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Abstract

The possibilities of remote sensing techniques in the field of the Earth surface monitoring and protection specifically for the problems caused by petroleum contaminations, for the mapping of insufficiently plugged and abandoned old oil wells and for the analysis of onshore oil seeps are described. Explained is the methodology for analyzing and detection of potential hydrocarbon contaminations using the Earth observation in the area of interest in Slovakia (Korňa) and in Czech Republic (Nesyt), mainly building and calibrating the spectral library for oil seeps. The acquisition of the in-situ field data (ASD, Cropscan spectroradiometers) for this purpose, the successful building and verification of hydrocarbon spectral library, the application of hydrocarbon indexes and use of shift in red-edge part of electromagnetic spectra, the spectral analysis of input data are clarified in the paper. Described is approach which could innovate the routine methods for investigating the occurrence of hydrocarbons and can assist during the mapping and locating the potential oil seep sites. Important outcome is the successful establishment of a spectral library (database with calibration data) suitable for further application in data classification for identifying the occurrence of hydrocarbons.
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Abstract

The main goal of this work is to show the new approach to determining safety technological levels (SLs) in terms of water quality and its chemical stability, as well as issues of water corrosion properties in water distribution systems (WDSs), due to the fact that water supply pipes are prone to corrosion. In the paper the methodology of determining the risk associated with threat to technical infrastructure was considered. The concept was studied on the basis of real operational data from the water treatment plant. The probability of exceeding the individual parameters for WTPI is slightly larger than for WTPII, which means that this water treatment process may cause lack of chemical stability in the water supply network. Operators should anticipate in the process of designing water distribution system, using proper materials, as to ensure an adequate level of safety from the water source to the water recipient. It should be noted that it is necessary to adjust the material of internal installation of water supply networks to the parameters of the water. At present, there are no correlations between the designing step and water parameters. It was concluded that to protect the water supply infrastructure, which belongs to critical infrastructure, water company should put more emphasis on distribution of stable water that has not potentially corrosion properties. Some suggestions were made for the protection of WDS and to ensure safety of system functioning and long-term usability of water pipes.
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Abstract

Magnetite nanoparticles have become a promising material for scientific research. Among numerous technologies of their synthesis, co-precipitation seems to be the most convenient, less time-consuming and cheap method which produces fine and pure iron oxide particles applicable to environmental issues. The aim of the work was to investigate how the co-precipitation synthesis parameters, such as temperature and base volume, influence the magnetite nanoparticles ability to separate heavy metal ions. The synthesis were conducted at nine combinations of different ammonia volumes - 8 cm3, 10 cm3, 15 cm3 and temperatures - 30°C, 60°C, 90°C for each ammonia volume. Iron oxides synthesized at each combination were examined as an adsorbent of seven heavy metals: Cr(VI), Pb(II), Cr(III), Cu(II), Zn(II), Ni(II) and Cd(II). The representative sample of magnetite was characterized using XRD, SEM and BET methods. It was observed that more effective sorbent for majority of ions was produced at 30°C using 10 cm3 of ammonia. The characterization of the sample produced at these reaction conditions indicate that pure magnetite with an average crystallite size of 23.2 nm was obtained (XRD), the nanosized crystallites in the sample were agglomerated (SEM) and the specific surface area of the aggregates was estimated to be 55.64 m2·g-1 (BET). The general conclusion of the work is the evidence that magnetite nanoparticles have the ability to adsorb heavy metal ions from the aqueous solutions. The effectiveness of the process depends on many factors such as kind of heavy metal ion or the synthesis parameters of the sorbent.
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Abstract

