Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Abstract Count: 56400

Environmental and Ecological Engineering

Micropillar-Assisted Electric Field Enhancement for High-Efficiency Inactivation of Bacteria
Development of high-efficiency and environment friendly bacterial inactivation methods is of great importance for preventing waterborne diseases which are one of the leading causes of death in the world. Traditional bacterial inactivation methods (e.g., ultraviolet radiation and chlorination) have several limitations such as longer treatment time, formation of toxic byproducts, bacterial regrowth, etc. Recently, an electroporation-based inactivation method was introduced as a substitute. Here, an electroporation-based continuous flow microfluidic device equipped with an array of micropillars is developed, and the device achieved high bacterial inactivation performance ( > 99.9%) within a short exposure time ( < 1 s). More than 99.9% reduction of Escherichia coli bacteria was obtained for the flow rate of 1 mL/hr, and no regrowth of bacteria was observed. Images from scanning electron microscope confirmed the formation of electroporation-induced nano-pore within the cell membrane. Through numerical simulation, it has been shown that sufficiently large electric field strength (3 kV/cm), required for bacterial electroporation, were generated using PDMS micropillars for an applied voltage of 300 V. Further, in this method of inactivation, there is no involvement of chemicals and the formation of harmful by-products is also minimum.
Identification of the Microalgae Species in a Wild Mix Culture Acclimated to Landfill Leachate and Ammonia Removal Performances in a Microbubble Assisted Photobioreactor
Landfill leachate treatment has been attracting researchers recently for various environmental and economical reasons. Leachate discharge to receiving waterbodies without treatment causes serious detrimental effects including partial oxygen depletion due to high biological oxygen demand (BOD) and chemical oxygen demand (COD) concentrations besides toxicity of heavy metals it contains and high ammonia concentrations. In this study, it is aimed to show microalgal ammonia removal performances of a wild microalgae consortia as an alternative treatment method and determine the dominant leachate tolerant species for this consortia. For the microalgae species identification experiments a microalgal consortium which has been isolated from a local pond in Sheffield inoculated in %5 diluted raw landfill leachate and acclimated to the leachate by batch feeding for a month. In order to determine the most tolerant microalgal consortium, four different untreated landfill leachate samples have been used as diluted in four different ratios as 5%, 10%, 20%, and 40%. Microalgae cell samples have been collected from all experiment sets and have been examined by using 18S rDNA sequencing and specialised gel electrophoresis which are adapted molecular biodiversity methods. The best leachate tolerant algal consortium is being used in order to determine ammonia removal performances of the culture in a microbubble assisted photobioreactor (PBR). A porous microbubble diffuser which is supported by a fluidic oscillator is being used for dosing CO₂ and air mixture in the PBR. It is known that high mass transfer performance of microbubble technology provides a better removal efficiency and a better mixing in the photobioreactor. Ammonia concentrations and microalgal growth are being monitored for PBR currently. It is aimed to present all the results of the study in final paper submission.
The Study of Effective Microorganism's Biopreperation for Wastewater Treatment
Many industries, tourist camps and houses, discharge aqueous effluents containing relatively high levels of heavy metals, harmful organic compounds water. Untreated effluent from these manufacturing processes has an adverse impact on the environment. A specific problem associated with waste water in the environment is accumulation in the food chain and persistence in the environment. The screening of microorganisms resistant to pollution and able to detoxification them is essential for the development of clean-up technologies. The purpose of this study is to use advanced microbiological technology products for oxidizing organic and heavy metals pollutants as a biological treatment, to reduce water pollution, which arise as a result of waste water due to day-to-day operations of industries and houses of Ulaanbaatar city and tourist camps located around the lake Hovsgol, in Hovsgol province of Mongolia. By comparing the results from tests of effective microorganism’s bio-preparation treated sewage samples and not treated sewage samples shows that the treated sewage samples pollution decreased defending on treatment period and ratio. Treated water analyses show that: the suspended solids 352 mg/l, pH 5.85-7.95, ammonium nitrate 81.25-221.2 mg NH₄/l, nitrite 0.088-0.227 mg NO₂/l, nitrate 8.5-11.5 mg NO₃/l, and orthophosphate 1.06-15.46 mg PO₄/l. Also, heavy metals were decreased and microbiological test results defined parameters, respectively show the waste water pollution was reduced.
Microbial Electrochemical Remediation System: Integrating Wastewater Treatment with Simultaneous Power Generation
Pollution of estrogenic compounds has caught the attention of researchers as the slight increase of estrogens in the water bodies has a significant impact on the aquatic system. They belong to a class of endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) and are able to mimic hormones or interfere with the action of endogenous hormones. The microbial electrochemical remediation system (MERS) is employed here for exploiting an electrophototrophic bacterium for evaluating the capacity of biodegradation of ethinylestradiol hormone (EE2) under anaerobic conditions with power generation. MERS using electro-phototrophic bacterium offers a tailored solution of wastewater treatment in a developing country like India which has a huge solar potential. It is a clean energy generating technology as they require only sunlight, water, nutrients, and carbon dioxide to operate. Its main feature that makes it superior over other technologies is that the main fuel for this MERS is sunlight which is indefinitely present. When grown in light with organic compounds, these photosynthetic bacteria generate ATP by cyclic photophosphorylation and use carbon compounds to make cell biomass (photoheterotrophic growth). These cells showed EE2 degradation and were able to generate hydrogen as part of the process of nitrogen fixation. The two designs of MERS were studied, and a maximum of 88.45% decrease in EE2 was seen in a total period of 14 days in the better design. This research provides a better insight into microbial electricity generation and self-sustaining wastewater treatment facilities. Such new models of waste treatment aiming waste to energy generation needs to be followed and implemented for building a resource efficient and sustainable economy.
