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
    Characterization of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Ambient Air PM2.5 in an Urban Site of Győr, Hungary
    In Hungary, the measurement of ambient PM10-bound polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) concentrations is great importance for a number of reasons related to human health, the environment and compliance with European Union legislation. However, the monitoring of PAHs associated with PM2.5 aerosol fraction is still incomplete. Therefore, the main aim of this study was to investigate the concentration levels of PAHs in PM2.5 urban aerosol fraction. PM2.5 and associated PAHs were monitored in November 2014 in an urban site of Győr (Northwest Hungary). The aerosol samples were collected every day for 24-hours over two weeks with a high volume air sampler provided with a PM2.5 cut-off inlet. The levels of 19 PAH compounds associated with PM2.5 aerosol fraction were quantified by a gas chromatographic method. Polluted air quality for PM2.5 (>25 g/m3) was indicated in 50% of the collected samples. The total PAHs concentrations ranged from 2.1 to 37.3 ng/m3 with the mean value of 12.4 ng/m3. Indeno(123-cd)pyrene (IND) and sum of three benzofluoranthene isomers were the most dominant PAH species followed by benzo(ghi)perylene and benzo(a)pyrene (BaP). Using BaP-equivalent approach on the concentration data of carcinogenic PAH species, BaP, and IND contributed the highest carcinogenic exposure equivalent (1.50 and 0.24 ng/m3 on average). A selected number of concentration ratios of specific PAH compounds were calculated to evaluate the possible sources of PAH contamination. The ratios reflected that the major source of PAH compounds in the PM2.5 aerosol fraction of Győr during the study period was fossil fuel combustion from automobiles.
    Long-Term Monitoring and Seasonal Analysis of PM10-Bound Benzo(a)pyrene in the Ambient Air of Northwestern Hungary
    Atmospheric aerosols have several important environmental impacts and health effects in point of air quality. Monitoring the PM10-bound polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) could have important environmental significance and health protection aspects. Benzo(a)pyrene (BaP) is the most relevant indicator of these PAH compounds. In Hungary, the Hungarian Air Quality Network provides air quality monitoring data for several air pollutants including BaP, but these data show only the annual mean concentrations and maximum values. Seasonal variation of BaP concentrations comparing the heating and non-heating periods could have important role and difference as well. For this reason, the main objective of this study was to assess the annual concentration and seasonal variation of BaP associated with PM10 in the ambient air of Northwestern Hungary seven different sampling sites (six urban and one rural) in the sampling period of 2008–2013. A total of 1475 PM10 aerosol samples were collected in the different sampling sites and analyzed for BaP by gas chromatography method. The BaP concentrations ranged from undetected to 8 ng/m3 with the mean value range of 0.50-0.96 ng/m3 referring to all sampling sites. Relatively higher concentrations of BaP were detected in samples collected in each sampling site in the heating seasons compared with non-heating periods. The annual mean BaP concentrations were comparable with the published data of the other Hungarian sites.
    Waste Burial to the Pressure Deficit Areas in the Eastern Siberia
    Important executive decisions on oil and gas production stimulation in Eastern Siberia have been recently taken. There are unique and large fields of oil, gas, and gas-condensate in Eastern Siberia. The Talakan, Koyumbinskoye, Yurubcheno-Tahomskoye, Kovykta, Chayadinskoye fields are supposed to be developed first. It will result in an abrupt increase in environmental load on the nature of Eastern Siberia. In Eastern Siberia, the introduction of ecological imperatives in hydrocarbon production is still realistic. Underground water movement is the one of the most important factors of the ecosystems condition management. Oil and gas production is associated with the forced displacement of huge water masses, mixing waters of different composition, and origin that determines the extent of anthropogenic impact on water drive systems and their protective reaction. An extensive hydrogeological system of the depression type is identified in the pre-salt deposits here. Pressure relieve here is steady up to the basement. The decrease of the hydrodynamic potential towards the basement with such a gradient resulted in reformation of the fields in process of historical (geological) development of the Nepsko-Botuobinskaya anteclise. The depression hydrodynamic systems are characterized by extremely high isolation and can only exist under such closed conditions. A steady nature of water movement due to a strictly negative gradient of reservoir pressure makes it quite possible to use environmentally-harmful liquid substances instead of water. Disposal of the most hazardous wastes is the most expedient in the deposits of the crystalline basement in certain structures distant from oil and gas fields. The time period for storage of environmentally-harmful liquid substances may be calculated by means of the geological time scales ensuring their complete prevention from releasing into environment or air even during strong earthquakes. Disposal of wastes of chemical and nuclear industries is a matter of special consideration. The existing methods of storage and disposal of wastes are very expensive. The methods applied at the moment for storage of nuclear wastes at the depth of several meters, even in the most durable containers, constitute a potential danger. The enormous size of the depression system of the Nepsko-Botuobinskaya anteclise makes it possible to easily identify such objects at the depth below 1500 m where nuclear wastes will be stored indefinitely without any environmental impact. Thus, the water drive system of the Nepsko-Botuobinskaya anteclise is the ideal object for large-volume injection of environmentally harmful liquid substances even if there are large oil and gas accumulations in the subsurface. Specific geological and hydrodynamic conditions of the system allow the production of hydrocarbons from the subsurface simultaneously with the disposal of industrial wastes of oil and gas, mining, chemical, and nuclear industries without any environmental impact.
    Hydrogeological Factors of the Ore Genesis in the Sedimentary Basins

