Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Abstract Count: 43397

Environmental and Ecological Engineering

An Equitable Strategy to Amend Zero-Emission Vehicles Incentives for Travelers: A Policy Review
Even though many stakeholders are doing their very best to promote public transportation around the world, many areas are still public transportation non-accessible. With travelers purchasing and driving their private vehicles can be considered as a threat to all three aspects of the sustainability (e.g., economical, social, environmental). However, most studies that considered simultaneously all three aspects of the sustainability concept when planning and designing public transportation for a corridor have found tradeoffs among the said three aspects.One of the tradeoffs was identified by looking at tipping points of the travel demands to question whether transit agencies/and or transportation policymakers should either operate smaller buses or provide incentives to purchase Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-Qualified low-emission vehicles or greener vehicles (e.g., hybrid). However, how and when do the department of environmental protection (DEP) and the department of revenue (DOR) figure out how much incentives to give to each traveler who lives in a zoning that is considered as public transportation inaccessible or accessible? To answer this policy question, this study aims to compare the greenhouse gases (GHGs) emissions when hybrid and conventional cars are used to access public transportation stops/stations. Additionally, this study also intends to review previous states that have already adopted low-emissions vehicle (LEVs) or Zero-Emissions Vehicles (ZEVs) to diminish the daily GHGs pollutants.
Simulation of a Sustainable Irrigation System Development: The Case of Sitio Kantaling Village Farm Lands, Danao City, Cebu, Philippines
Sitio Kantaling is one of the 34 villages in Danao City, Cebu, in the central Philippines. As of 2015, the eight households in the mountainous village extending over 40 hectares of land area, including 12 hectares of arable land, are the source of over a fifth of the agricultural products that go into the city. Over the years, however, the local government had been concerned with the decline in agricultural productivity because increasing number of residents are migrating into the urban areas of the region to look for better employment opportunities. One of the major reasons for the agricultural productivity decline is underdeveloped irrigation infrastructure. The local government had partnered with the University of San Carlos to conduct research on developing an irrigation system that could sustainably meet both agricultural and household consumption needs. From a macro-perspective, a dynamic simulation model was developed to understand the long-term behavior of the status quo and proposed the system. Data on population, water supply and demand, household income, and urban migration were incorporated in the 20-year horizon model. The study also developed a smart irrigation system design. Instead of using electricity to pump water, a network of aqueducts with three main nodes had been designed and strategically located to take advantage of gravity to transport water from a spring. Simulation results showed that implementing a sustainable irrigation system would be able to significantly contribute to the socio-economic progress of the local community.
Biogas from Anaerobic Digestion of Wastewater Treatment Sludge: The Full Value of Biogas
Wastewater digesters create gas emissions that are commonly flared or released to the atmosphere. Capturing these emissions creates biogas opportunities for renewable fuel generation and greenhouse gas emission reduction. Opportunities for marketable fuel environmental credits that may be created from wastewater sludge digester gas include value under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) known as Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs), Low-Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) credits, Renewable Energy Credits, greenhouse gas credits under both voluntary and mandatory carbon credits.
Geohydrological Examinations of Groundwater within Central University of Technology Bloemfontein Campus
Groundwater within the Central University of Technology (CUT) Bloemfontein was investigated in order to determine its hydrochemical and hydrological characteristics. The investigations involved carrying out pump test on three boreholes on the CUT Bloemfontein campus. Further examination involved laboratory testing of the groundwater for chemical signature and geophysical investigation to determine the geological and aquifer target of the boreholes using an electrical resistivity tomography. Additionally, electrical conductivity profiling (EC Profiling) was used to detect the fracture positions within the boreholes. The geophysical result shows that the boreholes were constructed targeting contact zones between dolerite dykes positions within the campus. Pumped test results monitored from the three boreholes and interpreted using Cooper-Jacobs and FC (flow characteristics) methods gives a sustainable yield of 7.55 litres per seconds to 4.49 litres per seconds respectively. While storativity values are 3.01x10-1 for Cooper Jacobs to 2.3x10-3 for FC method. Hydrochemical analysis shows a Mg-HCO3 water type from diagrams of Schoeller, Stiff and Durov diagrams. These show dissolved solutes from rainfall and the host rocks. The results of the fracture positions in the wells were 5m, 6m and 9.5 m in borehole 1, 2 and 3 respectively. The geohydrological characteristics displayed by the groundwater of the CUT campus relate to the general characteristics of the Karoo aquifers.
Groundwater Sustainability Modelling Framework Using Parameters of C52 Tertiary Catchment of the Upper Orange River System of South Africa
This paper discussed the development of a framework for modelling the sustainability of groundwater using parameters from the C52 Tertiary Catchment of the Upper Orange River. The C52 Tertiary Catchment is a subcatchment of the Upper Orange River System which originates from the highlands of Lesotho through the Free State Province of South Africa. Modeling the groundwater sustainability is important due to increasing urbanisation and climate change impact on groundwater resources in the catchment. The conceptual framework of the research was developed based on the major relationships and interactions within the hydrological system that serves the C52 Tertiary Catchment. This conceptual framework supports the making of inductions, deriving concepts from the data, and making deductions directed at hypothesizing the relationships between processes governing groundwater within the framework. The methodology reviewed a number of factors. These factors were measured as parameters, for example, the climatic factors (precipitation, evapotranspiration, sunshine, slope, topography, climatic zones, and the aquifer system (recharge, yields, storativity, aquifer types, lithology/rock types). Other parameters included important catchment factors and human-induced factors such as rights and equity. The human-induced factors measured the number of permits issued per year in the catchment, duration of the permits, number of boreholes in the subcatchment, and pump rate per year. The socio-economic and land use factors measured the use per capita, population in the catchment, water uses, and tariffs). These factors facilitated the detailed understanding of the parameters and ranking of the physical processes affecting groundwater system of the C52 subcatchment of the Upper Orange River catchment. The results were presented in a sustainability index that was developed based on weight and ranking system. The highest scores of 100 indicated a highly sustainable system, whereas 19 for the lowest scores implied that groundwater was least sustainable. The rating of parameters ranged from 1 (severe impact) to 5 (least impact) on the groundwater resources. The sustainability index class scores of 19 to 35 indicated very low sustainability, 35 to 51 low sustainability, 51 to 67 moderate sustainability, 67 to 83 means high sustainability and 83 to 100 very high sustainability. The research presented a developed sustainability mapping framework highlighted in a sustainability index. This index will be a useful tool for mapping and planning groundwater resources management.