Mercury Contamination of Wetland Caused by Wastewater from Chlor-Alkali Industry
A significant mercury contamination of soil/sediment was unveiled by an environmental monitoring program in a wetland along La Plata River, west to Montevideo City, Uruguay. The mercury contamination was caused by industrial wastewater discharged from a chlor-alkali plant using a mercury-cell process. The contamination level is above 60 mg/kg in soil/sediment. Most of mercury (Hg) in the environment is inorganic, but some fractions are converted by bacteria to methylmercury (MeHg), a toxic organic compound. MeHg biologically accumulates through a food-chain and become serious public health risk. In order to clarify the contaminated part for countermeasure operation, an intervention value of mercury contamination of sediment/soil was defined as 15 mg/kg (total Hg) by the authority. According to the intervention value, mercury contaminated area in the La Plata site is approximately 48,280 m² and estimated total volume of contaminated sediments/soils was around 18,750 m³. The countermeasures to contaminated zone were proposed in two stages; (i) mitigation of risks for public health and (ii) site remediation. The first stage is an installation of fens and net around the contamination zone, for mitigating risks of exposure, inhalation, and intake. The food chain among wetland-river ecosystem was also interrupted by the installation of net and fens. The state of mercury contamination in La Plata site and plan of countermeasure was disclosed to local people and the public, and consensus on setting off-limit area was successfully achieved. Mass media also contribute to share the information on the contamination site. The cost for countermeasures was borne by the industry under the polluter-pay-principle.
Contribution to the Study of the Rill Density Effects on Soil Erosion: Laboratory Experiments
Rills begin to be generated once overland flow shear capacity overcomes the soil surface resistance. This resistance depends on soil texture, the arrangement of soil particles and on chemical and physical properties. The rill density could affect soil erosion, especially when the distance between the rills (interrill) contributes to the variation of the rill characteristics, and consequently on sediment concentration. To investigate this point, agricultural sandy soil, a soil tray of 0.2x1x3m³ and a piece of hardwood rectangular in shape to build up rills were the base of this work. The results have shown that small lines have been developed between the rills and the flow acceleration increased in comparison to the flow on the flat surface (interrill). Sediment concentration increased with increasing rill number (density).
Water Reclamation from Synthetic Winery Wastewater Using a Fertiliser Drawn Forward Osmosis System Evaluating Aquaporin-Based Biomimetic and Cellulose Triacetate Forward Osmosis Membranes
This study examined the performance of two commercial forward osmosis (FO) membranes; an aquaporin (AQP) based biomimetic membrane, and cellulose triacetate (CTA) membrane in a fertiliser is drawn forward osmosis (FDFO) system for the reclamation of water from synthetic winery wastewater (SWW) operated over 24 hr. Straight, 1 M KCl and 1 M NH₄NO₃ fertiliser solutions were evaluated as draw solutions in the FDFO system. The performance of the AQP-based biomimetic and CTA FO membranes were evaluated in terms of permeate water flux (Jw), reverse solute flux (Js) and percentage water recovery (Re). The average water flux and reverse solute flux when using 1 M KCl as a draw solution against controlled feed solution, deionised (DI) water, was 11.65 L/m²h and 3.98 g/m²h (AQP) and 6.24 L/m²h and 2.89 g/m²h (CTA), respectively. Using 1 M NH₄NO₃ as a draw solution yielded average water fluxes and reverse solute fluxes of 10.73 L/m²h and 1.31 g/m²h (AQP) and 5.84 L/m²h and 1.39 g/m²h (CTA), respectively. When using SWW as the feed solution and 1 M KCl and 1 M NH₄NO₃ as draw solutions, respectively, the average water fluxes observed were 8.15 and 9.66 L/m²h (AQP) and 5.02 and 5.65 L/m²h (CTA). Membrane water flux decline was the result of a combined decrease in the effective driving force of the FDFO system, reverse solute flux and organic fouling. Permeate water flux recoveries of between 84-98%, and 83-89% were observed for the AQP-based biomimetic and CTA membrane, respectively after physical cleaning by flushing was employed. The highest water recovery rate of 49% was observed for the 1 M KCl fertiliser draw solution with AQP-based biomimetic membrane and proved superior in the reclamation of water from SWW.
Impact of Wastewater from Outfalls of River Ganga on Germination Percentage and Growth Parameters of Bitter Gourd (Momordica charantia L.) with Antioxidant Activity Study
An extensive seasonal analysis of wastewater had been done from outfalls of river Ganga in Howrah, Hooghly, 24 PGS (N) District, West Bengal, India during 2017. The morphological parameters of Bitter gourd (Momordica charantia L.) were estimated under wastewater treatment. An approach to study the activity within the range of low molecular weight peptide 3-0.5 kDa were taken through its extraction and purification by ion exchange resin column, cation, and anion exchanger. HPLC analysis had been done for both in wastewater treated and untreated plants. The antioxidant activity by using DPPH and germination percentage in control and treated plants were also determined in relation to wastewater effect. The inhibition of growth and its parameters were maximum in pre-monsoon in comparing to post-monsoon and monsoon season. The study also helped to explore the effect of wastewater on the peptidome of Bitter gourd (Momordica charantia L.). Some of these low molecular weight peptide(s) (3-0.5 kDa) also inhibited during wastewater treatment. Expression of particular peptide(s) or absence of some peptide(s) in chromatogram indicated the adverse effects on plants which may be the indication of stressful condition. Pre monsoon waste water was found to create more impact than other two.
