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The effect of the selected remediation medium on the cadmium bioavailability in the selected ecosystem in the Southwestern locality of Slovakia

Abstract

Soil is a sensitive ecological factor. Biodegradable materials from the environment can also be used to deal with serious ecological problems. Soil affecting by remediation medium - garden compost - was analysed for toxic cadmium (Cd) in terms of environmental protection. The objective of this research was to analyse soil and compost at foothill locality of the Tribeč Mountains (Southwestern Slovakia) in the years 2015−2017 to determine Cd contents in soil and compost, pH and to assess Cd bioavailability. The analyses were carried out using the Atomic Absorption Spectrometry with seven-step Selective Sequential Extraction methods. The results obtained were evaluated statistically using the SAS 9.4 software method by Spearman’s correlation coefficient. The results showed that Cd contents in soil had reached 2.96 mg kg−1 and soil with compost (the ratio 1:1) 2.71 mg kg−1 dry matter. Cd contents in the soil exceeded maximum allowed limit of 196%. And deceased by 25% after adding compost. The pH in soil with compost varied from 6.78 to 7.98. The pH prevented the mobility of Cd about 8.3% in average. Statistical dependence was high, which was demonstrated for relationship between Cd in soil, pH and compost. Available Cd forms in soil were 53.3% and soil with compost were 45% in average. The garden compost as a remediation medium reduced Cd bioavailability.

Open access
Identification of Degradation By-Products of Selected Pesticides During Oxidation and Chlorination Processes

Abstract

Advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) are considered to be one of the most effective methods for the decomposition of a wide range of hardly-biodegradable organic compounds, including pesticides. The implementation of such processes in the water streams treatment often leads to the formation of decomposition by-products of micropollutants occurring in water. These compounds, even in concentrations of a few ng/dm3, may negatively affect the water quality. Therefore, there is a need for detailed analyses that will allow to identify intermediates found in the AOP solutions and to assess their impact on the aquatic environment. The paper presents an attempt to identify by-products of three pesticides: triclosan, triallat and oxadiazon during ozonation, chlorination and UV irradiation of their water solutions. The identification of compounds was performed based on the results of the GC-MS analysis using the NIST v17 mass spectral library. It has been shown that during all of tested advanced oxidation processes, incomplete degradation of pesticides occurs. The number of micropollutant decomposition by-products increases with the increase of the applied ozone dose and UV exposure time. During the chlorination process Cl atoms were added to the tested compound molecules. In the case of triclosan, it led to the generation of compounds containing four or five chlorine atoms in their structure. The toxicological analysis performed by the use of the Microtox® and Lemna sp. Growth Inhibition Test showed the toxic nature of post-process solutions. The decomposition by-products of triclosan and triallate, generated during the UV irradiation process, were highly toxic against the test organisms (toxic effect > 75 %). This makes it impossible to drain these solutions into the natural environment.

Open access
The Impact of Hydrometeorological Events on the State of the Urban River Quality

Abstract

One of the aims of this paper was to study catchment and watercourse response to extreme events. The study area consisted of Orunski Stream in the northern Polish city of Gdansk. The study period (review of cartographic materials) covered the years 1908 to 2000, while field research covered the period from May 2009 to April 2010. In addition, measurements were performed to study the dynamics of changes occurring in the creek during rainfall events. Examination of the water chemistry changes made two days before heavy rainfall showed a significant increase in sulphates and nitrogen compounds. Additionally, pollutants washed from the basin contributed to a significant deterioration in the water colour. A rainfall of 1.3 mm caused an eleven-fold increase in stream flow, a twofold increase in the water level, and a fourfold increase in the velocity of water molecules. It might appear seem that such a small amount of rainfall would have no major effect on the hydrologic and hydrochemical parameters of a small creek. However, it is the maximum flow rate that is an important variable when assessing potential flood risk levels.

Open access
The Influence of the Filtration Bed type in the Pool Water Treatment System on Washings Quality

Abstract

This paper presents the influence of the type of filtration beds, used in swimming pool water treatment systems, on the quality and the possibility of reuse of washings. The research covered 4 pool cycles with sand, sand and anthracite, glass and diatomaceous beds. The degree of contamination of washings was assessed on the basis of physical, chemical and bacteriological tests. The possibility of washings drainage into the natural environment was considered, and the results of the research were compared with the permissible values of pollution indicators for wastewater discharged to water or ground. A direct management of washings from the analysed filters proved impossible mainly due to the high content of TSS (total suspended solids) and free chlorine. Washings were subjected to sedimentation and then the supernatant was stirred intensively. As a result of these processes, the quality of washings was significantly improved. This allowed planning to supplement the pool water installations with systems for washings management.

Open access
Is the Polish Smog a New Type of Smog?

Abstract

In recent years, every winter we face the problem of excessive air pollution in the cities in Poland. This phenomenon is usually called smog and is associated with the concept of acidic smog of London type. However, there is a fundamental difference between the Great Smog of London known from the literature and winter smog episodes in Poland. While in 1952 in London the smog occurred at low atmospheric pressure, in foggy and windless weather conditions, in Poland smog episodes occur most often at the influx of cold, high-pressure air masses from the east in sunny weather. There are also various harmful components of smog - in London it was dust (suspended particulate matter), sulfur dioxide and carbon monoxide, while in Poland it is suspended particulate matter and polyaromatic hydrocarbons, especially benzo(a)pyrene. A common factor is the inversion of temperature in the ground level of the atmosphere. The chemical composition of the “Polish smog” is analyzed in the study justifying the need to distinguish the two types of smog described.