Increased Efficiency during Oxygen Carrier Aided Combustion of Municipal Solid Waste in an Industrial Scaled Circulating Fluidized Bed-Boiler
Solid waste volumes are at current predominately deposited on landfill. Furthermore, the impending climate change requires new solutions for a sustainable future energy mix. Currently, solid waste is globally utilized to small extent as fuel during combustion for heat and power production. Due to its variable composition and size, solid waste is considered difficult to combust and requires a technology with high fuel flexibility. One of the commercial technologies used for combustion of such difficult fuels is circulating fluidized beds (CFB). In a CFB boiler, fine particles of a solid material are used as 'bed material', which is accelerated by the incoming combustion air that causes the bed material to fluidize. The chosen bed material has conventionally been silica sand with the main purpose of being a heat carrier, as it transfers heat released by the combustion to the heat-transfer surfaces. However, the release of volatile compounds occurs rapidly in comparison with the lateral mixing in the combustion chamber. To ensure complete combustion a surplus of air is introduced, which decreases the total efficiency of the boiler. In recent years, the concept of partly or entirely replacing the silica sand with an oxygen carrier as bed material has been developed. By introducing an oxygen carrier to the combustion chamber, combustion can be spread out both temporally and spatially in the boiler. Specifically, the oxygen carrier can take up oxygen from the combustion air where it is in abundance and release it to combustible gases where oxygen is in deficit. The concept is referred to as oxygen carrier aided combustion (OCAC) where the natural ore ilmenite (FeTiO3) has been the oxygen carrier used. The authors have validated the oxygen buffering ability of ilmenite during combustion of biomass in Chalmers 12-MWth CFB boiler in previous publications. Furthermore, the concept has been demonstrated on full industrial scale during combustion of municipal solid waste (MSW) in E.ON’s 75 MWth CFB boiler. The experimental campaigns have showed increased mass transfer of oxygen inside the boiler when combustion both biomass and MSW. As a result, a higher degree of burnout is achieved inside the combustion chamber and the plant can be operated at a lower surplus of air. Moreover, the buffer of oxygen provided by the oxygen carrier makes the system less sensitive to disruptions in operation. In conclusion, combusting difficult fuels with OCAC results in higher operation stability and an increase in boiler efficiency.
To Study the Impact of Bisphenol A on Whole Blood and Red Blood Cell: An in vitro Study
The modern life style of 21st century invites more and more usage of epoxy resins to coat metal products such as food cans, water bottles, water supply pipes; dental sealant, etc. which leads into a ubiquitous presence of Bisphenol A (BPA) in an environment that affects human health. Extensive evidence indicates that BPA exposure to human may have reproductive toxicological impacts like reduced sperm count and sperm activity, increase proliferation in endometrial glands and effect on expression of estrogen and progesterone receptor. BPA also found in placental cord blood at the level of microgram per kilogram and have negative effects on fetus development. Research revealed that BPA acts through production of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) which cause damage to important cellular components such as lipids, proteins, DNA with increased risk of mutagenesis in addition impairs RBC function which is major cause of cell aging, abnormality in hematological parameters that causes anemia, liver cirrhosis, mineral and vitamin deficiency of erythropoietin, also increases chance of metabolic diseases, insulin resistance, obesity by affecting fat cell activity and cardiovascular disease. However, there are very few papers available which show an impact of BPA on whole blood as well as on Red Blood Corpuscles (RBC). Therefore, the present investigation has been carried out with an objective to find out the impact of BPA (50-250µg/ml) on human whole blood as well as RBC in in vitro condition. Blood samples were collected in EDTA vials, which split into two separate vials. One used for whole blood experiment and second used for the preparation of RBC suspension using normal saline. Whole blood and RBC were incubated with different doses of BPA at 37°C in an incubator for four hours. Impact on whole blood was determined by blood count and hematological assays such as Total erythrocyte and leukocyte counts, packed cell volume (PCV), Hemoglobin concentration (Hb), Mean corpuscular volume (MCV), Mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC), platelets count, red blood cell density width (RDW) using automated ERBA cell counter. Impact on RBC suspension was determined by hemolysis at 540 nm and alteration in morphology. All the experiments were done in triplicates. Results were expressed as mean ± S.E., significance was calculated using student’s t test. Results revealed that percent hemolysis is increasing as dose increases 8.00 ± 2.8 at 50 µg/ml and 114.76 ± 13.65 at 250 µg/ml. Significant decrease of hematological parameters as dose of BPA increases except RDW. Therefore, it concludes that BPA cause toxicity on whole blood and RBC in dose dependent manner.
