Applied sciences

Archives of Environmental Protection


Archives of Environmental Protection | 2014 | vol. 40 | No 2 |


The research aim was to determine the long-term impact of the mine waste stored at the coal waste dump Hałda Ruda on the content of heavy metals in the bottom sediments of the Bytomka River. It is a watercourse flowing along this coal waste dump and has been under its influence for over fifty years. The research also attempted to determine the seasonality of changes (2 years) and mobility of selected elements.

The article presents total contents of Cr, Mn, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Cd and Pb in the bottom sediments collected from the Bytomka River. It also focuses on the distribution of these elements in particular geochemical fractions determined with the Tessier's sequential chemical extraction procedure. Total element contents were determined with an EDPXRF (Energy Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence) technique. The extractants of particular Tessier's fractions were determined quantitatively with an ICP-MS (Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry) spectrometer. The research results show that the stored waste significantly influences the contents of heavy metals in the Bytomka River bottom sediments. The lowest concentration of heavy metals was observed at the B1 spot (above the dump), while the highest one was measured at the B3 spot (below the dump).

Sequential chemical extraction of the bottom sediments indicates that the Zn content in the ion-exchange and carbonate fractions diminished within a year. Nevertheless, Zn bound to Fe and Mn oxides acted in the opposite way. Mn, Zn and Pb are the most dangerous elements from the viewpoint of environmental hazards, as their total concentrations were high. Moreover, their high contents were observed in the most mobile (ion-exchange and carbonate) fractions. Extremely toxic Cd was bound to the oxide fraction to the largest extent. Cu was mainly bound to the organic fraction while environmentally hazardous Cr was bound to the residual fraction.

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The paper presents two sample preparation procedures for the determination of aldehydes in wet deposition. In both cases the 2,4-dinitrophenylhydrazine derivatization and solid phase extraction were applied. The derivatization in method A was applied before the extraction, the extraction in method B was carried out with simultaneous derivatisation. Accuracy of both methods was evaluated on the basis of the analysis of aqueous solutions of selected carbonyl compounds. Both methods were characterized by good recovery, however, due to the precision of the method expressed as RSD for testing of environmental samples the method B was used.

The analysis of environmental samples showed significant differences in the concentrations of aldehydes in wet deposition, depending on the location of the sampling point. In the case of samples taken from agricultural areas the predominant aldehydes were formaldehyde and acetaldehyde. Formaldehyde was from 31% to 47% of the determined compounds. While in samples collected near a traffic source, in the deposition acrolein was determined at the levels from 62% to 64% of the identified compounds.

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The aim of this study was to determine the ecological characteristics of vascular plants colonizing serpentine mining waste dumps and quarries in Lower Silesia. The investigated flora was analyzed with regard to species composition, geographical-historical status, life forms, as well as selected ecological factors, such as light and trophic preferences, soil moisture and reaction, value of resistance to increased heavy metals content in the soil, seed dispersal modes and occurrence of mycorrhiza. There were 113 species of vascular plants, belonging to 28 families, found on seven sites in the study. The most numerous families were Asteraceae, Poaceae, Fabaceae and Caryophyllaceae. Only 13% of all plants recorded occurred on at least five of the study sites. The most numerous were species related to dry grassland communities, particularly of the Festuco-Brometea class, which included taxa endangered in the region of Lower Silesia: Avenula pratensis, Salvia pratensis, Festuca valesiaca. Apophytes dominated in the flora of the investigated communities. Hemicryptophytes were the most numerous group and therophytes were also abundant. The serpentine mining waste dumps and querries hosted heliophilous species which prefer mesic or dry habitats moderately poor in nutrients, featuring neutral soil reaction. On two study sites 30% of the flora composition consisted of species that tolerate an increased content of heavy metals in the soil. Anemochoric species were the most numerous with regard to types of seed dispersal. Species with an arbuscular type of mycorrhiza were definitely dominant in the flora of all the study sites, however, the number of nonmycorrhizal species was also relatively high. It was suggested that both the specific characteristics of the habitats from serpentine mining and the vegetation of adjacent areas had a major impact on the flora composition of the communities in the investigated sites.

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The restoration of the anthropogenic Pławniowice water reservoir with the hypolimnion withdrawal method (the Olszewski's tube) began in December 2003. The decision to restore the reservoir had been taken due to its terrible condition resulting from the hypertrophy, which had been indicated by the research from the years 1993–1998.

