Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 39

Environmental, Chemical, Ecological, Geological and Geophysical Engineering

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  • 39
    The Evaluation of Heavy Metal Pollution Degree in the Soils around the Zangezur Copper and Molybdenum Combine

    The heavy metal pollution degree in the soils around the Zangezur copper and molybdenum combine in Syunik Marz, Armenia was assessed. The results of the study showed that heavy metal pollution degree in the soils mainly decreased with increasing distance from the open mine and the ore enrichment combine which indicated that the open mine and the ore enrichment combine were the main sources of heavy metal pollution. The only exception was observed in the northern part of the open mine where pollution degree in the sites (along the open mine) situated 600 meters far from the mine was higher than that in the sites located 300 meters far from the mine. This can be explained by the characteristics of relief and air currents as well as the weak vegetation cover of these sites and the characteristics of soil structure. According to geo-accumulation index (I-geo), contamination factor (Cf), contamination degree (Cd) and pollution load index (PLI) values, the pollution degree in the soils around the open mine and the ore enrichment combine was higher than that in the soils around the tailing dumps which was due to the proper and accurate operation of the Artsvanik tailing damp and the recultivation of the Voghji tailing dump. The high Cu and Mo pollution of the soils was conditioned by the character of industrial activities, the moving direction of air currents as well as the physicochemical peculiarities of the soils.

    Propane Dehydrogenation with Better Stability by a Modified Pt-Based Catalyst

    The effect of transition metal doping on Pt/Al2O3 catalyst used in propane dehydrogenation reaction at 500°C was studied. The preparation methods investigated were sequential impregnation (Pt followed by the 2nd metal or the 2nd metal followed by Pt) and co-impregnation. The metal contents of these catalysts were fixed as the weight ratio of Pt per the 2nd metal of around 0.075. These catalysts were characterized by N2-physisorption, TPR, COchemisorption and NH3-TPD. It was found that the impregnated 2nd metal had an effect upon reducibility of Pt due to its interaction with transition metal-containing structure. This was in agreement with the CO-chemisorption result that the presence of Pt metal, which is a result from Pt species reduction, was decreased. The total acidity of bimetallic catalysts is decreased but the strong acidity is slightly increased. It was found that the stability of bimetallic catalysts prepared by co-impregnation and sequential impregnation where the 2nd metal was impregnated before Pt were better than that of monometallic catalyst (undoped Pt one) due to the forming of Pt sites located on the transition metal-oxide modified surface. Among all preparation methods, the sequential impregnation method- having Pt impregnated before the 2nd metal gave the worst stability because this catalyst lacked the modified Pt sites and some fraction of Pt sites was covered by the 2nd metal.

    Using High Performance Computing for Online Flood Monitoring and Prediction

    The main goal of this article is to describe the online flood monitoring and prediction system Floreon+ primarily developed for the Moravian-Silesian region in the Czech Republic and the basic process it uses for running automatic rainfall-runoff and hydrodynamic simulations along with their calibration and uncertainty modeling. It takes a long time to execute such process sequentially, which is not acceptable in the online scenario, so the use of a high performance computing environment is proposed for all parts of the process to shorten their duration. Finally, a case study on the Ostravice River catchment is presented that shows actual durations and their gain from the parallel implementation.

    Spatial-Temporal Clustering Characteristics of Dengue in the Northern Region of Sri Lanka, 2010-2013

    Dengue outbreaks are affected by biological, ecological, socio-economic and demographic factors that vary over time and space. These factors have been examined separately and still require systematic clarification. The present study aimed to investigate the spatial-temporal clustering relationships between these factors and dengue outbreaks in the northern region of Sri Lanka. Remote sensing (RS) data gathered from a plurality of satellites were used to develop an index comprising rainfall, humidity and temperature data. RS data gathered by ALOS/AVNIR-2 were used to detect urbanization, and a digital land cover map was used to extract land cover information. Other data on relevant factors and dengue outbreaks were collected through institutions and extant databases. The analyzed RS data and databases were integrated into geographic information systems, enabling temporal analysis, spatial statistical analysis and space-time clustering analysis. Our present results showed that increases in the number of the combination of ecological factor and socio-economic and demographic factors with above the average or the presence contribute to significantly high rates of space-time dengue clusters.