Biological Monitoring: Vegetation Cover, Bird Assemblages, Rodents, Terrestrial and Aquatic Invertebrates from a Closed Landfill
Three currently active landfills receive the waste from Buenos Aires city and the Great Buenos Aires suburbs. One of the first landfills to receive solid waste from this area was located in Villa Dominico, some 7 km south from Buenos Aires City. With an area of some 750 ha, including riparian habitats, divided into 14 cells, it received solid wastes from June 1979 through February 2004. In December 2010, a biological monitoring program was set up by CEAMSE and Universidad Nacional de Lujan, still operational to date. The aim of the monitoring program is to assess the state of several biological groups within the landfill and to follow their dynamics overtime in order to identify if any, early signs of damage the landfill activities might have over the biota present. Bird and rodent populations, aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates’ populations, cells vegetation coverage, and surrounding areas vegetation coverage and main composition are followed by quarterly samplings. Bird species richness and abundance were estimated by observation over walk transects on each environment. A total of 74 different species of birds were identified. Species richness and diversity were high for both riparian surrounding areas and within the landfill. Several grassland -typical of the 'Pampa'- bird species were found within the landfill, as well as some migratory and endangered bird species. Sherman and Tomahawk traps are set overnight for small mammal sampling. Rodent populations are just above detection limits, and the few specimens captured belong mainly to species common to rural areas, instead of city-dwelling species. The two marsupial species present in the region were captured on occasions. Aquatic macroinvertebrates were sampled on a watercourse upstream and downstream the outlet of the landfill’s wastewater treatment plant and are used to follow water quality using biological indices. Water quality ranged between weak and severe pollution; benthic invertebrates sampled before and after the landfill, show no significant differences in water quality using the IBMWP index. Insect biota from yellow sticky cards and pitfall traps showed over 90 different morphospecies, with Shannon diversity index running from 1.9 to 3.9, strongly affected by the season. An easy-to-perform non-expert demandant method was used to assess vegetation coverage. Two scales of determination are utilized: field observation (1 m resolution), and Google Earth images (that allow for a better than 5 m resolution). Over the eight year period of the study, vegetation coverage over the landfill cells run from a low 83% to 100% on different cells, with an average between 95 to 99% for the entire landfill depending on seasonality. Surrounding area vegetation showed almost 100% coverage during the entire period, with an average density from 2 to 6 species per sq meter and no signs of leachate damaged vegetation.
Azadrachea indica Leaves Extract Assisted Green Synthesis of Ag-TiO₂ for Degradation of Dyes in Aqueous Medium
Aqueous pollution due to the textile industry is an important issue. Photocatalysis using metal oxides as catalysts is one of the methods used for eradication of dyes from textile industrial effluents. In this study, the synthesis, characterization, and evaluation of photocatalytic activity of Ag-TiO₂ are reported. TiO₂ catalysts with 2, 4, 6 and 8% loading of Ag were prepared by green methods using Azadrachea indica leaves' extract as reducing agent and titanium dioxide and silver nitrate as precursor materials. The 4% Ag-TiO₂ exhibited the best catalytic activity for degradation of dyes. Prepared catalyst was characterized by advanced techniques. Catalytic degradation of methylene blue and rhodamine B were carried out in Pyrex glass batch reactor. Deposition of Ag greatly enhanced the catalytic efficiency of TiO₂ towards degradation of dyes. Irradiation of catalyst excites electrons from conduction band of catalyst to valence band yielding an electron-hole pair. These photoexcited electrons and positive hole undergo secondary reaction and produce OH radicals. These active radicals take part in the degradation of dyes. More than 90% of dyes were degraded in 120 minutes. It was found that there was no loss catalytic efficiency of prepared Ag-TiO₂ after recycling it for two times. Photocatalytic degradation of methylene blue and rhodamine B followed Eley-Rideal mechanism which states that dye reacts in fluid phase with adsorbed oxygen. 27 kJ/mol and 20 kJ/mol were found as activation energy for photodegradation of methylene blue and rhodamine B dye respectively.
Incidences and Chemico-Mobility of Toxic Heavy Metals in Environmental Samples
The article reports on the occurrences, level, and mobility of selected trace metals in environmental samples. The conceptual basis was to examine the possible influence of anthropogenic activities and the impact on human and environmental health. Environmental samples (soil, plant and lower animal) were randomly collected from stratified study/sampling areas, preserved and pre-treated before analysis. Mineral acid digestion procedure was employed for the isolation of metallic contents in samples, and elemental qualitative and quantitative analysis was by ICP-OES. Analytical protocol was validated through the quality assurance process and was found acceptable with quantitative metallic recoveries in the range of 85-90%; hence considered applicable for the analyses of environmental samples. The mean concentration of analysed metals in soil samples ranged from 53.2- 2532.8 mg/kg (Cu); 59.5- 2020.1 mg/kg (Zn); 1.80 – 21.26 mg/kg (Cd) and 19.6- 140.9 mg/kg (Pb). The mean level in grass samples ranged from 9.33 – 38.63 mg/kg (Cu); 64.20-105.18 mg/kg (Zn); 0.28–0.73 mg/kg (Cd) and 0.53 -16.26 mg/kg (Pb) while the mean level in lower animal sample (beetle) varied from 9.6 - 105.3 mg/kg (Cu); 134.1-297.2 mg/kg (Zn); 0.63 – 3.78 (Cd) and 8.0 – 29.1 mg/kg (Pb) across sample collection points (SCPs) 1-4 respectively. Metallic transfer factors (TFs) were in the order Zn >Cd > Cu > Pb with metal Pollution Indices (MPIs) in the order SCP1 > SCP2 > SCP3 > SCP4. About 60-70 % of analysed metals were above the maximum allowable limits (MALs) in soil and plant samples. Results obtained revealed the general prevalence of analysed metals at all sampled sites with indication of metallic mobility across the food chain which portrayed dire consequences for environmental and human health. Systematic environmental remediation and pollution abatement strategies are recommended.
