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
Open AccessReview
Which Ballast Water Management System Will You Put Aboard? Remnant Anxieties: A Mini-Review
Environments 2017, 4(3), 54; doi:10.3390/environments4030054 -
Abstract
An accepted solution to the environmental problems related to a ship’s ballast water has been the adoption and proper utilization of approved onboard ballast water plans and management systems (BWMS). On 8 September 2017, the International Maritime Organization Ballast Water Management Convention comes
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An accepted solution to the environmental problems related to a ship’s ballast water has been the adoption and proper utilization of approved onboard ballast water plans and management systems (BWMS). On 8 September 2017, the International Maritime Organization Ballast Water Management Convention comes into force, and under this Convention, ships engaged in international trade must have an approved BWMS aboard to discharge ballast water, reducing species transfer. In response to enormous global concern about this problem, the overwhelming majority of the BWMS, approved currently for use by International Maritime Organization (IMO) and United States Coast Guard, utilize two main technologies (electro-chlorination or ultraviolet irradiation) as their principle mode of disinfection, often used in combination with filtration. However, both technologies have been questioned regarding their practically, efficiency, and possible environmental impacts upon discharge. This review article aims to explore some questions about these two technologies, drawing attention to some current uncertainties associated with their use. Also, it draws attention to some technical obstacles and regulatory impediments related to the new development of green biocide technology, which largely has been ignored, despite its potential as a simpler, cleaner and effective technology. Full article
Open AccessShort Note
Commuters’ Personal Exposure to Ambient and Indoor Ozone in Athens, Greece
Environments 2017, 4(3), 53; doi:10.3390/environments4030053 -
Abstract
This pilot study aimed to monitor the residential/office indoor, outdoor, and personal levels of ozone for people living, working, and commuting in Athens, Greece. Participants (16 persons) of this study worked at the same place. Passive sampling analysis results did not indicate any
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This pilot study aimed to monitor the residential/office indoor, outdoor, and personal levels of ozone for people living, working, and commuting in Athens, Greece. Participants (16 persons) of this study worked at the same place. Passive sampling analysis results did not indicate any limit exceedance (Directive 2008/50/EC: 120 µg/m3, World Health Organization (WHO) Air Quality Guidelines 2005: 100 µg/m3). The highest “house-outdoor” concentration was noticed for participants living in the north suburbs of Athens, confirming the photochemical ozone formation at the northern parts of the basin during southwestern prevailing winds. The residential indoor to outdoor ratio (I/O) was found to be significantly lower than unity, underlying the outdoor originality of the pollutant. The highest “office-indoor” concentration was observed in a ground-level building, characterized by the extensive use of photocopy machines and printers. Personal ozone levels were positively correlated only with indoor-office concentrations. A clear correlation of personal ozone levels to the time spent by the individuals during moving/staying outdoors was observed. On the other hand, no correlation was observed when focusing only on commuting time, due to the fact that transit time includes both on-foot and in-vehicle time periods, therefore activities associated with increased exposure levels, but also with pollutants removal by recirculating air filtering systems, respectively. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Life Cycle Assessment of a Three-Bedroom House in Saudi Arabia
Environments 2017, 4(3), 52; doi:10.3390/environments4030052 -
Abstract
The building sector is one of the crucial stakeholders in the global energy and environmental scenario. Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a tool widely used to evaluate the environmental performance of buildings, materials and activities. Saudi Arabia has a rapidly growing construction sector
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The building sector is one of the crucial stakeholders in the global energy and environmental scenario. Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a tool widely used to evaluate the environmental performance of buildings, materials and activities. Saudi Arabia has a rapidly growing construction sector with over $1 Trillion of ongoing projects. The housing sector, annually needing over 2.32 million new residential units in coming years, is yet to entertain environmental performance of buildings in its list of priorities. The present work undertakes a LCA study of a three-bedroom modern villa located in Dhahran. Providing the structural details of the villa, an account of the 18 main construction materials in terms of quantity and application has been produced. Embodied energy of these materials has been estimated adopting ‘cradle-to-gate’ approach. Environmental impacts of the materials have been modeled with the help of SimaPro software. The results suggest that concrete accounts for more than 43% of the total embodied energy of the house and is also the predominant material in terms of the overall environmental impacts. Steel is the second most prominent material both in terms of quantity and embodied energy. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Hydrological Consequences of Timber Harvesting in Landscape Zones of Siberia
Environments 2017, 4(3), 51; doi:10.3390/environments4030051 -
Abstract
Despite a large number of publications covering various aspects of the influence of climatic factors on runoff, this direction in hydrological research acquires a new meaning in connection with global climate change and the increase in anthropogenic press on river systems. The authors
