol-gel method for the photocatalytic inactivation of a mixed population of Gram-positive bacteria (S. aureus) and Gram-negative bacteria (E. coli). The photoinactivation was observed for different types of bacteria in the same medium together and individually in the absence of the nutrients. The lattice structures and phase purities were determined by X-ray diffraction. For morphological and topographical features, scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy analyses were carried out. The band edges of the semiconductor (valence band and conduction band) were determined by ultraviolet photoelectron microscopy. The lifetime of the charge carriers and band gap of the semiconductors were determined by time resolved florescence spectroscopy and diffused reflectance spectroscopy, respectively. The effect of weight ratio of C₃N₄ and CuWO₄ was observed by performing photocatalytic experiments. To investigate the exact mechanism and major responsible radicals for photocatalysis, scavenger studies were performed. The rate constants and order of the inactivation reactions were obtained by power law kinetics. For E. coli and S. aureus, the order of reaction and rate constants are 1.15, 0.9 and 1.39 ± 0.03 (CFU/mL)⁻⁰.¹⁵ h⁻¹, 47.95 ± 1.2 (CFU/mL)⁰.¹ h⁻¹, respectively.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
2283
91224
Degradation of Emerging Pharmaceuticals by Gamma Irradiation Process
Abstract:
Gamma irradiation applied in removing pharmaceutical contaminants from wastewater is an effective advanced oxidation process (AOP), considered as an alternative to conventional water treatment technologies. In this purpose, the degradation efficiency of several detected contaminants under gamma irradiation was evaluated. In fact, radiolysis of organic pollutants in aqueous solutions produces powerful reactive species, essentially hydroxyl radical ( ·OH), able to destroy recalcitrant pollutants in water. Pharmaceuticals considered in this study are aqueous solutions of paracetamol, ibuprofen, and diclofenac at different concentrations 0.1-1 mmol/L, which were treated with irradiation doses from 3 to 15 kGy. The catalytic oxidation of these compounds by gamma irradiation was investigated using hydrogen peroxide (H₂O₂) as a convenient oxidant. Optimization of the main parameters influencing irradiation process, namely irradiation doses, initial concentration and oxidant volume (H₂O₂) were investigated, in the aim to release high degradation efficiency of considered pharmaceuticals. Significant modifications attributed to these parameters appeared in the variation of degradation efficiency, chemical oxygen demand removal (COD) and concentration of radio-induced radicals, confirming them synergistic effect to attempt total mineralization. Pseudo-first-order reaction kinetics could be used to depict the degradation process of these compounds. A sophisticated analytical study was released to quantify the detected radio-induced radicals (electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy (EPR) and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)). All results showed that this process is effective for the degradation of many pharmaceutical products in aqueous solutions due to strong oxidative properties of generated radicals mainly hydroxyl radical. Furthermore, the addition of an optimal amount of H₂O₂ was efficient to improve the oxidative degradation and contribute to the high performance of this process at very low doses (0.5 and 1 kGy).
