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  • Author: Agnieszka Kopeć x
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Impact of thermal treatment of mixtures of sewage sludge and plant material on selected chemical properties and Vibrio fischeri response

Abstract

The aim of the research was to evaluate the effect of temperature during the treatment process as well as the effect of adding plant materials to sewage sludge on selected chemical properties and Vibrio fischeri response. The mixtures were placed in a chamber furnace, under airless conditions. Two temperature procedures were applied: 300 and 600ºC; the exposure time in both cases was 15 minutes. Thermal treatment of sewage sludge without a plant component is not well-founded and may cause an increase in concentration of trace elements. Using the temperature of 300ºC caused significantly lower changes in the contents of total forms of trace elements than using the temperature of 600ºC. The metals extracted from the studied mixtures were not toxic for the Vibrio fischeri. In the case of the fractional composition of humic compounds, thermal treatment of mixtures of sewage sludge and plant materials is not beneficial in terms of labile fractions, but it had a beneficial effect on stabilizing the durable bonds between C compounds in those mixtures.

Open access
Hospitalization of a child in the Neonatal Intensive Care – parents’ experiences

Abstract

Introduction. Significant progress in the perinatal and intensive care therapy resulted in a meaningful increase of survival of extremely immature, and burdened with severe diseases neonates. Although infants are the patients of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the needs of their parents should also be noticed and realized. The aim of the study was the analysis of the parents’ experiences of children hospitalized in the NICU.

Material. The research material comprises 39 written contributions of parents of children hospitalized in the NICU.

Method. A qualitative analysis of the text was used. Quotes of parents were classified in three categories: emotions, thoughts and support.

Results. Fear, happiness, joy, uncertainty, stress and shock are the most frequently emotions appearing in the parents’ reports. The most frequently mentioned areas of cognitive reactions of parents include: realization of child’s mortality, realizing problems of the premature birth, search for the guilty, and the reformulation of looking at the world. Parents often described support they received, but also pointed to the areas where support lacked.

Conclusion:

  1. As a result of intense emotions, both positive and negative tint that parents experience at birth of a premature or sick child, multi-disciplinary care is necessary in order to reduce the negative effects of experienced emotions.
  2. Support, including information support for parents of critically ill newborns is a key skill in the practice of doctors taking care of children hospitalized in NICU.
  3. Psychological support is an essential element of the holistic care of the neonate’s family.

Open access
Content of PAHs, activities of γ-radionuclides and ecotoxicological assessment in biochars

Abstract

The aim of this research was to determine the effect of thermal conversion temperature and plant material addition to sewage sludge on the PAHs content and the activity of selected γ-radionuclides in biochars, and to conduct an ecotoxicological assessment. The pyrolysis of the mixtures of sewage sludge and plant materials at 300°C and such temperature caused an increase in the contents of 2- and 3-ring hydrocarbons. During the pyrolysis of organic materials at 600°C, the amount of the following compounds was reduced in biochars: benzo[b]fluoranthene, benzo[k]fluoranthene, benzo[a]pyrene, indeno[1,2,3c,d]pyrene, dibenzo[a,h]anthracene, and benzo[g,h,i]perylene. Among γ-radioisotopes of the elements, natural radiogenic isotopes were dominant. 137Cs was the only artificial radioactive isotope. The pyrolysis of the mixtures of municipal sewage sludge and plant materials revealed that isotope 40K had the highest radioactive activity. In the case of other analysed nuclides, activities of 212Pb, 214Pb, 214Bi, and 137Cs were determined after the sample pyrolysis. The extracts from the mixtures of sewage sludge and plant materials were non-toxic to Vibrio fischeri.

Open access