Assessment of Surface Water Quality near Landfill Sites Using a Water Pollution Index
Landfilling of municipal solid waste is a common waste management practice in Argentina as in many parts of the world. There is extensive scientific literature on the potential negative effects of landfill leachates on the environment, so it’s necessary to be rigorous with the control and monitoring systems. Due to the specific municipal solid waste composition in Argentina, local landfill leachates contain large amounts of organic matter (biodegradable, but also refractory to biodegradation), as well as ammonia-nitrogen, small trace of some heavy metals, and inorganic salts. In order to investigate the surface water quality in the Reconquista river adjacent to the Norte III landfill, water samples both upstream and downstream the dumpsite are quarterly collected and analyzed for 43 parameters including organic matter, heavy metals, and inorganic salts, as required by the local standards. The objective of this study is to apply a water quality index that considers the leachate characteristics in order to determine the quality status of the watercourse through the landfill. The water pollution index method has been widely used in water quality assessments, particularly rivers, and it has played an increasingly important role in water resource management, since it provides a number simple enough for the public to understand, that states the overall water quality at a certain location and time. The chosen water quality index (ICA) is based on the values of six parameters: dissolved oxygen (in mg/l and percent saturation), temperature, biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5), ammonia-nitrogen and chloride (Cl-) concentration. The index 'ICA' was determined both upstream and downstream the Reconquista river, being the rating scale between 0 (very poor water quality) and 10 (excellent water quality). The monitoring results indicated that the water quality was unaffected by possible leachate runoff since the index scores upstream and downstream were ranked in the same category, although in general, most of the samples were classified as having poor water quality according to the index’s scale. The annual averaged ICA index scores (computed quarterly) were 4.9, 3.9, 4.4 and 5.0 upstream and 3.9, 5.0, 5.1 and 5.0 downstream the river during the study period between 2014 and 2017. Additionally, the water quality seemed to exhibit distinct seasonal variations, probably due to annual precipitation patterns in the study area. The ICA water quality index appears to be appropriate to evaluate landfill impacts since it accounts mainly for organic pollution and inorganic salts and the absence of heavy metals in the local leachate composition, however, the inclusion of other parameters could be more decisive in discerning the affected stream reaches from the landfill activities. A future work may consider adding to the index other parameters like total organic carbon (TOC) and total suspended solids (TSS) since they are present in the leachate in high concentrations.
Antagonistic Potential of Epiphytic Bacteria Isolated in Kazakhstan against Erwinia amylovora, the Causal Agent of Fire Blight
Fire blight is a very harmful for commercial apple and pear production quarantine bacterial disease. To date, several different methods have been proposed for disease control, including the use of copperbased preparations and antibiotics, which are not always reliable or effective. The use of bacteria as biocontrol agents is one of the most promising and eco-friendly alternative methods. Bacteria with protective activity against the causal agent of fire blight are often present among the epiphytic microorganisms of the phyllosphere of host plants. Therefore, the main objective of our study was screening of local epiphytic bacteria as possible antagonists against Erwinia amylovora, the causal agent of fire blight. Samples of infected organs of apple and pear trees (shoots, leaves, fruits) were collected from the industrial horticulture areas in various agro-ecological zones of Kazakhstan. Epiphytic microorganisms were isolated by standard and modified methods on specific nutrient media. The primary screening of selected microorganisms under laboratory conditions to determine the ability to suppress the growth of Erwinia amylovora was performed by agar-diffusion-test. Among 142 bacteria isolated from the fire blight host plants, 5 isolates, belonging to the genera Bacillus, Lactobacillus, Pseudomonas, Paenibacillus and Pantoea showed higher antagonistic activity against the pathogen. The diameters of inhibition zone have been depended on the species and ranged from 10 mm to 48 mm. The maximum diameter of inhibition zone (48 mm) was exhibited by B. amyloliquefaciens. Less inhibitory effect was showed by Pantoea agglomerans PA1 (19 mm). The study of inhibitory effect of Lactobacillus species against E. amylovora showed that among 7 isolates tested only one (Lactobacillus plantarum 17M) demonstrated inhibitory zone (30 mm). In summary, this study was devoted to detect the beneficial epiphytic bacteria from plants organs of pear and apple trees due to fire blight control in Kazakhstan. Results obtained from the in vitro experiments showed that the most efficient bacterial isolates are Lactobacillus plantarum 17M, Bacillus amyloliquefaciens MB40, and Pantoea agglomerans PA1. These antagonists are suitable for development as biocontrol agents for fire blight control. Their efficacies will be evaluated additionally, in biological tests under in vitro and field conditions during our further study.
Study on Accumulation of Heavy Metals in Sweet Potato, Grown in Industrially Polluted Regions
A comparative research had been carried out to allow us to determine the quantities and the centers of accumulation of Pb, Cu, Zn and Cd in the vegetative and reproductive organs of the sweet potatoes and to ascertain the possibilities for growing them on soils, polluted with heavy metals. The experiments were performed on agricultural fields contaminated by the (1) Non-Ferrous-Metal Works near Plovdiv, (2) Lead and Zinc Complex near Kardjali and (3) a copper smelter near Pirdop, Bulgaria. The soils used in this experiment were characterized by acid, neutral and slightly alkaline reaction, loamy texture and a moderate content of organic matter. The total content of Zn, Pb, and Cd was high and exceeded the limit value in agriculture soils. Sweet potatoes were in a 2-year rotation scheme on three blocks in the experimental field. On reaching commercial ripeness the sweet potatoes were gathered and the contents of heavy metals in their different parts – root, tuber (peel and core), leaves and stems, were determined after microwave mineralization. The quantitative measurements were carried out with inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy. The contamination of the sweet potatoes was due mainly to the presence of heavy metals in the soil, which entered the plants through their root system, as well as by diffusion through the peel. Pb, Cu, Zn, and Cd were selectively accumulated in the underground parts of the sweet potatoes, and most of all in the root system and the peel. Heavy metals have an impact on the development and productivity of the sweet potatoes. The high anthropogenic contamination leads to an increased assimilation of heavy metals which reduces the yield and the quality of the production of sweet potatoes, as well as leads to decrease of the absolute dry substance and the quantity of sugars in sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes could be grown on soils, which are light to medium polluted with lead, zinc, and cadmium, as they do not accumulate these elements. On heavily polluted soils, however, (Pb – 1504 mg/kg, Zn – 3322 mg/kg, Cd – 47 mg/kg) the growing of sweet potatoes is not allowed, as the accumulation of Pb and Cd in the core of the potatoes exceeds the Maximum Acceptable Concentration. Acknowledgment: The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support by the Bulgarian National Science Fund (Project DFNI DH04/9).