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
2282
91194
Investigation of Fumaric Acid Radiolysis Using Gamma Irradiation
Abstract:
Widely used organic products in the pharmaceutical industry have been detected in environmental systems, essentially carboxylic acids. In this purpose, the degradation efficiency of these contaminants was evaluated using an advanced oxidation process (AOP), namely ionization process as an alternative to conventional water treatment technologies. This process permitted the generation of radical reactions to directly degrade organic pollutants in wastewater. In fact, gamma irradiation of aqueous solutions produces several reactive radicals, essentially hydroxyl radical (OH), to destroy recalcitrant pollutants. Different concentrations of aqueous solutions of Fumaric acid (FA) were considered in this study (0.1-1 mmol/L), which were treated by irradiation doses from 1 to 15 kGy with 6.1 kGy/h rate by ionizing system in pilot scale (⁶⁰Co irradiator). Variations of main parameters influencing degradation efficiency versus absorbed doses were released in the aim to optimize total mineralization of considered pollutants. Preliminary degradation pathway until complete mineralization into CO₂ has been suggested based on detection of residual degradation derivatives using different techniques, namely high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy (EPR). Results revealed total destruction of treated compound, which improve the efficiency of this process in water remediation. We investigated the reactivity of hydroxyl radicals generated by irradiation on dicarboxylic acid (FA) in aqueous solutions, leading to its degradation into other smaller molecules. In fact, gamma irradiation of FA leads to the formation of hydroxylated intermediates such as hydroxycarbonyl radical which were identified by EPR spectroscopy. Finally, pilot plant irradiation facilities improved the applicability of radiation technology on large scale.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
2281
91132
Application of Public Access Two-Dimensional Hydrodynamic and Distributed Hydrological Models for Flood Forecasting in Ungauged Basins
Abstract:
In Afghanistan, floods are the most frequent and recurrent events among other natural disasters. On the other hand, lack of monitoring data is a severe problem, which increases the difficulty of making the appropriate flood countermeasures of flood forecasting. This study is carried out to simulate the flood inundation in Harirud River Basin by application of distributed hydrological model, Integrated Flood Analysis System (IFAS) and 2D hydrodynamic model, International River Interface Cooperative (iRIC) based on satellite rainfall combined with historical peak discharge and global accessed data. The results of the simulation can predict the inundation area, depth and velocity, and the hardware countermeasures such as the impact of levee installation can be discussed by using the present method. The methodology proposed in this study is suitable for the area where hydrological and geographical data including river survey data are poorly observed.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
2280
91124
Small Scale Waste to Energy Systems: Optimization of Feedstock Composition for Improved Control of Ash Sintering and Quality of Generated Syngas
Abstract:
Small-scale, distributed energy systems enabling cogeneration of heat and power based on gasification of sewage sludge, are considered as the most efficient and environmentally friendly ways of their treatment. However, economic aspects of such an investment are very demanding; therefore, for such a small scale sewage sludge gasification installation to be profitable, it needs to be efficient and simple at the same time. The article presents results of research on air gasification of sewage sludge in fixed bed GazEla reactor. Two of the most important aspects of the research considered the influence of the composition of sewage sludge blends with other feedstocks on properties of generated syngas and ash sintering problems occurring at the fixed bed. Different means of the fuel pretreatment and blending were proposed as a way of dealing with the above mentioned undesired characteristics. Influence of RDF (Refuse Derived Fuel) and biomasses in the fuel blends were evaluated. Ash properties were assessed based on proximate, ultimate, and ash composition analysis of the feedstock. The blends were specified based on complementary characteristics of such criteria as C content, moisture, volatile matter, Si, Al, Mg, and content of basic metals in the ash were analyzed, Obtained results were assessed with use of experimental gasification tests and laboratory ISO-procedure for analysis of ash characteristic melting temperatures. Optimal gasification process conditions were determined by energetic parameters of the generated syngas, its content of tars and lack of ash sinters within the reactor bed. Optimal results were obtained for co-gasification of herbaceous biomasses with sewage sludge where LHV (Lower Heating Value) of the obtained syngas reached a stable value of 4.0 MJ/Nm3 for air/steam gasification.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
2279
91110
Identification of Rurban Centres in Determining Regional Development in the Hinterland of Koch Bihar, West Bengal, India
Abstract:
The dynamism ingrained in the process of urban-rural integration is manifested in the emergence of rurban settlements, referring to areas that combine the characteristics of agricultural activities found in rural zones with those of suburban living areas and industrialised zones. The concept of rurbanisation refers to the idea of introducing urban conveniences and opportunities, to rural areas in an attempt to stem rural urban migration. In the backdrop of the worldwide problem of disharmonised urban-rural dependence and the associated problems in urban and rural areas, the present study seeks to explore the potentialities of few settlements having a blend of rural and urban characteristics in the urban field of Koch Bihar. The prime concern of the present paper is three-fold: (i) to identify the rurban centres, (ii) to analyse the spatial integration of these identified centres with the rural areas situated in the urban periphery, and (iii) to suggest the necessities to be introduced in these settlements. The methodology applied here includes rurban index, gravity model, and functional classification of rurban centres, correlation and regression analysis and cartographic representation of data collected through primary and secondary sources. The investigation has identified a number of settlements potentially viable to be termed as rurban centres which may render services to the other less equipped rural areas in all aspects of life and thereby would lessen the burden on Koch Bihar urban centre. The levels of infrastructure of these settlements should be such that it might even attract the urban population in a reverse direction. The villages belonging to the lower rung of these service settlements would require metalled road connection with these intermediate settlements in addition to their connection with the core town. That is to say, a proper policy needs to be adopted in this regard to furnish these settlements with required infrastructures for serving their own population as well as the population of other villages. As a consequence of that, the idea of a well-coordinated settlement hierarchy may emerge in future.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
2278
91047
Removal of Trimethoprim and Sulfamethoxazole in Solid Waste Leachate by Two-Stage Membrane Bioreactor under High Mixed Liquor Suspended Solids Concentration
Abstract:
Purpose of study is to investigate performance of two-stage membrane bioreactor (2S-MBR) to treat trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole in solid waste leachate. This system consists of 2 tanks, anoxic tank with incline plates and MBR tank. The system was operated at 12 h-HRT each, of which the MBR MLSS concentration was operated at 25,000-35,000 mg/L. The average sCOD concentration of the fed leachate was 6,310±3,595 mg/L. It shows that high organic removals in terms of sCOD and sBOD were achieved as of 97-99% and 99%, respectively. The TKN and NH3-N removals were 76-98% and 91-99%, respectively. Concurrently, trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole were detected in the leachate with concentrations of 113-0 μg/L and 74-2 μg/L, respectively. High removals of trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole were also found as of 95-99% and 85-95%, respectively. In sum, this MBR feature and operation gave achievement in treatment of macro-pollutants including trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole existing in low levels in the solid waste leachate.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
2277
91045
Investigation of Municipal Solid Waste Incineration Filter Cake as Minor Additional Constituent in Cement Production
Abstract:
Nowadays MSWI (Municipal Solid Waste Incineration) bottom ash (BA) produced by Waste-to-Energy (WtE) plants represents the majority of the solid residues derived from MSW incineration. Once processed, the BA is often landfilled resulting in possible environmental problems, additional costs for the plant and increasing occupation of public land. In order to limit this phenomenon, European countries such as the Netherlands aid the utilization of MSWI BA in the construction field, by providing standards about the leaching of contaminants into the environment (Dutch Soil Quality Decree). Commonly, BA has a particle size below 32 mm and a heterogeneous chemical composition, depending on its source. By washing coarser BA, an MSWI sludge is obtained. It is characterized by a high content of heavy metals, chlorides, and sulfates as well as a reduced particle size (below 0.25 mm). To lower its environmental impact, MSWI sludge is filtered or centrifuged for removing easily soluble contaminants, such as chlorides. However, the presence of heavy metals is not easily reduced, compromising its possible application. For lowering the leaching of those contaminants, the use of MSWI residues in combination with cement represents a precious option, due to the known retention of those ions into the hydrated cement matrix. Among the applications, the European standard for common cement EN 197-1:1992 allows the incorporation of up to 5% by mass of a minor additional constituent (MAC), such as fly ash or blast furnace slag but also an unspecified filler into cement. To the best of the author's knowledge, although it is widely available, it has the appropriate particle size and a chemical composition similar to cement, FC has not been investigated as possible MAC in cement production. Therefore, this paper will address the suitability of MSWI FC as MAC for CEM I 52.5 R, within a 5% maximum replacement by mass. After physical and chemical characterization of the raw materials, the crystal phases of the pastes are determined by XRD for 3 replacement levels (1%, 3%, and 5%) at different ages. Thereafter, the impact of FC on mechanical and environmental performances of cement is assessed according to EN 196-1 and the Dutch Soil Quality Decree, respectively. The investigation of the reaction products evidences the formation of layered double hydroxides (LDH), in the early stage of the reaction. Mechanically the presence of FC results in a reduction of 28 days compressive strength by 8% for a replacement of 5% wt., compared with the pure CEM I 52.5 R without any MAC. In contrast, the flexural strength is not affected by the presence of FC. Environmentally, the Dutch legislation for the leaching of contaminants for unshaped (granular) material is satisfied. Based on the collected results, FC represents a suitable candidate as MAC in cement production.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
