Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 12

Environmental, Chemical, Ecological, Geological and Geophysical Engineering

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  • 12
    Carcinogenic Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Urban Air Particulate Matter

    An assessment of the air quality of Győr (Hungary) was performed by determining the ambient concentrations of PM10-bound carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (cPAHs) in different seasons. A high volume sampler was used for the collection of ambient aerosol particles, and the associated cPAH compounds (benzo[a]pyrene (BaP), benzo[a]anthracene, benzofluoranthene isomers, indeno[123-cd]pyrene and dibenzo[ah]anthracene) were analyzed by a gas chromatographic method. Higher mean concentrations of total cPAHs were detected in samples collected in winter (9.62 ng/m3) and autumn (2.69 ng/m3) compared to spring (1.05 ng/m3) and summer (0.21 ng/m3). The calculated BaP toxic equivalent concentrations have also reflected that the local population appears to be exposed to significantly higher cancer risk in the heating seasons. Moreover, the concentration levels of cPAHs determined in this study were compared to other Hungarian urban sites.

    Simulation Study of Asphaltene Deposition and Solubility of CO2 in the Brine during Cyclic CO2 Injection Process in Unconventional Tight Reservoirs

    A compositional reservoir simulation model (CMG-GEM) was used for cyclic CO2 injection process in unconventional tight reservoir. Cyclic CO2 injection is an enhanced oil recovery process consisting of injection, shut-in, and production. The study of cyclic CO2 injection and hydrocarbon recovery in ultra-low permeability reservoirs is mainly a function of rock, fluid, and operational parameters. CMG-GEM was used to study several design parameters of cyclic CO2 injection process to distinguish the parameters with maximum effect on the oil recovery and to comprehend the behavior of cyclic CO2 injection in tight reservoir. On the other hand, permeability reduction induced by asphaltene precipitation is one of the major issues in the oil industry due to its plugging onto the porous media which reduces the oil productivity. In addition to asphaltene deposition, solubility of CO2 in the aquifer is one of the safest and permanent trapping techniques when considering CO2 storage mechanisms in geological formations. However, the effects of the above uncertain parameters on the process of CO2 enhanced oil recovery have not been understood systematically. Hence, it is absolutely necessary to study the most significant parameters which dominate the process. The main objective of this study is to improve techniques for designing cyclic CO2 injection process while considering the effects of asphaltene deposition and solubility of CO2 in the brine in order to prevent asphaltene precipitation, minimize CO2 emission, optimize cyclic CO2 injection, and maximize oil production.

    Grain Size Characteristics and Sediments Distribution in the Eastern Part of Lekki Lagoon
    A total of 20 bottom sediment samples were collected from the Lekki Lagoon during the wet and dry season. The study was carried out to determine the textural characteristics, sediment distribution pattern and energy of transportation within the lagoon system. The sediment grain sizes and depth profiling was analyzed using dry sieving method and MATLAB algorithm for processing. The granulometric reveals fine grained sand both for the wet and dry season with an average mean value of 2.03 ϕ and -2.88 ϕ, respectively. Sediments were moderately sorted with an average inclusive standard deviation of 0.77 ϕ and -0.82 ϕ. Skewness varied from strongly coarse and near symmetrical 0.34- ϕ and 0.09 ϕ. The kurtosis average value was 0.87 ϕ and -1.4 ϕ (platykurtic and leptokurtic). Entirely, the bathymetry shows an average depth of 4.0 m. The deepest and shallowest area has a depth of 11.2 m and 0.5 m, respectively. High concentration of fine sand was observed at deep areas compared to the shallow areas during wet and dry season. Statistical parameter results show that the overall sediments are sorted, and deposited under low energy condition over a long distance. However, sediment distribution and sediment transport pattern of Lekki Lagoon is controlled by a low energy current and the down slope configuration of the bathymetry enhances the sorting and the deposition rate in the Lekki Lagoon.
    Separate Collection System of Recyclables and Biowaste Treatment and Utilization in Metropolitan Area Finland

