Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 17

Environmental, Chemical, Ecological, Geological and Geophysical Engineering

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  • 17
    Fuzzy Risk-Based Life Cycle Assessment for Estimating Environmental Aspects in EMS
    Environmental aspects plays a central role in environmental management system (EMS) because it is the basis for the identification of an organization-s environmental targets. The existing methods for the assessment of environmental aspects are grouped into three categories: risk assessment-based (RA-based), LCA-based and criterion-based methods. To combine the benefits of these three categories of research, this study proposes an integrated framework, combining RA-, LCA- and criterion-based methods. The integrated framework incorporates LCA techniques for the identification of the causal linkage for aspect, pathway, receptor and impact, uses fuzzy logic to assess aspects, considers fuzzy conditions, in likelihood assessment, and employs a new multi-criteria decision analysis method - multi-criteria and multi-connection comprehensive assessment (MMCA) - to estimate significant aspects in EMS. The proposed model is verified, using a real case study and the results show that this method successfully prioritizes the environmental aspects.
    Adsorption of Inorganic Salt by Granular Activated Carbon and Related Prediction Models
    In recent years, the underground water sources in southern Taiwan have become salinized because of saltwater intrusions. This study explores the adsorption characteristics of activated carbon on salinizing inorganic salts using isothermal adsorption experiments and provides a model analysis. The temperature range for the isothermal adsorption experiments ranged between 5 to 45 ℃, and the amount adsorbed varied between 28.21 to 33.87 mg/g. All experimental data of adsorption can be fitted to both the Langmuir and the Freundlich models. The thermodynamic parameters for per chlorate onto granular activated carbon were calculated as -0.99 to -1.11 kcal/mol for DG°, -0.6 kcal/mol for DH°, and 1.21 to 1.84 kcal/mol for DS°. This shows that the adsorption process of granular activated carbon is spontaneously exothermic. The observation of adsorption behaviors under low ionic strength, low pH values, and low temperatures is beneficial to the adsorption removal of perchlorate with granular activated carbon.
    Reducing Humic Acid and Disinfection By-products in Raw Water using a Bio-activated Carbon Filter

    For stricter drinking water regulations in the future, reducing the humic acid and disinfection byproducts in raw water, namely, trihalomethanes (THMs) and haloacetic acids (HAAs) is worthy for research. To investigate the removal of waterborne organic material using a lab-scale of bio-activated carbon filter under different EBCT, the concentrations of humic acid prepared were 0.01, 0.03, 0.06, 0.12, 0.17, 0.23, and 0.29 mg/L. Then we conducted experiments using a pilot plant with in-field of the serially connected bio-activated carbon filters and hollow fiber membrane processes employed in traditional water purification plants. Results showed under low TOC conditions of humic acid in influent (0.69 to 1.03 mg TOC/L) with an EBCT of 30 min, 40 min, and 50 min, TOC removal rates increases with greater EBCT, attaining about 39 % removal rate. The removal rate of THMs and HAAs by BACF was 54.8 % and 89.0 %, respectively.