Eco-friendly leather processes based on the usage of natural products have become a potentially attractive issue for leather industry during the last few decades. Synthetic protective chemicals like bactericides used in most soaking process are known as hazardous substances and cause tannery effluents with high concentrations of Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD). In the present study, the effect of tannic acid on microorganisms, skin, wool and effluent were investigated in order to demonstrate the applicability of tannic acid in soaking process instead of commonly used bactericides. The bacterial load (cfu/ml), COD and Nitrogen Content (N) of the soaking effluents and Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen (TKN) content of skins and wools were investigated. Application of 0.5 and 1 wt% tannic acid concentrations was more effective than commercial bactericide, while comparable results were achieved by 0.1 and 0.3 wt% tannic acid. The application of tannic acid for soaking process resulted in lower COD and N values of effluents. The results show that tannic acid has the potential to be an alternative, eco-friendly bactericide for leather industry by reducing the pollution of leather soaking process.
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Abstract

The article presents changes in the thickness and duration of the ice cover found in the restored anthropogenic water reservoir of Pławniowice. It also defines the role the ice cover plays in the formation of the reservoir limnological cycle. Characteristic and significant changeability of the ice cover thickness and duration was observed. The changes in the ice cover demonstrate that they are cyclical but not regular. The ice cover did not always form in the analyzed period. It happened twice, i.e. in 1988 and 2007 (a gap of 20 years). The longest lake freezing period lasted 119 days. Changes in the ice cover duration also show certain periodicity. The shortest periods occurred approx. every 7 years. Maximum values of the ice cover thickness ranged between 10 and 52 cm. There is a relation between the ice cover thickness and its duration period. The rate of increase in the ice cover thickness varied between 0.296 and 3.6 cm/d. The hypolimnion removal impact on the ice cover duration period and thickness was not observed. On the other hand, the ice cover duration period affects the spring circulation duration. Thus, it has an influence on the oxygen balance of the limnic ecosystem.
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Abstract

This study presents the results of tests conducted in 2009 and 2010 on experimental sites installed on the roof of the Science and Education Building of the Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences. The aim of the analysis was to determine the retention capacity of green roofs and the runoff delays and peak runoff reduction during rainfall recorded in Wroclaw conditions. The research shows that green roofs allow to reduce the volume of runoff stormwater in comparison to conventional roofs, that they delay the runoff in time and influence the reduction of the maximum runoff intensity, and thus may limit the impact of stormwater on the stormwater drainage and combined sewage systems.
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Abstract

This work presents the results of a study whose aim was to determine the influence of algal blooms on precipitation of heavy metals. The scope of the study covered culture of a mixed population made up of Scenedesmus and Pseudokirchneriella algae in experimental conditions and initiating a metal biosorption process with the use of culture biomass by administering ions of Zn(II) and Ni(II). The process was controlled by assessing the level of biosorption of metals entered at a one-off basis in the form of Zn(II) and Ni(II) salts or in the form of mixture of both ions, in comparison to the control sample, at different exposure times (2 hours and 24 hours). The presence of metals was determined both in the biomass and in the culture medium. The presented results of the study confirm the effectiveness of Chlorophyta in the process of zinc and nickel biosorption. A phenomenon of competitiveness between the metals was observed when they were administered at the same time.
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Abstract

This paper aims at presenting the possibilities of applying gas chromatography for the determination of pharmaceutical residues in different matrices. Section one of the study underscores the environmental advantages of employing GC for such analyses. Section two presents the innovative methods for determining pharmaceuticals in the environment. The last section discusses the results of the analysis of the GC and GC-MS market in Poland. According to the literature data, the described methods were applied for the analysis of real samples: wastewaters, surface waters, soil samples. The samples were collected from the Pomerania region and the Gulf of Gdańsk. The pharmaceuticals were determined in various environmental samples. The highest concentrations were found in raw wastewater, medium – in a treated wastewater, and the lowest – in surface water. The most frequently detected pharmaceuticals were: ibuprofen, paracetamol, diclofenac and naproxen, all belonging to NSAIDs. Furthermore, the results of the study of the Polish GC market indicate that a very limited number of entities are currently using chromatographic techniques, and pharmaceutical residues tests are exceptions, mainly due to the lack of the legal requirements in this field and the lack of own laboratories.
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Abstract