    Separate collection system for recyclable wastes in the Helsinki region was ranked second best of European capitals. The collection system includes paper, cardboard, glass, metals and biowaste. Residual waste is collected and used in energy production. The collection system excluding paper is managed by the Helsinki Region Environmental Services HSY, a public organization owned by four municipalities (Helsinki, Espoo, Kauniainen and Vantaa). Paper collection is handled by the producer responsibility scheme. The efficiency of the collection system in the Helsinki region relies on a good coverage of door-to-door-collection. All properties with 10 or more dwelling units are required to source separate biowaste and cardboard. This covers about 75% of the population of the area. The obligation is extended to glass and metal in properties with 20 or more dwelling units. Other success factors include public awareness campaigns and a fee system that encourages recycling. As a result of waste management regulations for source separation of recyclables and biowaste, nearly 50 percent of recycling rate of household waste has been reached. For households and small and medium size enterprises, there is a sorting station fleet of five stations available. More than 50 percent of wastes received at sorting stations is utilized as material. The separate collection of plastic packaging in Finland will begin in 2016 within the producer responsibility scheme. HSY started supplementing the national bring point system with door-to-door-collection and pilot operations will begin in spring 2016. The result of plastic packages pilot project has been encouraging. Until the end of 2016, over 3500 apartment buildings have been joined the piloting, and more than 1800 tons of plastic packages have been collected separately. In the summer 2015 a novel partial flow digestion process combining digestion and tunnel composting was adopted for source separated household and commercial biowaste management. The product gas form digestion process is converted in to heat and electricity in piston engine and organic Rankine cycle process with very high overall efficiency. This paper describes the efficient collection system and discusses key success factors as well as main obstacles and lessons learned as well as the partial flow process for biowaste management.

    Producing Sustained Renewable Energy and Removing Organic Pollutants from Distillery Wastewater using Consortium of Sludge Microbes
    Distillery wastewater in the form of spent wash is a complex and strong industrial effluent, with high load of organic pollutants that may deplete dissolved oxygen on being discharged into aquatic systems and contaminate groundwater by leaching of pollutants, while untreated spent wash disposed on land acidifies the soil. Stringent legislative measures have therefore been framed in different countries for discharge standards of distillery effluent. Utilising the organic pollutants present in various types of wastes as food by mixed microbial populations is emerging as an eco-friendly approach in the recent years, in which complex organic matter is converted into simpler forms, and simultaneously useful gases are produced as renewable and clean energy sources. In the present study, wastewater from a rice bran based distillery has been used as the substrate in a dark fermenter, and native microbial consortium from the digester sludge has been used as the inoculum to treat the wastewater and produce hydrogen. After optimising the operational conditions in batch reactors, sequential batch mode and continuous flow stirred tank reactors were used to study the best operational conditions for enhanced and sustained hydrogen production and removal of pollutants. Since the rate of hydrogen production by the microbial consortium during dark fermentation is influenced by concentration of organic matter, pH and temperature, these operational conditions were optimised in batch mode studies. Maximum hydrogen production rate (347.87ml/L/d) was attained in 32h dark fermentation while a good proportion of COD also got removed from the wastewater. Slightly acidic initial pH seemed to favor biohydrogen production. In continuous stirred tank reactor, high H2 production from distillery wastewater was obtained from a relatively shorter substrate retention time (SRT) of 48h and a moderate organic loading rate (OLR) of 172 g/l/d COD.
    Verification of Sr-90 Determination in Water and Spruce Needles Samples Using IAEA-TEL-2016-04 ALMERA Proficiency Test Samples

