Open AccessArticle
Production of Geopolymeric Mortars Containing Forest Biomass Ash as Partial Replacement of Metakaolin
Environments 2017, 4(4), 74; doi:10.3390/environments4040074 -
Abstract
Geopolymers are a new class of binders based on alkali activation of natural and by-products raw materials. Their properties and eco-compatibility highly depends on the reaction system. The (Na,K)2O-Al2O3-SiO2-H2O system shows a distinguishing
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Geopolymers are a new class of binders based on alkali activation of natural and by-products raw materials. Their properties and eco-compatibility highly depends on the reaction system. The (Na,K)2O-Al2O3-SiO2-H2O system shows a distinguishing pseudo-zeolitic network structure, but reaction requires a high amount of activators. The aim of this work is to investigate how the use of forest biomass ash (FBA), as partial replacement material in the production of metakaolin (MK) based geopolymeric mortar, and affect its properties. FBA is a by-product of the combustion process of forest biomass in thermal power plants. Mortars with a FBA content of 0%, 10%, 20%, and 30% wt have been tested for workability, flexural, and compressive strength. Capillary absorption, micro-morphological features, thermal, and shrinkage behavior have been investigated. The addition of FBA allowed for a decrease in the use of alkaline activator up to 20%, while preserving the characteristic broad hump centered at approximately 28° 2θ Mechanical properties of the geopolymeric mortars decrease proportionally with metakaolin replacement, even if a compression strength of more than 35 MPa is still obtained with a FBA content of 30% wt. After thermal cycles of up to 700 °C, all of the mortars still retain their cohesiveness, with an overall loss of mechanical strength of about 80% of the initial value that can be attributed to the formation of microcracks as a consequence of the network strain and distortion due to dehydration and shrinkage. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sociology in Global Environmental Governance? Neoliberalism, Protectionism and the Methyl Bromide Controversy in the Montreal Protocol
Environments 2017, 4(4), 73; doi:10.3390/environments4040073 -
Abstract
Sociological studies of global agriculture need to pay close attention to the protectionist aspects of neoliberalism at the global scale of environmental governance. With agri-food studies in the social sciences broadening interrogations of the impact of neoliberalism on agri-food systems and their alternatives,
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Sociological studies of global agriculture need to pay close attention to the protectionist aspects of neoliberalism at the global scale of environmental governance. With agri-food studies in the social sciences broadening interrogations of the impact of neoliberalism on agri-food systems and their alternatives, investigating global environmental governance (GEG) will help reveal its impacts on the global environment, global science/knowledge, and the potential emergence of ecologically sensible alternatives. It is argued here that as agri-food studies of neoliberalism sharpen the focus on these dimensions the widespread consequences of protectionism of US agri-industry in GEG will become better understood, and the solutions more readily identifiable. This paper illustrates how the delayed phase out of the toxic substance methyl bromide in the Montreal Protocol exemplifies the degree to which the US agri-industry may be protected at the global scale of environmental governance, thus prolonging the transition to ozone-friendly alternatives. Additionally, it is clear that protectionism has had a significant impact on the dissemination and interpretation of science/knowledge of methyl bromide and its alternatives. Revealing the role that protectionism plays more broadly in the agriculture/environmental governance interface, and its oftentimes negative impacts on science and potential alternatives, can shed light on how protectionism can be made to serve ends that are at odds with environmental protection. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Relationship between Ambient Temperature and Mental Health in the USA
Environments 2017, 4(4), 71; doi:10.3390/environments4040071 -
Abstract
Climatic variables such as temperature have been shown to correlate with demand for mental health services in other countries. An attempt by the present study to replicate this correlation using existing USA treatment data on mental health was not substantiated. Using annual state-level