2276
90992
Integrated Management System of Plant Genetic Resources: Collection, Conservation, Regeneration and Characterization of Cucurbitaceae and Solanaceae of DOA Genebank, Thailand
Abstract:
The Kingdom of Thailand is one of the South East Asian countries. From its area of 514,000 square kilometers (51 million ha), at least 18,000 plant species (8% of the world total) have been estimated to be found in the country. As a result, the conservation of plant genetic diversity, particularly food crops, is becoming important and is an assurance for the national food security. Department of Agriculture Genebank or DOA Genebank, Thailand is responsible for the conservation of plant germplasm by participating and accomplishing several collaborative projects both at national and international levels. Integrated Management System of Plant Genetic Resources or IMPGR is one of the most outstandingly successful cooperation. It is a multilateral project under the Asian Food and Agriculture Cooperation Initiative (AFACI) supported by the Rural Development Administration (RDA) of South Korea. The member countries under the project consist of 11 nations namely Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos PDR, Mongolia, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam and South Korea. The project enabled the members to jointly address the global issues in plant genetic resource (PGR) conservation and strengthen their network in this aspect. The 1st phase of IMPGR project, entitled 'Collection, Conservation, Regeneration and Characterization of Cucurbitaceae and Solanaceae 2012-2014', comprises three main objectives that are: 1) To improve management in storage facilities, collection, and regeneration, 2) To improve linkage between Genebank and material sources (for regeneration), and 3) To improve linkage between Genebank and other field crop or/and horticultural research centers. The project was done for three years from 2012 to 2014. The activities of the project can be described as following details: In the 1st year, there were 9 target provinces for completing plant genetic resource survey and collection. 108 accessions of PGR were collected. In the 2nd year, PGR were continuously surveyed and collected from 9 provinces. The total number of collection was 140 accessions. In addition, the process of regeneration of 237 accessions collected from 1st and 2nd year was started at several sites namely Biotechnology Research and Development Office, Sukothai Horticultural Research Center, Tak Research, and Development Center and Nakhon Ratchasima Research and Development Center. In the 3rd year, besides survey and collection of 115 accessions from 9 target provinces, PGR characterization and evaluation were done for 206 accessions. Moreover, safety duplication of 253 PGR at the World Seed Vault, RDA, was also done according to Standard Agreement on Germplasm Safety Duplication between Department of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, the Kingdom of Thailand and the National Agrobiodiversity Center, Rural Development Administration of the Republic of Korea. The success of the 1st phase project led to the second phase which entitled 'Collection and Characterization for Effective Conservation of Local Capsicum spp., Solanum spp. and Lycopersicon spp. in Thailand 2015-2017'.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
2275
90830
Knowledge Graph Development to Connect Earth Metadata and Standard English Queries
Abstract:
There has never been so much publicly accessible atmospheric and environmental data. The possibilities of these data are exciting, but the sheer volume of available datasets represents a new challenge for researchers. The task of identifying and working with a new dataset has become more difficult with the amount and variety of available data. Datasets are often documented in ways that differ substantially from the common English used to describe the same topics. This presents a barrier not only for new scientists, but for researchers looking to find comparisons across multiple datasets or specialists from other disciplines hoping to collaborate. This paper proposes a method for addressing this obstacle: creating a knowledge graph to bridge the gap between everyday English language and the technical language surrounding these datasets. Knowledge graph generation is already a well-established field, although there are some unique challenges posed by working with Earth data. One is the sheer size of the databases – it would be infeasible to replicate or analyze all the data stored by an organization like The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) or the European Space Agency. Instead, this approach identifies topics from metadata available for datasets in NASA’s Earthdata database, which can then be used to directly request and access the raw data from NASA. By starting with a single metadata standard, this paper establishes an approach that can be generalized to different databases, but leaves the challenge of metadata harmonization for future work. Topics generated from the metadata are then linked to topics from a collection of English queries through a