    Carbamazepine Co-crystal Screening with Dicarboxylic Acids Co-Crystal Formers

    Co-crystal is believed to improve the solubility and dissolution rates and thus, enhanced the bioavailability of poor water soluble drugs particularly during the oral route of administration. With the existing of poorly soluble drugs in pharmaceutical industry, the screening of co-crystal formation using carbamazepine (CBZ) as a model drug compound with dicarboxylic acids co-crystal formers (CCF) namely fumaric (FA) and succinic (SA) acids in ethanol has been studied. The co-crystal formations were studied by varying the mol ratio values of CCF to CBZ to access the effect of CCF concentration on the formation of the co-crystal. Solvent evaporation, slurry and cooling crystallization which representing the solution based method co-crystal screening were used. Based on the differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) analysis, the melting point of CBZ-SA in different ratio was in the range between 188oC-189oC. For CBZ-FA form A and CBZ-FA form B the melting point in different ratio were in the range of 174oC-175oC and 185oC-186oC respectively. The product crystal from the screening was also characterized using X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD). The XRPD pattern profile analysis has shown that the CBZ co-crystals with FA and SA were successfully formed for all ratios studied. The findings revealed that CBZ-FA co-crystal were formed in two different polymorphs. It was found that CBZ-FA form A and form B were formed from evaporation and slurry crystallization methods respectively. On the other hand, in cooling crystallization method, CBZ-FA form A was formed at lower mol ratio of CCF to CBZ and vice versa. This study disclosed that different methods and mol ratios during the co-crystal screening can affect the outcome of co-crystal produced such as polymorphic forms of co-crystal and thereof. Thus, it was suggested that careful attentions is needed during the screening since the co-crystal formation is currently one of the promising approach to be considered in research and development for pharmaceutical industry to improve the poorly soluble drugs.

    Chloroform-Formic Acid Solvent Systems for Nanofibrous Polycaprolactone Webs

    In this study, polycaprolactone (PCL) was dissolved in chloroform:ethanol solvent system at a concentration of 18 w/v %. 1, 2, 4, and 6 droplets of formic acid were added to the prepared 10ml PCL-chloroform:ethanol solutions separately. Fibrous webs were produced by electrospinning technique based on the horizontal working principle. Morphology of the webs was investigated by using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) whereas fiber diameters were measured by Image J Software System. The effect of formic acid addition to the mostly used chloroform solvent on fiber morphology was examined. Results indicate that there is a distinct fall in fiber diameter with the addition of formic acid drops. The average fiber diameter was measured as 2.22μm in PCL /chloroform:ethanol solution system. On the other hand, 328nm and 256 nm average fiber diameters were measured for the samples of 4 drops and 6 drops formic acid added. This study offers alternative solvent systems to produce nanoscaled, nontoxic PCL fibrous webs by electrospinning technique.

    Large Scale Production of Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) from Wastewater: A Study of Techno-Economics, Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

    The biodegradable family of polymers polyhydroxyalkanoates is an interesting substitute for convectional fossil-based plastics. However, the manufacturing and environmental impacts associated with their production via intracellular bacterial fermentation are strongly dependent on the raw material used and on energy consumption during the extraction process, limiting their potential for commercialization. Industrial wastewater is studied in this paper as a promising alternative feedstock for waste valorization. Based on results from laboratory and pilot-scale experiments, a conceptual process design, techno-economic analysis and life cycle assessment are developed for the large-scale production of the most common type of polyhydroxyalkanoate, polyhydroxbutyrate. Intracellular polyhydroxybutyrate is obtained via fermentation of microbial community present in industrial wastewater and the downstream processing is based on chemical digestion with surfactant and hypochlorite. The economic potential and environmental performance results help identifying bottlenecks and best opportunities to scale-up the process prior to industrial implementation. The outcome of this research indicates that the fermentation of wastewater towards PHB presents advantages compared to traditional PHAs production from sugars because the null environmental burdens and financial costs of the raw material in the bioplastic production process. Nevertheless, process optimization is still required to compete with the petrochemicals counterparts.

    Slope Stability of an Earthen Levee Strengthened by HPTRM under Turbulent Overtopping Conditions

    High performance turf reinforcement mat (HPTRM) is one of the most advanced flexible armoring technologies for severe erosion challenges. The effect of turbulence on the slope stability of an earthen levee strengthened by high performance turf reinforcement mat (HPTRM) is investigated in this study for combined storm surge and wave overtopping conditions. The results show that turbulence has strong influence on the slope stability during the combined storm surge and wave overtopping conditions. Among the surge height, peak wave force and turbulent force. The turbulent force has the ability to stabilize the earthen levee at the large wave force the turbulent force has strongest effect on the FS. The surge storm acts as an independent force on the slope stability of the earthen levee. It just adds to the effects of the turbulent force and wave force on the slope stability of HPTRM strengthened levee.

    Simulation Studies of Solid-Particle and Liquid-Drop Erosion of NiAl Alloy

    This article presents modeling studies of NiAl alloy under solid-particle erosion and liquid-drop erosion. In the solid-particle erosion simulation, attention is paid to the oxide scale thickness variation on the alloy in high-temperature erosion environments. The erosion damage is assumed to be deformation wear and cutting wear mechanisms, incorporating the influence of the oxide scale on the eroded surface; thus the instantaneous oxide thickness is the result of synergetic effect of erosion and oxidation. For liquid-drop erosion, special interest is in investigating the effects of drop velocity and drop size on the damage of the target surface. The models of impact stress wave, mean depth of penetration, and maximum depth of erosion rate (Max DER) are employed to develop various maps for NiAl alloy, including target thickness vs. drop size (diameter), rate of mean depth of penetration (MDRP) vs. drop impact velocity, and damage threshold velocity (DTV) vs. drop size.