The following paper presents the results of eight-year-long research into the formation of oxygen conditions and restoration settings. They were compared with the data obtained from the research before the restoration. Positive changes were witnessed. It was showed that grasping the changes in oxygen conditions enables the comparison of oxygen profiles in the same months in subsequent years. The ratio of anoxic water layer thickness to the oxygenated layer thickness was suggested as a factor characterizing oxygen conditions. The area described with an izooxa in the xy coordinate system was suggested as a factor [O2 mg/m2] allowing researchers to understand and describe occurring changes. It was observed that the oxygen solved in water as a result of the restoration occurred in the whole water column in the third decade of July. The oxygen concentration in the hypolimnion gradually rose in May, June and July each year. It was showed that the improvement in oxygen conditions stemmed from progressing oligotrophy of the reservoir.

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Trichloroethene (TCE) and tetrachloroethene (PCE) are chemical compounds which pose a serious threat for human health. Their specific properties make it possible that these substances may linger in soil and water for many years. These are the reasons why wells with water designed for drinking purposes have been subject of monitoring since 2006. This paper presents the results of monitoring research conducted in the soil-water environment within the framework in third phase of an ecological audit of land. The ecological audit of land made it possible to identify the cause and degree of the degradation, and helped formulate rationale for remedy decisions pertaining to the land (remediation/reclamation). The objective of the paper was to determine the pollution status of the soil-water environment and, subsequently, monitor (in years 2008-2010) the contents of the hazardous substances, namely trichloroethene and tetrachloroethene, within the area of the potential impact of metallurgical plant located in borders of the Main Underground Water Reservoir Wierzbica-Ostrowiec (GZWP 420) in in voivodeship Świętokrzyskie.

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Three chromium resistant bacterial strains, Pseudomonas fluorescens PF28, Enterobacter amnigenus EA31 and Enterococcus gallinarum S34 isolated from tannery waste contaminated soil were used in this study. All strains could resist a high concentration of K2Cr2O7 that is up to 300 mg/L. The effect of these strains on clover plants (Trifolium campestre) in the presence of two chromium salts CrCl3 and K2Cr2O7 was studied in soil microcosm. Application of chromium salts adversely affected seed germination, root and shoot length. Bacterial inoculation improved the growth parameters under chromate stress when compared with non inoculated respective controls. There was observed more than 50% reduction of Cr(VI) in inoculated soil microcosms, as compared to the uninoculated soil under the same conditions. The results obtained in this study are significant for the bioremediation of chromate pollution.

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Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are one group of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) that are of international concern because of global distribution, persistence, and toxicity. Removal of these compounds from the environment remains a very difficult challenge because the compounds are highly hydrophobic and have very low solubility in water. A 900 W domestic microwave oven, pyrex vessel reactor, pyrex tube connector and condensing system were used in this experiment. Radiation was discontinuous and ray powers were 540, 720 and 900 W. The PCBS were analyzed by GC-ECD. The application of microwave radiation and H2O2/TiO2 agents for the degradation of polychlorinated biphenyl contaminated oil was explored in this study. PCB – contaminated oil was treated in a pyrex reactor by microwave irradiation at 2450 MHz with the addition of H2O2/TiO2. A novel grain TiO2 (GT01) was used. The determination of PCB residues in oil by gas chromatography (GC) revealed that rates of PCB decomposition were highly dependent on microwave power, exposure time, ratio to solvent with transformer oil in 3:1, the optimal amount of GT01 (0.2 g) and 0.116 mol of H2O2 were used in the study. It was suggested that microwave irradiation with the assistance of H2O2/TiO2 might be a potential technology for the degradation of PCB – contaminated oil. The experiments show that MW irradiation, H2O2 oxidant and TiO2 catalyst lead to a degradation efficiency of PCBs only in the presence of ethanol. The results showed that the addition of ethanol significantly enhanced degradation efficiency of PCBs.

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The presented results of research on the effectiveness of enzymatic hydrolysis of lignocellulosic waste, depending on their initial depolymerisation in alkaline medium were considered in the context of the possibility of their further use in the fermentation media focused on the recovery of energy in the form of molecular hydrogen. The aim of this study was to determine the appropriate dose and concentration of a chemical reagent, whose efficiency would be high enough to cause decomposition of the complex, but without an excessive production of by-products which could adversely affect the progress and effectiveness of the enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation. The effect of treatment on physical-chemical changes of homogenates’ properties such as pH, COD, the concentration of monosaccharide and total sugars and the concentration of total suspended solids and volatile suspended solids was determined. The enzymatic decomposition of lignocellulosic complex was repeatedly more efficient if the sample homogenates were subjected to an initial exposure to NaOH. The degree of conversion of complex sugars into simple sugars during enzymatic hydrolysis of homogenates pre-alkalized to pH 11.5 and 12.0 was 83.3 and 84.2% respectively, which should be sufficient for efficient hydrogen fermentation process.