Distribution and Segregation of Aerosols in Ambient Air
Aerosols are complex mixture of particulate matters (PM) inclusive of carbons, silica, elements, various salts, etc. Aerosols get deep into the human lungs and cause a broad range of health effects, in particular, respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses. They are one of the major culprits for the climate change. They are emitted by the high thermal processes i.e. vehicles, steel, sponge, cement, thermal power plants, etc. Raipur (22˚33'N to 21˚14'N and 82˚6'E) to 81˚38'E) is a growing industrial city in central India with population of two million. In this work, the distribution of inorganics (i.e. Cl⁻, NO³⁻, SO₄²⁻, NH₄⁺, Na⁺, K⁺, Mg²⁺, Ca²⁺, Al, Cr, Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn, and Pb) associated to the PM in the ambient air is described. The PM₁₀ in ambient air of Raipur city was collected for duration of one year (December 2014 - December 2015). The PM₁₀ was segregated into nine modes i.e. PM₁₀.₀₋₉.₀, PM₉.₀₋₅.₈, PM₅.₈₋₄.₇, PM₄.₇₋₃.₃, PM₃.₃₋₂.₁, PM₂.₁₋₁.₁, PM₁.₁₋₀.₇, PM₀.₇₋₀.₄ and PM₀.₄ to know their emission sources and health hazards. The analysis of ions and metals was carried out by techniques i.e. ion chromatography and TXRF. The PM₁₀ concentration (n=48) was ranged from 100-450 µg/m³ with mean value of 73.57±20.82 µg/m³. The highest concentration of PM₄.₇₋₃.₃, PM₂.₁₋₁.₁, PM₁.₁₋₀.₇ was observed in the commercial, residential and industrial area, respectively. The effect of meteorology i.e. temperature, humidity, wind speed and wind direction in the PM₁₀ and associated elemental concentration in the air is discussed.
Local Farmer’s Perception on the Role of Room for the River in Livelihoods: Case Study in An Phu District, An Giang Province, Vietnam
As one of the deltas which is extremely vulnerable to climate change, the Mekong Delta, Vietnam is facing many challenges that need to be addressed in strategic and holistic ways. In this study scope, a strategic delta planning is recently considered as a new vision of Adaptive Delta Management for the Mekong Delta. In Adaptive Delta Management, Room for the Rivers (RftR) has been formulated as a typical innovation, which is currently in need of careful consideration for implementing in the Mekong Delta’s planning process. This study then attempts to investigate the roles and analyze sociological aspects of the RftR as potential strategic 'soft' measure, in upstream of Hau River in An Phu district, An Giang province, especially in terms of its so-called multifunctions. The study applied social science approach embedded with a few qualitative methods including in-depth interviews and questionnaire distribution and conjoint analysis as a quantitative approach. The former mainly aims at gaining the local community’s perceptions about the RftR solution. The latter tries to gain farmers’ willingness to accept (WTA) with regard to their level of preference towards the three selected solutions which are considered as strategic plans for sustainably developing the MD. Qualitative data analysis shows that, farmers perceive RftR as very useful for their livelihoods due to its multifunctions as well as in terms of water management. The quantitative results illustrated that respondents expressed their WTAs on RftR as 84. 240 thousand VND / year. Amongst the three solutions that are analysed within this study (Floating rice for upper delta, Room for the Rivers for the Middle, and Shrimp-Mangrove integration for the coastal delta), RfrR was ranked as second preference from respondents. This result is not exactly reflecting the real values of these three mentioned solutions but showing a tendency that can be seen as a reference for the decision-makers in delta planning processes.
Robust Decision Support Framework for Addressing Uncertainties in Water Resources Management in the Mekong
Rapid economic development in the Lower Mekong region is leading to changes in water quantity and quality. Changes in land- and forest-use, infrastructure development, increasing urbanization, migration patterns and climate risks is increasing demands from various sectors and placing pressure on water resources. Appropriate policies, strategies, and planning are needed for improved water resource management. Over the last decade, Thailand has seen more frequent and intense drought situations affecting the level of water storage in reservoirs and insufficient water allocation for agriculture during the dry season. The Huay Saibat River Basin, one of the well-known water-scarce areas in the northeastern region of Thailand is undergoing water scarcity that affects both farming livelihoods and household consumption. Most drought management in Thailand focuses on emergency responses rather than advance preparation and mitigation for long-term solutions. Despite many efforts from the local authorities to mitigate the drought situation, there is no long-term comprehensive water management strategy that integrates climate risks and other uncertainties. This paper looks at the application in the Huay Saibat River Basin of the Robust Decision Support framework to explore feasible drought management policies including a shift in harvesting season, crop changes, infrastructure operation and use of groundwater under a wide range of uncertainties, including climate and land-use change. A series of consultation meetings were organized with relevant agencies and experts at the local level to understand and explore plausible water resources strategies and identify thresholds to evaluate the performance of those strategies. Three different climate conditions were identified (dry, normal and wet). Other non-climatic factors influencing water allocation were also identified, including changes from sugarcane to rubber, delaying rice planting, increasing natural retention storage and using groundwater to supply demands for household consumption and small-scale gardening. Water allocation and water uses in various sectors, such as agriculture, domestic, industry and environment, were estimated by the Water Evaluation And Planning (WEAP) system under various scenarios developed from the combination of climatic and non-climatic factors mentioned earlier.Water coverage (i.e. percentage of water demand being successfully supplied) was defined as a threshold for water resource strategy assessment. Thresholds for different sectors (agriculture, domestic, industry and environment) were specified during multi-stakeholder engagement. Plausible water strategies (e.g. increasing natural retention storage, change of crop type and using groundwater as an alternative source) were evaluated based on specified thresholds in 4 sectors (agriculture, domestic, industry and environment) under 3 climate conditions. ‘Business as usual’ was also evaluated for comparison. The strategies that are robust emerge when the performances are assessed as successful under a wide range of uncertainties across the river basin. Without adopting any strategy, the water scarcity situation is likely to be more serious in the future. Among all the strategies identified, the use of groundwater as an alternative source is considered as a potential option in combating water scarcity for the basin. Further study is needed to explore the feasibility for groundwater use as a potential source.
