Jolanta Treinyte, Violeta Grazuleviciene and Jolita Ostrauskaite
Composites consisting of polyvinyl alcohol, nitrogen- and phosphorus-containing waste materials were prepared and studied as materials for encapsulation of mineral fertilizers By-products of biodiesel production (rapeseed cake, crude glycerol), horn meal (waste product of haberdashery) and phosphogypsum (by-product of the production of phosphorus fertilizers) were used as the fillers of the composites. The films of the composites with the different amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus were prepared using different fillers or their mixtures. Mechanical, properties of the films, hygroscopicity, solubility in water were studied. The composites developed were used for the encapsulation of mineral fertilizers. It was established that encapsulation resulted in the increase of the time of release of the fertilizers. The developed slow-release fertilizers represent a combination of inorganic and organic compounds. The organic part consists of nitrogen- and phosphorus containing horn meal and rapeseed cake. Since assimilation of organic substances is considerably longer, nitrogen and phosphorus of these components will be available for plants much later than inorganic nitrogen and phosphorus. Thus the composite film will not only decrease the rate of desorption of the components from the granules of the fertilizers but will also prolong the impact of the fertilizers on the plants.
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.
Nanoagrochemicals, such as nanopesticides, nanofertilizers or plant growth stimulating nanosystems, were primarily designed to increase solubility, enhance bioavailability, targeted delivery, controlled release and/or protection against degradation resulting in the reduced amount of applied active ingredients and finally in a decrease of dose-dependent toxicity/burden. This paper is a comprehensive up-to-date review related to the preparation and the biological activity of nanoformulations enabling gradual release of active ingredient into weeds and the body of pests and controlled release of nutrients to plants. The attention is also devoted to the decrease of direct environmental burden and economic benefits due to application of nanoformulations, where less amount of active ingredient is needed to achieve the same biological effect in comparison with bulk. The application of nanotechnology in the areas such as food packaging, food security, encapsulation of nutrients and development of new functional products is analysed. The use of nanoparticles in biosensors for detection of pathogens and contaminants as well as in DNA and gene delivery is discussed as well. Benefits and health risks of nanoagrochemicals are highlighted, and special attention is given to nanoecotoxicology and guidelines and regulatory documents related to the use of nanoformulations in agriculture and food industry.
Munteanu Marius, Ion Sandu, Ioana Huțanu and Liliana Nica
The paper presents the stages and the operations involved in the preservation and restoration of two icons on wooden support, from the XIX-th century, which are part of the heritage of the ”Sfinții Arhangheli Mihail and Gavriil” church, from Galați. The two icon have inventory numbers as part of the collection as followed: 112 for the first icon and 113 for the second one. Both icons have the same theme, ”The Grieving Mother from Rohia” and are made by anonymous painters in egg tempera, on lime wooden support, without ground. Being part of the same collection, they were deposited in the same place and as a direct consequence, they suffer from similar deteriorations and degradations that affect both the support and the painting layer. Both panels are attacked by xylophagous insects and the painting layer has detachments, gaps, cracks, clogged dirt and a cracked and degraded varnish layer. Ten samples taken from the already detached areas were analyzed by optical microscope, SEM-EDX and micro-FTIR. Based on the chemical elements identified in the EDX spectrums, the pigments used to create the painting layer are: ultramarine natural blue Na8-10Al6Si6O24S2-4, carbon black, earth green, K[(Al,FeIII),(FeII,Mg)](AlSi3,Si4)O10(OH)2, ocher (FeO), burned or natural umber Fe2O3· H2O + MnO2·n H2O+ Al2O3, lead white (2PbCO3·Pb(OH)2) and yellow iron oxide (Fe2O3·4H2O). It was also determined that the gold leaf usually used in byzantine icons was replaced in the case of both icons: the icon number 112 has silver leaf covered with varnish, while the halo of the icon number 113 was created with yellow metallic pigments (realgar or orpigment).The pigments were also identified by determining specific peaks in micro-FTIR spectrums. For natural ultramarine blue the peaks between 628 - 724 cm-1 were assigned; the peaks in the interval 795 - 887 cm-1 confirm the presence of carbonates (calcium and lead based). The earth green pigment (aluminum - silicates) had the peaks between 1464 - 1599, while the carbon black pigment was confirmed by the peaks in the interval 921 - 1060 cm-1. After the pigments and the materials used by the author were identified, the restoration process begun with the following stages: consolidation of the painting layer (fish glue 8% and japanese paper), stopping the xylophagous attack (encapsulation with nitrogen), consolidation of the wood supports (colophon and wax, 1:1), cleaning the painting layer (ethylic alcohol and distilled water, 1:1), filling the gaps and reintegrating the fillings in tratteggio, all followed by the process of varnishing the two icons.
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