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ISSN (Print) 2383-451X - ISSN (Online) 2383-4501
Published by U of Tehran Homepage  [9 journals]
  • New Title: Current Eco-friendly and Sustainable Methods for Heavy Metals
           Remediation of Contaminated Soil and Water: Special Emphasis on Use of
           Genetic Engineering and Nanotechnology

    • Abstract: Anthropogenic activities have polluted soil and aquatic ecosystems by introducing harmful heavy metals (HMs) such as cadmium, copper, mercury, lead, manganese, nickel, zinc, and others. These HMs lead to serious health conditions in humans like cancer, skin lesions, birth defects, liver and kidney damage, and mental retardation leading to other disabilities. Conventional methods of HM remediation of contaminated soil and water include physical, chemical, biological, and integrated methods. The use of physical and chemical methods, in isolation, has been reduced in practice, owing to their negative impacts, however, work on suitable integrated approaches, and the use of organisms for HM remediation has been in steady progress since past few decades. These approaches have proved to be eco-friendly, cost-effective, and show reduced negative impacts on the environment and biota. However, there is consistent increase in anthropogenic contribution to this problem, so, to keep pace with it, more recently work is in advancement on exploiting the biological system to increase the efficiency of bioremediation, using the latest technologies such as genetic engineering and nanotechnology. This paper provides an overview of the current methods deployed to address this problem, developments made in this field in past few decades, and evokes a research thrust that might lead to novel remediation approaches in the future.
  • Techno-economic Assessment of Removing BTEX Pollutants by Designing
           Thermal Oxidation Unit in a Bituminous Waterproofing Factory in Iran

    • Abstract: Chemical degradation-based methods including oxidation have shown great promise for controlling benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene isomers (BTEX) in waste gas. This study presents an approach in which the emission of BTEX compounds in a bituminous waterproofing (BW) production unit located in the city of Delijan, Iran has been controlled through process modification. The process is modified by introducing a thermal oxidation unit using an incinerator design. The process simulation has been performed with Aspen Hysys software and, key parameters in the oxidation process are identified and optimized. Finally, the environmental and economic performances of the incinerator were assessed to provide a decision support tool for the selection of this approach. Finally, the environmental and economic performances of the incinerator have been assessed to provide a decision support tool for the selection of this approach. The results indicated that the formation of the oxidation unit had prevented the release of BTEX pollutants up to 98.5%. Moreover, the economic analysis illustrated that the rate of return on investment in the proposed project is 0.27. Thus, the potential for attracting capital will have positive impacts on the environmental and economic indicators of the region.
  • Characterization and evaluation of the nickel-removal capacity of Kluyvera
           cryocrescens M7 isolated from industrial wastes

    • Abstract: Rationale: Heavy metal contamination poses grave risks to all kinds of life. The fastest growing automotive, electroplating, and battery industries release the most common heavy metal, Nickel, into the environment, which has lethal impacts on human health.Objective: Our research aims to find Ni-resistant bacteria in the metal-contaminated soil that have a great potential for removing Ni from the environment.Method: Attempts have been made to extract and characterize Ni-resistant bacteria from automobile and electroplating industry waste-contaminated soil using serial dilution, streak plating, and various morphological, biochemical, and genetic techniques. The maximum tolerable concentration of Ni and other heavy elements, such as cadmium, lead, and aluminium for the selected isolate, was investigated using the UV-Vis spectrophotometric method. Additionally, the bacterial strain's ability to remove Ni was assessed using an atomic absorption spectrophotometer.Results: The current research reveals a novel strain of Kluyvera cryocrescens that could withstand Ni, Cd, Pb, Al, and combinations of these heavy metals. The maximum tolerance concentration of K. cryocrescens M7 for Ni, Cd, Pb, and Al was found to be 150 ppm, 200 ppm, 1000 ppm, and 150 ppm, respectively. Additionally, it was also observed that the bacterial strain could remove Ni by 29.57%, 35.36%, 48.41%, 46.91%, and 44.88% after 12, 24, 48, 72, and 96 hours, respectively. The strain has also exhibited resistance to vancomycin, ampicillin, carbenicillin, and streptomycin.Conclusions: This research discovered a novel bacterial strain, K. cryocrescens M7 that may be beneficial for removing heavy metals, particularly Ni, from metal-contaminated soil.
  • Recovery of the fixing solution waste and silver, as well as a direct
           synthesis of silver nanoparticles from the solution waste

    • Abstract: Radiology and photography films are mainly made of silver halides, which are very sensitive to light. The developer-fixing solution reduces silver salt crystals and turns them into black metallic silver on film and a stable and clear image appears on the film. After several uses of the fixing solution, its efficiency is reduced due to the decrease in the concentration of sodium thiosulfate and finally, it cannot be used since there is not enough awareness regarding its harm, so it enters the environment through wastewater. In this study, the recovery of fixing solution waste has been investigated. The recovery of the solution waste, silver extraction, and direct synthesis of nanoparticles have been performed by chemical reduction method from the waste. The obtained samples were analyzed and studied by EDX, XRD, and SEM techniques. The results showed that the fixing solution waste and silver metal were recovered properly with a purity of 99.81%. Also, AgNPs were synthesized by chemical reduction. Recovery of the fixing solution waste -for the first time- and metallic silver, as well as the synthesis of AgNPs by chemical reduction method, is an economical method and free of any contamination.
  • Regularization Learning of Trace Element Contamination Stemmed from
           Tailings Dam-Break

    • Abstract: An important practice in environmental risk management is assessing the consequences of heavy metal concentrations resulting from a mine dam tailing failure on soil, water, and trees. To appraise the extent of pollution, an effective classification is essential. In this study, trace element contamination is handled as a two-group classification problem and examined the performance of supervised regularization algorithms as spatial classifiers using imbalanced uncertain data. In addition to conventional shrinkage algorithms such as Ridge, the Lasso and Elastic-Net, the generalized t-statistic-based U-Lasso classifiers have been introduced and tested for mitigating such imbalances and adjusting weights for class distributions. The feature interpretation studies underlined that the most important indicator of the models is Zinc (Zn). The experimental studies revealed that the Ridge classifier (l2 penalty) outperforms the other models. Statistically, the U-Lasso models exhibited notable explanation capacity and their performances recorded close to the conventional shrinkage algorithms. The use of statistical learning-based classification approach to appraise geo-environmental contamination under the conditions of natural variability and spatial uncertainty provides useful meta-data and reliable classification models.
  • Assessing the natural and anthropogenic radionuclide activities in fish
           from Arctic rivers (Northwestern Russia)

    • Abstract: This scientific article presents the results of studies on the distribution of natural and artificial radionuclides in fish living in the rivers of the northwestern sector of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation. Fish sampling (about 76 kg in total) was carried out in the White Sea, in the Northern Dvina and Mezen Rivers, and in the Sukhoe Sea Bay of the Arkhangelsk Region, as well as in the rivers of the Nenets Autonomous District: Pesha, Oma, Vizhas, Nes, and Pechora. The results showed the presence of artificial radionuclides Cs-137 and Sr-90 in fish only in the Nes River of the Nenets Autonomous District. The levels of radionuclides in whole bodies perch and pike in the Nes River range from 3.73 to 14.0 Bq/kg wet weight for Cs-137 and less than 3.72 to 23.1 Bq/kg wet weight for Sr-90. In addition to Cs-137 and Sr-90, the presence of the radionuclide K-40, which is the main dose-forming radionuclide, was noted in the fish of all the studied rivers and seas. K-40 activity was in the reached values 138 Bq/kg for whole fish bodies. The only assumption that can explain the presence of artificial radionuclides in the fish of the Nes River is a possible radioactive trace formed as a result of global nuclear tests, including in the Novaya Zemlya archipelago. At the same time, it is noted that the current levels of technogenic radioactivity in fish from the Nes River do not pose a radiological hazard to the local population.
  • Assessment of microplastic pollution sources in coastal recreational zones