    Assessment of Collapse Potential of Degrading SDOF Systems

    Predicting the collapse potential of a structure during earthquakes is an important issue in earthquake engineering. Many researchers proposed different methods to assess the collapse potential of structures under the effect of strong ground motions. However most of them did not consider degradation and softening effect in hysteretic behavior. In this study, collapse potential of SDOF systems caused by dynamic instability with stiffness and strength degradation has been investigated. An equation was proposed for the estimation of collapse period of SDOF system which is a limit value of period for dynamic instability. If period of the considered SDOF system is shorter than the collapse period then the relevant system exhibits dynamic instability and collapse occurs.

    Effect of Chemical Additive on Fixed Abrasive Polishing of LBO Crystal with Non-water Based Slurry

    Non-water based fixed abrasive polishing was adopted to manufacture LBO crystal for nano precision surface quality because of its deliquescent. Ethyl alcohol was selected as the non-water based slurry solvent and ethanediamine, lactic acid, hydrogen peroxide was added in the slurry as a chemical additive, respectively. Effect of different additives with non-water based slurry on material removal rate, surface topography, microscopic appearances, and surface roughness were investigated in fixed abrasive polishing of LBO crystal. The results show the best surface quality of LBO crystal with surface roughness Sa 8.2 nm and small damages was obtained by non-water based slurry with lactic acid. Non-water based fixed abrasive polishing can achieve nano precision surface quality of LBO crystal with high material removal.

    The Adsorption of Zinc Metal in Waste Water Using ZnCl2 Activated Pomegranate Peel

    Activated carbon is an amorphous carbon chain which has extremely extended surface area. High surface area of activated carbon is due to the porous structure. Activated carbon, using a variety of materials such as coal and cellulosic materials; can be obtained by both physical and chemical methods. The prepared activated carbon can be used for decolorize, deodorize and also can be used for removal of organic and non-organic pollution. In this study, pomegranate peel was subjected to 800W microwave power for 1 to 4 minutes. Also fresh pomegranate peel was used for the reference material. Then ZnCl2 was used for the chemical activation purpose. After the activation process, activated pomegranate peels were used for the adsorption of Zn metal (40 ppm) in the waste water. As a result of the adsorption experiments, removal of heavy metals ranged from 89% to 85%.

    High Aspect Ratio SiO2 Capillary Based On Silicon Etching and Thermal Oxidation Process for Optical Modulator

    This paper presents the design and fabrication of an optical window for an optical modulator toward image sensing applications. An optical window consists of micrometer-order SiO2 capillaries (porous solid) that can modulate transmission light intensity by moving the liquid in and out of porous solid. A high optical transmittance of the optical window can be achieved due to refractive index matching when the liquid is penetrated into the porous solid. Otherwise, its light transmittance is lower because of light reflection and scattering by air holes and capillary walls. Silicon capillaries fabricated by deep reactive ion etching (DRIE) process are completely oxidized to form the SiO2 capillaries. Therefore, high aspect ratio SiO2 capillaries can be achieved based on silicon capillaries formed by DRIE technique. Large compressive stress of the oxide causes bending of the capillary structure, which is reduced by optimizing the design of device structure. The large stress of the optical window can be released via thin supporting beams. A 7.2 mm x 9.6 mm optical window area toward a fully integrated with the image sensor format is successfully fabricated and its optical transmittance is evaluated with and without inserting liquids (ethanol and matching oil). The achieved modulation range is approximately 20% to 35% with and without liquid penetration in visible region (wavelength range from 450 nm to 650 nm).

    Propylene Self-Metathesis to Ethylene and Butene over WOx/SiO2, Effect of Nano-Sized Extra Supports (SiO2 and TiO2)

    Propylene self-metathesis to ethylene and butene was studied over WOx/SiO2 catalysts at 450oC and atmospheric pressure. The WOx/SiO2 catalysts were prepared by incipient wetness impregnation of ammonium metatungstate aqueous solution. It was found that, adding nano-sized extra supports (SiO2 and TiO2) by physical mixing with the WOx/SiO2 enhanced propylene conversion. The UV-Vis and FT-Raman results revealed that WOx could migrate from the original silica support to the extra support, leading to a better dispersion of WOx. The ICP-OES results also indicate that WOx existed on the extra support. Coke formation was investigated on the catalysts after 10 h time-on-stream by TPO. However, adding nano-sized extra supports led to higher coke formation which may be related to acidity as characterized by NH3-TPD.