    The present work was made for the purpose of evaluating the interstitial water’s role in the mobilization of metal elements of clay deposits and occurrences in sedimentary formation in the hydro-geological basins. The experiments were performed by using a special facility, which allows adjusting the pressure, temperature, and the frequency of the acoustic vibrations. The dates for study were samples of the oil shales (Baltic career, O2kk) and clay rocks, mainly montmorillonite composition (Borehole SG-12000, the depth of selection 1000–3600 m, the Azov-Kuban trough, N1). After interstitial water squeezing from the rock samples, decrease in the original content of the rock forming components including trace metals V, Cr, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Zr, Mo, Pb, W, Ti, and others was recorded. The experiments made it possible to evaluate the ore elements output and organic matters with the interstitial waters. Calculations have shown that, in standard conditions, from each ton of the oil shales, 5-6 kg of ore elements and 9-10 kg of organic matter can be escaped. A quantity of matter, migrating from clays in the process of solidification, is changed depending on the lithogenesis stage: more recent unrealized deposits lose more ore and organic materials than the clay rocks, selected from depth over 3000 m. Each ton of clays in the depth interval 1000-1500 m is able to generate 3-5 kg of the ore elements and 6-8 kg of the organic matters. The interstitial waters are a freight forwarder over transferring these matters in the reservoir beds. It was concluded that the interstitial waters which escaped from the study samples are solutions with abnormal high concentrations of the metals and organic matters. In the discharge zones of the sediment basins, such fluids can create paragenetic associations of the sedimentary-catagenetic ore and hydrocarbon mineral resources accumulations.

    Effect of Fractional Flow Curves on the Heavy Oil and Light Oil Recoveries in Petroleum Reservoirs

    This paper evaluates and compares the effect of fractional flow curves on the heavy oil and light oil recoveries in a petroleum reservoir. Fingering of flowing water is one of the serious problems of the oil displacement by water and another problem is the estimation of the amount of recover oil from a petroleum reservoir. To address these problems, the fractional flow of heavy oil and light oil are investigated. The fractional flow approach treats the multi-phases flow rate as a total mixed fluid and then describes the individual phases as fractional of the total flow. Laboratory experiments are implemented for two different types of oils, heavy oil, and light oil, to experimentally obtain relative permeability and fractional flow curves. Application of the light oil fractional curve, which exhibits a regular S-shape, to the water flooding method showed that a large amount of mobile oil in the reservoir is displaced by water injection. In contrast, the fractional flow curve of heavy oil does not display an S-shape because of its high viscosity. Although the advance of the injected waterfront is faster than in light oil reservoirs, a significant amount of mobile oil remains behind the waterfront.