    • Abstract: The authors propose a methodology for assessing the sources of microplastic pollution (particles 0.5-5 mm in size), which makes it possible to differentiate coastal recreational areas according to the degree of vulnerability to microplastic accumulation. The methodology takes into account the sources of microplastics coming to the beach directly from vacationers - factors of recreational activities, as well as the influence of factors of the adjacent territory: the type of adjacent territory, saturation with transport infrastructure, etc.An analysis of the results of monitoring the microplastic concentration in beach and bottom sediments of seven beaches of the Sevastopol region with varying degrees of anthropogenic load during 2018–2020, as well as an assessment of the sources of microplastic pollution on these beaches using the proposed methodology, made it possible to differentiate these coastal recreational areas according to the degree of vulnerability to accumulation of microplastic pollution.The most vulnerable are the beaches that are actively visited by tourists and located in close proximity to large blocks of apartment buildings and extensive transport infrastructure (Pesochniy and Omega). The beaches Konstantinovsky and Goryachka (placed close to the thermal power station), located in the zone of active navigation of ships of various tonnage, are confined to areas of low and moderate pollution. The main stream of vacationers on them are local residents with a high turnover rate. The least vulnerable are the beaches with park areas: Uchkuevka, Solnechny and Zolotoy. The source of microplastic pollution on these beaches is mainly vacationers.
  • Trichoderma tomentosum Ts141 as a potential candidate for bioremediation
           of Cadmium, Lead, and Nickel ions

    • Abstract: Fungi are successful microorganisms in the bioremediation of environmental pollution. So, this study aimed to determine the potential of Trichoderma tomentosum to remediate cadmium, lead, and nickel contaminations from potato dextrose agar (PDA) and potato dextrose broth (PDB) media. Growth rates, toxicity tolerance sporulation, bio-sorption capacity, and bio-sorption efficiency of the fungus were evaluated under different concentrations of CdCl2, Pb(NO3)2, and NiCl2. The findings demonstrated that the growth rate of the fungus differed depending on concentration, metal type, and medium. More metals in PDA medium induced more inhibition on fungus growth rates; however, the rate was independent from the heavy metals concentrations in PDB medium. Cadmium was the most toxic metal tested against T. tomentosum, with a 72h LC50 of 37 ppm. It was about 3.16 and 4.24 times as toxic as nickel and lead, respectively. In the control condition, sporulation of the fungus began at 72 hours, but under the heavy metals, it began at 168, 168, and 192 hours, respectively, for Pb, Ni, and Cd. Both the bio-sorption capacity and efficacy of the fungus were significantly enhanced by an increase in metal content and the highest values were obtained at 200 ppm of the salts. The heavy metals total bio-sorption capacity order was Ni < Cd < Pb in the aqueous medium. The conclusion was that T. tomentosum has a greater potential for the biosorption of heavy metals; hence, the fungus may be employed for the bioremediation of heavy metals from polluted sites, particularly wastewater and industrial influents.
  • Recycling polyethylene terephthalate for use in structural concrete with
           natural river aggregates

    • Abstract: Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is one of the most common types of plastic waste found in municipal waste and has a negative impact on the environment, recycling and its use in concrete is an alternative solution to address these problems. The objective of the study was to evaluate the physical-mechanical behavior of hydraulic concrete with additions of PET plastic bottle fibers and natural river aggregates. The concrete was evaluated in its fresh state by means of the Slump and in its hardened state by means of density and compressive and flexural strengths, for which cylindrical and prismatic specimens were prepared with PET fibers at proportions of 2%, 4%, 6% and 8% by weight of cement plus the standard concrete designed for 21 MPa. It was found that the slump and density of the concrete decreased with additions of PET fibers. The 28-day compressive and flexural strengths increased to optimum values of 22.79 MPa and 3.19 MPa at 2% and 6% PET fibers, respectively. It is concluded that the viable application of 2 mm by 30 mm PET fibers in concrete is at 4% with dosages of 15.78 kg/m3 added to the standard concrete for structural elements subjected to compression and flexure with sustainable production at low cost.
  • Experimental investigation of Pb release characteristics in Zn-Pb mine
           tailings under simulated leaching conditions

    • Abstract: The aim of this research was to use a variety of leaching methods to see how different parameters affected the amount of lead leaching from tailings. Synthetic precipitation leaching procedure, toxicity characteristic leaching procedure, leachate extraction procedure, and field leach test protocols were utilized to assess the toxicity of the tailings. The impact of the liquid-solid ratio, particle size, contact time, and pH on lead release from tailings was also investigated. According to the findings, pH entirely effects on the release of lead from the tailings, and amphoteric leaching behavior was observed. The tailings were classified as hazardous material as a result of the TCLP leaching protocol's findings. S1 and S2 samples had lead mobility indexes of 51% and 5.6%, respectively. The solubility process influenced the discharge of lead from the tailings. In the particle size ranges of 0.3-0.5 mm and 0.6-1.0 mm, respectively, the maximum amount of lead was released from S1 and S2 samples. Various experiments have shown that the interaction between different factors will have complex and strong effects on the leaching process. To that end, managing of tailings and preventing lead emission into the environment necessitates a unique technique. Leachability is affected by a number of factors and often multiple factors can produce synergistically different releases than would be predicted by each factor alone. However, validation of the leaching approaches to field-collected and monitored cases indicates that combined effects are either captured by the test data or can be considered through fate and transport modeling
  • Natural extraction of dyes from saffron ‘Crocus sativus L’
           flower waste, cotton dyeing, and antioxidant effectiveness

    • Abstract: The production of saffron, the spice obtained from the dried stigmas of Crocus sativus L. (Iridaceae family) flowers, generates, after pruning, considerable quantities of waste containing natural dyes. Saffron flower waste could be a source of extraction of natural dyes with antioxidant activity. In this study, we investigate the possibility of using saffron flower waste for dyeing cotton and evaluating the antioxidant effect of this dye by the DPPH free radical, reducing power and β-carotene bleaching assay. The dye has been evaluated for the composition of the color by the UV-visible spectrum and tested for the dyeing of cotton. The results indicate the presence of polyphenols and flavonoids. The dyeing conditions have been optimized at 6% dye concentration, dye bath pH of 3, dyeing temperature at 98 °C and dyeing time of 60 min. 2% dye concentration with 5 to 10% mordant concentration remains sufficient for dyeing with pre-mordanting. The exhaustion of the bath after dyeing has been improved by a rate of 20% in the case of addition of mordants which have produced a shade of green color. The dye contributes to the significant antioxidant activities with more DPPH scavenging capacity, FRAP reducing power, and β-carotene bleaching inhibition. Cotton fabrics dyed with bio-dyes obtained from saffron flower waste show good color fastness properties and could be a potential source of natural antioxidant agent. It presents an important eco-friendly alternative to synthetic dyes for large-scale application in textile and food industries.
  • Characterization of Groundwater and Distribution of Fluoride in the
           Eastern Region of the Algerian Northern Sahara (Ouargla)

    • Abstract: In the eastern region of the Algerian Northern Sahara, the groundwater is the only resource for drinking water supply and irrigation. This study aimed to assess the physical-chemical quality of groundwater with exposition of the fluoride distribution in the eastern region of Algeria taking as case study Ouargla area. The sampling campaign was carried out in such a way to cover the exploited aquifers (Miopliocene and Senonian). Water temperature, pH, conductivity, hardness, alkalinity, principal ions (Sodium, Potassium Calcium, Magnesium, Bicarbonates, Nitrates, Sulfates, and Chlorides) and the fluoride content in the groundwater were measured and determined. Examination and validation of obtained results were by the use ionic balance method and the hydrochemical analysis by Piper, Stabler and Richards diagrams. The obtained results of our study show that the groundwater of the Ouargla area presents a chlorinated sodium and potassium facies. Moreover, the groundwater quality in the study area is of poor quality; it is hard and characterized by very high mineralization, The Richards' diagram indicates that the groundwater of the study area are unsuitable for irrigation. The spatial distribution of fluoride ions in groundwater of the terminal complex shows that fluoride levels in Ouargla exceed the World Health Organization standard.