Indigenous Dayak People's Perceptions of Wildlife Loss and Gain Related to Oil Palm Development
Controversies surrounding the impacts of oil palm plantations have resulted in some heated debates, especially concerning biodiversity loss and indigenous people well-being. The indigenous people of Dayak generally used wildlife to fulfill their daily needs thus were assumed to have experienced negative impacts due to oil palm developments within and surrounding their settlement areas. This study was conducted to identify the characteristics of the Dayak community settled around an oil palm plantation, to determine their perceptions of wildlife loss or gain as the results of the development of oil palm plantations, and to identify the determinant characteristic of the perceptions. The research was conducted on March 2018 in Nanga Tayap and Tajok Kayong Villages, which were located around the oil palm plantation of NTYE of Ketapang, West Kalimantan-Indonesia. Data were collected through in depth-structured interview, using closed and semi-open questionnaires and three-scale Likert statements. Interviews were conducted with 74 respondents using accidental sampling and categorized into respondents who were dependent on oil palm for their livelihoods and those who were not. Data were analyzed using quantitative statistics method, Likert Scale, Chi-Square Test, Spearman Test, and Mann-Whitney Test. The research found that the indigenous Dayak people were aware of wildlife species loss and gain since the establishment of the plantation. Nevertheless, wildlife loss did not affect their social, economic, and cultural needs since they could find substitutions. It was found that prior to the plantation’s development, the local Dayak communities were already slowly experiencing some livelihood transitions through local village development. The only determinant characteristic of the community that influenced their perceptions of wildlife loss/gain was level of education.
Heavy Metals in the Water of Lakes in the 'Bory Tucholskie' National Park of Biosphere Reserve
Bory Tucholskie (Tucholskie Forest) is one of the largest pine forest complexes in Poland. It occupies approx. 3,000 square kilometers of Sandr in the Brda and Wda basin and the Tuchola Plain and the Charzykowskie Plain. Since 2010 it has transformed into The Bory Tucholskie Biosphere Reserve, according to the UNESCO decision. The area of the Bory Tucholskie National Park (BTNP), the park area, has been designated in 1996. There is little data on the presence of heavy metals in the Park's lakes. Concentration of heavy metals in the water of 19 lakes in the BTNP was examined. The lakes were divided into two groups: subglacial channel lakes of Struga Siedmiu Jezior (the Seven Lakes Stream) and other lakes. Heavy metals (transition metals) belong to d-block of elements. The part of these metals plays an important role in the function of living organisms as metalloproteins (enzymes, hemoproteins, vitamins, etc.). However, heavy metals are also typical; heavy metals are typical anthropogenic pollutants. Water samples were collected at the deepest points of lakes during spring and during summer stagnation. The analysis of metals was performed in an atomic absorption spectrophotometer Varian Spectra A300/400 in electric atomizer (GTA 96) in graphite cuvette. In the waters of the Seven Lakes Stream (Ostrowite, Zielone, Jelen, Belczak, Glowka, Plesno, Skrzynka, Mielnica) the increase in the concentration of the manganese and iron from outflow to inflow of Charzykowskie lake was found, while the concentration of copper (approx. 4 μg dm⁻³) and cadmium ( < 0.5 μg dm⁻³) was similar in all lakes. The concentration of the lead also varied within 2.1-3.6 μg dm⁻³. The concentration of nickel was approx. 3-fold higher in Ostrowite lake than other lakes of Struga. In turn the waters of the lakes Ostrowite, Jelen and Belczak were rich in zinc. The lowest level of heavy metals was observed in Zielone lake. In the second group of lakes, i.e., Krzywce Wielkie and Krzywce Male the heavy metal concentrations were lower than in the waters of Struga but higher than in oligotrophic lakes, i.e., Nierybno, Gluche, Kociol, Gacno Wielkie, Gacno Mae, Dlugie, Zabionek, and Sosnowek. The concentration of cadmium was below 0.5 μg dm⁻³ in all the studied lakes from this group. In the group of oligotrophic lakes the highest concentrations of metals such as manganese, iron, zinc and nickel in Gacno Male and Gacno Wielkie were observed. The high level of manganese in Sosnowek and Gacno Wielkie lakes was found. The lead level was also high in Nierybno lake and nickel in Gacno Wielkie lake. The lower level of heavy metals was in oligotrophic lakes such as Kociol, Dlugie, Zabionek and α-mesotrophic lake, Krzywce Wielkie. Generally, the level of heavy metals in studied lakes situated in Bory Tucholskie National Park was lower than in other lakes of Bory Tucholskie Biosphere Reserve.
