Municipal waste consist of a variety of items that are everyday discarded by the population. They are usually collected by municipalities and include waste generated by households, commercial activities (local shops) and public buildings. The composition of municipal waste varies greatly from place to place, being mostly related to levels and patterns of consumption, rates of urbanization, lifestyles, and local or national waste management practices. Each year, a huge amount of resources is consumed in the EU, and according to that, also a huge amount of waste is produced. The environmental problems derived from the management and processing of these waste streams are well known, and include impacts on land, water and air. The situation in remote areas is even worst. Difficult access when climatic conditions are adverse, remoteness of centralized municipal treatment systems or dispersion of the population, are all factors that make remote areas a real municipal waste treatment challenge. Furthermore, the scope of the problem increases significantly because the total lack of awareness of the existing risks in this area together with the poor implementation of advanced culture on waste minimization and recycling responsibly. The aim of this work is to analyze the existing situation in remote areas in reference to the production of municipal waste and evaluate the efficiency of different management alternatives. Ideas for improving waste management in remote areas include, for example: the implementation of self-management systems for the organic fraction; establish door-to-door collection models; promote small-scale treatment facilities or adjust the rates of waste generation thereof.
Landfills present long-term threats to soil, air, groundwater and surface water due to the formation of greenhouse gases (methane gas and carbon dioxide) and leachate from decomposing garbage. The composition of leachate differs from site to site and also within the landfill. The leachates alter with time (from weeks to years) since the landfilled waste is biologically highly active and their composition varies. Mainly, the composition of the leachate depends on factors such as characteristics of the waste, the moisture content, climatic conditions, degree of compaction and the age of the landfill. Therefore, the leachate composition cannot be generalized and the traditional treatment models should be adapted in each case. Although leachate composition is highly variable, what different leachates have in common is hazardous constituents and their potential eco-toxicological effects on human health and on terrestrial ecosystems. Since leachate has distinct compositions, each landfill or dumping site would represent a different type of risk on its environment. Nevertheless, leachates consist always of high organic concentration, conductivity, heavy metals and ammonia nitrogen. Leachate could affect the current and future quality of water bodies due to uncontrolled infiltrations. Therefore, control and treatment of leachate is one of the biggest issues in urban solid waste treatment plants and landfills design and management. This work presents a treatment model that will be carried out "in-situ" using a cost-effective novel technology that combines solar evaporation/condensation plus forward osmosis. The plant is powered by renewable energies (solar energy, biomass and residual heat), which will minimize the carbon footprint of the process. The final effluent quality is very high, allowing reuse (preferred) or discharge into watercourses. In the particular case of this work, the final effluents will be reused for cleaning and gardening purposes. A minority semi-solid residual stream is also generated in the process. Due to its special composition (rich in metals and inorganic elements), this stream will be valorized in ceramic industries to improve the final products characteristics.
Reinforced concrete bridge deck condition assessments primarily use visual inspection methods, where an inspector looks for and records locations of cracks, potholes, efflorescence and other signs of probable deterioration. Sounding is another technique used to diagnose the condition of a bridge deck, however this method listens for damage within the subsurface as the surface is struck with a hammer or chain. Even though extensive procedures are in place for using these inspection techniques, neither one provides the inspector with a comprehensive understanding of the internal condition of a bridge deck – the location where damage originates from. In order to make accurate estimates of repair locations and quantities, in addition to allocating the necessary funding, a total understanding of the deck’s deteriorated state is key. The research presented in this paper collected infrared thermography and ground penetrating radar data from reinforced concrete bridge decks without an asphalt overlay. These decks were of various ages and their condition varied from brand new, to in need of replacement. The goals of this work were to first verify that these nondestructive evaluation methods could identify similar areas of healthy and damaged concrete, and then to see if combining the results of both methods would provide a higher confidence than if the condition assessment was completed using only one method. The results from each method were presented as plan view color contour plots. The results from one of the decks assessed as a part of this research, including these plan view plots, are presented in this paper. Furthermore, in order to answer the interest of transportation agencies throughout the United States, this research developed a step-by-step guide which demonstrates how to collect and assess a bridge deck using these nondestructive evaluation methods. This guide addresses setup procedures on the deck during the day of data collection, system setups and settings for different bridge decks, data post-processing for each method, and data visualization and quantification.
Butterfly valves are widely used industrial piping components as on-off and flow controlling devices. The main challenge in the design process of this type of valves is the correct dimensioning to ensure proper mechanical performance as well as to minimise flow losses that affect the efficiency of the system. Butterfly valves are typically dimensioned in a closed position based on mechanical approaches considering uniform hydrostatic pressure, whereas the flow losses are analysed by means of CFD simulations. The main limitation of these approaches is that they do not consider either the influence of the dynamics of the manoeuvring stage or coupled phenomena. Recent works have included the influence of the flow on the mechanical behaviour for different opening angles by means of one-way FSI approach. However, these works consider steady-state flow for the selected angles, not capturing the effect of the transient flow evolution during the manoeuvring stage. Two-way FSI modelling approach could allow overcoming such limitations providing more accurate results. Nevertheless, the use of this technique is limited due to the increase in the computational cost. In the present work, the applicability of FSI one-way and two-way approaches is evaluated for the analysis of butterfly valves, showing that not considering fluid-structure coupling involves not capturing the most critical situation for the valve disc.
Resilience Engineering is a new paradigm of safety management that proposes to change the way of managing the safety to focus on the things that go well instead of the things that go wrong. Many complex and high-risk sectors such as air traffic control, health care, nuclear power plants, railways or emergencies, have applied this new vision of safety and have obtained very positive results. In the construction sector, safety management continues to be a problem as indicated by the statistics of occupational injuries worldwide. Therefore, it is important to improve safety management in this sector. For this reason, it is proposed to apply Resilience Engineering to the construction sector. The Construction Phase Health and Safety Plan emerges as a key element for the planning of safety management. One of the key tools of Resilience Engineering is the Resilience Assessment Grid that allows measuring the four essential abilities (respond, monitor, learn and anticipate) for resilient performance. The purpose of this paper is to develop a questionnaire based on the Resilience Assessment Grid, specifically on the ability to learn, to assess whether a Construction Phase Health and Safety Plans helps companies in a construction site to implement this ability. The research process was divided into four stages: (i) initial design of a questionnaire, (ii) validation of the content of the questionnaire, (iii) redesign of the questionnaire and (iii) application of the Delphi method. The questionnaire obtained could be used as a tool to help construction companies to evolve from Safety-I to Safety-II. In this way, companies could begin to develop the ability to learn, which will serve as a basis for the development of the other abilities necessary for resilient performance. The following steps in this research are intended to develop other questions that allow evaluating the rest of abilities for resilient performance such as monitoring, learning and anticipating.