To investigate and assess the effects of land use and its changes on concentrations of heavy metals (Pb, Zn, Cd, Cu, Mn, Ni, Fe) in the tributary of drinking water reservoir catchment, soils of different land use types (forest, arable land, meadows and pastures, residential areas), suspended sediment and bottom sediment were collected. Heavy metals were analyzed using atomic absorption spectrophotometry (AAS). The metal distribution pattern was observed, where Zn and Cd could be considered as main metal contaminants. The variation in the concentration level of Zn and Cd in studied soils showed the impact of pollution from anthropogenic activities. Also some seasonal variations were visible among the suspended sediment and bottom sediment samples which could be associated with land agricultural practices or meteorological conditions. The sediment fingerprints approach used for determining sources of the suspension in the catchment showed (Kruskal-Wallis H test, p<0.05), that only Mn and Ni were not able to be distinguished among the potential sediment sources. A multiple linear regression model described the relationship between suspended sediment and 4 types of soil samples. The results related suspended composition mostly to the samples from the residential land use. Considering the contemporary trend of observed changes in land use resulting in conversion of agricultural areas into residential and service structures these changes can be essential for the contamination of aquatic environment. This situation is a warning sign due to the rapid industrialization, urbanization and intensive agriculture in this region what can significantly affect the drinking water quality.
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Abstract

In the present study the adsorption of Reactive Blue 19 dye on the hydroxyapatite (HAp) nanopowders was investigated. The batch adsorption experiments were performed by monitoring the adsorbent dosage, contact time, dye solution concentration, pH and temperature. At pH 3 and 20°C, high dye removal rates of about 95.58% and 86.95% for the uncalcined and calcined nanohydroxyapatites, respectively, were obtained. The kinetic studies indicated the dye adsorption onto nanohydroxyapatite samples to follow a pseudo-second order model. The Langmuir isotherm was found to be the best to represent the equilibrium with experimental data. The maximum adsorption capacity of uncalcined and calcined nanohydroxyapatite samples has been found to be 90.09 mg/g and 74.97 mg/g, respectively.
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Abstract

The prevalence of heavy metals in wastewater is the cause of death of numerous organisms which take part in biological treatment of wastewater, that is why the aim of the study has been to asses the influence of cadmium and copper ions upon the microfauna of activated sludge. 5, 10, 50, and 100 mg/l of Cd2+ and Cu2+ were added into the samples of activated sludge and then, after 24 hours, the microscopic observations of activated sludge microfauna were carried out, and all changes concerning the amount of microfauna, functional groups, and species composition were determined. The results obtained allowed to find a high level of toxicity of Cd2+ and Cu2+ ions to activated sludge microfauna, which resulted in the changes in the value of the Sludge Biotic Index and classes of sludge, survivability of microfauna, and reduction in the number of taxonomic units. It was observed that Cu2+ ions are more toxic to activated sludge microfauna than Cd2+ ions in identical doses. Organisms sensitive to Cd2+ and Cu2+ ions have been found to be testate amoebae, Aspidisca sp. and Epistylis sp., as well as organisms relatively sensitive to tested metals, which turned out to be ciliates of Opercularia and Vorticella convalaria genera.
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Abstract

The investigations were carried out in order to assess the effect of thermophilic fermentation on changes in concentration of seven congeners with codes: 28, 52, 101, 118, 138, 153 and 180 in sewage sludge. The total concentration of PCBs was the highest before the process of thermophilic fermentation. On the tenth day of the process of fermentation it was found that the total concentration of LCB doubled the previous level, whereas in higher chlorinated PCBs this value decreased twice. After the process of thermophilic digestion, all the determined congeners of PCBs were still present. However, their total concentration was reduced by 84% on the fourteenth day of the process. Low concentration of heavy metal ions in the liquid phase of sewage sludge was observed. The metal ions precipitated and remained bound throughout the stabilization process. Metal speciation analysis was performed, and revealed some changes in the chemical forms of the metals during the stabilization process of sludge. The highest increase of zinc, copper, nickel, cadmium, and chromium concentration was observed in the organic-sulfide fraction, whereas the highest increase of lead was found in the residual fraction. Thermophilic methane fermentation did not cause the accumulation of heavy metals in the mobile fractions of sludge.
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Abstract

