Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 14

Environmental, Chemical, Ecological, Geological and Geophysical Engineering

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  • 14
    The Effect of Compost Addition on Chemical and Nitrogen Characteristics, Respiration Activity and Biomass Production in Prepared Reclamation Substrates

    Land degradation is of concern in many countries. People more and more must address the problems associated with the degradation of soil properties due to man. Increasingly, organic soil amendments, such as compost are being examined for their potential use in soil restoration and for preventing soil erosion. In the Czech Republic, compost is the most used to improve soil structure and increase the content of soil organic matter. Land reclamation / restoration is one of the ways to evaluate industrially produced compost because Czech farmers are not willing to use compost as organic fertilizer. The most common use of reclamation substrates in the Czech Republic is for the rehabilitation of landfills and contaminated sites.

    This paper deals with the influence of reclamation substrates (RS) with different proportions of compost and sand on selected soil properties–chemical characteristics, nitrogen bioavailability, leaching of mineral nitrogen, respiration activity and plant biomass production. Chemical properties vary proportionally with addition of compost and sand to the control variant (topsoil). The highest differences between the variants were recorded in leaching of mineral nitrogen (varies from 1.36mg dm-3 in C to 9.09mg dm-3). Addition of compost to soil improves conditions for plant growth in comparison with soil alone. However, too high addition of compost may have adverse effects on plant growth. In addition, high proportion of compost increases leaching of mineral N. Therefore, mixture of 70% of soil with 10% of compost and 20% of sand may be recommended as optimal composition of RS.

    Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of High Barrier Polymer Packaging for Selecting Resource Efficient and Environmentally Low-Impact Materials

    In this study tree types of multilayer gas barrier plastic packaging films were compared using life cycle assessment as a tool for resource efficient and environmentally low-impact materials selection. The first type of multilayer packaging film (PET-AlOx/LDPE) consists of polyethylene terephthalate with barrier layer AlOx (PET-AlOx) and low density polyethylene (LDPE). The second type of polymer film (PET/PE-EVOH-PE) is made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and co-extrusion film PE-EVOH-PE as barrier layer. And the third one type of multilayer packaging film (PET-PVOH/LDPE) is formed from polyethylene terephthalate with barrier layer PVOH (PET-PVOH) and low density polyethylene (LDPE).

    All of analyzed packaging has significant impact to resource depletion, because of raw materials extraction and energy use and production of different kind of plastics. Nevertheless the impact generated during life cycle of functional unit of II type of packaging (PET/PE-EVOH-PE) was about 25% lower than impact generated by I type (PET-AlOx/LDPE) and III type (PET-PVOH/LDPE) of packaging.

    Result revealed that the contribution of different gas barrier type to the overall environmental problem of packaging is not significant. The impact are mostly generated by using energy and materials during raw material extraction and production of different plastic materials as plastic polymers material as PE, LDPE and PET, but not gas barrier materials as AlOx, PVOH and EVOH.

    The LCA results could be useful in different decision-making processes, for selecting resource efficient and environmentally low-impact materials.

    Modeling Studies for Electrocoagulation

    Synthetic oily wastewaters were prepared from metal working fluids (MWF). Electrocoagulation experiments were performed under constant voltage application. The current, conductivity, pH, dissolved oxygen concentration and temperature were recorded on line at every 5 seconds during the experiments. Effects of applied voltage differences, electrode materials and distance between electrodes on removal efficiency have been investigated. According to the experimental results, the treatment of MWF wastewaters by iron electrodes rather than aluminum and stainless steel was much quicker; and the distance between electrodes should be less than 1cm. The electrocoagulation process was modeled by using block oriented approach and found out that it can be modeled as a single input and multiple output system. Modeling studies indicates that the electrocoagulation process has a nonlinear model structure.

    Creeping Insulation - Hong Kong Green Wall

    Hong Kong is a densely populated city suffering badly from the urban heat island effect. Green wall offers a means of ameliorating the situation but there are doubts over its suitability in Hong Kong’s unique environment. In this paper, we look at the potential for green walls in Hong Kong first by summarizing some of the Chinese green walling systems and associated vegetation in use, then by an introduction to three existing green walls in Hong Kong, and finally through a small experiment aimed at identifying the likely main effects of green walled housing.

    The results indicate that green walling in Hong Kong is likely to provide enhanced internal house environment in terms of warm weather temperature reduction, stabilization and damping, with direct energy savings in air-conditioning and indirect district benefits of reduced heat island effect and carbon emissions. The green walling insulation properties also suggest the possibility of warmer homes in winter and/or energy savings in mechanical heating provision.