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Climatic variables such as temperature have been shown to correlate with demand for mental health services in other countries. An attempt by the present study to replicate this correlation using existing USA treatment data on mental health was not substantiated. Using annual state-level data from 2007 through 2015, the rate of mental health service utilization per 1000 population was correlated with average temperature and precipitation, while adjusting for Gross Domestic Product (GDP), unemployment, and urbanization. No statistically significant correlation was found. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Rapid Urban Growth in the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal: Monitoring Land Use Land Cover Dynamics of a Himalayan City with Landsat Imageries
Environments 2017, 4(4), 72; doi:10.3390/environments4040072 -
Abstract
The Kathmandu Valley of Nepal epitomizes the growing urbanization trend spreading across the Himalayan foothills. This metropolitan valley has experienced a significant transformation of its landscapes in the last four decades resulting in substantial land use and land cover (LULC) change; however, no
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The Kathmandu Valley of Nepal epitomizes the growing urbanization trend spreading across the Himalayan foothills. This metropolitan valley has experienced a significant transformation of its landscapes in the last four decades resulting in substantial land use and land cover (LULC) change; however, no major systematic analysis of the urbanization trend and LULC has been conducted on this valley since 2000. When considering the importance of using LULC change as a window to study the broader changes in socio-ecological systems of this valley, our study first detected LULC change trajectories of this valley using four Landsat images of the year 1989, 1999, 2009, and 2016, and then analyzed the detected change in the light of a set of proximate causes and factors driving those changes. A pixel-based hybrid classification (unsupervised followed by supervised) approach was employed to classify these images into five LULC categories and analyze the LULC trajectories detected from them. Our results show that urban area expanded up to 412% in last three decades and the most of this expansion occurred with the conversions of 31% agricultural land. The majority of the urban expansion happened during 1989–2009, and it is still growing along the major roads in a concentric pattern, significantly altering the cityscape of the valley. The centrality feature of Kathmandu valley and the massive surge in rural-to-urban migration are identified as the primary proximate causes of the fast expansion of built-up areas and rapid conversions of agricultural areas. Full article
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Open AccessProject Report
Nitrate Leaching from Sand and Pumice Geomedia Amended with Pyrogenic Carbon Materials
Environments 2017, 4(4), 70; doi:10.3390/environments4040070 -
Abstract
There is increasing interest in using pyrogenic carbon as an adsorbent for aqueous contaminants in stormwater. The objective of this study was to investigate pyrogenic carbon materials as an amendment to geomedia to reduce nitrate leaching. Batch adsorption and column experiments were conducted
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There is increasing interest in using pyrogenic carbon as an adsorbent for aqueous contaminants in stormwater. The objective of this study was to investigate pyrogenic carbon materials as an amendment to geomedia to reduce nitrate leaching. Batch adsorption and column experiments were conducted to evaluate the performance of a commercial activated carbon and two biochars incorporated (5% by weight) into sand and pumice columns. The batch adsorption with 50 mg L−1 of nitrate solution showed that only activated carbon resulted in a substantial adsorption for nitrate up to 41%. Tested biochars were not effective in removing aqueous nitrate and even released nitrate (<1%) with 1 h reaction time. Column experiment with a pulse input of nitrate solution (50 mg L−1) confirmed that the sand or pumice columns amended with biochars were not as effective as those amended with activated carbon for reducing nitrate leaching. Our results suggested that net negatively charged surfaces of biochar may inhibit nitrate anion adsorption while activated carbon has reactive sites containing acidic functional groups to improve nitrate retention. There was no difference between sand and pumice for nitrate retention in any of the carbon amendments. Additional surface activation process during biochar production may be needed to improve adsorptive capacity of biochar for aqueous nitrate removal. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Biological Treatment by Active Sludge with High Biomass Concentration at Laboratory Scale for Mixed Inflow of Sunflower Oil and Saccharose
Environments 2017, 4(4), 69; doi:10.3390/environments4040069 -
Abstract
We studied and quantified the elimination of sunflower oil from a wastewater influent using a biological treatment by activated sludge. Estimation of the biodegraded material was obtained doing a mass balance, and we conducted a follow-up of the different operational parameters and design.