Decision-Support Model for Effective Water Management: Experiences from Oklahoma and Texas
For the past decades, extreme droughts have been impacting the Southern US states, especially Texas and Oklahoma. In 2011, the most severe drought in Oklahoma and Texas history caused considerable economic losses, especially in the agricultural sector. Agriculture is a sector most affected by drought, while the current and past drought-related losses in this sector allow for predicting future trends. Given general water scarcity in the Southern US states, there is an urgent need to understand and monitor changed in groundwater aquifers, soil moisture, and surface water levels. Agricultural production in Oklahoma and Texas is indispensably dependent on groundwater resources mainly from the Ogallala Aquifer in Panhandle. Due to exceptional drought between 2011 and 2014, on many farms groundwater resources were overused for irrigation to maintain agricultural production. This also contributed to a long-term trend of groundwater scarcity in Oklahoma and Texas aquifers. The main goal of this paper is to analyze short- and long-term implications of drought based on precipitation levels, soil moisture, and groundwater well level changes in Oklahoma and Texas in the time frame 2003-2014. To represent those changes and drought impacts, and by using C++ language, we developed an interactive geospatial model to evaluate and further anticipate future drought implications in both states over time. We also use descriptive statistics to display temporal trends in water availability that might impact water management in the short and long term. The results show that the drought had both significant short-term and long-term implications for Oklahoma and Texas agriculture and the state economies and environment. In 2011-2014, the most extreme droughts caused the groundwater levels to decrease to their record low levels, thus causing a threatening situation of long-term scarcity for agricultural production and other sectors (including municipal use, power generation, and industrial processes). The model can serve as a decision-support tool for sustainable water management in different regions. It can also be used to educate new generations of students about the necessity of sustainable water management at regional and global scales.
The Effect of Traffic on Harmful Metals and Metalloids in the Street Dust and Surface Soil from Urban Areas of Tehran, Iran: Levels, Distribution and Chemical Partitioning Based on Single and Sequential Extraction Procedures
Street dust and surface soil samples were collected from very heavy, heavy, medium and low traffic areas and natural site in Tehran, Iran. These samples were analyzed for some physical–chemical features, total and chemical speciation of selected metals and metalloids (Zn, Al, Sr, Pb, Cu, Cr, Cd, Co, Ni, and V) to study the effect of traffic on their mobility and accumulation in the environment. The pH, electrical conductivity (EC), carbonates and organic carbon (OC) values were similar in soil and dust samples from similar traffic areas. The traffic increases EC contents in dust/soil matrixes but has no effect on concentrations of metals and metalloids in soil samples. Rises in metal and metalloids levels with traffic were found in dust samples. Moreover, the traffic increases the percentage of acid soluble fraction and Fe and Mn oxides associated fractions of Pb and Zn. The mobilization of Cu, Zn, Pb, Cr in dust samples was easier than in soil. The speciation of metals and metalloids except Cd is mainly affected by physicochemical features in soil, although total metals and metalloids affected the speciation in dust samples (except chromium and nickel).
Effect of Fluidized Granular Activated Carbon for the Mitigation of Membrane Fouling in Wastewater Treatment
The use of fluidized Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) as a means of mitigation membrane fouling in membrane bioreactors (MBRs) has received much attention in recent years, especially in anaerobic fluidized bed membrane bioreactors (AFMBRs). It has been affirmed that the unsteady-state tangential shear conferred by GAC fluidization on membrane surface suppressed the extent of membrane fouling with energy consumption much lower than that of bubbling (i.e., air sparging). In a previous work, the hydrodynamics of the fluidized GAC particles were correlated with membrane fouling mitigation effectiveness. Results verified that the momentum transfer from particle to membrane held a key in fouling mitigation. The goal of the current work is to understand the effect of fluidized GAC on membrane critical flux. Membrane critical flux values were measured by a vertical Direct Observation Through the Membrane (DOTM) setup. The polystyrene particles (known as latex particles) with the particle size of 5 µm were used as model foulant thus to give the number of the foulant on the membrane surface. Our results shed light on the positive effect of fluidized GAC enhancing the critical membrane flux by an order-of-magnitude as compared to that of liquid shear alone. Membrane fouling mitigation was benefitted by the increasing of power input.
Design and Construction of a Solar Mobile Anaerobic Digestor for Rural Communities
An anaerobic digestion system that was completely operated on solar power (both photovoltaic and solar thermal energy), and mounted on a trailer to make it mobile, was designed and constructed. A 55-gallon batch digester was placed within a chamber that was heated by hot water pumped through a radiator. Hot water was produced by a solar thermal collector and photovoltaic panels charged a battery which operated pumps for recirculating water. It was found that the temperature in the heating chamber was maintained above ambient temperature but it follows the same trend as ambient temperature. The temperature difference between the chamber and ambient values was not constant but varied with time of day. Advantageously, the temperature difference was highest during night and early morning and lowest near noon. In winter, when ambient temperature dipped to 2 °C during early morning hours, the chamber temperature did not drop below 10 °C. Model simulations showed that even if the digester is subjected to diurnal variations of temperature (as observed in winter of a subtropical region), about 63 % of the waste that would have been processed under constant digester temperature of 38 °C, can still be processed. The cost of the digester system without the trailer was $1,800.
Separation Characteristics of Dissolved Gases from Water Concurrently Variable Mixed with Exhalations for the Hollow Fiber Membrane
Water contains dissolved oxygens which a fish needs to breathe. It is important to increase the amounts of separation of dissolved oxygen from water for diverse applications using the separation system. In this paper, a separation system of dissolved gases from water concurrently variable mixed with the exhalations using a compressor is proposed. This system takes use of exhalations to increase the amounts of separation of dissolved oxygens from the water. A compressor with variable off-time and on-time is used to control the exhalations mixed with inlet water. Exhalations contain some portion of carbon dioxide, oxygen, and nitrogen. Separation of dissolved gases containing dissolved oxygens is enhanced by using exhalations. The amounts of separation and the compositions of carbon dioxide and oxygens are measured. Higher amounts of separation can make the size of the separation device smaller and application areas are diversified.