    Laser Ultrasonic Diagnostics and Acoustic Emission Technique for Examination of Rock Specimens under Uniaxial Compression

    Laboratory studies of the stress-strain behavior of rocks specimens were conducted by using acoustic emission and laser-ultrasonic diagnostics. The sensitivity of the techniques allowed changes in the internal structure of the specimens under uniaxial compressive load to be examined at micro- and macro scales. It was shown that microcracks appear in geologic materials when the stress level reaches about 50% of breaking strength. Also, the characteristic stress of the main crack formation was registered in the process of single-stage compression of rocks. On the base of laser-ultrasonic echoscopy, 2D visualization of the internal structure of rocky soil specimens was realized, and the microcracks arising during uniaxial compression were registered.

    Logistical Optimization of Nuclear Waste Flows during Decommissioning

    An important number of technological equipment and high-skilled workers over long periods of time have to be mobilized during nuclear decommissioning processes. The related operations generate complex flows of waste and high inventory levels, associated to information flows of heterogeneous types. Taking into account that more than 10 decommissioning operations are on-going in France and about 50 are expected toward 2025: A big challenge is addressed today. The management of decommissioning and dismantling of nuclear installations represents an important part of the nuclear-based energy lifecycle, since it has an environmental impact as well as an important influence on the electricity cost and therefore the price for end-users. Bringing new technologies and new solutions into decommissioning methodologies is thus mandatory to improve the quality, cost and delay efficiency of these operations. The purpose of our project is to improve decommissioning management efficiency by developing a decision-support framework dedicated to plan nuclear facility decommissioning operations and to optimize waste evacuation by means of a logistic approach. The target is to create an easy-to-handle tool capable of i) predicting waste flows and proposing the best decommissioning logistics scenario and ii) managing information during all the steps of the process and following the progress: planning, resources, delays, authorizations, saturation zones, waste volume, etc. In this article we present our results from waste nuclear flows simulation during decommissioning process, including discrete-event simulation supported by FLEXSIM 3-D software. This approach was successfully tested and our works confirms its ability to improve this type of industrial process by identifying the critical points of the chain and optimizing it by identifying improvement actions. This type of simulation, executed before the start of the process operations on the basis of a first conception, allow ‘what-if’ process evaluation and help to ensure quality of the process in an uncertain context. The simulation of nuclear waste flows before evacuation from the site will help reducing the cost and duration of the decommissioning process by optimizing the planning and the use of resources, transitional storage and expensive radioactive waste containers. Additional benefits are expected for the governance system of the waste evacuation since it will enable a shared responsibility of the waste flows.

    Optimal Consume of NaOH in Starches Gelatinization for Froth Flotation

    Starches are widely used as depressant in froth flotation operations in Brazil due to their efficiency, increasing the selectivity in the inverse flotation of quartz depressing iron ore. Starches market have been growing and improving in recent years, leading to better products attending the requirements of the mineral industry. The major source of starch used for iron ore is corn starch, which needs to be gelatinized with sodium hydroxide (NaOH) prior to use. This stage has a direct impact on industrials costs, once the lowest consumption of NaOH in gelatinization provides better control of the pH in the froth flotation and reduces the amount of electrolytes present in the pulp. In order to evaluate the gelatinization degree of different starches and flour were subjected to the addiction of NaOH and temperature variation experiments. Samples of starch (corn, cassava, HIPIX 100, HIPIX 101 and HIPIX 102 commercialized by Ingredion) and flour (cassava and potato) were tested. The starch samples were characterized through Scanning Electronic Microscopy and the amylose content were determined through spectrometry, swelling and solubility tests. The gelatinization was carried out through titration with NaOH, keeping the solution temperature constant at 40 oC. At the end of the tests, the optimal amount of NaOH consumed to gelatinize the starch or flour from different botanical sources was established and a correlation between the content of amylopectin in the starch and the starch/NaOH ratio needed for its gelatinization.

    Annual and Seasonal Variations in Air Quality Index of the National Capital Region, India

    Air Quality Index (AQI) is used as a tool to indicate the level of severity and disseminate the information on air pollution to enable the public to understand the health and environmental impacts of air pollutant concentration levels. The annual and seasonal variation of criteria air pollutants concentration based on the National Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Programme has been conducted for a period of nine years (2006-2014) using the AQI system. AQI was calculated using IND-AQI methodology and Maximum Operator Concept is applied. An attempt has been made to quantify the variations in AQI on an annual and seasonal basis over a period of nine years. Further, year-wise frequency of occurrence of AQI in each category for all the five stations is analysed, which presents in depth analysis of trends over the period of study. The best air quality was observed in the Noida residential area, followed by Noida industrial area during the study period; whereas, Bulandshahar industrial area and Faridabad residential area were observed to have the worst air quality. A shift in the worst air quality from winter to summer season has also been observed during the study period. Further, the level of Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter was found to be above permissible limit at all the stations. The present study helps in enhancing public awareness and calls for the need of immediate measures to be taken to counter-effect the cause of the increasing level of air pollution.

