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  • Author: Roman Tandlich x
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Adsorptive removal of ciprofloxacin and isoniazid from aqueous solution

Abstract

This paper describes study of ciprofloxacin and isoniazid removal from aqueous solutions using coal fly ash (FA), kaolinite, perlite, talc and vermiculite. The adsorptive features of the adsorbents were evaluated for ciprofloxacin and isoniazid with regards to the effects of contact time, pH, the solid/liquid ratio and antibiotic concentration. All adsorbents were sterilised by dry heat before use to avoid the proliferation of antimicrobial resistance by the bacteria present on the adsorbents during experiments. The regression correlation coefficients indicate that the Langmuir model gives the best fit for the sorption of both antibiotics onto FA and talc, ciprofloxacin onto kaolinite, and isoniazid onto perlite and vermiculite with R2 values ranging from 0.908 – 0.999. The Freundlich isotherm best describes the sorption of ciprofloxacin onto vermiculite and isoniazid onto kaolinite with R2 values of 0.999 for both. The Tempkin model best describes the sorption of ciprofloxacin onto perlite with an R2 = 0.997. The values of the Freundlich exponent, 1/n, range from 0.221 – 0.998, indicating a favourable adsorption of ciprofloxacin and isoniazid onto the adsorbents. The heat of sorption, B, calculated from the Temkin plots has values ranging from 0.018 – 10.460 J/mol, indicating a physical adsorption process (physisorption). Adsorption equilibrium was achieved after 30 min for both antibiotics and the kinetic data obtained conforms best to the pseudo-second order equation with R2 values ranging from 0.998 – 0.999. The removal of ciprofloxacin and isoniazid by all adsorbents except FA was strongly influenced by the pH suggesting that electrostatic interactions play a major role in the adsorption processes.

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Effect of fly ash-lime treatment on the acute toxicity of greywater towards Daphnia magna

Abstract

Acute toxicity of raw and treated greywater towards Daphnia magna was assessed in this study. Treatment was performed with exposure of greywater to the fly-lime mixture After 48 h of exposure, 100 % mortality of D. magna was recorded when testing the following volumetric fractions of the raw greywater streams in the tested liquid medium (%; v/v): 10 % for kitchen greywater, 5 – 10 % for bathroom greywater and 1.25 – 10 % for laundry greywater. After greywater treatment with the fly-ash-lime mixture with pH adjustment to 7.0, 80 % of neonates of D. magna survived after exposure to treated laundry greywater in all dilutions at 48 h. At the same time, 100 % of neonates survived exposure to treated bathroom and kitchen greywater at all volumetric fractions. Therefore greywater had acute toxicity to D. magna, i.e. greywater treatment was required before its discharge or reuse. Values of the Pearson’s correlation coefficient between the chemical components of the raw greywater and treated greywater and the survival of D. magna indicated a lack of statistically significant correlation at 5 % level of significance (p-value > 0.05 in all cases), i.e. the survival of D. magna was independent of the concentration of chemical constituents in greywater samples tested. Further studies will have to be conducted on the chronic toxicity of the greywater effluent after treatment with the fly-lime mixture. Experiments from this study will have to be re-run for the fully scaled-up version of the fly-lime mixture-based greywater treatment systems.

Open access
Moral Reciprocity, Ethics of Appropriation of Indigenous Medicinal Plant Knowledge and Associated Biopiracy

Abstract

Introduction: Although this paper deals mostly with the positive effects of a posthumanist worldview on environmental sustainability, partnership, or moral accountability in science and scientific research, it also promotes a new understanding of our educational practice in higher education. The ideas espoused have the ability to inspire educators at all levels to show students, future researchers or other professions about the importance of a progressive, holistic approach to our environment. We claim that being sensitive and caring for our environment is not only part of our moral and ethical responsibility, it is an inseparable aspect of our environmental education, our environmental intelligence. This paper discusses posthumanist1 reciprocity ethics in the context of traditional knowledge (TK) and the protection of indigenous traditional knowledge from commercial exploitation.

Methods: Instances of unethical bioprospecting and biopiracy were common throughout the turn of the 21st century and are discussed using cases in countries such as Cameroon, India, South Africa and Australia, where medicinal plant species were, are still a highly sought-after source of potent, pharmacologically active phytochemicals.