Evidence of Climate Change from Statistical Analysis of Temperature and Rainfall Data of Kaduna State, Nigeria
This study examines the evidence of climate change scenario in Kaduna State from the analysis of temperature and rainfall data (1976-2015) from three meteorological stations along a geographic transect from the southern part to the northern part of the State. Different statistical methods were used in determining the changes in both the temperature and rainfall series. The result of the linear trend lines revealed a mean increase in average temperature of 0.73oC for the 40 years period of study in the State. The plotted standard deviation for the temperature anomalies generally revealed that years of temperatures above the mean standard deviation (hotter than the normal conditions) in the last two decades (1996-2005 and 2006-2015) were more than those below (colder than the normal condition). The Cramer’s test and student’s t-test generally revealed an increasing temperature trend in the recent decades. The increased in temperature is an evidence that the earth’s atmosphere is getting warmer in recent years. The linear trend line equation of the annual rainfall for the period of study showed a mean increase of 316.25 mm for the State. Findings also revealed that the plotted standard deviation for the rainfall anomalies, and the 10-year non-overlapping and 30-year overlapping sub-periods analysis in all the three stations generally showed an increasing trend from the beginning of the data to the recent years. This is an evidence that the study area is now experiencing wetter conditions in recent years and hence climate change. The study recommends diversification of the economic base of the populace with emphasis on moving away from activities that are sensitive to temperature and rainfall extremes Also, appropriate strategies to ameliorate the scourge of climate change at all levels/sectors should always take into account the recent changes in temperature and rainfall amount in the area.
Analysis and Study of Growth Rates of Indigenous Phytoplankton in Enriched Spent Oil Impacted Ecosystems in South Western Nigeria Coastal Waters
Overtime, In order to determine the effect of spent oil on the growth rates of indigenous phytoplankton in an aquaculture pond, a study was carried out on varying concentrations of samples using the bioassay procedure for a period of 14 days. Four divisions Cyanophyta, Chlorophyta, Euglenophyta and Bacillariophyta were observed in the water samples collected from the Aquaculture pond. The growth response was measured using a microprocessor photocolorimeter at optical density of 680nm. A general assessment of spent oil contaminated samples showed either a sharp rise or fall in growth rate from day 0 to day 2 followed by increased growth response for most higher concentration of pollutants up to Day 8, then fluctuations in the growth response pattern for the other days. There was no marked significant difference in the growth response of phytoplankton in the spent oil impacted water samples. The lowest and highest phytoplankton abundance was recorded in 10/90ml and 2.5/97.5ml spent oil impacted water sample respectively. Oscillatoria limosa, Chlorella sp., Microcystis aeruginosa, Nitzschia sp. and Navicula sp. showed high tolerance to oil pollution and these species used as bioindicators of an organic polluted environment increased abundantly and can therefore be employed in the cleanup and bioremediation process of an oil polluted freshwater body.
Analysis and Study of Phytoplankton and the Environmental Characteristics of Tarkwa Bay, Lagos, South-Western, Nigeria
The phytoplankton and environmental characteristics of Tarkwa Bay, Lagos in South-western Nigeria were investigated from January to June 2012. Environmental characteristics within the Bay were largely determined by floodwater inflow in the wet months (April – June) and increased tidal marine conditions in the dry months (January – March). Similarly, rainfall distribution and possibly tidal seawater inflow were the key factors that govern the variation in phytoplankton distribution, species diversity, chlorophyll a concentration and environmental characteristics of the bay. Values for physico-chemical parameters were indicative of high levels of fluctuations inwards from the East mole towards Tarkwa Bay (e.g. T.S.S > 11mg/L, T.D.S > 33541.0mg/L, D.O. < 5.4). Chlorophyll A values did not show any discernable pattern and correlated negatively with total dissolved solids and total suspended solids (r = -0.27 and -0.04) as both were inconsistent throughout the study period. Four phytoplankton divisions were observed throughout the sampling period with the Bacillariophyta (diatoms) being the dominant group followed by Dinophyta (dinoflagellates), Cyanophyta (the blue-green algae) and Chlorophyta (the green algae). A total of twenty-one species from nine genera were recorded during the period of study. Diatoms formed the most abundant group making fifteen species from five genera. The centric forms dominated over the pennates in the diatom group with Skeletonema sp. Chaetoceros spp. and Coscinodiscus spp. being the dominant centric diatoms while Navicula spp. was the more dominant pennate form. The Dinoflagellates were represented by six species from one genus, the blue-green algae with five species from two genera while the green algae had one species from one genus. Comparatively, total biomass was more in the dry months (Jan. - Mar.) and decreased in the 'wet months' (Apr. – Jun.). Species diversity (S), Shannon Wiener index (Hs), Margalef Index (d) and Equitability Index (j) values were higher during the dry months while reduced value marked the wet months possibly as a result of dilution of rain effects. Outcomes of bio-indices variations were reflections of the degree of occurrence and abundance of species linked to seasons operating in the study site.
Analysis of CO₂ Capture Products from Carbon Capture and Utilization Plant
CO₂ capture products manufactured through Carbon Capture and Utilization (CCU) Plant that collect CO₂ directly from power plants require accurate measurements of the amount of CO₂ captured. For this purpose, two tests were carried out on the weight loss test. And one was analyzed using a carbon dioxide quantification device. First, the ignition loss analysis was performed by measuring the weight of the sample at 550 ° C after the first conversation and then confirming the loss when ignited at 950 ° C. Second, in the thermogravimetric analysis, the sample was divided into two sections of 40 to 500 ° C and 500 to 800 ° C to confirm the reduction. The results of thermal weight loss analysis and thermogravimetric analysis were confirmed to be almost similar. However, the temperature of the ignition loss analysis method was 950 ° C, which was 150 ° C higher than that of the thermogravimetric method at a temperature of 800 ° C, so that the difference in the amount of weight loss was 3 to 4% higher by the heat loss analysis method. In addition, the tendency that the CO₂ content increases as the reaction time become longer is similarly confirmed. Third, the results of the wet titration method through the carbon dioxide quantification device were found to be significantly lower than the weight loss method. Therefore, based on the results obtained through the above three analysis methods, we will establish a method to analyze the accurate amount of CO₂. Acknowledgements: This work was supported by the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and planning (No. 20152010201850).