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We studied and quantified the elimination of sunflower oil from a wastewater influent using a biological treatment by activated sludge. Estimation of the biodegraded material was obtained doing a mass balance, and we conducted a follow-up of the different operational parameters and design. We delivered information about the operation of a system for treatment by activated sludge fed with an influent with sunflower oil and saccharose. The influent was previously agitated before entering the effluent sludge in a lab-scale plant. The working range for oil concentration was 100 to 850 mg/L in the influent. Biodegradation was in the range of 60% to 51%. The process works better with a high initial concentration of biomass (7500 mg/L) in order to absorb the impacts caused by the oil on the microorganisms. The lowest total suspended solids concentration was 4500 mg/L. The elimination of sunflower oil in biodegradation and flotation was on the order of 90%. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Fine-Tuning of a Protected Area Effectiveness Evaluation Tool: Implementation on Two Emblematic Spanish National Parks
Environments 2017, 4(4), 68; doi:10.3390/environments4040068 -
Abstract
As global biodiversity trends worsen, protected area (PA) environmental effectiveness needs to be assessed to identify strengths and areas to improve. Through a participatory process including PA managers and scientists, we refined the System for the Integrated Assessment of Protected Areas (SIAPA), in
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As global biodiversity trends worsen, protected area (PA) environmental effectiveness needs to be assessed to identify strengths and areas to improve. Through a participatory process including PA managers and scientists, we refined the System for the Integrated Assessment of Protected Areas (SIAPA), in order to increase its legitimacy, credibility and salience to end users in Spain. Then, we tested the optimised version of the SIAPA on two emblematic Spanish national parks (NPs): Ordesa y Monte Perdido NP (Ordesa NP) and Sierra de Guadarrama NP (Guadarrama NP). PA managers and scientists largely coincided in the ratings of SIAPA’s indicators and indices. Collaboration with Ordesa NP’s managers was regular, allowing a nearly complete evaluation of the NP. However, greater collaboration between PA managers and scientists remains a priority in Guadarrama NP. Results show that potential effectiveness is moderate for Ordesa NP and low for Guadarrama NP, according to the indicators that could be evaluated. For Ordesa NP, lack of data on focal habitats and other focal features determined a deficient valuation of its conservation state, although the remaining indicators in that category showed adequate or moderate values. The compilation of those data should be overriding in the NP. In contrast, only climate change posed a serious threat in that NP. The social perception and valuation of both NPs was good, suggesting broad support from local populations and eased management. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Applicability of a Freundlich-Like Model for Plant Uptake at an Industrial Contaminated Site with a High Variable Arsenic Concentration
Environments 2017, 4(4), 67; doi:10.3390/environments4040067 -
Abstract
Phytoextraction is a low-cost technology with negligible environmental impacts. A major issue at the field scale is the heterogeneity of contaminant concentration since the entire site needs to be treated evenly even though zones may need different incisiveness in the treatment. The concentration
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Phytoextraction is a low-cost technology with negligible environmental impacts. A major issue at the field scale is the heterogeneity of contaminant concentration since the entire site needs to be treated evenly even though zones may need different incisiveness in the treatment. The concentration ratio (Cshoot/Csoil) is generally used to evaluate plant species performance and it includes for simplicity an assumption of linearity in the uptake behavior, although deviation from linearity has been observed in several studies. This work describes a phytoextraction feasibility test, conducted at a greenhouse scale for the remediation of an arsenic-contaminated site. Since a feasibility test should also provide an uptake model that accounts for plant growth in heterogeneous areas, the investigation focused on defining the uptake behavior of the various selected species growing in a site with homogeneous soil properties, but with considerable differences in arsenic concentration. Among the many models selectable to describe the soil-to-plant transfer, the Freundlich-like approach was tested. While remaining easy to handle, the non-linear model selected proves to be adequate to predict the arsenic uptake despite the complex contamination considered, thus allowing a more realistic prediction of the potential of a field-scale phytoremediation procedure. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Air Quality Impacts of Petroleum Refining and Petrochemical Industries
Environments 2017, 4(3), 66; doi:10.3390/environments4030066 -
Abstract