    • Abstract: Human developmental activities always result to waste generation; that invariably pollute the environment, if not properly managed. The aim of this study is to determine soil quality around Odo Iya-Alaro at Ojota, Lagos. A total of 12 soil samples were collected from 0 -15 cm and 15 – 30 cm at three different spots of 100 and 500 m (control) away from the bank of the river. Samples were analysed for pH, EC, NO3, TOC; Zn, Na, K, Ca, Mg, Cu, Fe, Cd, Cr, Ni, and Pb using standard analytical methods. The results were subjected to both differential and inferential statistics using statistical package (SPSS 22.0 version). Subsequently compared with guideline [Control Limit (CL)]; Lower Control Limit (LCL) and Upper Control Limit (UCL). The soil pollution was evaluated using pollution, ecological risk, and geo-accumulation index. The pH (8.45) of the soil (100 m) was significantly different from the control (7.32). Zn, Na, K, Mg, Fe, Cu, Cr, Cd, and Ni (100 m) were significantly different from their corresponding controls. pH (8.45) and EC (418.00 µS/cm) were out of UCL (7.7) and (477.35 µS/cm) respectively. The soil was moderately polluted with pH (1.15), Na (3.00), K (2.11), Mg (1.87), Ca (1.26), and Cu (1.21); considerably polluted with EC (3.82), TOC (3.39), and Ni (3.62); and very highly polluted with Fe (8.26). Fe (711.73) had a very high ecological risk. The geo – accumulation index was moderate - strongly polluted with Zn (2.61). The soil was polluted and urgently needs reclamation.
  • Contamination Levels, Source Apportionments, and Health Risks Evaluation
           of Heavy Metals from the Surface water of the Riruwai Mining Area, North
           Western Nigeria

    • Abstract: Mining is one of the most environmentally damaging human activities, having long-term health effects on humans. In this research, the levels of contamination, source distribution, and health risks of heavy metals to residents from drinking surface water near Riruwai mining sites were investigated. The findings of the study indicated that the heavy metal levels ranged from As (0.00–0.04 mg/L), Cd (0.00–0.04 mg/L), Cr (0.02–0.06 mg/L), Mn (0.02–0.07 mg/L), and Pb (0.00–0.05 mg/L), with mean levels of 0.02, 0.013, 0.03, 0.02, and 0.04 mg/L, respectively. The concentrations of all metals, with the exception of Mn and Cr, are higher than acceptable limits. The values of the heavy metal pollution index (HPI) for all the metals, with the exception of Mn, exceed the threshold limit of 100, indicating serious pollution of the surface water. This was confirmed by the results of Nemerow’s pollution index (NPI). Multivariable analysis revealed anthropogenic and natural sources as the main sources of heavy metal contamination, with Cd, As, Cr, and Pb originating from mining activities and Mn possibly coming from parent materials. The total hazard index (HI) and non-cancer risk (HQ) values in children and adults are within acceptable limits. However, the total life cancer risks (TLCR) of As and Cd were higher than the tolerable limit of 1.00E-06. Therefore, heavy metals in surface water, particularly As, Cd, and Pb, should be properly monitored and a treatment program implemented to safeguard the health of local residents, especially children.
  • Analysis of the Effect of Green Packaging on Attracting and Retaining
           Environmentally Friendly Customers with the Mediating role of Green Brand

    • Abstract: AbstractIncreasing the level of environmental knowledge of consumers and their level of concern towards the environment and green brands are among the important factors that have been considered in the discussion of consumer behavior in recent years. Marketing managers also try to attract customers' attention to their green products and brands in order to succeed in selling and marketing their products. Therefore, the present study was conducted with the aim of investigating the effect of green packaging on attracting and retaining environmentally friendly customers with the mediating role of green brand image. In terms of the purpose of the research, the type of applied research, the method of collecting descriptive data is of the correlation type. The statistical population of this research is the students of University of Mohaghegh Ardabili, 373 of them were selected as a sample by referring to Morgan's table and using the available sampling method. The required data were collected using a questionnaire and analyzed based on the structural equation modeling method and using SPSS and Smart PLS software. The results of the research showed that green packaging has a positive and significant effect on attracting and retaining environmentally friendly customers as well as the image of the green brand. On the other hand, the image of the green brand has a positive and significant effect on attracting and retaining environmentally friendly customers. Finally, green brand image acts as a mediating factor in the relationship between green packaging and attracting and retaining environmentally friendly customers.
  • Response Surface Methodology for Adsorption of humic acid by
           Polyetheretherketone/ Polyvinylalcohol Nanocomposite Modified with Zinc
           Oxide Nanoparticles from Industrial Wastewater

    • Abstract: The applicability of Polyetheretherketone/Polyvinylalcohol Nanocomposite Modified with Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles synthesized for eliminating humic acid rapidly from industrial wastewater. Identical techniques, including BET, FTIR, XRD, and SEM have been utilized to characterize this novel material. Also, the impacts of variables including initial humic acids (HAs) concentration (X1), pH (X2), adsorbent dosage (X3), and sonication time (X4) came under scrutiny using central composite design (CCD) under response surface methodology (RSM). The values of 10 mgL-1, 6.0, 0.025 g, and 5.0 min were investigated through batch experiments, considered as the ideal values for humic acids (HAs) concentration, pH, adsorbent dosage, and contact time, respectively. Adsorption equilibrium and kinetic data were fitted with the Langmuir monolayer isotherm model and pseudo-second-order kinetics (R2: 0.999) with maximum adsorption capacity (102.0 mgg-1), respectively. The overall results confirmed that Polyetheretherketone/Polyvinylalcohol Nanocomposite Modified with Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles could be a promising adsorbent material for humic acids (HAs) removal from industrial wastewater.
  • Organic pollutants removal from Olive Mill Wastewater using a new
           ecosystem treatment

    • Abstract: Olive mill wastewater is the main by-product derived from olive mills using the three-phase extraction process,displaying a serious environmental risk due to its notable content in organics and phenolics.Olive oil production, an agro-industrial of vital economic particularly in Mediterranean countries, is unfortunately associated with the generation of large quantities of OMW (Olive Mill Wastewater) and solid wastes. The OMW is considered a major environmental problem, it is a powerful pollutant rejected in nature without any prior treatment. This research work aims to study the treatment of OMW by a new ecological and economic system, which consists of the use of the following components: gravel, sawdust, soil, activated carbon, bamboo, and the valorization of the solid residues. HPLC analysis showed that hydroxytyrosol is the most abundant biophenol. Many other biophenols were identified (Tyrosol, gallic acid, and eleonic acid). The comparison between before and after filtration by the new system showed an essential degradation of phenolic compounds after treatment and found a new compound resulting from their degradation.
  • Removal of Cd(II) Ions from aqueous solutions by adsorption By Bentonite
           clay and study the adsorption thermodynamics

    • Abstract: cadmium usually enter the environment and water resources through wastewater, released by various industries, and may have adverse effects. The current study employs surface of bentonite clay available locally in order to remove cadmium In solutions contaminated with this type of ions, in order to research on a surface with a high ability to adsorption of cadmium (II) ions, study Some factors affect the adsorption process on bentonite clay, such as contact time, pH the solution, Adsorbent particle size, Initial concentration of solutions and temperature of the solution were examined in the a batch process mode. The amount of adsorbed Cd (II) increased with height temperature, the optimum adsorption pH was about 6.5. Under this condition, the percent removal was 95.17%. The adsorption isotherms were studied and the results of adsorption processes were more fitted with Friendlich model rather than Langmuir adsorption model. Thermodynamic study showed that, ΔH was endothermic, ΔG is found to be negative That is, the process is automatic and ΔS was found to be positive. The current study also involves practical application using bentonite to get rid of Cd(II) ions to from wastewater of Hamdan's station of the Basra- iraq, The results indicate high affinity (97.84%) removal of Cd(II) ions .
  • Effect of polychlorinated biphenyls on biochemical parameters of the Black
           Sea bivalve mollusk Mytilus galloprovincialis Lam.