Downtime Estimation of Building Structures Using Fuzzy Logic
Community Resilience has gained a significant attention due to the recent unexpected natural and man-made disasters. Resilience is the process of maintaining livable conditions in the event of interruptions in normally available services. Estimating the resilience of systems, ranging from individuals to communities, is a formidable task due to the complexity involved in the process. The most challenging parameter involved in the resilience assessment is the 'downtime'. Downtime is the time needed for a system to recover its services following a disaster event. Estimating the exact downtime of a system requires a lot of inputs and resources that are not always obtainable. The uncertainties in the downtime estimation are usually handled using probabilistic methods, which necessitates acquiring large historical data. The estimation process also involves ignorance, imprecision, vagueness, and subjective judgment. In this paper, a fuzzy-based approach to estimate the downtime of building structures following earthquake events is proposed. Fuzzy logic can integrate descriptive (linguistic) knowledge and numerical data into the fuzzy system. This ability allows the use of walk down surveys, which collect data in a linguistic or a numerical form. The use of fuzzy logic permits a fast and economical estimation of parameters that involve uncertainties. The first step of the method is to determine the building’s vulnerability. A rapid visual screening is designed to acquire information about the analyzed building (e.g. year of construction, structural system, site seismicity, etc.). Then, a fuzzy logic is implemented using a hierarchical scheme to determine the building damageability, which is the main ingredient to estimate the downtime. Generally, the downtime can be divided into three main components: downtime due to the actual damage (DT1); downtime caused by rational and irrational delays (DT2); and downtime due to utilities disruption (DT3). In this work, DT1 is computed by relating the building damageability results obtained from the visual screening to some already-defined components repair times available in the literature. DT2 and DT3 are estimated using the REDITM Guidelines. The Downtime of the building is finally obtained by combining the three components. The proposed method also allows identifying the downtime corresponding to each of the three recovery states: re-occupancy; functional recovery; and full recovery. Future work is aimed at improving the current methodology to pass from the downtime to the resilience of buildings. This will provide a simple tool that can be used by the authorities for decision making.
Rural Entrepreneurship as a Response to Climate Change and Resource Conservation
Environmental policies for resource conservation in rural areas include subsidies on services and social programs to cover living expenses. Government's expectation is that rural communities who benefit from social programs, such as payment for ecosystem services, are provided with an incentive to conserve natural resources and preserve natural sinks for greenhouse gases. At the same time, global climate change has affected the lives of people worldwide. The capability to adapt to global warming depends on the available resources and the standard of living, putting rural communities at a disadvantage. This paper explores whether rural entrepreneurship can represent a solution to resource conservation and global warming adaptation in rural communities. The research focuses on a sample of two coffee communities in Oaxaca, Mexico. Researchers used geospatial information contained in aerial photographs of the geographical areas of interest. Households were identified in the photos via the roofs of households and georeferenced via coordinates. From the household population, a random selection of roofs was performed and received a visit. A total of 112 surveys were completed, including questions of socio-demographics, perception to climate change and adaptation activities. The population includes two groups of study: entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs. Data was sorted, filtered, and validated. The analysis includes descriptive statistics for exploratory purposes and a multi-regression analysis. Outcomes from the surveys indicate that coffee farmers, who demonstrate entrepreneurship skills and hire employees, are more eager to adapt to climate change despite the extreme adverse socioeconomic conditions of the region. We show that farmers with entrepreneurial tendencies are more creative in using innovative farm practices such as the planting of shade trees, the use of live fencing, instead of wires, and watershed protection techniques, among others. This result counters the notion that small farmers are at the mercy of climate change and have no possibility of being able to adapt to a changing climate. The study also points to roadblocks that farmers face when coping with climate change. Among those roadblocks are a lack of extension services, access to credit, and reliable internet, all of which reduces access to vital information needed in today’s constantly changing world. Results indicate that, under some circumstances, funding and supporting entrepreneurship programs may provide more benefit that traditional social programs.
The Influence of Different Technologies on the Infiltration Properties and Soil Surface Crusting Processing in the North Bohemia Region
The infiltration characteristic of the soil surface is one of the major factors that determines the potential soil degradation risk. The physical, chemical and biological characteristic of soil is changed by the processing of soil. The infiltration soil ability has an important role in soil and water conservation. The subject of the contribution is the evaluation of the influence of the conventional tillage and reduced tillage technology on soil surface crusting processing and infiltration properties of the soil in the North Bohemia region. Field experimental work at the area was carried out in the years 2013-2016 on Cambisol district medium-heavy clayey soil. The research was conducted on sloping erosion-endangered blocks of compacted arable land. The areas were chosen each year in the way that one of the experimental areas was handled by conventional tillage technologies and the other by reduced tillage technologies. Intact soil samples were taken into Kopecký´s cylinders in the three landscape positions, at a depth of 10 cm (representing topsoil) and 30 cm (representing subsoil). The cumulative infiltration was measured using a mini-disc infiltrometer near the consumption points. The Zhang method (1997), which provides an estimate of the unsaturated hydraulic conductivity K(h), was used for the evaluation of the infiltration tests of the mini-disc infiltrometer. The soil profile processed by conventional tillage showed a higher degree of compaction and soil crusting processing. The bulk density was between 1.10–1.67 g.cm⁻³, compared to the land processed by the reduced tillage technology, where the values were between 0.80–1.29 g.cm⁻³. Unsaturated hydraulic conductivity values were about one-third higher within the reduced tillage technology soil processing.
The Study on Energy Saving in Clarification Process for Water Treatment Plant
Clarification is the turbidity removal process of water treatment plant. This paper was to study the factors affecting on energy consumption in order to control energy saving strategy. The factors studied were raw water turbidity in the range of 26-40 NTU and production rate in the range of 3.76-5.20 m³/sec. Clarifiers were sludge blanket and sludge recirculation clarifier. Experimental results found that the raw water turbidity was not affected significantly by energy consumption, while the production rate was affected significantly by energy consumption. Sludge blanket clarifier provided lower energy consumption than sludge recirculation clarifier about 32-37%. Subsequently, the operating pattern in production rate can be arranged to decreased energy consumption. The results showed that it can be reduced about 5.09 % of energy saving of clarification process about 754,655 Baht per year.