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This study characterizes mycorrhiza helper bacteria (MHB) from selected unpolluted locations as well as subjected to industrial emissions. To determine the species of bacteria isolated from the roots of ectomycorrhizal pine and birch, a method based on the sequence analysis of a 16S rRNA gene was used. The isolated bacteria were initially characterized by available biochemical methods and phenotypic observation. On the selected bacteria representatives isolation of DNA was performed, on which the PCR reaction was carried out. In this way amplified samples were automatically sequenced and the obtained results were compared to public databases. Among the isolated bacteria Pseudomonas fluorescens SBW25 and Burkholderia xenovorans LB400 species were dominant.

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Primary or secondary sewage sludge in medium and large WWTP are most often processed by anaerobic digestion, as a method of conditioning, sludge quantity minimization and biogas production. With the aim to achieve the best results of sludge processing several modifications of technologies were suggested, investigated and introduced in the full technical scale. Various sludge pretreatment technologies before anaerobic treatment have been widely investigated and partially introduced. Obviously, there are always some limitations and some negative side effects. Selected aspects have been presented and discussed. The problem of nitrogen has been highlighted on the basis of the carried out investigations. The single and two step - mesophilic and thermophilic - anaerobic waste activated sludge digestion processes, preceded by preliminary hydrolysis were investigated. The aim of lab-scale experiments was pre-treatment of the sludge by means of low intensive alkaline and hydrodynamic disintegration. Depending on the pretreatment technologies and the digestion temperature large ammonia concentrations, up to 1800 mg NH4/dm3 have been measured. Return of the sludge liquor to the main sewage treatment line means additional nitrogen removal costs. Possible solutions are discussed.

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Acidification, as a form of soil degradation is a process that leads to permanent reduction in the quality of soil as the most important natural resource. The process of soil acidification, which in the first place implies a reduction in soil pH, can be caused by natural processes, but also considerably accelerated by the anthropogenic influence of excessive S and N emissions, uncontrolled deforestation, and intensive agricultural processes. Critical loads, i.e. the upper limit of harmful depositions (primarily of S and N) which will not cause damages to the ecosystem, were determined in Europe under the auspices of the Executive Committee of the CLRTAP in 1980. These values represent the basic indicators of ecosystem stability to the process of acidification. This paper defines the status of acidification for the period up to 2100 in relation to the long term critical and target loading of soil with S and N on the territory of Krupanj municipality by applying the VSD model. The Inverse Distance Weighting (IDW) geostatistic module was used as the interpolation method. Land management, particularly in areas susceptible to acidification, needs to be focused on well-balanced agriculture and use of crops/seedlings to achieve the optimum land use and sustainable productivity for the projected 100-year period.

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Czesława Rosik-Dulewska

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Brian A. Bolto (Australia)
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Zhihong Cao (China)
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Wolfgang Frenzel (Germany)
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Józef M. Pacyna (Norway)
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Jadwiga Szczepańska (Poland)
Christopher G. Uchrin (USA)
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Xiaoping Zhu (USA)
Jerzy Zwoździak (Poland) 


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Instructions for authors

Instructions for Authors

Archives of Environmental Protection is a quarterly published jointly by the Institute of Environmental Engineering of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Committee of Environmental Engineering of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Thanks to the cooperation with outstanding scientists from all over the world we are able to provide our readers with carefully selected, most interesting and most valuable texts, presenting the latest state of research in the field of engineering and environmental protection.


The Journal principally accepts for publication original research papers covering such topics as:

- Air quality, air pollution prevention and treatment;

- Wastewater treatment and utilization;

- Waste management;

- Hydrology and water quality, water treatment;

- Soil protection and remediation;

- Transformations and transport of organic/inorganic pollutants in the environment;

- Measurement techniques used in environmental engineering and monitoring;

- Other topics directly related to environmental engineering and environment protection.

The Journal accepts also authoritative and critical reviews of the current state of knowledge in the topic directly relating to the environment protection.