    Poor Medical Waste Management (MWM) Practices and Its Risks to Human Health and the Environment: A Literature Review

    Medical care is vital for our life, health and well-being. But the waste generated from medical activities can be hazardous, toxic and even lethal because of their high potential for diseases transmission. The hazardous and toxic parts of waste from healthcare establishments comprising infectious, medical and radioactive material as well as sharps constitute a grave risks to mankind and the environment, if these are not properly treated / disposed or are allowed to be mixed with other municipal waste. In Nigeria, practical information on this aspect is inadequate and research on the public health implications of poor management of medical wastes is few and limited in scope. Findings drawn from Literature particularly in the third world countries highlights financial problems, lack of awareness of risks involved in MWM, lack of appropriate legislation and lack of specialized MWM staff. The paper recommends how MWM practices can be improved in medical facilities.

    Nylon Solution as Soil Stabilizer

    The research investigated the use of nylon solution to enhance the California bearing ratio (CBR) of soil. Used nylon sachet of potable water were dissolved in four separate solvents namely acetone, toluene, ethyl glycol and dual purpose kerosene (DPK). It was discovered that DPK has the highest nylon solubility of 29g/ml at 91oC. The nylon solution was used to stabilize poorly graded sandy soil. The result showed that at less or equal to 4% stabilization, the CBR value decreased from 25.3% to 15.85% and later appreciated to 67.78% at 16% stabilization. The initial decrease in CBR value of soil sample observed was as a result of inadequate nylon solution to coat soil particles for proper bonding.

    Evaluation of Droplet Sizes from Video Images for Metal Working Fluids

    Metal working fluids were used in the preparation of oil in water emulsions. The size of oil droplets were evaluated by using the analysis of video images taken from the zeta potential measurements. The evaluated size distributions for emulsions were also tested by microscopic analysis. In addition, emulsion stabilities were discussed depending on electrolyte concentration and pH. The results showed that the stability of oil emulsions was strongly related to pH and the concentration of CaCl2. However, the same dependency was not observed for NaCl.

    Physicochemical and Microbiological Assessment of Source and Stored Domestic Water from Three Local Governments in Ile-Ife, Nigeria

    Some of the main problems man contends with are the quantity (source and amount) and quality of water in Nigeria. Scarcity leads to water being obtained from various sources and microbiological contamination of the water may thus occur between the collection point and the point of usage. This study thus aims to assess the general and microbiological quality of domestic water sources and household stored water used within selected areas in Ile-Ife, South-Western part of Nigeria for microbial contaminants.             Physicochemical and microbiological examination were carried out on 45 source and stored water samples collected from well and spring in three different local government areas i.e. Ife east, Ife-south and Ife-north. Physicochemical analysis included pH value, temperature, total dissolved solid, dissolved oxygen and biochemical oxygen demand. Microbiology involved most probable number analysis, total coliform, heterotrophic plate, faecal coliform and streptococcus count.

    The result of the physicochemical analysis of samples showed anomalies compared to acceptable standards with the pH value of 7.20-8.60 for stored and 6.50-7.80 for source samples. The total dissolved solids (TDS of stored 20-70mg/L, source 352-691mg/L), dissolved oxygen (DO of stored 1.60-9.60mg/L, source 1.60-4.80mg/L), biochemical oxygen demand (BOD stored 0.80-3.60mg/L, source 0.60-5.40mg/L). General microbiological quality indicated that both stored and source samples with the exception of a sample were not within acceptable range as indicated by analysis of the MPN/100ml which ranges between (stored 290-1100mg/L, source 9-1100mg/L). Apart from high counts, most samples did not meet the World Health Organization standard for drinking water with the presence of some pathogenic bacteria and fungi such as Salmonella and Aspergillus spp. To annul these constraints, standard treatment methods should be adopted to make water free from contaminants. This will help identify common and likely water related infection origin within the communities and thus help guide in terms of interventions required to prevent the general populace from such infections.

    Analysis of Seismic Waves Generated by Blasting Operations and their Response on Buildings

    The paper analyzes the response of buildings and industrially structures on seismic waves (low frequency mechanical vibration) generated by blasting operations. The principles of seismic analysis can be applied for different kinds of excitation such as: earthquakes, wind, explosions, random excitation from local transportation, periodic excitation from large rotating and/or machines with reciprocating motion, metal forming processes such as forging, shearing and stamping, chemical reactions, construction and earth moving work, and other strong deterministic and random energy sources caused by human activities. The article deals with the response of seismic, low frequency, mechanical vibrations generated by nearby blasting operations on a residential home. The goal was to determine the fundamental natural frequencies of the measured structure; therefore it is important to determine the resonant frequencies to design a suitable modal damping. The article also analyzes the package of seismic waves generated by blasting (Primary waves – P-waves and Secondary waves S-waves) and investigated the transfer regions. For the detection of seismic waves resulting from an explosion, the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) and modal analysis, in the frequency domain, is used and the signal was acquired and analyzed also in the time domain. In the conclusions the measured results of seismic waves caused by blasting in a nearby quarry and its effect on a nearby structure (house) is analyzed. The response on the house, including the fundamental natural frequency and possible fatigue damage is also assessed.

