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Open access

Višnja Oreščanin, Karlo Nađ, Anamarija Bartolinčić and Vladivoj Valković

Chemical Profile of Plomin Bay Sediments

Granulometric, chemical, and leaching properties of sediments dredged in the Plomin Bay (Northern Adriatic Sea, Croatia) were investigated in order to asses the risk of remobilisation of heavy metals into the water column. In total 65 samples from 65 sampling sites were taken from different sediment depths within the bay. Analysis of variance confirmed the homogeneity of granulometric and elemental composition of the investigated sediment throughout its volume. Granulometric analysis showed that all samples corresponded to a pelitic fraction (<0.063 mm). Bulk elemental mass fractions in the sediments were similar to literature data on relatively unpolluted areas of the Adriatic Sea. High sedimentation rate caused by constant inflow of material from the Boljunčica River drainage may be responsible for low levels of heavy metals and negligible influence of fly and bottom ash from a nearby disposal site on the chemical composition of the sediments. In contact with sea water only 0.29 mg kg-1 of V, 0.04 mg kg-1 of Cr, 0.07 mg kg-1 of Ni, 0.33 mg kg-1 of Cu, 0.67 mg kg-1 of Zn and 0.06 mg kg-1 of Pb could be remobilised from sediment material into the water column. However, these values increased three to ten times in case of leaching with organic acids.

Open access

Višnja Oreščanin, Robert Kollar, Karlo Nađ, Ivanka Mikelić and Nenad Mikulić

Boat Pressure Washing Wastewater Treatment with Calcium Oxide and/or Ferric Chloride

The aim of this study was to investigate the efficiency of (1) chemical precipitation by calcium oxide, (2) coagulation/flocculation by ferric chloride (FC), and (3) the combination these two methods in reducing the toxicity of wastewater generated by boat pressure washing. All three methods gave satisfactory results in the removal of colour, turbidity, Cr, Fe, Cu, Zn, and Pb. The concentrations of heavy metals were lowered below national limits with 1 g of CaO, 2.54 mg of Fe3+ in the form of FeCl3x6H2O, and the combination of 0.25 g of CaO and 5.08 mg of Fe3+ per 50 mL of wastewater. Both CaO (1.50 g per 50 mL of wastewater) and FC proved efficient, but their combination yielded a significantly better performance: 99.41 %, 100.00 %, 97.87 %, 99.09 %, 99.90 %, 99.46 % and 98.33 % for colour, turbidity, Cr, Fe, Cu, Zn, and Pb respectively. For colour, Cr, Cu, Zn, and Pb removal efficiencies increased in the following order: FC<CaO<CaO+FC, while this order for turbidity and Fe was as follows: CaO<FC<CaO+FC. As expected, all three methods increased the concentration of total dissolved solids in the final effluent. Our results suggest that the combined treatment of marina wastewaters with calcium oxide followed by ferric chloride is efficient, cost-effective, and user-friendly.

Open access

Višnja Oreščanin, Ivanka Lovrenčić Mikelić, Robert Kollar, Nenad Mikulić and Gordana Medunić

In this study we compared three methods for the treatment of electroplating sludge highly loaded with zinc and iron: (1) calcium oxide-based solidifi cation/stabilisation; (2) conversion into inert material by adsorption of organic and inorganic pollutants onto activated carbon; and (3) conversion of mobile waste components into insoluble phosphates. All three methods proved highly effi cient in the conversion of hazardous waste into inert material. Under optimum treatment conditions zinc concentration in the leachate of solidifi ed waste was reduced by 99.7 % compared to untreated sludge. Zinc retention effi ciency in the waste treated with activated carbon and phosphoric acid was 99.9 % and 98.7 %, respectively. The advantages of electroplating sludge treatment with activated carbon over the other two methods are high sorption capacity, insignifi cant pH and volume changes of the sludge, and simple use.

Open access

Sandra Radić Brkanac, Valerija Vujčić, Petra Cvjetko, Vid Baković and Višnja Oreščanin


Leachates from active and closed municipal solid waste landfills can be a major source of contamination to groundwater and surface waters. In the present study the toxic and genotoxic potential of leachate from an old sanitary landfill prior to and following chemical and electrochemical treatments were assessed using Lemna, Allium, and comet tests. Photosynthetic pigments, malondialdehyde (indicator of lipid peroxidation) and antioxidant enzyme activities were evaluated as additional indicators of toxicity in duckweed. Following duckweed exposure to 25 % dilution of landfill leachate, growth rate and photosynthetic pigments content significantly decreased while lipid peroxidation increased despite stimulation of antioxidative defence mechanisms. Diluted leachate induced DNA strand breaks in duckweed cells as evidenced by the comet assay. Regarding the Allium test, untreated leachate caused inhibition of Allium cepa cell division and induction of mitotic and chromosomal aberrations. Although both water treatments completely reduced genotoxicity of leachate, the electrochemical method was found to be more efficient in removing toxic substances present in landfill leachate and thus more suitable for treating such leachates prior to their discharge into the environment. As landfill leachates pose a risk to human health and environment in general due to their (geno)toxicity, the present study demonstrates that the ecotoxicity/genotoxicity assays should be used in leachate risk assessment together with physicochemical analysis.

Open access

Gordana Medunić, Iva Juranović Cindrić, Ivanka Lovrenčić Mikelić, Nenad Tomašić, Dražen Balen, Višnja Oreščanin, Štefica Kampić and Ivana Ivković


The aim of this study was to establish the fractionation of copper and zinc in a small apple orchard using the revised (four-step) Bureau Communautaire de Reference (BCR) sequential extraction procedure and assess their potential mobility in soil. Soil samples were collected at the depth of 10 cm to 25 cm, sixteen from the orchard and five control samples from a meadow located some 200 m away from the orchard. As the distribution of trace-element concentrations in the control samples was normal, they were used for comparison as background levels. We also determined soil mineralogical composition, carbonate content, soil pH, cation exchange capacity, and soil organic matter. The extraction yields of Cu and Zn from the control soil were lower than from the orchard soil (25 % vs. 34 % and 47 % vs. 52 %, respectively), which pointed to natural processes behind metal bonding in the control soil and greater influence of man-made activities in the orchard soil. Compared to control, the orchard soil had significantly higher concentrations of total Cu (P=0.0009), possibly due to the application of Cu-based fungicides. This assumption was further supported by greater speciation variability of Cu than of zinc, which points to different origins of the two, Cu from pesticides and Zn from the parent bedrock. Copper levels significantly better (P=0.01) correlated with the oxidisable fraction of the orchard soil than of control soil. Residual and organically bound copper and zinc constituted the most important fractions in the studied soils. However, the use of Cu-based fungicides in the apple orchard did not impose environmental and health risk from Cu exposure.