    Determination of 90Sr in environmental samples has been widely developed with several radioanlytical methods and radiation measurement techniques since 90Sr is one of the most hazardous radionuclides produced from nuclear reactors. Liquid extraction technique using di-(2-ethylhexyl) phosphoric acid (HDEHP) to separate and purify 90Y and Cherenkov counting using liquid scintillation counter to determine 90Y in secular equilibrium to 90Sr was developed and performed at our institute, the Office of Atoms for Peace. The approach is inexpensive, non-laborious, and fast to analyse 90Sr in environmental samples. To validate our analytical performance for the accurate and precise criteria, determination of 90Sr using the IAEA-TEL-2016-04 ALMERA proficiency test samples were performed for statistical evaluation. The experiment used two spiked tap water samples and one naturally contaminated spruce needles sample from Austria collected shortly after the Chernobyl accident. Results showed that all three analyses were successfully passed in terms of both accuracy and precision criteria, obtaining “Accepted” statuses. The two water samples obtained the measured results of 15.54 Bq/kg and 19.76 Bq/kg, which had relative bias 5.68% and -3.63% for the Maximum Acceptable Relative Bias (MARB) 15% and 20%, respectively. And the spruce needles sample obtained the measured results of 21.04 Bq/kg, which had relative bias 23.78% for the MARB 30%. These results confirm our analytical performance of 90Sr determination in water and spruce needles samples using the same developed method.

    Coastal Vulnerability Index and Its Projection for Odisha Coast, East Coast of India

    Tropical cyclone is one among the worst natural hazards that results in a trail of destruction causing enormous damage to life, property, and coastal infrastructures. In a global perspective, the Indian Ocean is considered as one of the cyclone prone basins in the world. Specifically, the frequency of cyclogenesis in the Bay of Bengal is higher compared to the Arabian Sea. Out of the four maritime states in the East coast of India, Odisha is highly susceptible to tropical cyclone landfall. Historical records clearly decipher the fact that the frequency of cyclones have reduced in this basin. However, in the recent decades, the intensity and size of tropical cyclones have increased. This is a matter of concern as the risk and vulnerability level of Odisha coast exposed to high wind speed and gusts during cyclone landfall have increased. In this context, there is a need to assess and evaluate the severity of coastal risk, area of exposure under risk, and associated vulnerability with a higher dimension in a multi-risk perspective. Changing climate can result in the emergence of a new hazard and vulnerability over a region with differential spatial and socio-economic impact. Hence there is a need to have coastal vulnerability projections in a changing climate scenario. With this motivation, the present study attempts to estimate the destructiveness of tropical cyclones based on Power Dissipation Index (PDI) for those cyclones that made landfall along Odisha coast that exhibits an increasing trend based on historical data. The study also covers the futuristic scenarios of integral coastal vulnerability based on the trends in PDI for the Odisha coast. This study considers 11 essential and important parameters; the cyclone intensity, storm surge, onshore inundation, mean tidal range, continental shelf slope, topo-graphic elevation onshore, rate of shoreline change, maximum wave height, relative sea level rise, rainfall distribution, and coastal geomorphology. The study signifies that over a decadal scale, the coastal vulnerability index (CVI) depends largely on the incremental change in variables such as cyclone intensity, storm surge, and associated inundation. In addition, the study also performs a critical analysis on the modulation of PDI on storm surge and inundation characteristics for the entire coastal belt of Odisha State. Interestingly, the study brings to light that a linear correlation exists between the storm-tide with PDI. The trend analysis of PDI and its projection for coastal Odisha have direct practical applications in effective coastal zone management and vulnerability assessment.