If unsure whether the article is within the scope of the Journal, please send an abstract via e-mail to: or

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The following are the requirements for manuscripts submitted for publication:

• The manuscript (with illustrations, tables, abstract and references) should not exceed 20 pages. In case the manuscript exceeds the required number of pages, we suggest contacting the Editor.

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– text.doc – file containing the entire text, without title, keywords, authors names and affiliations, and without tables and figures;

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• Tables should always be divided into columns. When there are many results presented in the table it should also be divided into lines.

• References should be cited in the text of an article by providing the name and publication year in brackets, e.g. (Nowak 2019). When a cited paper has two authors, both surnames connected with the word “and” should be provided, e.g. (Nowak and Kowalski 2019). When a cited paper has more than one author, surname of its first author, abbreviation ‘et al.’ and publication year should be provided, e.g. (Kowalski et al. 2019). When there are more than two publications cited in one place they should be divided with coma, e.g. (Kowalski et al. 2019, Nowak 2019, Nowak and Kowalski 2019). Internet sources should be cited like other texts - providing the name and publication year in brackets.

• References should be listed at the end of the article ordered alphabetically by surname of the first author. References should be made according to the following rules:

1. Journal:

Surnames and initials. (publication year). Title of the article, Journal Name, volume, number, pages, DOI.

For example:

Nowak, S.W., Smith, A.J. & Taylor, K.T. (2019). Title of the article, Archives of Environmental Protection, 10, 2, pp. 93–98, DOI: 10.24425/aep.2019.126330.

2. Book:

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For example:

Kraszewski, J. & Kinecki, K. (2019). Title of book, Work & Sudies, Zabrze 2019.

3. Edited book:

Surnames and initials of text authors. (publishing year). Title of cited chapter, in: Title of the book, Surnames and initials of editor(s). (Ed.)/(Eds.). Publisher, Place, pages.

For example:

Reynor, J. & Taylor, K.T. (2019). Title of chapter, in: Title of the cited book, Kaźmierski, I. & Jasiński, C. (Eds.). Work & Studies, Zabrze, pp. 145–189.

4. Internet sources:

Surnames and initials or the name of the institution which published the text. (publication year). Title, (website address (accessed on)).

For example:

Kowalski, M. (2018). Title, ( (03.12.2018)).

5. Patents:

Orszulik, E. (2009). Palenisko fluidalne, Patent polski: nr PL20070383311 20070910 z 16 marca 2009.

Smith, I.M. (1988). U.S. Patent No. 123,445. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

6. Materials published in language other than English:

Titles of cited materials should be translated into English. Information of the language the materials were published in should be provided at the end.

For example:

Nowak, S.W. & Taylor, K.T. (2019). Title of article, Journal Name, 10, 2, pp. 93–98, DOI: 10.24425/aep.2019.126330. (in Polish)

Not more than 30 references should be cited in the original research paper.

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By submitting the manuscript Author(s) warrant(s) that the article has not been previously published and is not under consideration by another journal. Authors claim responsibility and liability for the submitted article. The manuscripts should be submitted on-line using the Editorial System available at Authors are asked to propose at least 4 potential reviewers, including 2 from Poland, together with their e-mail addresses. The journal does not have article processing charges (APCs) nor article submission charges.

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All the submitted articles are assessed by the Editorial Board. If positively assessed by at least two editors, Editor in Chief, along with department editors selects two independent reviewers from recognized authorities in the discipline. Reviewers receive a text of the article (without personal data of Authors) and review forms applicable in the journal. In justified cases, reviewers receive additional questions regarding the article. Review process usually lasts from 1 to 4 months.

After completion of the review process Authors are informed of the results and - if both reviews are positive - asked to correct the text according to reviewers’ comments. Next, the revised work is verified by the editorial staff for factual and editorial content.

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The manuscript is accepted for publication on grounds of the opinions of independent reviewers and approval of Editorial Board. Authors are informed about the decision and also asked to pay processing charges and to send completed declaration of the transfer of copyright to the editorial office.

Proofreading and Author Correction

All articles published in the Archives of Environmental Protection go through professional proofreading process. If there are too many language errors that prevent understanding of the text, the article is sent back to Authors with a request to correct the indicated fragments or - in extreme cases – to re-translate the text.

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Archives of Environmental Protection jest czasopismem wydawanym w wolnym dostępie na licencji CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.

Archives of Environmental Protection is an open access journal with all content available with no charge in full text version. The journal content is available under the licencse CC BY-NC-SA 4.

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