The compost derived from cellulosic material coming from the Public Utility Company in Zabrze (Poland) was investigated for its capability for adsorbing acid dyes from aqueous solution at various concentrations of the dyes and the compost dosages. Four acid dyes were investigated: Acid Red 18 (AR-18), Acid Blue 9 (AB-9), Acid Green 16 (AG-16) and Acid Black 1 (ABk-1). The adsorption isotherms were determined by comparing the experimental data with the isotherm models (Freundlich, Langmuir and Dubinin–Radushkevich models). The sorption capacity of the compost depended on the initial concentrations of dyes in the solution, compost dosage, and on the structure of dyes. The maximum sorption capacities of the compost for adsorbing particular dyes may be ordered as follows: ABk-1 > AG-16 > AB-9 > AR-18. The amounts of bound and the percentages of removed acid dyes from effluent depended on the adsorbent dosage. The growth of the dye removal percentages with growing adsorbent mass may be attributed to the growth of the adsorbent uptake surface with growth of the adsorbent mass. The dyes were bound onto the surface of compost through the electrostatic interaction between the surface (negatively charged at pH > pHPZC) and the dye cations (AG-16), and/or through the hydrogen bond between the functional groups of the humic matter in compost (–OH, –COOH) and the functional surface groups of AR-18, AB-9 and ABk-1 dyes (–OH, –NH2 ). At the experiment conditions, the Freundlich and Dubinin-Raduskevich adsorption isotherm models fitted the equilibrium data very well (much better than the Langmuir one). The values of 1/n in the Freundlich equation and E in the Dubinin-Raduskevich one indicate the favourable adsorption. The studied compost may be used as a low-cost sorbent for the removal of acid dyes from wastewater released by textile industries. However, elevated values of chemical oxygen demand (COD) in the final solutions may enhance the solubility of humic compounds.
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Abstract

The objective of the paper is to use life cycle assessment to compare environmental impact of different technologies used in the process of water disinfection. Two scenarios are developed for water disinfection life cycle at ZUW Raba water treatment plant: (1) historical, in which gaseous chlorine is used as a disinfectant and (2) actual, in which UV radiation and electrolytically generated sodium hypochlorite are used for that purpose. Primary data is supplemented with ecoinvent 3 database records. Environmental impact is assessed by IMPACT2002+ method and its midpoint and endpoint indicators that are calculated with the use of SimaPro 8.4 software. The focus of the assessment is on selected life cycle phases: disinfection process itself and the water distribution process that follows. The assessment uses the data on flows and emissions streams as observed in the Raba plant. As the results of primal analysis show, a change of disinfectant results in quantitative changes in THMs and free chlorine in water supplied to the water supply network. The results of analysis confirm the higher potential of THMs formation and higher environmental impact of the combined method of UV/NaClO disinfection in distribution phase and in whole life cycle, mainly due to the increase of human toxicity factors. However, during the disinfection phase, gaseous chlorine use is more harmful for environment. But the final conclusion states that water quality indicators are not significant in the context of LCA, while both disinfection and distribution phases are concerned.
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Abstract