Diversity of Rhopalocera in Different Vegetation Types of PC Hills, Philippines
Distribution patterns and abundance of butterflies respond in the long term to variations in habitat quality. Studying butterfly populations would give evidence on how vegetation types influence their diversity. In this research, the Rhopalocera diversity of PC Hills was assessed to provide information on diversity trends in varying vegetation types. PC Hills, located in Palo, Leyte, Philippines, is a relatively undisturbed area having forests and rivers. Despite being situated nearby inhabited villages; the area is observed to have a possible rich butterfly population. To assess the Rhopalocera species richness and diversity, transect sampling technique was applied to monitor and document butterflies. Transects were placed in locations that can be mapped, described and relocated easily. Three transects measuring three hundred meters each with a 5-meter diameter were established based on the different vegetation types present. The three main vegetation types identified were the agroecosystem (transect 1), dipterocarp forest (transect 2), and riparian (transect 3). Sample collections were done only from 9:00 A.M to 3:00 P.M. under warm and bright weather, with no more than moderate winds and when it was not raining. When weather conditions did not permit collection, it was moved to another day. A GPS receiver was used to record the location of the selected sample sites and the coordinates of where each sample was collected. Morphological analysis was done for the first phase of the study to identify the voucher specimen to the lowest taxonomic level possible using books about butterfly identification guides and species lists as references. For the second phase, DNA barcoding will be used to further identify the voucher specimen into the species taxonomic level. After eight (8) sampling sessions, seven hundred forty-two (742) individuals were seen, and twenty-two (22) Rhopalocera genera were identified through morphological identification. Nymphalidae family of genus Ypthima and the Pieridae family of genera Eurema and Leptosia were the most dominant species observed. Twenty (20) of the thirty-one (31) voucher specimen were already identified to their species taxonomic level using DNA Barcoding. Shannon-Weiner index showed that the highest diversity level was observed in the third transect (H’ = 2.947), followed by the second transect (H’ = 2.6317) and the lowest being in the first transect (H’ = 1.767). This indicates that butterflies are likely to inhabit dipterocarp and riparian vegetation types than agroecosystem, which influences their species composition and diversity. Moreover, the appearance of a river in the riparian vegetation supported its diversity value since butterflies have the tendency to fly into areas near rivers. Species identification of other voucher specimen will be done in order to compute the overall species richness in PC Hills. Further butterfly sampling sessions of PC Hills is recommended for a more reliable diversity trend and to discover more butterfly species. Expanding the research by assessing the Rhopalocera diversity in other locations should be considered along with studying factors that affect butterfly species composition other than vegetation types.
The Study of Biodiversity of Thirty Two Families of Useful Plants Existed in Georgia
The article deals with the database, which was created by the authors, related to biodiversity of some families of useful plants (medicinal, aromatic, spices, dye and poisonous) existing in Georgia considering important taxonomy. Our country is also rich with endemic genera. The results of monitoring of the phytogenetic resources to reveal perspective species and situation of endemic species and resources are also discussed in this paper. To get some new medicinal and preventive treatments using plant raw material in the phytomedicine, phytocosmetics and phytoculinary, the unique phytogenetic resources should be protected because the application of useful plants is becoming irreversible. This can be observed along with intensification and sustainable use of ethnobotanical traditions and promotion of phytoproduction based on the international requirements on biodiversity (Convention on Biological Diversity - CBD). Though Georgian phytopharmacy has the centuries-old traditions, today it is becoming the main concern.
Permeodynamic Particulate Matter Filtration for Improved Air Quality
Particulate matter (PM) in the air we breathe is detrimental to health. Overcoming this problem has attracted interest and prompted research on the use of PM filtration in commercial buildings and homes to be carried out. The consensus is that tangible health benefits can result from the use of PM filters in most urban environments, to clean up the building’s fresh air supply and thereby reduce exposure of residents to airborne PM. The authors have investigated and are developing a new large-scale Permeodynamic Filtration Technology (PFT) capable of permanently filtering and removing airborne PMs from outdoor spaces, thus also benefiting internal spaces such as the interiors of buildings. Theoretical models were developed, and laboratory trials carried out to determine, and validate through measurement permeodynamic filtration efficiency and pressure drop as functions of PM particle size distributions. The conclusion is that PFT offers a potentially viable, cost effective end of pipe solution to the problem of airborne PM.
Assessment of Biotic and Abiotic Water Factors of Antiao and Jiabong Rivers for Benthic Algae
Eutrophication is a process where in there is a surplus of nutrients present in a lake or river. Harmful cyanobacteria, hypoxia, and primarily algae, which contain toxins, grow because of the excess nutrients. Algal blooms can cause fish kills, limiting the light penetration which reduces growth of aquatic organisms, causing die-offs of plants and produce conditions that are dangerous to aquatic and human life. The main cause for eutrophication is the presence of excessive amounts of phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N). Nitrogen is necessary for the production of the plant tissues and is usually used to synthesize proteins. Nitrate is a compound that contains nitrogen, and at elevated levels it can cause harmful effects. Excessive amounts of phosphorus, displaced through human activity, is the major cause of algae growth and as well as degraded water quality. To accomplish this study the Assessment of Soluble inorganic nitrogen (SIN), Assessment of Soluble reactive phosphate (SRP), Determination of Chlorophyll a (Chl-a) concentration, and Determination of Dominating Taxa were done. The study addresses the high probability of algal blooms in Maqueda Bay by assessing the biotic and abiotic factors of Antiao and Jiabong rivers. The data predicts the overgrowth of algae and to create awareness to prevent the event from taking place. The study assesses the adverse effects that could be prevented by understanding and controlling algae. This should predict future cases of algal blooms and allow government agencies which require data to create programs to prevent and assess these issues.
Artificial Neural Network-Based Prediction of Effluent Quality of Wastewater Treatment Plant Employing Data Preprocessing Approaches
Prediction of treated wastewater quality is a matter of growing importance in water treatment procedure. In this way artificial neural network (ANN), as a robust data-driven approach, has been widely used for forecasting the effluent quality of wastewater treatment. However, developing ANN model based on appropriate input variables is a major concern due to the numerous parameters which are collected from treatment process and the number of them are increasing in the light of electronic sensors development. Various studies have been conducted, using different clustering methods, in order to classify most related and effective input variables. This issue has been overlooked in the selecting dominant input variables among wastewater treatment parameters which could effectively lead to more accurate prediction of water quality. In the presented study two ANN models were developed with the aim of forecasting effluent quality of Tabriz city’s wastewater treatment plant. Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) was utilized to determine water quality as a target parameter. Model A used Principal Component Analysis (PCA) for input selection as a linear variance-based clustering method. Model B used those variables identified by the mutual information (MI) measure. Therefore, the optimal ANN structure when the result of model B compared with model A showed up to 15% percent increment in Determination Coefficient (DC). Thus, this study highlights the advantage of PCA method in selecting dominant input variables for ANN modeling of wastewater plant efficiency performance.