    Limestone Briquette Production and Characterization

    Modern agriculture requires productivity, efficiency and quality. Therefore, there is need for agricultural limestone implementation that provides adequate amounts of calcium and magnesium carbonates in order to correct soil acidity. During the limestone process, fine particles (with average size under 400#) are generated. These particles do not have economic value in agricultural and metallurgical sectors due their size. When limestone is used for agriculture purposes, these fine particles can be easily transported by wind generated air pollution. Therefore, briquetting, a mineral processing technique, was used to mitigate this problem resulting in an agglomerated product suitable for agriculture use. Briquetting uses compressive pressure to agglomerate fine particles. It can be aided by agglutination agents, allowing adjustments in shape, size and mechanical parameters of the mass. Briquettes can generate extra profits for mineral industry, presenting as a distinct product for agriculture, and can reduce the environmental liabilities of the fine particles storage or disposition. The produced limestone briquettes were subjected to shatter and water action resistance tests. The results show that after six minutes completely submerged in water, the briquettes where fully diluted, a highly favorable result considering its use for soil acidity correction.

    Development of Total Maximum Daily Load Using Water Quality Modelling as an Approach for Watershed Management in Malaysia

    River is one of important water sources for many activities including industrial and domestic usage such as daily usage, transportation, power supply and recreational activities. However, increasing activities in a river has grown the sources of pollutant enters the water bodies, and degraded the water quality of the river. It becomes a challenge to develop an effective river management to ensure the water sources of the river are well managed and regulated. In Malaysia, several approaches for river management have been implemented such as Integrated River Basin Management (IRBM) program for coordinating the management of resources in a natural environment based on river basin to ensure their sustainability lead by Department of Drainage and Irrigation (DID), Malaysia. Nowadays, Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) is one of the best approaches for river management in Malaysia. TMDL implementation is regulated and implemented in the United States. A study on the development of TMDL in Malacca River has been carried out by doing water quality monitoring, the development of water quality model by using Environmental Fluid Dynamic Codes (EFDC), and TMDL implementation plan. The implementation of TMDL will help the stakeholders and regulators to control and improve the water quality of the river. It is one of the good approaches for river management in Malaysia.

    Hydro-Geochemistry of Qare-Sou Catchment and Gorgan Gulf, Iran: Examining Spatial and Temporal Distribution of Major Ions and Determining the River’s Hydro-Chemical Type

    This study examined the hydro-geochemistry of Qare-Sou catchment and Gorgan Gulf in order to determine the spatial distribution of major ions. In this regard, six hydrometer stations in the catchment and four stations in Gorgan Gulf were chosen and the samples were collected. Results of spatial and temporal distribution of major ions have shown similar variation trends for calcium, magnesium, and bicarbonate ions. Also, the spatial trend of chloride, sulfate, sodium and potassium ions were same as Electrical Conductivity (EC) and Total Dissolved Solid (TDS). In Nahar Khoran station, the concentrations of ions were more than other stations which may be related to human activities and the role of geology. The Siah Ab station’s ions showed high concentration which is may be related to the station’s close proximity to Gorgan Gulf and the return of water to Qare-Sou River. In order to determine the interaction of water and rock, the Gibbs diagram was used and the results showed that water of the river falls in the rock range and it is affected more by weathering and reaction between water and stone and less by evaporation and crystallization. Assessment of the quality of river water by using graphic methods indicated that the type of water in this area is Ca-HCO3-Mg. Major ions concentration in Qare-Sou in the universal average was more than but not more than the allowed limit by the World Health Organization and China Standard Organization. A comparison of ions concentration in Gorgan Gulf, seas and oceans showed that the pH in Gorgan Gulf was more than the other seas but in Gorgan Gulf the concentration of anion and cation was less than other seas.