Open access
Macrophytes in the littoral of Lake Arakhley in different states of water regime

Abstract

The study of aquatic vegetation in the littoral of the dimictic water bodies of taiga is of particular interest in case of long-term observations carried out under conditions of climate fluctuations. During the low-water period, drying of the littoral with a decrease in the water level leads to the changes in phytomass of macrophytes, as well as in the composition of species and their distribution by depth. The area of littoral covered with ice in winter is also large in the low-water period; it affects the growth of perennial plants. When the water level decreases, the sand beach replaces the sand and pebble beach; it leads to the disappearance of epilithon and the predominance of rooting plants. The features of vegetation were determined for each period of water content. The low-water period is characterised mostly by grass-type vegetation; the high-water period is characterised by vegetation of mixed type.

Open access
Morphological characteristics and variation of wood, cone and seed productions in the reforestation of Aleppo pine in Northeastern Tunisia using terrestrial and spatial index approaches

Abstract

For several decades, forest management policies have encouraged land cover changes, with the establishment of tree cover such as Aleppo pine in natural or degraded ecosystems for soil protection and the firewood production. In order to investigate the importance of Aleppo pine trees in the ecosystem, this study was conducted in the reforestation of the Aleppo pine of Northeastern Tunisia. The production of wood, cones and seeds of Aleppo pine in the 6 date reforestation in Northeastern Tunisia were surveyed using 6 plots (20 tree/plot) spread over 6 different location. Our hypothesis was to determine the characteristics that can be decisive in estimating the production of Aleppo pine in reforestation in Tunisia using terrestrial and spatial measurements including (i) age, (ii) dendrometric characteristics, (iii) silvicultural treatments, (iv) stationary data and/ or (v) remote sensing parameter (NDVI: Normalized Difference Vegetation Index). We found that the Aleppo pine in Northeastern Tunisia and at young age trees (14–35 years) were more productive than the regeneration or reforestation stand, either young or old, in Northwest of Tunisia. Wood, cone and seed productions were significantly different amongst the plots (p <0.05). The NDVI was positively correlated with the production of wood, cones and seeds. Stand age, exposure and longitude were also positively correlated with the production. However, longitude and altitude were negatively correlated with the production, showing a negative effect on the morphological traits of trees and, subsequently, their growth. The regression analysis indicates that NDVI and age were the most determinant factors of seed production. This research suggests that reforestation planning, particularly the choice of altitude and latitude, may result in improved tree morphology that may increase Aleppo pine wood seed and cone crops.

Open access
Pilot Tests and Fouling Identification in the Ultrafiltration of Model Oily and Saline Wastewaters

Abstract

This paper evaluates ceramic membrane performance and fouling mechanisms in the ultrafiltration of model oil-in-water solutions with addition of NaCl. First, the work estimated the effect of main process parameters, i.e. transmembrane pressure, cross-flow velocity and NaCl content in the feed on oil rejection and permeate flux using 23 experimental design. The ultrafiltration experiments were carried out using pilot installation with commercial tubular ceramic 300 kDa membrane. Ultrafiltration data obtained using experimental design technique was used to determine the regression coefficients of polynomial equations. These equations give information on non-conjugated as well as conjugated effects of two operating parameters and one feed parameter on ceramic membrane performance in ultrafiltration process of model oil-in-water-NaCl solutions. Moreover, these equations can help to determine optimal conditions for ultrafiltration process from the point of view of membrane permeability and selectivity. Next, ultrafiltration results were analyzed using resistance-in-series model. It was found that the process is membrane resistance limited. It was also stated that, resistance caused by reversible fouling is greater than irreversible fouling resistance. Finally, pore blocking models based on modified Hermia’s equation were used to determine membrane fouling mechanism responsible for permeate flux decline with ultrafiltration time. In investigated system ceramic membrane fouling was caused by complete and intermediate pore blocking mechanisms.

Open access
A portable fast neutron radiography system for non-destructive analysis of composite materials

Abstract

Depending on the neutron energy used, neutron radiography can be generally categorized as fast and thermal neutron radiography. Fast neutron radiography (FNR) with neutron energy more than 1 MeV opens up a new range of possibilities for a non-destructive examination when the inspected object is thick or dense. Other traditional techniques, such as X-ray, gamma ray and thermal neutron radiography, do not meet penetration capabilities of FNR in this area. Because of these distinctive features, this technique is used in different industrial applications such as security (cargo investigation for contraband such as narcotics, explosives and illicit drugs), gas/liquid flow and mixing and radiography and tomography of encapsulated heavy shielded low Z compound materials. The FNR images are produced directly during exposure as neutrons create recoil protons, which activate a scintillator screen, allowing images to be collected with a computer-controlled charge-coupled device camera. Finally, the picture can be saved on a computer for image processing. The aim of this research was to set up a portable FN R system and to test it for use in non-destructive testing of different composite materials. Experiments were carried out by using a fast portative neutron generator Thermo Scientific MP 320.

Open access
The Possibility of Utilization of Sewage Sludge as a Filler in Production of the Lightweight Aggregate Concrete

Abstract

The article presents the laboratory investigations of the basic thermal and hygric parameters of standard lightweight aggregate-concrete and lightweight aggregate-concrete supplemented with municipal sewage sludge. Both types of concrete are based on light aggregates, commonly used in the Polish building market. In order to improve the hygric parameters of the material, such as water absorptivity, the admixture of water emulsion of reactive polisiloxanes was applied. Within the presented research, together with basic moisture parameters estimation, capillary rise process was monitored using Time Domain Reflectometry (TDR) modified sensors. Hygric parameters were supplemented with the estimation of thermal conductivity coefficient λ determined using stationary method. The analysis of thermal and hygric properties of concrete confirmed the applicability of lightweight aggregate-concrete with sewage sludge supplementation for further production.

Open access