    Investigation of Heating Behaviour of E-textile Structures

    By textile science incorporating with electronic industry, developed textile products start to take part in different areas such as industry, military, space, medical etc. for health, protection, defense, communication and automation. Electronic textiles (e-textiles) are fabrics that contain electronics and interconnections with them. In this study, two types of base yarns (cotton and acrylic) and three types of conductive steel yarns with different linear resistance values (14Ω/m, 30Ω/m, 70Ω/m) were used to investigate the effect of base yarn type and linear resistance of conductive yarns on thermal behavior of e-textile structures. Thermal behavior of samples was examined by thermal camera.

    The TiO2 Refraction Film for CsI Scintillator

    Cesium iodide (CsI) melt was injected into anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) template and was solidified to CsI column. The controllable AAO channel size (10~500 nm) can makes CsI column size from 10 to 500 nm in diameter. In order to have a shorter light irradiate from each singe CsI column top to bottom the AAO template was coated a TiO2 nano-film. The TiO2 film acts a refraction film and makes X-ray has a shorter irradiation path in the CsI crystal making a stronger the photo-electron signal. When the incidence light irradiate from air (R=1.0) to CsI’s first surface (R=1.84) the first refraction happen, the first refraction continue into TiO2 film (R=2.88) and produces the low angle of the second refraction. Then the second refraction continue into AAO wall (R=1.78) and produces the third refraction after refractions between CsI and AAO wall (R=1.78) produce the fourth refraction. The incidence light through TiO2 filmand the first surface of CsI then arrive to the second surface of CsI. Therefore, the TiO2 film can has shorter refraction path of incidence light and increase the photo-electron conversion efficiency.

    Effects of Different Drying Methods on the Properties of Viscose Single Jersey Fabrics
    The study discussed in this paper was conducted in an attempt to investigate effects of different drying methods (line dry and tumble dry) on viscose single jersey fabrics knitted with ring yarn.
    Effects of Coupling Agent on the Properties of Henequen Microfiber (NF) Filled High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) Composites

    The main objective of incorporating natural fibers such as Henequen microfibers (NF) into the High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) polymer matrix is to reduce the cost and to enhance the mechanical as well as other properties. The Henequen microfibers were chopped manually to 5-7mm in length and added into the polymer matrix at the optimized concentration of 8 wt %. In order to facilitate the link between Henequen microfibers (NF) and HDPE matrix, coupling agent such as Glycidoxy (Epoxy) Functional Methoxy Silane (GPTS) at various concentrations from 0.1%, 0.3%, 0.5%, 0.7%, 0.9% and 1% by weight to the total fibers were added. The tensile strength of the composite increased marginally while % elongation at break of the composites decreased with increase in silane loading by wt %. Tensile modulus and stiffness observed increased at 0.9 wt % GPTS loading. Flexural as well as impact strength of the composite decreased with increase in GPTS loading by weight %. Dielectric strength of the composite also found increased marginally up to 0.5wt % silane loading and thereafter remained constant. 