The Potential Fresh Water Resources of Georgia and Sustainable Water Management
Fresh water is the major natural resource of Georgia. The average perennial sum of the rivers' runoff in Georgia is 52,77 km³, out of which 9,30 km³ inflows from abroad. The major volume of transit river runoff is ascribed to the Chorokhi river. Average perennial runoff in Western Georgia is 41,52 km³, in Eastern Georgia 11,25 km³. The indices of Eastern and Western Georgia were calculated with 50% and 90% river runoff respectively, while the same index calculation for other countries is based on a 50% river runoff. Out of total volume of resources, 133,2 m³/sec (4,21 km³) has been geologically prospected by the State Commission on Reserves and Acknowledged as reserves available for exploitation, 48% (2,02 km³) of which is in Western Georgia and 2,19 km³ in Eastern Georgia. Considering acknowledged water reserves of all categories per capita water resources accounts to 2,2 m³/day, whereas high industrial category -0. 88 m³ /day fresh drinking water. According to accepted norms, the possibility of using underground water reserves is 2,5 times higher than the long-term requirements of the country. The volume of abundant fresh-water reserves in Georgia is about 150 m³/sec (4,74 km³). Water in Georgia is consumed mostly in agriculture for irrigation purposes. It makes 66,4% around Georgia, in Eastern Georgia 72,4% and 38% in Western Georgia. According to the long-term forecast provision of population and the territory with water resources in Eastern Georgia will be quite normal. A bit different is the situation in the lower reaches of the Khrami and Iori rivers which could be easily overcome by corresponding financing. The present day irrigation system in Georgia does not meet the modern technical requirements. The overall efficiency of their majority varies between 0,4-0,6. Similar is the situation in the fresh water and public service water consumption. Organization of the mentioned systems, installation of water meters, introduction of new methods of irrigation without water loss will substantially increase efficiency of water use. Besides new irrigation norms developed from agro-climatic, geographical and hydrological angle will significantly reduce water waste. Taking all this into account we assume that for irrigation agricultural lands in Georgia is necessary 6,0 km³ water, 5,5 km³ of which goes to Eastern Georgia on irrigation arable areas. To increase water supply in Eastern Georgian territory and its population is possible by means of new water reservoirs as the runoff of every river considerably exceeds the consumption volume. In conclusion, we should say that fresh water resources by which Georgia is that rich could be significant source for barter exchange and investment attraction. Certain volume of fresh water can be exported from Western Georgia quite trouble free, without bringing any damage to population and hydroecosystems. The precise volume of exported water per region/time and method/place of water consumption should be defined after the estimation of different hydroecosystems and detailed analyses of water balance of the corresponding territories.
Design and Structural Safety Evaluation of Jacket for Offshore Platform Considering Rule Scantling and Topology Optimization
Design of jacket structures for fixed offshore platforms is complicated by the need to assess structural safety and up-front cost. While the jacket structure must be conservatively designed to ensure stability from external forces such as wind, wave, current and operating loads during its entire service life, costs must be reduced through structural design improvements. A well designed jacket structure with optimized structural arrangement contributes to the structural integrity and reliability of an offshore platform. In this paper, the basic geometry of the jacket is determined in accordance with the classification rules and general jacket design process, and the braces are designed through the study of the topology optimization of the jacket panels. The subsea penetration pile was decided considering the size of the offshore platform, and the inner diameter of the jacket leg was determined so that the condition of the piles installation was satisfied. In addition, member design for the entire panel was performed considering structural safety of each member such as slenderness ratio, hydrostatic collapse, bucking. The environmental and dynamic loads were replaced with equivalent loads and applied to the 2D plane elements, and the jacket panel was determined by applying the topology optimization method. The jacket brace arrangement was modified to reflect the topology result, and the structural safety of the entire jacket model was evaluated through beam element structure analysis. This jacket design process that includes rule scantling, topology optimization and safety evaluation can be effective the total design cycle and increase the reliability of the final structure.
Determinants of Risk Perceptions and Risk Attitude among Flue-Cured Virginia Tobacco Growers: A Case Study of Pakistan
Agricultural production is subject to risk and the attitudes of producers toward risk, in turn, may be affected by certain socioeconomic characteristics of producers. Although, it is important to assess the risk attitude of farmers and their perception towards different calamitous risk sources for better understanding of their risk management adoption decisions, to the best of our knowledge no studies have been carried out to analyze the risk attitude and risk perceptions in the context of tobacco production in Pakistan. Therefore the study in hand is conducted with an attempt to overcome the gap in existing literature by analyzing different catastrophic risk sources faced by tobacco growers, their attitude towards risk and the effect of socioeconomic and demographic characteristics, farmers’ participation in contract farming and off-farm diversification on their risk attitude and risk perception. Around 78% of Pakistan’s entire tobacco crop and nearly all of the country’s Flue-Cured Virginia (FCV) tobacco is produced in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province alone. The yield/hectare of tobacco produced in KPK province is 14% higher than the global average and 22 % higher than national average. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province was selected as main study area as nearly all of the country’s Flue-Cured Virginia (FCV) tobacco is produced in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province alone. Six districts were purposely selected based on their contribution in overall production for the last five years which accounts for more than 94.84% of the tobacco production in KPK province. Specific objectives taken into considerations for this study are the risk attitude of the farmers for growing FCV tobacco crop, farmers’ risk perception for different risk sources related to tobacco production (as far as the incidence and severity of each risk source is concerned) and the effect of socioeconomic characteristics, contract farming participation and off-farm diversification (income) on the risk attitude and risk perception of FCV tobacco growers.