Though refineries and petrochemical industries meet society’s energy demands and produce a range of useful chemicals, they can also affect air quality. The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified polluted air as the single largest environmental risk, and hence it is necessary to
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Though refineries and petrochemical industries meet society’s energy demands and produce a range of useful chemicals, they can also affect air quality. The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified polluted air as the single largest environmental risk, and hence it is necessary to strive for and maintain good air quality. To manage potential health impacts, it is important to implement proper air quality management by understanding the link between specific pollutant sources and resulting population exposures. These industries release pollutants such as Volatile Organic Compounds, greenhouse gases and particulate matter, from various parts of their operations. Air quality should be monitored and controlled more meticulously in developing nations where increased energy demands, industrialization and overpopulation has led to more emissions and lower air quality. This paper presents a review of findings and highlights from various studies on air quality impacts of petroleum refining and petrochemical plants in many regions in the world. Full article
Open AccessArticle
So Close Yet So Far Apart: Contrasting Climate Change Perceptions in Two “Neighboring” Coastal Communities on Aotearoa New Zealand’s Coromandel Peninsula
Environments 2017, 4(3), 65; doi:10.3390/environments4030065 -
Abstract
Coastal hazard risk, compounded by climate change, is escalating. Efforts to address this challenge are fraught and ‘success’ is elusive. We focus on this impasse and recommend ways to improve understanding, reduce risk and enable adaptation. Two Aotearoa New Zealand coastal communities, Mercury
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Coastal hazard risk, compounded by climate change, is escalating. Efforts to address this challenge are fraught and ‘success’ is elusive. We focus on this impasse and recommend ways to improve understanding, reduce risk and enable adaptation. Two Aotearoa New Zealand coastal communities, Mercury Bay and Kennedy Bay, on the Coromandel Peninsula, serve as case studies. Ethnographic fieldwork underpins this analysis. Despite close proximity, local perceptions are ‘worlds apart’. Poor understanding of climate change, and preoccupation with everyday issues, is commonplace. Moreover, there are countervailing community narratives. In Kennedy Bay, which is undeveloped and Māori, climate change is not a manifest concern. Local narratives are rooted in Māori culture and under the shadow of colonization, which shapes contemporary perceptions, practices and prospects. In Mercury Bay, a rapidly developing resort town, seashore property owners demand protection works—ignoring sea-level rise and privileging short-term private interests. Despite laudable regulatory provisions, static responses to dynamic risks prevail and proactive adaptation is absent. Recommendations are made to improve understanding about local cultural-social-ecological characteristics, climate change and adaption. Enabling leadership and capability-building are needed to institutionalize proactive adaptation. Strengthening Māori self-determination (rangatiratanga) and guardianship (kaitiakitanga), and local democracy, are key to mobilizing and sustaining community-based adaptation governance. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Calcium Sulfoaluminate, Geopolymeric, and Cementitious Mortars for Structural Applications
Environments 2017, 4(3), 64; doi:10.3390/environments4030064 -
Abstract
This paper deals with the study of calcium sulfoaluminate (CSA) and geopolymeric (GEO) binders as alternatives to ordinary Portland cement (OPC) for the production of more environmentally-friendly construction materials. For this reason, three types of mortar with the same mechanical strength class (R3
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This paper deals with the study of calcium sulfoaluminate (CSA) and geopolymeric (GEO) binders as alternatives to ordinary Portland cement (OPC) for the production of more environmentally-friendly construction materials. For this reason, three types of mortar with the same mechanical strength class (R3 ≥ 25 MPa, according to EN 1504-3) were tested and compared; they were based on CSA cement, an alkaline activated coal fly ash, and OPC. Firstly, binder pastes were prepared and their hydration was studied by means of X-ray diffraction (XRD) and differential thermal-thermogravimetric (DT-TG) analyses. Afterwards, mortars were compared in terms of workability, dynamic modulus of elasticity, adhesion to red clay bricks, free and restrained drying shrinkage, water vapor permeability, capillary water absorption, and resistance to sulfate attack. DT-TG and XRD analyses evidenced the main reactive phases of the investigated binders involved in the hydration reactions. Moreover, the sulfoaluminate mortar showed the smallest free shrinkage and the highest restrained shrinkage, mainly due to its high dynamic modulus of elasticity. The pore size distribution of geopolymeric mortar was responsible for the lowest capillary water absorption at short times and for the highest permeability to water vapor and the greatest resistance to sulfate attack. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Collaborative Conservation of a Socio-Ecological Production Landscape through ICT Tools