    • Abstract: Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are known amongst the most dangerous toxicants entering the coastal marine waters from various polluting sources. Even the smallest PCBs doses are capable to change physiological and biochemical processes exerting toxic, mutagenic and carcinogenic effects. So, the aim of this study was to analyze the impact of PCBs at 1, 100, 1000 µg/L on oxidative stress parameters (level of oxidized proteins (neutral aldehydes and ketones, basic aldehydes and ketones) and lipid peroxidation), antioxidant enzyme activities (superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT)) and cholinesterase (ChE) activity in the hepatopancreas of mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis during 5 days’ of the toxicological experiment. Level of all forms of the oxidized proteins was found significantly increased at 100 µg/L and 1000 µg/L (+50-78% and +150-282%, respectively) compared to the control (p<0.05). Level of lipid peroxidation was considerably higher at 1, 100, 1000 µg/L (+59%, +134%, +269%, respectively) compared to the control (p<0.05). SOD activity significantly raised at 1, 100, 1000 µg/L (+63%, +200%, +118%, respectively) compared to the control (p<0.05), while CAT activity reduced at 1000 µg/L compared to the control, 1 µg/L and 100 µg/L (-29%, -66%, -40%, respectively) (p<0.05). ChE activity was found lower at 1, 100, 1000 µg/L (-60%, -93%, -30%, respectively) compared to the control (p<0.05). Possible mechanisms of M. galloprovincialis biochemical response to PCBs are discussed. Studied biochemical parameters can be suitable biomarkers for evaluating the toxicity of PCBs and M. galloprovincialis can be used as a bioindicator in the monitoring of marine ecosystems contaminated with these pollutants.
  • Effect of Open Dump on Geotechnical Properties and Heavy Metal
           Concentrations of Soil in North of Hilla City, Babylon Governorate, Iraq

    • Abstract: Random and unscientific disposal of municipal waste is an important factor affecting the geotechnical characteristics and concentrations of heavy metals in the soil. Unconfined compressive strength, Atterberg limit, and maximum dry density tests were included. These tests were designed to determine the effects of open waste dumps on geotechnical properties and the concentration of heavy metals in the underlying open dump soil.Soil samples collected from the landfill at Al-Sayyahia Village, Babylon Governorate, showed changes in the rates of geotechnical properties evaluation, as the value of the confined compressive strength decreased by high rates from 54 to 22 kN/m2. As well, when comparing the maximum values of dry density of samples from the control site, neighboring the landfill, the average value decreased from 1.91 to 1.74 gm/cm3. Chemical tests revealed that the pH and organic matter percentages in the open dump soil samples were significantly higher than in the control site. These percentages ranged from 9.67% and 2.542% to 7.4% and 0.215%, respectively. In addition, the average value of electrical conductivity was 5.6 mS/cm in the open dump soil, whereas in the control site was 3.6 mS/cm. Iron, lead, copper, nickel, chrome, zinc, Cadmium, and Arsenic have average concentrations of 4.64%, 14.02, 44.86, 236.36, 278.36, 95.26, 2.034, and 13.84 ppm, respectively. They are higher at open landfill sites than in control site samples.
  • Thresholds Value of Soil Trace Elements for the Suitability of Eucalyptus
           (The Case Study of Guadiamar Green Corridor)

    • Abstract: The development of suitability species models look for the availability to growth in a study area. These models can be used for different targets. In this research, a suitability model of Eucalyptus has been developed to soils contaminated by trace elements management. Guadiamar Green Corridor has been selected due to the huge data available regarding trace elements, forestry species and so on. Logistic regression (LR) and Random Forest (RF), as popular machine learning model, were applied in a geodatabase from Guadiamar Green Corridor with more of 20 years of data. This database is composed by soil physical and chemical variables, climate (temperature min and max, annual precipitation), forestry species. The results show the poor performance of LR and RF applied directly over the unbalanced training set. However, when Up-sampling or SMOTE are applied, both procedures improve its sensitivity, however, RF show more improve that LR. The methodology applied can help to determine the potential distribution of Eucalyptus in similar Mediterranean areas and extended to different areas according to Soil, Climate and Trace Elements data. Finally, the models developed under this research work can be used to reduce human and environmental health by trace elements taking into account local conditions but also climate change scenarios.
  • Quartz Mineral as new Sorbent for Hg(II) Removal from Aqueous Solution:
           Adsorption Kinetics and Isotherm

    • Abstract: Natural quartz mineral was examined as a new sorbent for Hg(II) removal from synthetic wastewater systems. Batch adsorption experiments of Hg(II)  onto quartz mineral were conducted under various conditions such as solution pH, sorbent dosage, contact time, initial Hg(II)  concentration. Adsorption experiments results of Hg(II) by quartz mineral showed good achievement after 180 min with 1.0 g/L sorbent mass at pH of 2.0, agitation speed of 200 rpm and a temperature of 25°C. Moreover, the Hg(II) concentration was directly related to increases the adsorption capacity, the maximum Hg(II) uptake by quartz  sample was 16.52 mg/g for 80 mg/L (C0 (Hg(II)].  Langmuir isotherm and pseudo-second-order kinetics (R2 > 0.99) were found to be the most appropriate models to describe the adsorption of Hg(II) by quartz mineral. The intra-particle diffusion model and the calculated Dubinin–Radushkevich adsorption energy (Eads = 0.78 kJmol-1), confirms a physisorption adsorption reaction occurring in three stages.
  • Impact of Wastewater on Water Quality and Fish Community in the Tolych
           River, Perm Krai, Russia

    • Abstract: Boreal freshwater ecosystems are highly sensitive to pollution, but too little information is available on the use of both biotic and chemical indicators for estimation of the effect of wastewater on boreal rivers and streams. The purpose of this study was to assess the wastewater impact on the boreal river (Perm Krai, Russia).  Physicochemical parameters of major ions and trace elements were detected with a field portable unit, capillary electrophoresis, and ICP-MS. Fish data was collected by gillnets. To evaluate the level of pollution from the Tolych River upstream to downstream, we calculated heavy metal evaluation index (HEI), ecological risk index (ERI), and index of biotic integrity (IBI). The anthropogenic impact from upstream to downstream showed the range from a very high to medium level of pollution by ERI and from a high to medium level by HEI values, where most of the studied major ions and trace elements often exceeded aquatic life limits. We found significant thermal pollution of the observed river with the decreasing temperature gradient from pollution source down to the river mouth due to hydromorphological factors. Observed thermal pollution leads to the absence of thermally sensitive cold-water fish species and the abundance of ecologically flexible fish species. The water quality assessed by biotic IBI index showed low and very low quality of lower reach of the studied river, which contradicts the results of assessment by HEI and ERI indices.  The results show the importance of using aquatic organisms as bioindicators for assessing ecological water quality.
  • Heavy Metal Pollution Assessment in Lake Rinconada in the Southern Andes,

    • Abstract: The study was conducted in Lake Rinconada, a glacial lake affected by artisanal and small-scale gold mining activities in the southern Andes in Peru. The objectives of the study were to investigate the spatial distribution of heavy metals (As, Cu, Hg, Pb and Zn) in water and sediments and to assess the degree of metal pollution and ecological risk using the geoaccumulation and potential ecological risk indexes. The concentrations of As and Hg in sediments from Lake Rinconada exceeded the Canadian sediment quality regulations, whereas the concentrations of As, Hg and Pb in water and sediments from the mining-affected tributary, Lunar de Oro River exceeded the Peruvian and Canadian guidelines for water and sediments quality respectively. According to the geoaccumulation and potential ecological risk indexes, Lake Rinconada is extremely polluted by As and Hg, and the pollution is mostly concentrated in the northern part of the lake, where the mining-affected Lunar de Oro River flows into the lake. Concentrations of Pb are also high in the northern part of the lake, suggesting that the nearby gold mining town is a source of pollution. The results of this study allows to report that Lake Rinconada is completely deteriorated.
  • Perfluorooctane Sulfonic Acid (PFOS) in River Water and Groundwater along
           Bharathapuzha River Basin, India

    • Abstract: Perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) are widely used in industrial and commercial applications, leading to their release into the environment. The rapid industrialization and growing population in India make it a suitable case study to investigate PFOS contamination in environmental matrices. The purpose of this study is to investigate PFOS concentrations in river water and groundwater from several locations along the Bharathapuzha river basin and estimate PFOS intakes through drinking water. The highest PFOS level detected in the surface water is 1.3 ng/L and groundwater is 1.0 ng/L, which is significantly lower than the level of PFOS detected in major rivers of many developed countries. It is possible to attribute the low PFOS concentration to factors such as high annual precipitation, reduced industrial and municipal wastewater discharge, and relatively low emissions per capita in a region where agriculture is a major part of the economy. In addition, the daily intake of PFOS through drinking water in all age groups was below the safety threshold for cancer risk.
  • Impact of Vehicular Traffic on Single Use Surgical Face Masks as a Source
           of Environmental Micro-fiber Pollution