Developing Roadmap for Sustainable Development: Sustainable Green Roadmap in Asia
Economic, environmental, and human considerations, as sustainable building design principles, are to be balanced and integrated into building design strategy. Building codes often suggest the efficient and sustainable building products, such as energy-efficient fixtures. However, building departments sometimes fail to manage the full range of requirements in the building assessment, such as siting, neighborhood proximity, and public facility, etc. Hence, it shows roadmap develops the future, an extended look at the future of a chosen field of inquiry composed from the collective knowledge and imagination of the brightest drivers of change in that field. This paper is taken from the best practice of green building implementation in a few countries of Asia (China, Malaysia, and India). Sustainable development will be presented on developing the roadmap of sustainability development of a country. Findings on the similarities and dissimilarities of those countries will show: (1) A general knowledge development on the sustainable green roadmap in Asia, (2) What are the components of developing the roadmap, and (3) What affects the government regulation in a political ecology.
Faculty Use of Geospatial Tools for Deep Learning in Science and Engineering Courses
Advances in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are viewed as important to countries’ national economies and their capacities to be competitive in the global economy. However, many countries experience low numbers of students entering these disciplines. To strengthen the professional STEM pipelines, it is important that students are retained in these disciplines at universities. Scholars agree that to retain students in universities’ STEM degrees, it is necessary that STEM course content shows the relevance of these academic fields to their daily lives. By increasing students’ understanding on the importance of these degrees and careers, students’ motivation to remain in these academic programs can also increase. An effective way to make STEM content relevant to students’ lives is the use of geospatial technologies and geovisualization in the classroom. The Geospatial Revolution, and the science and technology associated with it, has provided scientists and engineers with an incredible amount of data about Earth and Earth systems. This data can be used in the classroom to support instruction and make content relevant to all students. The purpose of this study was to find out the prevalence use of geospatial technologies and geovisualization as teaching practices in a USA university. The Teaching Practices Inventory survey, which is a modified version of the Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative Teaching Practices Inventory, was selected for the study. Faculty in the STEM disciplines that participated in a summer learning institute at a 4-year university in the USA constituted the population selected for the study. One of the summer learning institute’s main purpose was to have an impact on the teaching of STEM courses, particularly the teaching of gateway courses taken by many STEM majors. The sample population for the study is 97.5 of the total number of summer learning institute participants. Basic descriptive statistics through the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) were performed to find out: 1) The percentage of faculty using geospatial technologies and geovisualization; 2) Did the faculty associated department impact their use of geospatial tools?; and 3) Did the number of years in a teaching capacity impact their use of geospatial tools? Findings indicate that only 10 percent of respondents had used geospatial technologies, and 18 percent had used geospatial visualization. In addition, the use of geovisualization among faculty of different disciplines was broader than the use of geospatial technologies. The use of geospatial technologies concentrated in the engineering departments. Data seems to indicate the lack of incorporation of geospatial tools in STEM education. The use of geospatial tools is an effective way to engage students in deep STEM learning. Future research should look at the effect on student learning and retention in science and engineering programs when geospatial tools are used.
Measurement Method on Destruction and Removal Efficiency of Non-CO₂ Greenhouse Gases in Plasma Scrubber
Being used widely in semiconductor and display manufacturing, non-CO2 Greenhouse gases (GHGs) such as SF6, NF3, N2O are internationally considered as the regulated compounds in emission. Numerous companies have been continuously trying to reduce the emissions of Non-CO2 GHGs to comply with the global environmental regulation and climate change action. This work is made to report the destruction and removal efficiency (DRE) and to improve the accuracy of measurement in plasma scrubber process. FTIR can be used to measure concentration of industrial greenhouse gases. If the concentration changes of inlet and outlet are simultaneously measured, it is recommended to use two FTIR at the same time. The scanning range of FTIR is from 400 cm-1 to 4000 cm-1, and in order to measure greenhouse gas of multiple components, the absorption band of each gas should be set without any overlapping area. If there is an exterior, air is introduced into the plasma scrubber during operation, total volumetric flow should be measured using QMS. In this case, no chemical reaction would be obtained using a tracer gas; therefore inert gas which is not used for industrial processes should be used. The total volumetric flow is calculated from the measurement result as QMS. Volumetric flow for Non-CO2 GHG is calculated from the measurement result as concentration of the measured Non-CO2 GHG using FTIR and total volumetric flow. Finally, the calculation of Destruction or Removal Efficiency (DRE) is calculated the volumetric flow for Non-CO2 GHG to inlet and outlet in plasma scrubber. Acknowledgements: This work was supported by the Korea Evaluation Institute of Industrial Technology (No. 10053589).
Household Earthquake Absorptive Capacity Impact on Food Security: A Case Study in Rural Costa Rica
The impact of natural disasters on food security can be devastating, especially in rural settings where livelihoods are closely tied to their productive assets. In hazards studies, absorptive capacity is seen as a threshold that impacts the degree of people’s recovery after a natural disaster. Increasing our understanding of households’ capacity to absorb natural disaster shocks can provide the international community with viable measurements for assessing at-risk communities’ resilience to food insecurities. The purpose of this study is to identify the most important factors in determining a household’s capacity to absorb the impact of a natural disaster. This is an empirical study conducted in six communities in Costa Rica affected by earthquakes. The Earthquake Impact Index was developed for the selection of the communities in this study. The households coded as total loss in the selected communities constituted the sampling frame from which the sample population was drawn. Because of the study area geographically dispersion over a large surface, the stratified clustered sampling hybrid technique was selected. Of the 302 households identified as total loss in the six communities, a total of 126 households were surveyed, constituting 42 percent of the sampling frame. A list of indicators compiled based on theoretical and exploratory grounds for the absorptive capacity construct served to guide the survey development. These indicators were included in the following variables: (1) use of informal safety nets, (2) Coping Strategy, (3) Physical Connectivity, and (4) Infrastructure Damage. A multivariate data analysis was conducted using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). The results show that informal safety nets such as family and friends assistance exerted the greatest influence on the ability of households to absorb the impact of earthquakes. In conclusion, communities that experienced the highest environmental impact and human loss got disconnected from the social networks needed to absorb the shock’s impact. This resulted in higher levels of household food insecurity.