    Adverse Impacts of Poor Wastewater Management Practices on Water Quality in Gebeng Industrial Area, Pahang, Malaysia
    This study was carried out to investigate the adverse effect of industrial wastewater on surface water quality in Gebeng industrial estate, Pahang, Malaysia. Surface water was collected from six sampling stations. Physicochemical parameters were characterized based on in-situ and ex-situ analysis according to standard methods by American Public Health Association (APHA). Selected heavy metals were determined by using Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP MS). The results revealed that the concentration of heavy metals such as Pb, Cu, Cd, Cr and Hg were high in samples. The results also showed that the value of Pb and Hg were higher in the wet season in comparison to dry season. According to Malaysia National Water Quality Standard (NWQS) and Water Quality Index (WQI) all the sampling station were categorized as class IV (highly polluted). The present study revealed that the adverse effects of careless disposal of wastes and directly discharge of effluents affected on surface water quality. Therefore, the authorities should implement the laws to ensure the proper practices of wastewater management for environmental sustainability around the study area.
    The Preparation of Silicon and Aluminum Extracts from Tuncbilek and Orhaneli Fly Ashes by Alkali Fusion
    Coal fly ash is formed as a solid waste product from the combustion of coal in coal fired power stations. Huge amounts of fly ash are produced globally every year and are predicted to increase. Nowadays, less than half of the fly ash is used as a raw material for cement manufacturing, construction and the rest of it is disposed as a waste causing yet another environmental concern. For this reason, the recycling of this kind of slurries into useful materials is quite important in terms of economical and environmental aspects. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the Orhaneli and Tuncbilek coal fly ashes for utilization in some industrial applications. Therefore the mineralogical and chemical compositions of these fly ashes were analyzed by X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, ourier-transform infrared spectrometer, and X-ray diffraction. The silicon (Si) and aluminum (Al) in the fly ashes were activated by alkali fusion technique with sodium hydroxide. The obtained extracts were analyzed for Si and Al content by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry.
    Microstructural and Magnetic Properties of Ni50Mn39Sn11 and Ni50Mn36Sn14 Heusler Alloys
    We report the microstructural and magnetic properties of Ni50Mn39Sn11 and Ni50Mn36Sn14 ribbon Heusler alloys. Experimental results were obtained by differential scanning calorymetry, X-ray diffraction and vibrating sample magnetometry techniques. The Ni-Mn-Sn system undergoes a martensitic structural transformation in a wide temperature range. For example, for Ni50Mn39Sn11 the start and finish temperatures of the martensitic and austenite phase transformation for ribbon alloy were Ms=336K, Mf=328K, As=335K and Af=343K whereas no structural transformation is observed for Ni50Mn36Sn14 alloys. Magnetic measurements show the typical ferromagnetic behavior with Curie temperature 207 K at low applied field of 50 Oe. The complex behavior exhibited by these Heusler alloys should be ascribed to the strong coupling between magnetism and structure, being their magnetic behavior determined by the distance between Mn atoms.
    Geochemistry of Natural Radionuclides Associated with Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) in a Coal Mining Area in Southern Brazil
    Coal is an important non-renewable energy source of and can be associated with radioactive elements. In Figueira city, Paraná state, Brazil, it was recorded high uranium activity near the coal mine that supplies a local thermoelectric power plant. In this context, the radon activity (Rn-222, produced by the Ra-226 decay in the U-238 natural series) was evaluated in groundwater, river water and effluents produced from the acid mine drainage in the coal reject dumps. The samples were collected in August 2013 and in February 2014 and analyzed at LABIDRO (Laboratory of Isotope and Hydrochemistry), UNESP, Rio Claro city, Brazil, using an alpha spectrometer (AlphaGuard) adjusted to evaluate the mean radon activity concentration in five cycles of 10 minutes. No radon activity concentration above 100 Bq.L-1, which was a previous critic value established by the World Health Organization. The average radon activity concentration in groundwater was higher than in surface water and in effluent samples, possibly due to the accumulation of uranium and radium in the aquifer layers that favors the radon trapping. The lower value in the river waters can indicate dilution and the intermediate value in the effluents may indicate radon absorption in the coal particles of the reject dumps. The results also indicate that the radon activities in the effluents increase with the sample acidification, possibly due to the higher radium leaching and the subsequent radon transport to the drainage flow. The water samples of Laranjinha River and Ribeirão das Pedras stream, which, respectively, supply Figueira city and receive the mining effluent, exhibited higher pH values upstream the mine, reflecting the acid mine drainage discharge. The radionuclides transport indicates the importance of monitoring their activity concentration in natural waters due to the risks that the radioactivity can represent to human health.
    Automatic Flood Prediction Using Rainfall Runoff Model in Moravian-Silesian Region
    Rainfall runoff models play important role in hydrological predictions. However, the model is only one part of the process for creation of flood prediction. The aim of this paper is to show the process of successful prediction for flood event (May 15 – May 18 2014). Prediction was performed by rainfall runoff model HEC–HMS, one of the models computed within Floreon+ system. The paper briefly evaluates the results of automatic hydrologic prediction on the river Olše catchment and its gages Český Těšín and Věřňovice.
    The High Temperature Damage of DV – 2 Turbine Blade Made from Ni – Base Superalloy
    High pressure turbine (HPT) blades of DV – 2 jet engines are made from Ni – based superalloy. This alloy was originally manufactured in the Soviet Union and referred as ŽS6K. For improving alloy’s high temperature resistance are blades coated with Al – Si diffusion layer. A regular operation temperature of HPT blades vary from 705°C to 750°C depending on jet engine regime. An overcrossing working temperature range causes degradation of the protective coating as well as base material which microstructure is formed by the gamma matrix and strengthening phase gamma prime (forming small particles in the microstructure). Diffusion processes inside the material during exposition of the material to high temperatures causes mainly coarsening of the gamma prime particles, thus decreasing its strengthening effect. Degradation of the Al – Si coating caused its thickness growth. All the microstructure changes and coating layer thickness growth results in decreasing of the turbine blade operation lifetime.
    Using of Cavitation Disperser, for Porous Ceramic and Concrete Material Preparation

    Present paper describes method of obtaining clay ceramic foam (CCF) and foam concrete (FC), by direct foaming with high speed mixer-disperser (HSMD). Three foaming agents (FA) are compared for the FC and CCF production: SCHÄUMUNGSMITTEL W 53 FLÜSSIG (Zschimmer & Schwarz Gmbh, Germany), SCF- 1245 (Sika, test sample, Latvia) and FAB-12 (Elade, Latvija). CCF were obtained at 950, 1000°C, 1150°C and 1150°C firing temperature and have mechanical compressive strength 1.2, 2.55 and 4.3 MPa and porosity 79.4, 75.1, 71.6%, respectively. Obtained FC has 6-14 MPa compressive strength and porosity 44-55%. The goal of this work was development of a sustainable and durable ceramic cellular structures using HSMD.