    • Abstract: During the COVID-19 pandemic large numbers of single-use, surgical style face masks were lost or discarded in public spaces, primarily in on public streets and car parking settings. Many of these masks were blown onto the road surfaces where they were subjected to degradation through the tire impact of passing vehicle traffic. As series of field observations as well as experimental simulations show that the three-ply polypropylene mask fabric is subjected to shear forces when compressed between the tire and the road surface. The mechanical action breaks the bonds between the fibers (both spunbonded and meltblown) leading to a continual shedding of microfibers. Wind disperses these into the environment along road sides, while surface water action moves them into stormwater drains and from there into the waterways. As the decay is rapid, municipal agencies only have a short window of time to remove stray face masks from the urban environment if micro-fiber pollution is to be reduced.
  • Efficacy of Mn-doped ZnO towards Removal of Congo Red Dye under UV
           Exposure: Isotherm, Kinetics, Thermodynamics and Optimization Study

    • Abstract: Discharge of synthetic dyes from industries without treatment leads to major environmental problems. Present research highlighted the Mn-doped ZnO along with UV-induced photo degradation of Congo red (CR) dye through batch study. The synthesized Mn-doped ZnO (MDZO) was characterized by Transmission electron microscope (TEM) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The results revealed that MDZO along with UV exposure degraded the CR dye up to 99.3% at concentration 4 mg/L, pH (7), adsorbent dose (0.6 g/L) and contact time (30 min). The degradation data nicely fitted with pseudo-secondary kinetics and the thermodynamic study suggest the said reaction is exothermic in nature. A statistical method, central composite design (CCD) was used to screen out the optimized condition of dye degradation. The interactions of main factors and optimal conditions were also evaluated by 3D surface plots. The statistical output clearly demonstrates that the dye degradation data is nicely fitted with very high goodness of fit and F value (86.19). Present research clearly suggested that Mn-doped ZnO along with UV could be an effective treatment towards degradation of Congo red dye.
  • Hazard Estimations Result from Arsenic Contamination in Common Foodstuffs,
           Soil, Sediment, and Water of Joypurhat District, Bangladesh

    • Abstract: We analyzed 125 samples collected from Joypurhat district, Bangladesh, in this study. Average inorganic arsenic (IAs) content obtained from collected polished rice, tomato, potato, radish, and arum leaves 0.31 - 0.91, 0.24 - 0.61, 0.49 - 0.88, 0.40 - 0.93, and 0.30 - 0.69 mg/kg, respectively. This report summarized that almost every agronomic sample contains arsenic; the As contents remain within the permissible limit set by FAO/WHO’s guideline (1.00 mg/kg) except for the rice sample. The As concentration for the rice sample was significantly higher (0.31 - 0.91) than the prescribed limit (0.20 mg/kg). But, the As level for water (mean range, 0.10 - 0.72 mg/l), sediment (0.13 - 0.53 mg/kg), and soil samples (24.1 - 43.1 mg/kg) also significantly surpassed the permissible level. The present study is alarming for water samples, where the highest IAs concentration (0.72 mg/l) is 72 times [14 times] higher than WHO/FAO’s [Bangladesh’s] allowable limit (0.01mg/l) [0.05 mg/l]. All agronomic fields contain higher IAs (25.50 - 43.10 mg/kg) than the world standard limit (10 mg/kg). Statistical Igeo confirmed the moderate pollution of the entire agronomic field of Joypurhat except for the river’s sediment. Again, EF values ensured the anthropogenic pollution by the moderately severe enrichment of As for the 65% agronomic field and significant enrichment of As for the 35% agronomic field. Hazard estimation results revealed the privileged possibility of non-carcinogenic [carcinogenic] health hazards to regular polished rice [water] consumers. So, present study suggests that authorities should take necessary steps to prevent contamination/upcoming health risks.
  • Optimization of Sulphate-Reducing Bacteria for Treatment of Heavy
           Metals-Containing Laboratory Wastewater on Anaerobic Reactor

    • Abstract: Laboratory wastewater is categorized as hazardous waste that should not be released into the environment since it poses a serious threat to environmental safety. In the present study, the use of Sulphate-Reducing Bacteria (SRB) colonies in an anaerobic reactor to treat heavy metals-containing laboratory wastewater was examined. SRB was initially cultivated with the treatment of fermented compost and Postgate's medium before being attached to the laboratory-size anaerobic reactor to treat laboratory waste containing heavy metal. Within the 15 days of initial incubation under the room temperature of 28 °C, we discovered that SRB optimally grew on the medium with the composition of 5% Postgate B solution, 30% fermented compost liquid, and 5% active suspension liquid, with a total population of cell colonies was 1.2 x 105 CFU/ml. After SRB colonies from the most optimum medium were affixed to the reactor, the reactor attained 89% of lead (Pb) removal, 69.78% of iron (Fe) removal, and 48.93% of copper (Cu) removal for 15 days treatment periods. On the 21st days of treatment time, the removal efficiency increased significantly to 91.57%, 78.09%, and 83.56% of Pb, Fe, and Cu removed, respectively.
  • Novel Eco-Friendly Herbal Based Air Freshener Formulation as Air-Borne
           Fungal Repellent in Indoor Environments Through Real Time Monitoring

    • Abstract: Air fresheners are the synthetic products, used to improve the quality of indoor air by removing unpleasant or disturbing odours, in addition they disinfect the air by removing allergens and in turn add pleasant odours. However, these fresheners since they contain varied chemicals, which on magnification in a closed environment may cause respiratory illness. Therefore, constant usage of these air fresheners would deteriorate the ambient quality of indoor air. Even air fresheners which claim to be “green”, since these lack regulatory norms, they too emit hazardous or chemically harmful compounds. Hence there is a dire need to use alternative products that substantiate the quality of indoor air.  The present study aimed at exploring the efficacy of medicinal plant extracts of Azadirachta indica, Menta piperita and Aloe barbadensis in controlling air borne fungi in indoor environments by creating a simulation of an indoor environment and checking the efficiency of these natural air fresheners. About 60-70% reduction in the vegetative structures (colony diameter) and 30% reduction in reproductive structures were observed after exposure for 11 days to environment containing Azadirachta indica and Menta piperita extracts. Thus this study has novelty in formulating herbal based air fresheners based on the proven antifungal activities of these medicinal plant extracts, thereby replacing the usage of commercial air fresheners in the near future in controlling indoor air borne fungi. Since these natural formulations undoubtedly disinfect the indoor air, has commercial prospects and are eco-friendly, cost-effective with no health implications.  
  • Optimization of the Photocatalytic Oxidation Process in Toluene Removal
           from Air

    • Abstract: The presence of volatile organic compounds in the indoor environment and their unwanted effects on human health are inevitable. That's why different methods have been proposed to remove them from air. The present study examines using photocatalytic reaction system along with TiO2 particles coated on stainless steel webnet to study direct conversion of toluene using a new design. The study was carried out using UV radiation in a dynamic concentrator system. SEM and XRD analyses were performed to characterize prepared catalysts. Here, the aim was to employ photocatalytic oxidation (PCO) to optimize removal efficiency and elimination capacity using response surface methodology (RSM). To this end, initial concentration and flow rate were selected as independent variables. High removal efficiency and elimination capacity were realized using optimal settings. The findings indicated that PCO process with a new design other than RSM was an option to treat air pollution containing volatile organic compounds.
  • A Study on the Effects of Operating Parameters on the Degradation of
           Oxalic Acid in a Photocatalytic Reactor using Computational Fluid Dynamics