Trace elements contained in coal escape with flue gas from energy sources into the air or move towards other components of the environment with by-products captured in electrofilters (EF) and flue gas desulphurisation (FGD) plants. The existing knowledge about the distribution of frequently dangerous trace elements contained in these products is insufficient. Studies were therefore undertaken in selected power plants to investigate the distribution of trace elements in coal, slag, as well as dust containment and flue gas desulphurisation products, such as fly ash captured in dust collectors, desulphurisation gypsum and semi-dry scrubbing FGD products. Using the technique of flame atomic absorption spectrometry (F-AAS) and mercury analyser, the following were determined in the research material samples: Cr, Cu, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn. The studies have a reconnaissance character. The authors have presented the results of determinations for selected trace elements in samples taken at Jaworzno III and Siersza Power Plants, which burn hard coal, and in Bełchatów Power Plant, burning brown coal. A balance of the examined trace elements in a stream of coal fed into the boiler and in streams of waste and products carried away from the plant was prepared. The balance based on the results of analyses from Bełchatów Power Plant was considered encouraging enough to undertake further investigations. The research confirmed that due to the distribution in the process of coal combustion and flue gas treatment, a dominant part of particular trace elements’ stream moves with solid waste and products, while air emission is marginal. Attention was paid to the importance of research preparation, the manner of sample taking and selection of analytical methods.
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Abstract

The removal of benzene (B) and toluene (T) from aqueous solution by multi walled, single walled, and hybrid carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs, SWCNTs, and HCNTs) was evaluated for a nanomaterial dose of 1 g/l, concentration of 10-100 mg/l, and pH 7. The equilibrium amount removed by SWCNTs (B: 9.98 mg/g and T: 9.96 mg/g) was higher than for MWCNTs and HCNTs. Toluene has a higher adsorption tendency on CNTs than benzene, which is related to the increasing water solubility and the decreasing molecular weight of the compounds. The SWCNTs performed better for B and T sorption than the MWCNTs and HCNTs. Isotherms study based on isofit program indicate that the Generalized Langmuir-Freundlich (GLF) isotherm expression provides the best fit for benzene sorption, and that Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) isotherm is the best fit for toluene adsorption by SWCNT. SWCNTs are efficient B and T adsorbents and possess good potential applications to water and wastewater treatment and maintain water of high quality that could be used for cleaning up environmental pollution.
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Abstract

The aim of the study was to develop an effective treatment of post-digestion liquors highly-loaded with biogenic and organic substances. The scope of the research project encompassed: mesophilic anaerobic digestion of waste activated sludge (WAS) as well as the treatment of post-digestion liquors, coming from the most appropriate HRT value of 25 days, in the process of ammonium magnesium phosphate (struvite) precipitation targeted at ammonia nitrogen binding and a subsequent reverse osmosis (RO) process. It was established that the method combining chemical precipitation and high-pressure filtration ensures a high degree of contaminants removal allowing for a direct release of treated liquors into the natural reservoir. However, in order to decrease the residual NH4+ concentration (6.1 mg NH4+/dm3) in the purified post-digestion liquors below the level allowing for a direct release to the natural reservoir, it turned out to be necessary to apply increased molar ratio of magnesium and phosphates (Mg:NH4+: PO43-= 1.5:1:1.5).
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Abstract

The main objective of the study was to evaluate if macrophytes structure and trophic status of dam reservoir Kraśnik on a small lowland river Wyżnica are determined by phosphorous loadings. Studies were conducted seasonally in May, July and October during the years 2008-2009. Samples were taken at four sites: Site 1 - inflow of the Wyżnica River to pre-dam, Site 2 − pre-dam, Site 3 − dam reservoir and Site 4 - outflow of the Wyżnica River from dam reservoir. Physical and chemical parameters (temperature, Secchi disc depth, dissolved oxygen, pH, conductivity, total suspension, chlorophyll-a, TP and P-PO4) were measured in water samples. Together with water parameters there were estimated biomass of phytoplankton and species composition and biomass of emergent, floating-leaved and submerged macrophytes. Concentrations of TP, chlorophyll-a and Secchi disc depth were used to calculate trophic state index of Carlsson for dam reservoir and its pre-dam. Based on mean water current, mean residence time of water in dam reservoir and concentrations of TP and P-PO4 loadings (g m-2) flowing into dam reservoir with the Wyżnica River were calculated. The results showed visible negative effect of phosphorous loadings on both macrophytes composition and trophic state of the reservoir. The marked changes concerned soft vegetation. High P loadings (7.74 g m-2 of TP and 6.03 g m-2 P-PO4) during the spring of 2008 caused the disappearance of characeans meadows. In 2009, the presence of rigid hornwort (Ceratophyllum demersum L.), the species typical for eutrophic lakes was noted. This unrooted submerged plant uptakes dissolved orthophosphates directly from the water column. Values of Carlsson index (51.4 ≤ TSI ≤ 68.2) indicate the eutrophic state of dam reservoir Kraśnik. During summer season in dam reservoir there were observed algal blooms (biomass of phytoplankton exceed 10 mg WW dm-3) and low water transparency (Secchi disc depth ranged from 0.4 to 0.65 m). During the two-year studies in dam reservoir Kraśnik a high reduction of P loadings, mostly dissolved orthophosphates was observed. Dependently on season, reduction of P-PO4 loadings ranged from 52% (July 2008) up to 91% (May 2009). The reduction of TP was lower and reached values from 15% (May 2008) to 48% (July 2009).
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Abstract