    Healthcare Waste Management Practices in Bangladesh: A Case Study in Dhaka City, Bangladesh
    Healthcare waste (HCW) is one of the major concerns in environmental issues due to its infectious and hazardous nature that is requires specific treatment and systematic management prior to final disposal. This study aimed to assess HCW management system in Dhaka City (DC), Bangladesh, by investigating the present practices implemented by the city. In this study, five different healthcare establishments were selected in DC. Field visits and interviews with health personnel and staff who are concerned with the waste management were conducted. The information was gathered through questionnaire focus on the different aspect of HCW management like, waste segregation and collection, storage and transport, awareness as well. The results showed that a total of 7,215 kg/day (7.2 ton/day) of waste were generated, of which 79.36% (5.6 ton/day) was non-hazardous waste and 20.6% (1.5 ton/day) was hazardous waste. The rate of waste generation in these healthcare establishments (HCEs) was 2.6 kg/bed/day. There was no appropriate and systematic management of HCWs except at few private HCEs that segregate their hazardous waste. All the surveyed HCEs dumped their HCW together with the municipal waste, and some staff members were also found to be engaged in improper handling of the generated waste. Furthermore, the used sharp instruments, saline bags, blood bags and test tubes were collected for resale or reuse. Nevertheless, the lack of awareness, appropriate policy, regulation and willingness to act, were responsible for the improper management of HCW in DC. There was lack of practical training of concerned healthcare to handle the waste properly, while the nurses and staff were found to be aware of the health impacts of HCW.
    A Multi-Level Approach to Improve Sustainability Performances of Industrial Agglomerations

    Documented experiences of industrial symbiosis are always triggered and driven only by economic goals: environmental and (even rarely) social results are sometimes assessed and declared as effects of virtuous behaviours, but are merely casual and un-pursued side externalities. Even worse: all the symbiotic project candidates entailing economic loss for just one of the (also dozen) partners are simply stopped without considering the overall benefit for the whole partnership. The here-presented approach aims at providing methodologies and tools to effectively manage these situations and fostering the implementation of virtuous symbiotic investments in manufacturing aggregations for a more sustainable production.

    Critical Velocities for Particle Transport from Experiments and CFD Simulations
    In the petroleum industry, solid particles are often present along with the produced fluids. It is imperative to keep particles from accumulating in flow lines. In this study, various experiments are conducted to study sand particle transport, where critical velocity is defined as the average fluid velocity to keep particles continuously moving. Many parameters related to the fluid, particles and pipe affect the transport process. Experimental results are presented varying the particle concentration. Additionally, CFD simulations using a discrete element modeling (DEM) approach are presented to compare with experimental result.
    Effects and Mechanization of a High Gradient Magnetic Separation Process for Particulate and Microbe Removal from Ballast Water
    As a pretreatment process of ballast water treatment, the performance of high gradient magnetic separation (HGMS) technology for the removal of particulates and microorganisms was studied. The results showed that HGMS process could effectively remove suspended particles larger than 5 µm and had ability to resist impact load. Microorganism could also be effectively removed by HGMS process, and the removal effect increased with increasing magnetic field strength. The maximum removal rates for Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) were 4016.1% and 9675.3% higher, respectively, than without the magnetic field. In addition, the superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity of the microbes decreased by 32.2% when the magnetic field strength was 15.4 mT for 72 min. The microstructure of the stainless steel wool was investigated, and the results showed that particle removal by HGMS has common function by the magnetic force of the high-strength, high-gradient magnetic field on weakly magnetic particles in the water, and on the stainless steel wool.
    Effect of Twin Cavities on the Axially Loaded Pile in Clay

    Presence of cavities in soil predictably induces ground deformation and changes in soil stress, which might influence adjacent existing pile foundations, though the effect of twin cavities on a nearby pile needs to be understood. This research is an attempt to identify the behaviour of piles subjected to axial load and embedded in cavitied clayey soil. A series of finite element modelling were conducted to investigate the performance of piled foundation located in such soils. The validity of the numerical simulation was evaluated by comparing it with available field test and alternative analytical model. The study involved many parameters such as twin cavities size, depth, spacing between cavities, and eccentricity of cavities from the pile axis on the pile performance subjected to axial load. The study involved many cases; in each case, a critical value has been found in which cavities’ presence has shown minimum impact on the behaviour of pile. Load-displacement relationships of the affecting parameters on the pile behaviour were presented to provide helpful information for designing piled foundation situated near twin underground cavities. It was concluded that the presence of the cavities within the soil mass reduces the ultimate capacity of pile. This reduction differs according to the size and location of the cavity.