    • Abstract: The simulation of photocatalytic reactor is conducted using computational fluid dynamics. Turbulence is described by using the RNG k-ε turbulence model. The DO radiation model is used to simulate the irradiance distribution in the photocatalytic reactor. The effects of operating parameters on the performance of photocatalytic reactor are considered. Results show that the degradation rate of oxalic acid decreases with the increase of inlet flow. The degradation efficiency decreases from 50% to 40% when the flow rate changes from 2.5 m3 h−1 to 10 m3 h−1. The degradation rate of oxalic acid can be improved by increasing the irradiance of the lamp. The degradation efficiency of oxalic acid in the photocatalytic reactor first reaches a maximum degradation efficiency with the increase of titanium dioxide concentration, and then decreases with the increase of titanium dioxide concentration. An optimal concentration of catalysts exists. The maximum degradation efficiency is 27% for the catalyst concentration of 20 µgL−1.
  • COVID-19 Waste as Source of Microplastics in the Environment: Implication
           for Aquatic Species, Human, and Remediation Measures- A Review

    • Abstract: Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic ushered in a new era that led to the adjustments of diverse ecosystems. The pandemic restructured the global socio-economic events which prompted several adaptation measures as a response mechanism to cushion the negative impact of the disease pandemic. Critical health safety actions were imperative to curtail the spread of the disease such as wearing personal protective equipment (PPEs), masks, goggles, and using sanitizers for disinfection purposes. The daily demands for the products by individuals and medical personnel heightened their production and consumption, leading to a corresponding increase of COVID-19 wastes in the environment following indiscriminate waste disposal and poor waste management. The persistent occurrence of COVID-19 wastes aggravated microplastics (MPs) contamination in the aquatic ecosystem following the breakdown of PPEs-based plastics via oxidation, fragmentation, and photo-degradation actions. These MPs are transported in the aquatic environment via surface runoff and wind action, apart from discrete sources. MPs' presence in the aquatic systems is not without repercussions. Ingestion of MPs by aquatic organisms can cause several diseases (e.g., poor growth, oxidative distress, neurotoxicity, developmental toxicity, reproductive toxicity, immunotoxicity, and organ toxicity). Humans are at high risk of MPs uptake. Apart from aerial and soil contamination sources, consumption of aquatic food products is a critical pathway of MPs into the human body. MP toxicities in humans include liver disorder, respiratory failure, infertility, hormonal imbalance, diarrhea, developmental disorder, and mortality. Measures to alleviate the effect of COVID-19 waste litters include effective waste management plans and the adoption of technologies to extract cum degrade MPs from the aquatic and terrestrial environment.
  • Impact of Mining Activity on Soils and Plants in the Vicinity of a Zn-Pb
           Mine (Draa Lasfar, Marrakech - Morocco)

    • Abstract: The pollution generated by metallic trace elements discharged by mines into the environment can become a very worrying source of contamination for soil, water and plants. The characterization of the chemical properties of metals in mine tailings and soils is of crucial importance to assess the risk of their potential mobility and therefore their bioavailability. In this paper, the bioavailability of metallic trace elements  in agricultural soils in the vicinity of the Draa Lasfar mine in the northwest of Marrakech city (Morocco) was studied by determining the contents of Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn in soils and in two plants: wheat (main food for the human population) and couch grass (main food for livestock). The results showed that these metals move from agricultural land to plants. They also showed that couch grass seems to strongly absorb and accumulate metallic trace elements present in the soil; it removes considerable amounts of metallic trace elements from the soil with its deeply penetrating root system.
  • Fractal Description of the Temporal Fluctuation of PM2.5 and PM10
           Concentrations and their Cross-correlation at Cotonou Autonomous Port and
           the “Boulevard de la Marina” area (Benin Republic, West Africa)

    • Abstract: The present study aims to provide baseline information on the temporal characteristics of PM2.5 and PM10 concentration time series variations, mainly on the cross-correlation between PM2.5 and PM10, using the improved mathematical and nonlinear methods. Firstly, the fractal theory such as fractal dimension is used to detect the pollution level in PM2.5 and PM10 time series. Secondly, the Multifractal Detrending Moving-Average Analysis (MFDMA) is used to analyze the multifractal characteristics of PM2.5 and PM10 concentrations. Thirdly, Multifractal Detrending Moving-Average cross-correlation Analysis (MFXDMA) is used to study the cross-correlation between PM2.5 and PM10 concentrations measured from January 1 to December 31, 2020, along the Boulevard de la Marina, one of the major roads in Cotonou. The results have indicated that: (1) PM10 and PM2.5 concentration time series are characterized by a fractal dimension, which can permit to detect the pollution levels and to analyze the differences in emissions sources; (2) there is a significant multifractal structure in the PM2.5 and PM10 concentration data and their fluctuations are long-range correlated, however, the multifractal properties and self-memory characteristics change with the months; (3) generally, the multifractal degree and the complexity of PM10 are much stronger than those of PM2.5. However, they present a similar multifractality degree in some months of the year; (4) except, in February, the cross-correlation between PM2.5 and PM10 time series in the months of the year presents multifractal characteristics with positive persistence; (5) the cross-correlation multifractal features show monthly variation. This paper provides the inter-relationship between air PM2.5 and PM10 time series which may help taking steps in controlling the air quality and management of the Cotonou port area environment.
  • Assessment of the Pollution of some Heavy Metals in the Sediments of the
           Tigris River in the City of Mosul- Northern Iraq

    • Abstract: In this study, the concentrations of heavy metals were studied using atomic absorption spectroscopy of samples from the sediments of the Tigris River within the boundaries of the city of Mosul, northern Iraq, and the environmental parameters of heavy metals were calculated. The results showed that the average concentrations of Co, Cu, Cd, Pb, Zn, and Ni in (ppm) were (8.78, 30.42, 0.179, 12.04, 75.53, and 144.75), respectively, where these results were higher than the international accepted average. It indicates that the main factor in the high concentrations of heavy metals in the environment of the Tigris River in the city of Mosul is the pollution caused by human activities. The results of the environmental treatments for the studied heavy metals showed that the values of the enrichment factor (EF) were moderately contaminated with Cu, Cd, Ni, and Zn and not contaminated with Co and Pb. The value of the contamination factor (CF) for the sediments of the Tigris River in the studied areas showed that the sediments of those areas are moderately polluted with Co, Ni, and Zn metals. The degree of contamination (Cdeg) for the sediments of the study area in general ranges from low - medium pollution, the pollution load index (PLI) average of (1.03) showed that the sediments of the study area were contaminated with heavy metals. Therefore, we conclude that the environment of the Tigris River is polluted with heavy metals, but it is not at the level that causes concern at present.
  • Ambient Air Quality and Health Impact of Exposure to Outdoor Air Pollution
           in the Moroccan Population: A Systematic Review

    • Abstract: Evidence of the health impact of air pollution in Morocco is scarce. We aimed to test our hypothesis that exposure to air pollutants has a significant impact on the health of Moroccans. For this systematic review, we searched PubMed, ScienceDirect, LILACS, and ProQuest databases, Google Scholar, and forward and backward citations for studies published between the database inception and August 16, 2022. All studies and reports that measure air quality in Morocco and its health impact were included, without language restrictions. This study is registered on PROSPERO under number CRD42020163948. Studies were selected based on inclusion and exclusion criteria rather than their methods. The data was extracted, coded, and prepared for future examination. After that, descriptive and thematic analyses were carried out. Of 1230 records identified, 31 were eligible, all of which had annual air pollutant concentrations in excess of WHO Air Quality Guidelines. The health impact was demonstrated in five studies. The most studied pathologies were asthma, respiratory and cardiac infections in children under 12 years and adults. In addition to heavy metals, the most investigated pollutants were PM10, O3, SO2, and NOx. The significant association between exposure to air pollutants and health in the Moroccan population has been demonstrated, even if it is not causal. Future research should quantify the health impact of pollution in other Moroccan cities.
  • National Survey of Stream Water Quality Revealing Threats to