Serpentine soils from 16 sample points in Serbia as well as the roots and shoots of eight Brassicaceae family species: Aethionema saxatile, Alyssum montanum, Alyssum repens, Cardamine plumieri, Erysimum linariifolium, Erysimum carniolicum, Isatis tinctoria, Rorippa lippizensis, were analyzed with regard to their concentrations of P, K, Fe, Ca, Mg, Ni, Zn, Mn, Cu, Cr, Cd, and Pb. Most of the soil samples were typical of ultramafic sites with low concentrations of P, K and Ca and high concentrations of Mg, Fe, Ni and Zn. Ca/Mg ratio was <1 in most soil samples and Brassicaceae plants. Only in A. montanum, A. repens, E. linariifolium and R. lippizensis was the Ca/Mg ratio >1. The levels of P, K, Fe and Zn were high, Mn and Cu occurred in low amounts, whereas Cr, Cd, Co and Pb were only traceable. In the roots and shoots of A. montanum and A. repens the measured concentrations of Ni were 657 mg kg-1 and 676 mg kg-1 respectively, which is the first instance that such high concentrations of Ni were detected in these two species.
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Abstract

The presented studies were focused on evaluating the utility of one of sequential extraction methods for evaluating the bioavailability of mercury in soils polluted by this element. Soil samples collected from horizons 0-20 cm and 20-80 cm were subject to analysis of the basic physical and chemical properties of soils. Moreover, the total content of mercury was determined and sequential extraction of mercury was conducted using a modified five-stage Wallschläger method. The analyses show that the studied soils are characterized by a variable mercury content, the highest in the surface soil horizons. Sequential extraction of mercury in the analyzed soils has indicated that the highest percentage content in the total content had mercury linked with sulphides. A high content of mercury linked with organic matter was also noted. The content of bioavailable mercury did not exceed 1.5% of the total content.
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Abstract

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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Abstract

Archives of Environmental Protection is the oldest Polish scientifi c journal regarding environmental engineering and protection. It has been published by the Institute of Environmental Engineering of PAS in Zabrze since 1975. The Committee on Environmental Engineering of PAS became its co-publisher in 2011. The quarterly publishes original articles (earlier, also announcements) concerning broadly understood areas of the environmental engineering and protection. The subjects include: air, land and water protection; technologies of fl ue gases, soil and wastewater treatment; transformations and transportation of pollutants in the environment; measurement techniques used in research and engineering as well as environmental monitoring. The published articles also focus on the reclamation and management of derelict lands, environmental management and other questions related to the environmental engineering and protection. The journal has been abstracted by Thomson Scientific since 2006 in the following databases: Science Citation Index Expanded, Biological Abstracts and BIOSIS Previews. Moreover, the journal was given the impact factor (IF) in 2010. The following article presents statistical data as well as a brief history and description of the journal.
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