Results and discussion: The observed increase in regulations against bioprospecting on indigenous land in these countries as a result of intellectual property monopoly by big pharmaceutical companies is discussed in this paper along the lines of a ‘humanist vs posthumanist’ ontology. Patent exclusivity laws have historically marginalized the proprietary owners of indigenous traditional knowledge, creating a moral and ethical rift between those that seek to exploit this knowledge commercially and those from whom the knowledge originally comes from. This disconnection from nature and natural resources due to a humanistic approach2 to growth and development, often leads to environmental exploitation, exploitation of indigenous people and unsustainable commercial practices. Existing research and bioprospecting ethics that are practiced on indigenous lands must be questioned in their ability to provide mutually beneficial outcomes for all stakeholders.

Conclusions: The posthumanist approach to morality and research ethics is discussed in this paper as a possible and practical alternative to humanism along with the potential for posthumanist ethics to be a tool to shape legal frameworks and the policies that protect at-risk communities and their respective natural environments. Our current developmental trajectory as a collective species has us blurring the lines that separate the ‘human’ from the ‘non-human’ elements in our world as humanity grows towards a more technologically advanced but equally environmentally dependent people. Thus, the currently existing systems of ethics that govern the relationship between the ‘human’ and ‘non-human’ must be called into question. This paper aims to illustrate the positive effects of a posthumanist worldview on issues such as environmental sustainability, partnership, moral accountability and reciprocity ethics in the context of modern science and modern scientific research.

Open access
Civic Engagement and Environmental Sustainability in Teaching and Learning at Higher Education Institution in South Africa

Abstract

This article seeks to provide an outline the scope of professional teaching and learning activities and their connection to civic engagement and the achievement of environmental sustainability at Rhodes University and in Makana Local Municipality. Activities in the context of rainwater water harvesting and sanitation research are used as examples. The improved hydrogen-sulphide test kit was used as the tool for the assessment of microbial water quality between April and July 2016. An approach to the improvement in the design and modelling of the performance of ventillated improved pit latrines under laboratory conditions is also described. All activities described have been taking place in the context of undergraduate and postgraduate student research projects at Rhodes University. They have implications for teaching and learning, civic engagement and environmental sustainability. Teaching and learning of the concepts of sustainability can facilitate the development of the necessary connection between academia and the society at large. This can have a significant positive effect on societal conditions in South Africa. Further endeavours similar those described in this article should be stimulated in South and beyond.

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Challenges and Curriculum Transformation in the Higher Education Sector in South Africa: A Case Study in WASH to Improve the Training of Pharmacists

Abstract

Introduction: South Africa is a member state of the “BRICS” bloc (BRICS2017.org, 2017) and the G20 group of the 20 nations/economic blocs, which between them account for the majority of the world’s trade and economic activity. It faces many developmental challenges which are mirrored in its higher education sector. In this article, the authors seek to provide an overview of the challenges that South African higher education faces in the achievement of the developmental goals of the country. The focus of this paper is a case study in WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) to improve context-specific responses that trains pharmacists on knowledge and skills.

Methods: The study was performed as a combination of calculations and a literature review to obtain the background or current status of the higher education sector and developmental planning in South Africa. For this, data were extracted from the Statistics South Africa reports, relevant professional articles on South African higher education sector and results of postgraduate research. Workshop results which were obtained as a collaboration between a public and a private higher education institution and results of postgraduate research were used as the paradigm for transformation and decolonisation of the curriculum for a professional degree in South Africa.

Results and discussion: Challenges exist in the South African tertiary education sector and the graduation rate currently stands at 65.1% of the target set by the National Development Plan. Around 58.1% of all students do not complete their university/post-secondary education, which could provide a partial explanation for the skills shortage in South Africa. Decolonisation and transformation of the tertiary education curriculum are major topics in the discourse on higher education in South Africa. The authors propose that one way to achieve this would be inclusion of research results and group activities in the area of water, sanitation and hygiene as a topic for possible and partial transformation of the Bachelor of Pharmacy curriculum.

Conclusions: The current article summarises some of topics and challenges that drive the current discourse, developmental and curriculum debate in higher education in South Africa. Student access and through put at tertiary institutions need to be improved and the curriculum needs to be transformed.

Open access