    Principal Component Analysis for the Characterization in the Application of Some Soil Properties
    The objective of this research is to study principal component analysis for classification of 67 soil samples collected from different agricultural areas in the western part of Thailand. Six soil properties were measured on the soil samples and are used as original variables. Principal component analysis is applied to reduce the number of original variables. A model based on the first two principal components accounts for 72.24% of total variance. Score plots of first two principal components were used to map with agricultural areas divided into horticulture, field crops and wetland. The results showed some relationships between soil properties and agricultural areas. PCA was shown to be a useful tool for agricultural areas classification based on soil properties.
    Engineering Geological Characteristics of Soil Materials, East Nile Delta, Egypt
    This paper is concerned with the study of mineralogy and engineering characteristics of soil materials derived from the eastern part of Nile Delta. The clay minerals of the studied soil by using X- ray diffraction are mainly illite (average 72.6 %) and kaolinite (average 2.6 %), expandable portion in illite-smectite mixed layer (average 7 %). Smectite is more abundant in fluviatile clays, whereas kaolinite is more abundant in lagoonal clays. On the other hand, illite and illite-smectite are more abundant in marine clays. The geotechnical results show that the soil under study consists mainly of about 0.3 % gravel, 5 % sand, 51.5 % silt and 42.2 % clay in average. The average shrinkage limit attains 11 % whereas the average value of the plasticity index is 23.4 %. The free swelling ranges from 40 % to 75 % and has a value of 55 % giving an indication about the inadequacy of such soil under foundations. From a construction point of view, the soil under investigation poses many problems even under light foundations due to the swelling and shrinkage. Such swelling and shrinkage is due to the high content of soil materials in the expandable clay minerals of illite and smectite. Based on the results of the present and earlier studies, trial application of soil stabilisation is recommended.
    Evaluation of Zinc Status in the Sediments of the Kaohsiung Ocean Disposal Site, Taiwan
    The distribution, enrichment, and accumulation of zinc (Zn) in the sediments of Kaohsiung Ocean Disposal Site (KODS), Taiwan were investigated. Sediment samples from two outer disposal site stations and nine disposed stations in the KODS were collected per quarterly in 2009 and characterized for Zn, aluminum, organic matter, and grain size. Results showed that the mean Zn concentrations varied from 48 mg/kg to 456 mg/kg. Results from the enrichment factor (EF) and geo-accumulation index (Igeo) analyses imply that the sediments collected from the KODS can be characterized between moderate and moderately severe degree enrichment and between none and none to medium accumulation of Zn, respectively. However, results of potential ecological risk index indicate that the sediment has low ecological potential risk. The EF, Igeo, and Zn concentrations at the disposed stations were slightly higher than those at outer disposal site. This indicated that the disposed area centers may be subjected to the disposal impaction of harbor dredged sediments.
    Water Demand Prediction for Touristic Mecca City in Saudi Arabia using Neural Networks
    Saudi Arabia is an arid country which depends on costly desalination plants to satisfy the growing residential water demand. Prediction of water demand is usually a challenging task because the forecast model should consider variations in economic progress, climate conditions and population growth. The task is further complicated knowing that Mecca city is visited regularly by large numbers during specific months in the year due to religious occasions. In this paper, a neural networks model is proposed to handle the prediction of the monthly and yearly water demand for Mecca city, Saudi Arabia. The proposed model will be developed based on historic records of water production and estimated visitors- distribution. The driving variables for the model include annuallyvarying variables such as household income, household density, and city population, and monthly-varying variables such as expected number of visitors each month and maximum monthly temperature.
    Conjunctive Surface Runoff and Groundwater Management in Salinity Soils
    This research was conducted in the Lower Namkam Irrigation Project situated in the Namkam River Basin in Thailand. Degradation of groundwater quality in some areas is caused by saline soil spots beneath ground surface. However, the tail regulated gate structure on the Namkam River, a lateral stream of the Mekong River. It is aimed for maintaining water level in the river at +137.5 to +138.5 m (MSL) and flow to the irrigation canals based on a gravity system since July 2009. It might leach some saline soil spots from underground to soil surface if lack of understanding of the conjunctive surface water and groundwater behaviors. This research has been conducted by continuously the observing of both shallow and deep groundwater level and quality from existing observation wells. The simulation of surface water was carried out using a hydrologic modeling system (HEC-HMS) to compute the ungauged side flow catchments as the lateral flows for the river system model (HEC-RAS). The constant water levels in the upstream of the operated gate caused a slight rising up of shallow groundwater level when compared to the water table. However, the groundwater levels in the confined aquifers remained less impacted than in the shallow aquifers but groundwater levels in late of wet season in some wells were higher than the phreatic surface. This causes salinization of the groundwater at the soil surface and might affect some crops. This research aims for the balance of water stage in the river and efficient groundwater utilization in this area.
    Biokinetics of Coping Mechanism of Freshwater tilapia following Exposure to Waterborne and Dietary Copper
    The purpose of this study was to understand the main sources of copper (Cu) accumulation in target organs of tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus) and to investigate how the organism mediate the process of Cu accumulation under prolonged conditions. By measuring both dietary and waterborne Cu accumulation and total concentrations in tilapia with biokinetic modeling approach, we were able to clarify the biokinetic coping mechanisms for the long term Cu accumulation. This study showed that water and food are both the major source of Cu for the muscle and liver of tilapia. This implied that control the Cu concentration in these two routes will be correlated to the Cu bioavailability for tilapia. We found that exposure duration and level of waterborne Cu drove the Cu accumulation in tilapia. The ability for Cu biouptake and depuration in organs of tilapia were actively mediated under prolonged exposure conditions. Generally, the uptake rate, depuration rate and net bioaccumulation ability in all selected organs decreased with the increasing level of waterborne Cu and extension of exposure duration.Muscle tissues accounted for over 50%of the total accumulated Cu and played a key role in buffering the Cu burden in the initial period of exposure, alternatively, the liver acted a more important role in the storage of Cu with the extension of exposures. We concluded that assumption of the constant biokinetic rates could lead to incorrect predictions with overestimating the long-term Cu accumulation in ecotoxicological risk assessments.
    Copper Contamination in the Sediments of Northern Kaohsiung Harbor, Taiwan