variety of standard and custom natural language processing (NLP) methods. The results from this method are then compared to a baseline of elastic search applied to the metadata. This comparison shows the benefits of the proposed knowledge graph system over existing methods, particularly in interpreting natural language queries and interpreting topics in metadata. For the research community, this work introduces an application of NLP to the ecological and environmental sciences, expanding the possibilities of how machine learning can be applied in this discipline. But perhaps more importantly, it establishes the foundation for a platform that can enable common English to access knowledge that previously required considerable effort and experience. By making this public data accessible to the full public, this work has the potential to transform environmental understanding, engagement, and action.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
2274
90664
Household Climate-Resilience Index Development for the Health Sector in Tanzania: Use of Demographic and Health Surveys Data Linked with Remote Sensing
Abstract:
There is strong evidence that climate has changed significantly affecting various sectors including public health. The recommended feasible solution is adopting development trajectories which combine both mitigation and adaptation measures for improving resilience pathways. This approach demands a consideration for complex interactions between climate and social-ecological systems. While other sectors such as agriculture and water have developed climate resilience indices, the public health sector in Tanzania is still lagging behind. The aim of this study was to find out how can we use Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) linked with Remote Sensing (RS) technology and metrological information as tools to inform climate change resilient development and evaluation for the health sector. Methodological review was conducted whereby a number of studies were content analyzed to find appropriate indicators and indices for climate resilience household and their integration approach. These indicators were critically reviewed, listed, filtered and their sources determined. Preliminary identification and ranking of indicators were conducted using participatory approach of pairwise weighting by selected national stakeholders from meeting/conferences on human health and climate change sciences in Tanzania. DHS datasets were retrieved from Measure Evaluation project, processed and critically analyzed for possible climate change indicators. Other sources for indicators of climate change exposure were also identified. For the purpose of preliminary reporting, operationalization of selected indicators was discussed to produce methodological approach to be used in resilience comparative analysis study. It was found that household climate resilient index depends on the combination of three indices namely Household Adaptive and Mitigation Capacity (HC), Household Health Sensitivity (HHS) and Household Exposure Status (HES). It was also found that, DHS alone cannot complement resilient evaluation unless integrated with other data sources notably flooding data as a measure of vulnerability, remote sensing image of Normalized Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Metrological data (deviation from rainfall pattern). It can be concluded that if these indices retrieved from DHS data sets are computed and scientifically integrated can produce single climate resilience index and resilience maps could be generated at different spatial and time scales to enhance targeted interventions for climate resilient development and evaluations. However, further studies are need to test for the sensitivity of index in resilience comparative analysis among selected regions.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
2273
90622
Training Programmes at KwaZulu Natal, South Africa for Water Professionals to Enhance Water Management
Abstract:
Training programmes are integral parts of development for employees to develop themselves and also to develop the organisation. Lack of training and inadequate training adversely affect the productivity in any organisation. Lack of training in the water sector can impair development and improper management of water. Training programs are given to water professionals, especially in a developing country like South Africa, to perform well in their day to day activities. The aim of this study was to evaluate the current training program in place for water professionals at KwaZulu Natal province of South Africa. The objectives were to determine the training programs that are suitable for their job descriptions and to determine the gaps with the training programs and to make recommendations on ways to improve the training programs. This study is a quantitative study which enabled an evaluation of training programs for KwaZulu Natal water professionals. The sample population was 120 professionals across all the cities and towns in KwaZulu Natal province. The water professionals were evaluated using structured questionnaire distributed to the respondents from September to December 2017. The data was analysed using R software. The study found that province has training programs that are valuable for their water professionals. However, involvement of some professionals in administrative activities was hindered by some inappropriate training. Many areas of improvement are suggested to the province in training its water professionals. Training was found to improve performance, commitment, motivation and staff retention of water professionals in the province.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):