Water Management of Polish Agriculture and Adaptation to Climate Change
The agricultural sector, due to the growing demand for food and over-exploitation of the natural environment, contributes to the deepening of climate change, on the one hand, and on the other hand, shrinking freshwater resources, as a negative effect of climate change, threaten the food security of each country. Therefore, adaptation measures to climate change should take into account effective water management and seek solutions ensuring food production at an unchanged or higher level, while not burdening the environment and not contributing to the worsening of the negative consequences of climate change. The problems of Poland's water management result not only from relatively small, natural water resources but to a large extent on the low efficiency of their use. Appropriate agricultural practices and state solutions in this field can contribute to achieving significant benefits in terms of economical water management in agriculture, providing a greater amount of water that could also be used for other purposes, including for purposes related to environmental protection. The aim of the article is to determine the level of use of water resources in Polish agriculture and the advancement of measures aimed at adapting Polish agriculture in the field of water management to climate change. The study provides knowledge about Polish legal regulations and water management tools, the shaping of water policy of Polish agriculture against the background of EU countries and other sources of energy, and measures supporting Polish agricultural holdings in the effective management of water resources run by state budget institutions. In order to achieve the above-mentioned goals, the author used research tools such as the analysis of existing sources and a survey conducted among five groups of entities, i.e. agricultural advisory centers and departments, agricultural, rural and environmental protection departments, regional water management boards, provincial agricultural chambers and restructuring and modernization of agriculture. The main conclusion of the analyses carried out is the low use of water in Polish agriculture in relation to other EU countries, other sources of intake in Poland, as well as irrigation. The analysis allows us to observe another problem, which is the lack of reporting and data collection, which is extremely important from the point of view of the effectiveness of adaptation measures to climate change. The results obtained from the survey indicate a very low level of support for government institutions in the implementation of adaptation measures to climate change and the water management of Polish farms. Some of the basic problems of the adaptation policy to change climate with regard to water management in Polish agriculture include a lack of knowledge regarding climate change, the possibilities of adapting, the available tools or ways to rationalize the use of water resources. It also refers to the lack of ordering procedures and the separation of responsibility with a proper territorial unit, non-functioning channels of information flow and practically low effects.
Investigation of the Effect of Nano-Alumina Particles on Adsorption Property of Acrylic Fiber
The flue gas from fossil fuels combustion contains harmful pollutants dangerous for human health and environment. One of the air pollution control methods to restrict the emission of these pollutants is based on using the nanoparticle in adsorption process. In the present research, gamma nano-alumina particle is added to polyacrylonitrile (PAN) polymer through simple loading method, and the adsorption capacity of the wet spun fiber is investigated. The results of exposure the fiber to the acid gases including SO2, CO, NO2, NO, and CO2 show the noticeable increase of gas adsorption capacity on fiber contains nanoparticle. The research has been conducted in Acrylic II Plant of Polyacryl Iran Corporation.
The Use of Bituminaria bituminosa (L.) Stirton and Microbial Biotechnologies for Restoration of Degraded Pastoral Lands: The Case of the Middle Atlas of Morocco
Rangelands and silvopastoral systems in the middle Atlas are under a heavy pressure, which led to pasture degradation, invasion by non-palatable and toxic species and edaphic aridification due to the regression of the global vegetation cover. In this situation, the introduction of multipurpose leguminous shrubs such as Bituminaria bituminosa (L.) Stirton., commonly known as bituminous clover, could be a promising socio-ecological alternative for the rehabilitation of these degraded areas. The application of biofertilizers like plant growth promoting rhizobacteria especially phosphate solubilizing bacteria (PSB) can ensure a successful installation of this plant in the selected degraded areas. The main objective of the present work is to produce well-inoculated seedlings using the best efficient PSB strains in the greenhouse to increase their ability to resist to environmental constraints once transplanted to the field in the central Middle Atlas.
Investigation of Projected Organic Waste Impact on a Tropical Wetland in Singapore
Nee Soon swamp forest is one of the last vestiges of tropical wetland in Singapore. Understanding the hydrological regime of the swamp forest and implications for water quality is critical to guide stakeholders in implementing effective measures to preserve the wetland against anthropogenic impacts. In particular, although current field measurement data do not indicate a concern with organic pollution, reviewing the ways in which the wetland responds to elevated organic waste influx (and the corresponding impact on dissolved oxygen, DO) can help identify potential hotspots, and the impact on the outflow from the catchment which drains into downstream controlled watercourses. An integrated water quality model is therefore developed in this study to investigate spatial and temporal concentrations of DO levels and organic pollution (as quantified by biochemical oxygen demand, BOD) within the catchment’s river network under hypothetical, projected scenarios of spiked upstream inflow. The model was developed using MIKE HYDRO for modelling the study domain, as well as the MIKE ECO Lab numerical laboratory for characterising water quality processes. Model parameters are calibrated against time series of observed discharges at three measurement stations along the river network. Over a simulation period of April 2014 to December 2015, the calibrated model predicted that a continuous spiked inflow of 400 mg/l BOD will elevate downstream concentrations at the catchment outlet to an average of 12 mg/l, from an assumed nominal baseline BOD of 1 mg/l. Levels of DO were decreased from an initial 5 mg/l to 0.4 mg/l. Though a scenario of spiked organic influx at the swamp forest’s undeveloped upstream sub-catchments is currently unlikely to occur, the outcomes nevertheless will be beneficial for future planning studies in understanding how the water quality of the catchment will be impacted should urban redevelopment works be considered around the swamp forest.