    • Abstract: Benin’s waterways are affected by several forms of pollution that are linked in particular to anthropic activities. This study aims to detect the presence of antibiotic residues, the frequency of antibiotic resistant bacteria and the levels of heavy metals in Benin’s waterways. 160 surface water samples from streams in Benin were collected. They were filtered by the membrane filtration method, then incubated on different media. The isolated bacterial species were identified by API 20E gallery and specific biochemical tests. After detection of the resistance profile of the latter, the antibiotic residues were quantified in the samples by the ELISA technique on plate and the physicochemical analyses were performed by Multi 3630 IDS SET KS2 multimeter. Finally, heavy metal levels were detected by the MERCK test kit method specific to each metal. The bacterial species mostly identified were Klebsiella pneumoniae (56.59%), Klebsiella spp. (18.68%), Enterobacter spp. (12.63%). The most abundant resistance of bacterial strains was to amoxicillin + clavulanic acid (92%), followed by metronidazole (86%). Metronidazole was the antibiotic with the highest residue concentration in the samples (6.578 to 6.829 µg/L), followed by ciprofloxacin (2.142 to 9.299 µg/L). Benin streams contain heavy metals such as mercury (0.454±0.129 µg/L), lead (0.040±0.50 mg/L), zinc (6.120±16.017 mg/L), nickel (0.155±0.233 mg/L) and cadmium (0.154±0.132 mg/L). The analysis of the physico-chemical parameters showed that, apart from electrical conductivity, all parameters comply with Beninese and World Health Organization standards. Actions must be taken to clean up these rivers to preserve the integrity of aquatic ecosystems in Benin.
  • Organo-Metallic Palladium Complexes used for CO2 Storage and Environmental

    • Abstract: Gas storage is an important branch of technology that has many economic and environmental aspects. This technique could save gas to the need time and contribute to solving the CO2 and global warming problems. In this work, the structure and physicochemical properties of the prepared palladium complex were characterized in the solid and solution states using spectroscopic techniques. These examination methods include ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), metal and elemental analyses, and measurements of magnetic susceptibility and conductivity at room temperature. Also, findings on the surface morphology and surface area were provided via Field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) and Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) techniques, respectively. High-pressure adsorption measurements were investigated by storing carbon dioxide, and the results proved that such materials own remarkable gas adsorption properties that make them a good option for gas separation and storage. Gases uptake at 323 K for the complexes leads to the highest CO2 uptake. The prepared material could pave the road for further exploitation of similar materials.
  • Chromosomal and Nuclear Alteration Induced by Nickel Nitrate in the Root
           Tips of Allium cepa var. aggregatum

    • Abstract: Nickel nitrate is a heavy metal known as an environmental contaminant due to its toxicity, long environmental half-lives, and capacity for bioaccumulation.  This study aims to determine chromosomal aberration, nuclear alteration, and cell death in Allium cepa var. aggregatum L. root caused by different nickel concentrations.  Roots of Allium cepa var. aggregatum were induced by soaking bulbs in water, then transferred to a solution containing nickel (Ni) at a concentration of 20 ppm, 30 ppm, and 40 ppm for 72 hours.  Root tip mitotic chromosome preparations were done by the squash method.  The chromosome was stained with aceto-orcein and chromosomal damages were observed under a microscope.  The results showed that the mitotic index decreased from 5.025% at control to 3.144%, 2.467%, and 2.181% at immersion with 20 ppm, 30 ppm 40 ppm nickel nitrate, respectively.  Anaphase and telophase indexes in roots with Ni treatments were lower than in control, suggesting that nickel inhibits cell division.  Nickel nitrate induced chromosomal damages and nuclear abnormalities, such as sticky chromosome, fragmented chromosome, chromosome bridge and chromosome laggard, micronuclei, binucleate and nuclear budding.  The percentage of chromosomal damage increases with a higher concentration of Ni.  In situ cell visualization showed that the higher the nickel concentration, the more coloured the root tips indicating high levels of cell death.
  • A Novel Deep Learning-based Prediction Approach for Groundwater Salinity
           Assessment of Urban Areas

    • Abstract: The high amount of Electrical Conductivity (EC) in the groundwater is one of the major negative Geo-environmental problems which has a considerable effect on the quality of drinking water. To address this challenging problem we proposed an intelligent Machine Learning (ML) based approach to predict EC in urban areas. We applied the deep learning technique as one of the most applicable ML techniques with high capabilities for intelligent predictions. Five different deep neural networks (Net 1 to Net 5) were developed in this study and their reliability to predict EC with an emphasis on different settings of inputs, features, functions, and the number of hidden layers was evaluated. The achieved results showed that deep neural networks can predict EC parameters using minimum and economic input parameters. Results showed parameters Cl and SO4 with a high range of correlation and pH with a low range of Pearson correlation properties are influential parameters to be used as the input of neural networks. Activation function Relu, optimization function Adam with a learning rate of 0.0005 and loss function Mean Squared Error with the minimum of two hidden dense layers from Keras laboratory of Tensor Flow developed an efficient and fast network to predict the EC parameter in urban areas. Maximum epochs for developed networks were defined up to 2000 iterations while epochs are reducible up to 200 to drive minimum loss function outcome. The maximum training and testing R2 for developed networks was 0.99 in both the training and testing parts.
  • Carcinogenic and Health Risk Assessment of Respiratory Exposure to BTEX
           Compounds in Gasoline Refueling Stations in Karaj – Iran

    • Abstract: BTEX is one of the common compounds in the breathing air of gas station workers, which can cause high carcinogenic and health risks. The present study was conducted to assess the carcinogenic and health risks of occupational exposure to BTEX compounds in gasoline fuel distribution stations in Karaj. This descriptive and cross-sectional study was conducted to assess the carcinogenic and health risks caused by exposure to BTEX compounds in 2021 during the summer and winter in six fuel distribution stations in Karaj. Occupational exposure to BTEX was measured according to the NIOSH 1501 method. Cancer and non-cancer risk assessment were performed according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) method. Data were analyzed in SPSS software version 26. The average occupational exposure to benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene, and xylene during a work shift among all participants in summer and winter were 83.33 - 89.33, 202 - 210.66, 126.55 - 136.83, and 168.81 - 174.83 µg.m-3, respectively. The highest concentration of BTEX compounds was observed in Gas station in the center of the city. The mean carcinogenic risk value of benzene and ethylbenzene were 139×10-2 and 27×10-2, respectively. The highest carcinogenic risk value due to exposure to benzene and ethyl benzene was observed in Gas station in the center of the city. The mean non-carcinogenic and health risks of occupational exposure to benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene, and xylene were 173.79, 14.19, 3.61, and 12.87, respectively.  The findings demonstrated the values of carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic risk in the majority of participants were within the definitive and unacceptable risk levels. Therefore, corrective measures are necessary to protect the employees from the non-cancer and cancer risks. 
  • Estimation of Benzene from Storage Tanks and Determination of the
           Permissible Distance from Gas Stations

    • Abstract: Benzene is considered a toxic and hazardous pollutant in Tehran metropolis. The storage tanks of petroleum products and refueling in gas stations are among the main sources of benzene emissions. Using the software AERMOD and reviewing the benzene dispersion maps at different distances from 412 storage tanks at 148 gas stations, it was found the permissible distance of the emission source is dependent on various variables such as the number of loading times and the storage capacity. When, storage capacity in the range of 60,000 L to 96,000 L and the number of loading is in the range of 675 to 1328 times a year, the concentration of benzene at a distance of 30 m of the emission source reaches the annual standard of 5 μg/ m3. While, storage capacity in the range of 80,000 L to 128,000 L and the number of loading is in the range of 1329 to 1834 times a year, the concentration of benzene at a distance of 40 m of the emission source reaches the annual standard of 5 μg/ m3. Also, based on the analysis of data and the linear regression equation, the permissible distance of the emission source can be predicted.
  • Role of Salinity and Oxidation-Reduction Potential in Mobility of Heavy
           Metals in Suspended Sediments at Estuarine Zone

    • Abstract: Effect of salinity and oxidation-reduction potential (ORP) in the mobility of metals bound to suspended sediments at estuarine zone is investigated. Saline and freshwater samples as well as suspended sediments from estuarine zone of the Chalus River and the Caspian Sea, have been collected. Two series of four aquaria sets (natural and ORP-augmented conditions) containing turbid water with salinities of 0.25, 0.75, 1.5 and 2.5 psu were arranged. An increasing pattern of exchangeable-phase of all studied metals contents (at higher salinities) was observed under natural and ORP-modified conditions. Furthermore, the exchangeable-phase metal contents under ORP-modified conditions are higher (or equal) when compared with natural conditions. The overall trend of metals mobility potential might be evaluated as: Cd > Pb > Mn > Cu > Zn > Co > Ni. Findings of this research confirm the direct effect of both salinity and ORP parameters in mobility of metals bound to suspended particles in estuarine zones.
  • Experimental Evaluation of Regression Prediction Analysis After Testing
           Engine Performance Characteristics