    Effect of Open Burning on Soil Carbon Stock in Sugarcane Plantation in Thailand

    Open burning of sugarcane fields is recognized to have a negative impact on soil by degrading its properties, especially soil organic carbon (SOC) content. Better understating the effect of open burning on soil carbon dynamics is crucial for documenting the carbon sequestration capacity of agricultural soils. In this study, experiments to investigate soil carbon stocks under burned and unburned sugarcane plantation systems in Thailand were conducted. The results showed that cultivation fields without open burning during 5 consecutive years enabled to increase the SOC content at a rate of 1.37 Mg ha-1y-1. Also it was found that sugarcane fields burning led to about 15% reduction of the total carbon stock in the 0-30 cm soil layer. The overall increase in SOC under unburned practice is mainly due to the large input of organic material through the use of sugarcane residues. 

    Groin Configurations: An Approach towards Stable Lowland Rivers with Improved Environmental Functions

    Dynamicity of stream channels along with environmental concern is the key issue to address in lowland rivers like Jamuna in Bangladesh. The groins are important structures in attaining the improved river environment, but their effective functioning is not evident yet with the present design. Considering the present demands, an approach through modification of groin configurations is planned to function more natural way in dynamic lowland rivers. Four different configurations including the conventional one are considered in the study, and the changes in hydro- and morpho-dynamics affected by various structures are investigated in the laboratory. Results show that the modified combined groin favors gradual deceleration of flow towards the channel side and minimizes local scour noticeably. This favors stable regular channel and improve environmental functions.

    Bone Ash Impact on Soil Shear Strength

    Most failures of soil have been attributed to poor shear strength. Consequently, the present paper investigated the suitability of cattle bone ash as a possible additive to improve the shear strength of soils. Four soil samples were collected and stabilized with prepared bone ash in proportions of 3%, 5%, 7%, 10%, 15% and 20% by dry weight. Chemical analyses of the bone ash; followed by classification, compaction, and triaxial shear tests of the treated soil samples were conducted. Results obtained showed that bone ash contained high proportion of calcium oxide and phosphate. Addition of bone ash to soil samples led to increase in soil shear strengths within the range of 22.40% to 105.18% over the strengths of the respective control tests. Conversely, all samples attained maximum shear strengths at 7% bone ash stabilization. The use of bone ash as an additive will therefore improve the shear strength of soils; however, using bone ash quantities in excess of 7% may not yield ample results.

    Treatment of Chrome Tannery Wastewater by Biological Process - A Mini Review

    Chrome tannery wastewater causes serious environmental hazard due to its high pollution potential. As a result, rigorous treatment is necessary for abatement of pollution from this type of wastewater. There are many research studies on chrome tannery wastewater treatment in the field of physical, chemical, and biological methods. In general, biological treatment process is found ineffective for direct application because of adverse effects by toxic chromium, sulphide, chloride etc. However, biological methods were employed mainly for a few sub processes generating significant amount of organic matter and without chromium, chlorides etc. In this context the present paper reviews the characteristics feature and pollution potential of wastewater generated from chrome tannery units and treatment of the same. The different biological processes used earlier and their chronological development for treatment of the chrome tannery wastewater are thoroughly reviewed in this paper. In this regard, the scope of hybrid bioreactor - an advanced technology option has also been explored, as this kind of treatment is well suited for the wastewater having inhibitory substances. 

    Progressive Changes in Physicochemical Constituent of Rainwater: A Case Study at Oyoko, a Rural Community in Ghana

    The chemical and physical characteristics of rainwater harvested from a typical rooftop were progressively studied. The samples of rainwater collected were analyzed for pH, major ion concentrations, TDS, turbidity, conductivity. All the Physicochemical constituents fell within the WHO guideline limits at some points as rainfall progresses except the pH. All the components of rainwater quality measured during the study showed higher concentrations during the early stages of rainfall and reduce as time progresses. There was a downward trend in terms of pH as rain progressed, with 18% of the samples recording pH below the WHO limit of 6.5-8.0. It was observed that iron concentration was above the WHO threshold value of 0.3 mg/l on occasions of heavy rains. The results revealed that most of physicochemical characteristics of rainwater samples were generally below the WHO threshold, as such, the rainwater characteristics showed satisfactory conditions in terms of physicochemical constituents.