Discriminating Capacity of Phoretic Egg Parasitoid Paratelenomus anu Sp.Nov on Megacopta Cribaria (Hemiptera: Plataspidae)
Dolichos bean, Lablab purpureus (L.) is an important pulse cum vegetable crop and Megacopta cribaria (F.) (Hemiptera: Plataspidae) is one of the pests of L. purpureus (L.). A Y tube Olfactometer study using a phoretic egg parasitoid Paratelenomus anu sp.nov on different sex and stage of Megacopta cribaria revealed that the parasitoid had the ability to discriminate between the sex and different adult female stages. It was also observed that not all the bugs were chosen for phoresy but only very few female bugs were selected. Behavioral studies were conducted using olfactometer to find out the discrimination between male and female and different stages of adult female bug and discovered that parasitoid had innate ability to discriminate between male, female, pre-reproductive, reproductive and post-reproductive stages of the adult females bugs. Results of olfactometer studies using parasitoids showed that percentage of attraction was more for reproductive females with an 80% of attraction when compared with pre-reproductive females (70 %) and post-reproductive females (60%). From these studies, it was evidently proved that each of these stages of female bug had got different chemical stimuli and based on these chemical stimuli parasitoid identified and choose the females to host insect for Phoresy.
Formaldehyde Degradation from Indoor Air by Encapsulated Microbial Cells
Formaldehyde is one of the most representative volatile organic compounds present in the indoor air of residential units and workplaces. Increased attention has been given to this toxic compound because of its carcinogenic effect in health. Biological or enzymatic transformation is being explored to degrade this pollutant. Pseudomonas putida is a bacteria able to synthesize formaldehyde dehydrogenase, an enzyme known to use formaldehyde as a substrate and transform it into less toxic compounds. The immobilization of bacterial cells in the surface of different supports through spraying or dip-coating is herein proposed. The determination of the enzymatic activity on the coated surfaces was performed as well as the study of its effect on formaldehyde degradation in an isolated chamber. Results show that the incorporation of microbial cells able to synthesize depolluting enzymes can be an innovative, low-cost, effective and environmentally friendly solution for indoor air depollution.
Application of an Analytical Model to Obtain Daily Flow Duration Curves for Different Hydrological Regimes in Switzerland
This work assesses the performance of an analytical model framework to generate daily flow duration curves, FDCs, based on climatic characteristics of the catchments and on their streamflow recession coefficients. According to the analytical model framework, precipitation is considered to be a stochastic process, modeled as a marked Poisson process, and recession is considered to be deterministic, with parameters that can be computed based on different models. The analytical model framework was tested for three case studies with different hydrological regimes located in Switzerland: pluvial, snow-dominated and glacier. For that purpose, five time intervals were analyzed (the four meteorological seasons and the civil year) and two developments of the model were tested: one considering a linear recession model and the other adopting a nonlinear recession model. Those developments were combined with recession coefficients obtained from two different approaches: forward and inverse estimation. The performance of the analytical framework when considering forward parameter estimation is poor in comparison with the inverse estimation for both, linear and nonlinear models. For the pluvial catchment, the inverse estimation shows exceptional good results, especially for the nonlinear model, clearing suggesting that the model has the ability to describe FDCs. For the snow-dominated and glacier catchments the seasonal results are better than the annual ones suggesting that the model can describe streamflows in those conditions and that future efforts should focus on improving and combining seasonal curves instead of considering single annual ones.
The Impact of Diesel Exhaust Particles on Tight Junction Proteins on Nose and Lung in a Mouse Model
Background: Diesel exhaust particles (DEPs) lead to trigger airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) and airway dysfunction or inflammation in respiratory systems. Whether tight junction protein changes can contribute to development or exacerbations of airway diseases remain to be clarified. Objective: The aim of this study was to observe the effect of DEP on tight junction proteins in one airway both nose and lung in a mouse model. Methods: Mice were treated with saline (Sham) and exposed to 100 μg/m³ DEPs 1 hour a day for 5 days a week for 4 weeks and 8 weeks in a closed-system chamber attached to a ultrasonic nebulizer. Airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) was measured and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid, nasal lavage (NAL) fluid, lung and nasal tissue was collected. The effects of DEP on tight junction proteins were estimated using western blot, immunohistochemical in lung and nasal tissue. Results: Airway hyperresponsiveness and number of inflammatory cells were higher in DEP exposure group than in control group, and were higher in 4 and 8 weeks model than in control group. The expression of tight junction proteins CLND4, -5, and -17 in both lung and nasal tissue were significantly increased in DEP exposure group than in the control group. Conclusion: These results suggesting that CLDN4, -5 and -17 may be involved in the airway both nose and lung, suggesting that air pollutants cause to disruption of epithelial and endothelial cell barriers. Acknowledgment: This research was supported by Korea Ministry of Environment (MOE) as 'The Environmental Health Action Program' (2016001360009) and Soonchunhyang University Research Fund.
The Confiscation of Ill-Gotten Gains in Pollution: The Taiwan Experience and the Interaction between Economic Analysis of Law and Environmental Economics Perspectives
In reply to serious environmental problems, the Taiwan government quickly adjusted some articles to suit the needs of environmental protection recently, such as the amendment to article 190-1 of the Taiwan Criminal Code. The transfer of legislation comes as an improvement which canceled the limitation of ‘endangering public safety’. At the same time, the article 190-1 goes from accumulative concrete offense to abstract crime of danger. Thus, the public looks forward to whether environmental crime following the imposition of fines or penalties works efficiently in anti-pollution by the deterrent effects. However, according to the addition to article 38-2 of the Taiwan Criminal Code, the confiscation system seems controversial legislation to restrain ill-gotten gains. Most prior studies focused on comparisons with the Administrative Penalty Law and the Criminal Code in environmental issue in Taiwan; recently, more and more studies emphasize calculations on ill-gotten gains. Hence, this paper try to examine the deterrent effect in environmental crime by economic analysis of law and environmental economics perspective. This analysis shows that only if there is an extremely high probability (equal to 100 percent) of an environmental crime case being prosecuted criminally by Taiwan Environmental Protection Agency, the deterrent effects will work. Therefore, this paper suggests deliberating the confiscation system from supplementing the System of Environmental and Economic Accounting, reasonable deterrent fines, input management, real-time system for detection of pollution, and whistleblower system, environmental education, and modernization of law.