    • Abstract: Using ethanol in gasoline is considered one of the most significant goals in the 2030 agenda, which has been set a 15-year plan in order to achieve it since 2015. Appropriately, this project was planned for predicting the value of the most important engine parameters such as the equivalence air-fuel ratio (φ), fuel consumption (ṁf), and brake thermal efficiency nb. th, and brake-specific fuel consumption (BSFC) by regression models. According to the protocol of this project, first, the determined percentages of ethanol were added (0, 20, 40, 60, and 80%) to gasoline at different engine speeds (850, 1000, 2000, 3000, and 4000 rpm and the New European Driving Cycle test). After testing, calculating, mathematical programming, and fitting the regression models for the two SI-engine (TU5 and EF7) with different properties of engine design,12 regression equations have been determined for each of the ‘ (positive linear model), (ṁf) (negative linear model), (negative second-order polynomial model), and BSFC (positive second-order polynomial model), respectively. Clearly, these 48 regression equations with different line slopes will be able to predict the exact value of the ‘, (ṁf),, and BSFC for each concentration of ethanol at different engine speeds in order to help automotive industries for trend predicting them in other similar engines.
  • Application of Ti3C2(OH)2 MXene Nanosheets as a Potential Adsorbent and
           Photocatalyst for Degradation of Organic Dye in Aqueous Media

    • Abstract: In this work, single layered Ti3C2(OH)2 MXene nanosheets have been successfully prepared through a facile approach by etching Ti3AlC2 with alkaline solution treatment (KOH with minimum amounts of water). The structure and morphology of the produced nanosheets were evaluated through X-ray diffraction (XRD) and field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) analysis and the chemical composition was determined using an energy dispersion X-ray (EDX) spectrometer. Methylene Blue (MB) as a target pollutant adsorption and photocatalytic degradation tests were subsequently performed to assess the functionalities of hydroxyl-terminated MXene. MB removal using Ti3C2(OH)2 MXene in the dark in 20 minutes achieved an absorption-desorption balance of 51.2%, and then MB was degraded within 80 minutes under UV light irradiation with great efficiency. Our results presented that the powder of as produced exhibited good photocatalytic activity for three cycles photodegradation. The first-order rate constant (k) was calculated to be 0.0372 1/min. About 97% degradation of Methylene Blue dye in the solution was confirmed within 80 min of exposure to ultraviolet light.
  • Diversity and Degradative Potency of Extant Autochthonous Crude
           Oil-Metabolizing Species in a Chronically Polluted River

    • Abstract: Persistent pollution of surface waters by hydrocarbon compounds is one of the foremost threats to limited global freshwater resources. This study analyzed the abundance, diversity and degradative capacities of hydrocarbon-utilizing bacteria in chronically polluted Kono River in the Nigerian Niger Delta in order to establish the bacterial drivers of ecological regeneration of the river after an oil spill. The study further aimed to develop a specialized bacterial consortium for application in bioremediation interventions. Bacillus, Pseudomonas and Enterobacter spp. were predominant out of the 82 isolates obtained. Klebsiella pneumoniae and two species of Enterobacter cloacae were identified as the most efficient hydrocarbon utilizers. The isolates were also confirmed as biosurfactant producers and possessed the alkB1 and nahAc genes for degradation of aliphatics and aromatics. E. cloacae-K11, K. pneumoniae-K05, E. cloacae-K12 and their consortium were able to degrade the total petroleum hydrocarbons and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in batch systems by 59.37% – 96.06% and 68.40% – 92.46% respectively. K. pneumoniae-K05 showed the greatest petroleum degradation capacity of the three isolates but hydrocarbon degradation was most efficient with the bacterial consortium. The results obtained showed no significant differences at p≤0.05 between the degradation capacities of K. pneumoniae-K05 and the consortium for PAHs but a significant difference (p≤0.05) was seen with TPH degradation. A viable hydrocarbon degrading bacterial consortium was developed at the end of the study and it was concluded that the polluted river water displayed inherent potential for effective natural attenuation. 
  • Prediction of Air Pollutants Concentration Emitted from Kirkuk Cement
           Plant Based on Deep Learning and Gaussian Equation Outputs

    • Abstract: Researchers are interested in developing techniques to monitor, manage and predict the risks of gases and particles emitted from cement factories, which have a direct and negative impact on human health. Deep learning (DL) is a critical component of data mining, which further involves statistics and prediction. In this study, we developed a deep learning prediction model called the Deep Pollutant Prediction Model (DPPM). The data used for DPPM are separated into two types: observed data from a pollution monitoring station of the Institute of Mental Health in Ahmedabad City, India coded as (GJ001), to validate the model and simulated data generated using the Gaussian Plume Model for the hypothetical receptor (Laylan District, Kirkuk, Iraq) to predict the pollution that emitted from Kirkuk Cement Plant 5 km apart from the study area. The findings indicated that the DPPM has high efficiency in both Allahabad and Laylan stations, with more closed results for the data in the Laylan station, which is based on the Gaussian equation simulated data. Since the highest loss function value in the Laylan is 0.0221 of the CaO parameter, while it is 4.466 of the AQI parameter for the Allahabad Station, and the smallest loss function value in the Laylan is equal to 0.0041of both Fe2O3 and MgO parameters, it corresponds to 0.038 of Xylene for the Allahabad station. The results of the study proved that data continuity and non-volatility produce excellent outcomes for DPPM.
  • Uranium in Groundwater: Distribution and Plausible Chemo-Radiological
           Health Risks Owing to the Long-term Consumption of Groundwater of
           Panchkula, Haryana, India

    • Abstract: A comprehensive investigation was engaged to determine the spatial distribution of Uranium (U) and the consequential chemical and radiological health risk associated due to the consumption of groundwater containing U, in Panchkula district. A well-accepted technique of fluorescence of U estimation in an aqueous medium was employed having a detection limit of 0.50 µgL-1. The chemo-radiological health risk and water quality index was computed using a standard equation of concerned agencies to determine the suitability for human health. The concentration of U was observed to vary from 1.70 – 12.28 µgL-1 with the mean value of 5.89 µgL-1 The concentration of U was far below the standard prescribed limits as per World Health Organisation, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, and United Nation Environmental Protection Agency. Except  nitrate and total alkalinity in few samples, all water quality paramters were within the recommended limit of BIS. The annual effective dose (AED), excess cancer risk (ECR), and lifetime average daily dose (LADD) indicated no potential health issue due to the consumption of groundwater of studied locations. The correlation was computed between U and various macro-anions and cations present in water samples. U was observed to have a significant weak positive correlation with total dissolved solids (TDS), electrical conductivity (EC), and salinity.
  • Investigating the Influence of Urban River Valleys on Meteorological
           Parameters at the Local Scale as a Factor for urban sustainability - Case
           study: Farahzad River Valley

    • Abstract: Four regions of the Farahzad River Valley with different topography were selected to fully survey it and study the effects of morphology on local climate. then one of the hot days of the month of June 2021 (June 6th) was selected because the wind speeds increase in spring. According to the comparison of the simulation results with the existing site plans, the temperature in area 3 was the highest, 39.60 degrees, and the wind speed was 3.57 m/s. On the other hand, the study and analysis of the maps showed that the temperature of the roads in regions 3 and 4 were higher than the other two regions with a temperature range of 37.69-38.40, so the presence of impervious asphalt surfaces on the roads is very effective in increasing the air temperature in these areas.  Comparisons also showed that tall buildings and vegetation create shaded areas and increase wind speed. Based on this, two scenarios were designed. In the first scenario, doubling the height of buildings increased wind speed in Region 3 by 3.42 m/s and decreased temperatures by 1.59 degrees. In the second scenario, when tall trees were planted at certain distances around the streets, the temperature in Region 3 decreased by 1.68 degrees and the wind speed increased by 1.68 m/s. The results show that the differences in the topography of urban valleys cause ventilation of the environment and that the effect of this feature in other environments is more effective through planting than through buildings.
School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
Tel: +00 44 (0)131 4513762

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