    Accumulation of Pollutants, Self-purification and Impact on Peripheral Urban Areas: A Case Study in Shantytowns in Argentina
    This work sets out to debate the tensions involved in the processes of contamination and self-purification in the urban space, particularly in the streams that run through the Buenos Aires metropolitan area. For much of their course, those streams are piped; their waters do not come into contact with the outdoors until they have reached deeply impoverished urban areas with high levels of environmental contamination. These are peripheral zones that, until thirty years ago, were marshlands and fields. They are now densely populated areas largely lacking in urban infrastructure. The Cárcova neighborhood, where this project is underway, is in the José León Suárez section of General San Martín county, Buenos Aires province. A stretch of José León Suarez canal crosses the neighborhood. Starting upstream, this canal carries pollutants due to the sewage and industrial waste released into it. Further downstream, in the neighborhood, domestic drainage is poured into the stream. In this paper, we formulate a hypothesis diametrical to the one that holds that these neighborhoods are the primary source of contamination, suggesting instead that in the stretch of the canal that runs through the neighborhood the stream’s waters are actually cleaned and the sediments accumulate pollutants. Indeed, the stretches of water that runs through these neighborhoods act as water processing plants for the metropolis. This project has studied the different organic-load polluting contributions to the water in a certain stretch of the canal, the reduction of that load over the course of the canal, and the incorporation of pollutants into the sediments. We have found that the surface water has considerable ability to self-purify, mostly due to processes of sedimentation and adsorption. The polluting load is accumulated in the sediments where that load stabilizes slowly by means of anaerobic processes. In this study, we also investigated the risks of sediment management and the use of the processes studied here in controlled conditions as tools of environmental restoration.
    Effect of N2 Pretreatment on the Properties of Tungsten-Based Catalysts in Metathesis of Ethylene and 2-Butene
    The effect of N2 pretreatment on the catalytic activity of tungsten-based catalysts was investigated in the metathesis of ethylene and trans-2-butene at 450oC and atmospheric pressure. The presence of tungsten active species was confirmed by UV-Vis and Raman spectroscopy. Compared to the WO3-based catalysts treated in air, higher amount of WO4 2-tetrahedral species and lower amount of WO3 crystalline species were observed on the N2-treated ones. These contribute to the higher conversion of 2-butene and propylene selectivity during 10 h time-on-stream. Moreover, N2 treatment led to lower amount of coke formation as revealed by TPO of the spent catalysts.
    Using Time-Series NDVI to Model Land Cover Change: A Case Study in the Berg River Catchment Area, Western Cape, South Africa
    This study investigates the use of a time-series of MODIS NDVI data to identify agricultural land cover change on an annual time step (2007 - 2012) and characterize the trend. Following an ISODATA classification of the MODIS imagery to selectively mask areas not agriculture or semi-natural, NDVI signatures were created to identify areas cereals and vineyards with the aid of ancillary, pictometry and field sample data for 2010. The NDVI signature curve and training samples were used to create a decision tree model in WEKA 3.6.9 using decision tree classifier (J48) algorithm; Model 1 including ISODATA classification and Model 2 not. These two models were then used to classify all data for the study area for 2010, producing land cover maps with classification accuracies of 77% and 80% for Model 1 and 2 respectively. Model 2 was subsequently used to create land cover classification and change detection maps for all other years. Subtle changes and areas of consistency (unchanged) were observed in the agricultural classes and crop practices. Over the years as predicted by the land cover classification. Forty one percent of the catchment comprised of cereals with 35% possibly following a crop rotation system. Vineyards largely remained constant with only one percent conversion to vineyard from other land cover classes.
    Unconventional Composite Inorganic Membrane Fabrication for Carbon Emissions Mitigation
    An unconventional composite inorganic ceramic membrane capable of enhancing carbon dioxide emission decline was fabricated and tested at laboratory scale in conformism to various environmental guidelines and also to mitigate the effect of global warming. A review of the existing membrane technologies for carbon capture including the relevant gas transport mechanisms is presented. Single gas permeation experiments using silica modified ceramic membrane with internal diameter 20mm, outside diameter 25mm and length of 368mm deposited on a macro porous support was carried out to investigate individual gas permeation behaviours at different pressures at room temperature. Membrane fabrication was achieved using after a dip coating method. Nitrogen, Carbon dioxide, Argon, Oxygen and Methane pure gases were used to investigate their individual permeation rates at various pressures. Results show that the gas flow rate increases with pressure drop. However above a pressure of 3bar, CO2 permeability ratio to that of the other gases indicated control of a more selective surface adsorptive transport mechanism.