Environments 2017, 4(3), 63; doi:10.3390/environments4030063 -
Abstract
Rural socio-ecological production landscape (SEPL) presents a mosaic combination of various use and spatial patterns. The rural SEPL claims conservation because it produces bundles of ecosystem services and well-being for people. However, due to the prevalent use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
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Rural socio-ecological production landscape (SEPL) presents a mosaic combination of various use and spatial patterns. The rural SEPL claims conservation because it produces bundles of ecosystem services and well-being for people. However, due to the prevalent use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in recent years, we attempt to explore how the new ICT tool was employed to conserve the rural SEPL. This study targets four rural communities that the Balian River flows across in Sanzhi district, New Taipei city. These communities self-organized a river conservation patrol team and utilized LINE (an instant messaging software) group to manage the SEPL as well. We conducted mixed method research to collect their group conversation evidences including time, amount and content for basic quantitative analysis. Further, we adopted the qualitative in-depth interviews of key-informants to examine the characteristic of activities, the collaboration among communities and the benefits and issues during their action practices. The results show the ICT tools are indeed effective in assisting in social learning when conducting a cross-region of SEPL conservation activities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Methodology of Health Effects Estimation from Air Pollution in Large Asian Cities
Environments 2017, 4(3), 60; doi:10.3390/environments4030060 -
Abstract
The increase of health effects caused by air pollution seems to be a growing concern in Asian cities with increasing motorization. This paper discusses methods of estimating the health effects of air pollution in large Asian cities. Due to the absence of statistical
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The increase of health effects caused by air pollution seems to be a growing concern in Asian cities with increasing motorization. This paper discusses methods of estimating the health effects of air pollution in large Asian cities. Due to the absence of statistical data in Asia, this paper carefully chooses the methodology using data of the Japanese compensation system. A basic idea of health effects will be captured from simple indicators, such as population and air quality, in a correlation model. This correlation model enables more estimation results of respiratory mortality caused by air pollution to be yielded than by using the relative model. The correlation model could be an alternative method to estimate mortality besides the relative risk model since the results of the correlation model are comparable with those of the relative model by city and by time series. The classification of respiratory diseases is not known from the statistical yearbooks in many countries. Estimation results could support policy decision-making with respect to public health in a cost-effective way. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Implementing REDD+ in a Conflict-Affected Country: A Case Study of the Democratic Republic of Congo
Environments 2017, 4(3), 61; doi:10.3390/environments4030061 -
Abstract
Due to their carbon sequestration potential, tropical forests are a focal point for mitigation of climate change through Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+). The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) contains the largest part of the Congo Basin, the second largest
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Due to their carbon sequestration potential, tropical forests are a focal point for mitigation of climate change through Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+). The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) contains the largest part of the Congo Basin, the second largest rainforest in the world, and has become a main focus for REDD+ initiatives. However, DRC’s ongoing instability and conflict threatens the peace and security of local people, and outcomes of such global initiatives. Content analysis of 102 documents from four major REDD+ initiatives intervening in DRC, sought to understand how civil conflict is being integrated into the discourse on REDD+ and its implication for climate change mitigation. Results showed that discussion of how conflict and political instability might impact REDD+ outcomes was limited. Concrete approaches to address the reality of civil conflict were not evident. Governance reform was, however, an important emphasis of REDD+ in DRC. Since REDD+, peace-building and development initiatives are often funded by the same institutions, it is important to begin a dialogue as to how they can be more intentional in harmonizing approaches in conflict-affected, forest-rich countries like DRC. Finding synergies has the potential to improve overall outcomes for the global climate, the forest, and the lives of local people. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Environmental Risks and Uncertainty with Respect to the Utilization of Recycled Rolling Stocks