    The distribution, enrichment, accumulation, and potential ecological risk of copper (Cu) in the surface sediments of northern Kaohsiung Harbor, Taiwan were investigated. Sediment samples from 12 locations of northern Kaohsiung Harbor were collected and characterized for Cu, aluminum, water content, organic matter, total nitrogen, total phosphorous, total grease and grain size. Results showed that the Cu concentrations varied from 6.9–244 mg/kg with an average of 109±66 mg/kg. The spatial distribution of Cu reveals that the Cu concentration is relatively high in the river mouth region, and gradually diminishes toward the harbor entrance region. This indicates that upstream industrial and municipal wastewater discharges along the river bank are major sources of Cu pollution. Results from the enrichment factor and geo-accumulation index analyses imply that the sediments collected from the river mouth can be characterized between moderate and moderately severe degree enrichment and between none to medium and moderate accumulation of Cu, respectively. However, results of potential ecological risk index indicate that the sediment has low ecological potential risk.

    New Concept for the Overall use of Renewable Energy
    The development and application of wind power for renewable energy has attracted growing interest in recent years. Renewable energy sources are attracting much alteration as they can reduce both environmental damage and dependence on fossil fuels. With the growing need for sustainable energy supplies, a case is made for decentralized, stand-alone power supplies (SAPS) as an alternative to power grids. In the era which traditional petroleum energy resource decreasing and the green house affect significant increasing, the development and usage of regenerative resources is inevitable. Due to the contribution of the pioneers, the development of regenerative resources already has a remarkable achievement; however, in the view of economy and quantity, it is still a long road for regenerative energy to replace traditional petroleum energy. In our prospective, in stead of investigate larger regenerative energy equipment, it is much wiser to think about the blind side and breakthrough of the current technique.
    Wireless Building Monitoring and Control System
    The building sector is the largest energy consumer and CO2 emitter in the European Union (EU) and therefore the active reduction of energy consumption and elimination of energy wastage are among the main goals in it. Healthy housing and energy efficiency are affected by many factors which set challenges to monitoring, control and research of indoor air quality (IAQ) and energy consumption, especially in old buildings. These challenges include measurement and equipment costs, for example. Additionally, the measurement results are difficult to interpret and their usage in the ventilation control is also limited when taking into account the energy efficiency of housing at the same time. The main goal of this study is to develop a cost-effective building monitoring and control system especially for old buildings. The starting point or keyword of the development process is a wireless system; otherwise the installation costs become too high. As the main result, this paper describes an idea of a wireless building monitoring and control system. The first prototype of the system has been installed in 10 residential buildings and in 10 school buildings located in the City of Kuopio, Finland.
    Influence of Hydraulic Retention Time on Biogas Production from Frozen Seafood Wastewater using Decanter Cake as Anaerobic Co-digestion Material

    In this research, an anaerobic co-digestion using decanter cake from palm oil mill industry to improve the biogas production from frozen seafood wastewater is studied using Continuously Stirred Tank Reactor (CSTR) process. The experiments were conducted in laboratory-scale. The suitable Hydraulic Retention Time (HRT) was observed in CSTR experiments with 24 hours of mixing time using the mechanical mixer. The HRT of CSTR process impacts on the efficiency of biogas production. The best performance for biogas production using CSTR process was the anaerobic codigestion for 20 days of HRT with the maximum methane production rate of 1.86 l/d and the average maximum methane production of 64.6%. The result can be concluded that the decanter cake can improve biogas productivity of frozen seafood wastewater.