    Influence of MgO Physically Mixed with Tungsten Oxide Supported Silica Catalyst on Coke Formation
    The effect of additional magnesium oxide (MgO) was investigated by using the tungsten oxide supported on silica catalyst (WOx/SiO2) physically mixed with MgO in a weight ratio 1:1. The both fresh and spent catalysts were characterized by FT-Raman spectrometer, UV-Vis spectrometer, X-Ray diffraction (XRD) and temperature programmed oxidation (TPO). The results indicated that the additional MgO could enhance the conversion of trans-2-butene due to isomerization reaction. However, adding MgO would increase the amount of coke deposit on the WOx/SiO2 catalyst. The TPO profile presented two peaks when the WOx/SiO2 catalyst was physically mixed with MgO. The further peak was suggested that came from coke precursor could be produced by isomerization reaction of undesired product. Then, the occurred coke precursor could deposit and form coke on the acid catalyst.
    Kinetic Study of Thermal Degradation of a Lignin Nanoparticle-Reinforced Phenolic Foam
    In the present study, the kinetics of thermal degradation of a phenolic and lignin reinforced phenolic foams, and the lignin used as reinforcement were studied and the activation energies of their degradation processes were obtained by a DAEM model. The average values for five heating rates of the mean activation energies obtained were: 99.1, 128.2, and 144.0 kJ.mol-1 for the phenolic foam; 109.5, 113.3, and 153.0 kJ.mol-1 for the lignin reinforcement; and 82.1, 106.9, and 124.4 kJ.mol-1 for the lignin reinforced phenolic foam. The standard deviation ranges calculated for each sample were 1.27-8.85, 2.22-12.82, and 3.17-8.11 kJ.mol-1 for the phenolic foam, lignin and the reinforced foam, respectively. The DAEM model showed low mean square errors (
    First-Principles Investigation of the Structural and Electronic Properties of Mg1-xBixO
    We investigated the structure and electronic properties of the compound Mg1-xBixO with varying concentrations of 0, ¼, ½, and ¾ x bismuth in the the cesium chloride (CsCl), zinc-blende (ZnS), nickel arsenide (NiAs) NaCl (rock-salt) and WZ (wurtzite) phases. We calculated. The calculations were performed using the first-principles pseudo-potential method within the framework of spin density functional theory (DFT).
    Dependence of Dielectric Properties on Sintering Conditions of Lead Free KNN Ceramics Modified with Li-Sb
    In order to produce lead free piezoceramics with optimum piezoelectric and dielectric properties, KNN modified with Li+ (as an A site dopant) and Sb5+ (as a B site dopant) (K0.49Na0.49Li0.02) (Nb0.96Sb0.04) O3 (referred as KNLNS in this paper) have been synthesized using solid state reaction method and conventional sintering technique. The ceramics were sintered in the narrow range of 1050°C-1090°C for 2-3 h to get precise information about sintering parameters. Detailed study of dependence of microstructural, dielectric and piezoelectric properties on sintering conditions was then carried out. The study suggests that the volatility of the highly hygroscopic KNN ceramics is not only sensitive to sintering temperatures but also to sintering durations. By merely reducing the sintering duration for a given sintering temperature we saw an increase in the density of the samples which was supported by the increase in dielectric constants of the ceramics. And since density directly or indirectly affects almost all the associated properties, other dielectric and piezoelectric properties were also enhanced as we approached towards the most suitable sintering temperature and duration combination. The detailed results are reported in this paper.
    Non-Methane Hydrocarbons Emission during the Photocopying Process
    Prosperity of electronic equipment in photocopying environment not only has improved work efficiency, but also has changed indoor air quality. Considering the number of photocopying employed, indoor air quality might be worse than in general office environments. Determining the contribution from any type of equipment to indoor air pollution is a complex matter. Non-methane hydrocarbons are known to have an important role on air quality due to their high reactivity. The presence of hazardous pollutants in indoor air has been detected in one photocopying shop in Novi Sad, Serbia. Air samples were collected and analyzed for five days, during 8-hr working time in three time intervals, whereas three different sampling points were determined. Using multiple linear regression model and software package STATISTICA 10 the concentrations of occupational hazards and microclimates parameters were mutually correlated. Based on the obtained multiple coefficients of determination (0.3751, 0.2389 and 0.1975), a weak positive correlation between the observed variables was determined. Small values of parameter F indicated that there was no statistically significant difference between the concentration levels of nonmethane hydrocarbons and microclimates parameters. The results showed that variable could be presented by the general regression model: y = b0 + b1xi1+ b2xi2. Obtained regression equations allow to measure the quantitative agreement between the variables and thus obtain more accurate knowledge of their mutual relations.
    Corrosion Monitoring of Weathering Steel in a Simulated Coastal-Industrial Environment