Environments 2017, 4(3), 62; doi:10.3390/environments4030062 -
Abstract
The railway industry is one of the most important sectors driving growth of regional economies worldwide. The industry has long dealt with both infrastructure and rolling stock. Many of these have reached the end of their lives. This paper highlights the rail policy
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The railway industry is one of the most important sectors driving growth of regional economies worldwide. The industry has long dealt with both infrastructure and rolling stock. Many of these have reached the end of their lives. This paper highlights the rail policy for managing end-of-life rail vehicles. Initially when manufacturing rolling stock, different materials are considered in design and manufacture such as steel, aluminum, copper, polymers, glass. Based on the high economic and carbon costs of these materials, it is worthwhile to reuse or recycle them after their end-of-life cycle. In this study, three types of trains have been evaluated for comparison: freight, passenger and high speed. The material breakdowns from rail vehicles are evaluated for feasible applications in terms of reusing or recycling train components. We consider every material, taking into account the process of production, remaining life, advantages, disadvantages and potential threats derived from using such residual materials. The key aspects are risks and uncertainty associated with chemical and physical processes, corrosion and its varieties, oxidation, impact on the environment, release of toxicity, and pollution to the soil. These negative effects can indeed harm people, children, and assets in the vicinity. This paper therefore highlights the possibilities of recycling residual materials derived from rolling stock waste and any danger to the environment and the community, so that hazardous waste management can be put in place at the right time. Such insight will better shape sustainability policy for rolling stock procurement in the future. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Variations of Drinking Water Quality Influenced by Seasons and Household Interventions: A Case Study from Rural Maharashtra, India
Environments 2017, 4(3), 59; doi:10.3390/environments4030059 -
Abstract
The majority of people in rural villages in Maharashtra, India, have access to improved drinking water sources. Nevertheless, the water quality at the point of consumption often does not satisfy the drinking water standard. In this study, we assess changes in water quality
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The majority of people in rural villages in Maharashtra, India, have access to improved drinking water sources. Nevertheless, the water quality at the point of consumption often does not satisfy the drinking water standard. In this study, we assess changes in water quality from its source to the point of consumption and explore the ties between water management practices and water quality. Water samples were collected at the water source and from 135 households’ drinking water storage tanks, and analyzed for fecal coliforms. In parallel, a survey was done to find out water treatment and storage interventions, sanitation and hygiene practices, and households’ perception of, and satisfaction with, drinking water quality. Our results show that even though 98% of the households in this study received their drinking water from an improved source, on average only 50% of sources, and even less during the monsoon, showed acceptable levels of fecal bacteria. Households’ engagement in treatment and storage interventions varied, but was considered crucial due to unreliable centralized chlorination at the village level. Further work is warranted to understand to what extent the different factors influence variations in water quality at the point of consumption and thus to determine what are the most effective interventions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Modeling and Upscaling Plot-Scale Soil Erosion under Mediterranean Climate Variability
Environments 2017, 4(3), 58; doi:10.3390/environments4030058 -
Abstract
Soil erosion is an issue in the Mediterranean slopes. Erosion plots are useful to quantify erosion rates, but data are difficult to scale up to a slope level. Moreover, short observational frameworks are generally established, making it difficult to represent multi-year fluctuations. This