    A Study on the Removal of Trace Organic Matter in Water Treatment Procedures Using Powder-activated Carbon Biofilm

    This study uses natural water and the surface properties of powdered activated carbon to acclimatize organics, forming biofilms on the surface of powdered activated carbon. To investigate the influence of different hydraulic retention times on the removal efficacy of trace organics in raw water, and to determine the optimal hydraulic retention time of a biological powdered activated carbon system, this study selects ozone-treated water processed by Feng-shan Advanced Water Purification Plant in southern Taiwan for the experiment. The evaluation indicators include assimilable organic carbon, dissolved organic carbon, and total organic carbon. The results of this study can improve the quality of drinking water treated using advanced water purification procedures.

    Distribution and Source of PAHs in Surface Sediments of Canon River Mouth, Taiwan
    Surface sediment samples were collected from the Canon River mouth, Taiwan and analyzed for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Total PAHs concentrations varied from 337 to 1,252 ng/g dry weight, with a mean concentration of 827 ng/g dry weight. The spatial distribution of PAHs reveals that the PAHs concentration is relatively high in the river mouth region, and gradually diminishes toward the harbor region. Diagnostic ratios showed that the possible source of PAHs in the Canon River mouth could be petroleum combustion. The toxic equivalent concentrations (TEQcarc) of PAHs varied from 47 to 112 ng TEQ/g dry weight. Higher total TEQcarc values were found in the river mouth region. As compared with the US Sediment Quality Guidelines (SQGs), the observed levels of PAHs at Canon River mouth were lower than the effects range low (ERL), and would probably not exert adverse biological effects.
    The Necessity of Optimized Management on Surface Water Sources of Zayanderood Basin
    One of the efficient factors in comprehensive development of an area is to provide water sources and on the other hand the appropriate management of them. Population growth and nourishment security for such a population necessitate the achievement of constant development besides the reforming of traditional management in order to increase the profit of sources; In this case, the constant exploitation of sources for the next generations will be considered in this program. The achievement of this development without the consideration and possibility of water development will be too difficult. Zayanderood basin with 41500 areas in square kilometers contains 7 sub-basins and 20 units of hydrologic. In this basin area, from the entire environment descending, just a small part will enter into the river currents and the rest will be out of efficient usage by various ways. The most important surface current of this basin is Zayanderood River with 403 kilometers length which is originated from east slopes of Zagros mount and after draining of this basin area it will enter into Gaavkhooni pond. The existence of various sources and consumptions of water in Zayanderood basin, water transfer of the other basin areas into this basin, of course the contradiction between the upper and lower beneficiaries, the existence of worthwhile natural ecosystems such as Gaavkhooni swamp in this basin area and finally, the drought condition and lack of water in this area all necessitate the existence of comprehensive management of water sources in this central basin area of Iran as this method is a kind of management which considers the development and the management of water sources as an equilibrant way to increase the economical and social benefits. In this study, it is tried to survey the network of surface water sources of basin in upper and lower sections; at the most, according to the difficulties and deficiencies of an efficient management of water sources in this basin area, besides the difficulties of water draining and the destructive phenomenon of flood-water, the appropriate guidelines according to the region conditions are presented in order to prevent the deviation of water in upper sections and development of regions in lower sections of Zayanderood dam.
    Evaluation of Chromium Contamination in the Sediments of Jen-Gen River Mouth, Taiwan

    This study was conducted using the data collected at the mouth of Jen-Gen River to investigate and analyze chromium (Cr) contained in the sediments, and to evaluate the accumulation of Cr and the degree of its potential risk. The results show that samples collected at all monitoring stations near the mouth of Jen-Gen River contain 92–567 mg/kg of Cr with average of 366±166 mg/kg. The spatial distribution of Cr reveals that the Cr concentration is relatively high in the river mouth region, and gradually diminishes toward the harbor region. This indicates that upstream industrial and municipal wastewater discharges along the river bank are major sources of pollution. The accumulation factor and potential ecological risk index indicate that the sedimentation at Jen-Gen River mouth has the most serious degree of Cr accumulation and the highest ecological potential risk.