    The atmospheres in many cities along the coastal lines in the world have been rapidly changed to coastal-industrial atmosphere. Hence, it is vital to investigate the corrosion behavior of steel exposed to this kind of environment. In this present study, Electrochemical Impedance Spectrography (EIS) and film thickness measurement were applied to monitor the corrosion behavior of weathering steel covered with a thin layer of the electrolyte in a wet-dry cyclic condition, simulating a coastal-industrial environment at 25oC and 60% RH. The results indicate that in all cycles, the corrosion rate increases during the drying process due to an increase in anion concentration and an acceleration of oxygen diffusion enhanced by the effect of the thinning out of the electrolyte. During the wet-dry cyclic corrosion test, the long-term corrosion behavior of this steel depends on the periods of exposure. Corrosion process is first accelerated and then decelerated. The decelerating corrosion process is contributed to the formation of the protective rust, favored by the wet-dry cycle and the acid regeneration process during the rusting process.
    Gamma Irradiation Effect on Structural and Optical Properties of Bismuth-Boro-Tellurite Glasses
    The changes of the optical and structural properties of Bismuth-Boro-Tellurite glasses pre and post gamma irradiation were studied. Six glass samples, with different composition [(TeO2)0.7 (B2O3)0.3]1-x (Bi2O3)x prepared by melt quenching method were irradiated with 25kGy gamma radiation at room temperature. The Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) was used to explore the structural bonding in the prepared glass samples due to exposure, while UV-VIS Spectrophotometer was used to evaluate the changes in the optical properties before and after irradiation. Gamma irradiation causes profound changes in the peak intensity as shown by FTIR spectra which is due to the breaking of the network bonding. Before gamma irradiation, the optical band gap, Eg value decreased from 2.44 eV to 2.15 eV with the addition of Bismuth content. The value kept decreasing (from 2.18 eV to 2.00 eV) following exposure to gamma radiation due to the increase of non-bridging oxygen (NBO) and the increase of defect in the glass. In conclusion, the glass with high content of Bi2O3 (0.30Bi) give smallest Eg and show less changes in FTIR spectra after gamma irradiation which indicate that this glass is more resistant to gamma radiation compared to other glasses.
    Kinetic Study of 1-Butene Isomerization over Hydrotalcite Catalyst
    This work studied the isomerization of 1-butene over hydrotalcite catalyst. The experiments were conducted at various gas hourly space velocity (GHSV), reaction temperature and feed concentration. No catalyst deactivation was observed over the reaction time of 16 hours. Two major reaction products were trans-2- butene and cis-2-butene. The reaction temperature played an important role on the reaction selectivity. At high operating temperatures, the selectivity of trans-2-butene was higher than the selectivity of cis-2-butene while it was opposite at lower reaction temperature. In the range of operating condition, the maximum conversion of 1-butene was found at 74% when T = 673 K and GHSV = 4 m3/h/kg-cat with trans- and cis-2-butene selectivities of 54% and 46%, respectively. Finally, the kinetic parameters of the reaction were determined.
    Modelling of Powered Roof Supports Work
    Due to the increasing efforts on saving our natural environment a change in the structure of energy resources can be observed - an increasing fraction of a renewable energy sources. In many countries traditional underground coal mining loses its significance but there are still countries, like Poland or Germany, in which the coal based technologies have the greatest fraction in a total energy production. This necessitates to make an effort to limit the costs and negative effects of underground coal mining. The longwall complex is as essential part of the underground coal mining. The safety and the effectiveness of the work is strongly dependent of the diagnostic state of powered roof supports. The building of a useful and reliable diagnostic system requires a lot of data. As the acquisition of a data of any possible operating conditions it is important to have a possibility to generate a demanded artificial working characteristics. In this paper a new approach of modelling a leg pressure in the single unit of powered roof support. The model is a result of the analysis of a typical working cycles.
    A Metallography Study of Secondary A226 Aluminium Alloy Used in Automotive Industries
    The secondary alloy A226 is used for many automotive casting produced by mould casting and high pressure die casting. This alloy has excellent castability, good mechanical properties and cost-effectiveness. Production of primary aluminium alloys belong to heavy source fouling of life environs. The European Union calls for the emission reduction and reduction in energy consumption therefore increase production of recycled (secondary) aluminium cast alloys. The contribution is deal with influence of recycling on the quality of the casting made from A226 in automotive industry. The properties of the casting made from secondary aluminium alloys were compared with the required properties of primary aluminium alloys. The effect of recycling on microstructure was observed using combination different analytical techniques (light microscopy upon black-white etching, scanning electron microscopy - SEM upon deep etching and energy dispersive X-ray analysis - EDX). These techniques were used for the identification of the various structure parameters, which was used to compare secondary alloy microstructure with primary alloy microstructure.