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Soil erosion is an issue in the Mediterranean slopes. Erosion plots are useful to quantify erosion rates, but data are difficult to scale up to a slope level. Moreover, short observational frameworks are generally established, making it difficult to represent multi-year fluctuations. This paper deals with the potential of parsimonious modelling to upscale plot erosion (~23 m2) at Monte Pino Met European Research Observatory (South Italy) from 2001 to 2006. Under the assumption that the slope is fractal and contains plots, monthly gross soil erosion was modeled by lumping together the erosivity factor (runoff component), Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (vegetation cover factor), and the spatial scale dependence (slope length factor). This model was applied to reconstruct monthly gross soil erosion rates for the period of 1986–2006, for which hydrological inputs were available with sufficient detail. Pronounced interannual variations, with two distinct patterns, were observed: increasing rates of erosion were visible in 1995–2006 (peaking in November 1997, 50 Mg·ha−1·month−1), while in previous years only a few peaks slightly exceeded the average of the whole period (1 Mg·ha−1·month−1). Hydrological conditions indicate that important erosional processes have been triggered during low-frequency, short rainfall events occurring in spring–summer (e.g., May 2001, June 2003), or during longer, less intense events occurring in autumn–winter (e.g., November 1997) seasons. It is likely that increased precipitation amounts associated with more frequent convective storms created conditions for higher energy events triggering erosion. For the recent warm period, investigations at a higher than monthly resolution are required to better assess the seasonal changes of erosion rates and their relationship with soil conservation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Biotrickling Filtration of Air Contaminated with 1-Butanol
Environments 2017, 4(3), 57; doi:10.3390/environments4030057 -
Abstract
The removal of high concentrations of 1-butanol in an air stream was evaluated with a biotrickling filter for potential application to an industrial off-gas. Experiments were conducted on a laboratory-scale system, packed with perlite, in a co-current downward mode with constant recycling of
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The removal of high concentrations of 1-butanol in an air stream was evaluated with a biotrickling filter for potential application to an industrial off-gas. Experiments were conducted on a laboratory-scale system, packed with perlite, in a co-current downward mode with constant recycling of water. The performance was monitored for different inlet concentrations and empty bed residence times during a period of over 60 days of stable operation. A maximum elimination capacity (EC) of 100 g m−3 h−1 was achieved during periods in which the butanol concentration varied from 0.55 to 4.65 g m−3. The removal efficiency was stable and exceeded 80% for butanol concentrations in the range of 0.4 to 1.2 g m−3, corresponding to inlet mass loadings of up to approximately 100 g m−3 h−1. However, when the concentration exceeded 4 g m−3, removal efficiency rapidly dropped to 15% (EC of 22 g m−3 h−1), indicating an inhibition effect that was reversed by decreasing the inlet concentration. This biotrickling filter was able to deal with higher sustained butanol concentrations than have been previously reported, but might not be suitable for concentrations much in excess of 1.2 g m−3 or mass inlet loads in excess of 100 g m−3 h−1. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Geopolymerization Ability of Natural and Secondary Raw Materials by Solubility Test in Alkaline Media
Environments 2017, 4(3), 56; doi:10.3390/environments4030056 -
Abstract
The extent of the dissolution of aluminosilicate compounds is crucial, since the amount of Si and Al initially dissolved is essential for the following polycondensation and can strongly influence physical and mechanical performances of the final product. In order to set up a
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The extent of the dissolution of aluminosilicate compounds is crucial, since the amount of Si and Al initially dissolved is essential for the following polycondensation and can strongly influence physical and mechanical performances of the final product. In order to set up a method to test the ability of a material to react in alkaline media, different aluminosilicate sources have been selected: a mineral resource (a zeolitized tuff), an industrial by product (silt from washing process of construction and demolition wastes), a heat treated clay sediment and a calcined clay (metakaolin). Two test methods, static and dynamic, have been applied to evaluate the attitude of a silicoaluminate precursor to give a geopolymerization reaction. In particular, a fixed amount of precursor was put into contact with a alkaline solution under continuous stirring or in static conditions at 60 °C for fixed times. The dynamic test method seems to be more suitable, since it is faster and requires lower amounts of reactants (solution). Moreover, the dynamic test provides a reactivity sequence (ordered from the more to the less reactive precursor) metakaolin > treated clay sediment > zeolitized tuff ≈ silt both for Si and Al release, which is coherent with the performances of geopolymers obtained by using the above precursors. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Data-Modelling Applications in Water System Management
Environments 2017, 4(3), 55; doi:10.3390/environments4030055 -
Abstract
Water system management has a direct impact on natural and urban environments, covering a wide spectrum of field applications, ranging from watershed and groundwater management to natural and anthropic systems for water supply and wastewater harvesting. [...] Full article