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Despite a large number of publications covering various aspects of the influence of climatic factors on runoff, this direction in hydrological research acquires a new meaning in connection with global climate change and the increase in anthropogenic press on river systems. The authors of this work focused on the impact of anthropogenic factors on river runoff. Many rivers of Siberian taiga drain areas have experienced a dramatic land-cover change, with a decrease in overall forest area and a relative increase in deciduous trees. Land cover change in forest catchments impact water balance and accordingly, river flow. The study areas, the West Sayan and Northern Angara regions located in Central Siberia, are now a mosaic of forest regeneration sites including both post-human and post-fire regeneration patterns. Data of our own hydrological experiments conducted on clear cuts of different ages and reference materials for regular hydrological observations were analyzed. Dynamics of river flow under influence of timber harvesting were studied for 11 river basins in different landscape zones of Siberia. The studies showed that, in Siberia, forest cover changes lead to either reduction of, or increase in water yield depending on forest structure and climate. Dynamics of river flow after forest logging differ for continental and humid climates. Where precipitation is excessive, water yield increases twice that of control plots during the first several post-cutting years, due to reduction of transpiring phytomass. It takes 30–40 years and sometimes even over 50 years, depending on forest succession trajectories, for water yield to recover to the pre-cutting level. In an extremely continental climate, extensive forest cutting results in decreasing water yield during the first post-clearcutting years, because wind activity increases and enhances snow evaporation on vast clear cuts. Water yield exhibited an average annual decrease of 0.5–1.0 mm during the first two decades after cutting, i.e., until when clear cuts began to regenerate. With further development of forest vegetation, water yield increased by 1.5–3 mm annually. Obtained results show that at the regional level in conditions of anthropogenic press on the forests at the catchments of medium and small rivers, the climatic trends are offset by the felling and subsequent reforestation dynamics at clear cuts. Full article
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Open AccessOpinion
Blockchain: The Evolutionary Next Step for ICT E-Agriculture
Environments 2017, 4(3), 50; doi:10.3390/environments4030050 -
Abstract
Blockchain technology, while still challenged with key limitations, is a transformative Information and Communications Technology (ICT) that has changed our notion of trust. Improved efficiencies for agricultural sustainable development has been demonstrated when ICT-enabled farms have access to knowledge banks and other digital
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Blockchain technology, while still challenged with key limitations, is a transformative Information and Communications Technology (ICT) that has changed our notion of trust. Improved efficiencies for agricultural sustainable development has been demonstrated when ICT-enabled farms have access to knowledge banks and other digital resources. UN FAO-recommended ICT e-agricultural infrastructure components are a confluence of ICT and blockchain technology requirements. When ICT e-agricultural systems with blockchain infrastructure are immutable and distributed ledger systems for record management, baseline agricultural environmental data integrity is safeguarded for those who participate in transparent data management. This paper reviewed blockchain-based concepts associated with ICT-based technology. Moreover, a model ICT e-agriculture system with a blockchain infrastructure is proposed for use at the local and regional scale. To determine context specific technical and social requirements of blockchain technology for ICT e-agriculture systems, an evaluation tool is presented. The proposed system and tool can be evaluated and applied to further developments of e-agriculture systems. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Physico-Chemical Post-Treatments on the Semi-Continuous Anaerobic Digestion of Sewage Sludge
Environments 2017, 4(3), 49; doi:10.3390/environments4030049 -
Abstract
Sludge production in wastewater treatment plants is increasing worldwide due to the increasing population. This work investigated the effects of ultrasonic (ULS), ultrasonic-ozone (ULS-Ozone) and ultrasonic + alkaline (ULS+ALK) post-treatments on the anaerobic digestion of sewage sludge in semi-continuous anaerobic reactors. Three conditions
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Sludge production in wastewater treatment plants is increasing worldwide due to the increasing population. This work investigated the effects of ultrasonic (ULS), ultrasonic-ozone (ULS-Ozone) and ultrasonic + alkaline (ULS+ALK) post-treatments on the anaerobic digestion of sewage sludge in semi-continuous anaerobic reactors. Three conditions were tested with different hydraulic retention times (HRT, 10 or 20 days) and sludge recycle ratios (R = QR/Qin (%): 50 or 100%). Biogas yield increased by 17.8% when ULS+ALK post-treatment was applied to the effluent of a reactor operating at 20 days HRT and at a 100% recycle ratio. Operation at 10 days HRT also improved the biogas yield (277 mL CH4/g VSadded (VS: volatile solids) versus 249 mL CH4/g VSadded in the control). The tested post-treatment methods showed 4–7% decrease in effluent VS. The post-treatment resulted in a decrease in the cellular ATP (Adenosine tri-phosphate) concentration indicating stress imposed on microorganisms in the reactor. Nevertheless, this did not prevent higher biogas production. Based on the results, the post-treatment of digested sludge or treating the sludge between two digesters is an interesting alternative to pre-treatments. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Adsorption of Extracellular Polymeric Substances Derived from S. cerevisiae to Ceria Nanoparticles and the Effects on Their Colloidal Stability
Environments 2017, 4(3), 48; doi:10.3390/environments4030048 -
Abstract
In order to understand the adsorption preferences of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) components derived from fungus Saccharomyces cerevisiae on sparingly soluble CeO2 nanoparticles (CeNPs), the adsorption experiments of the EPS including organic matter with low molecular weight have been performed at pH
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In order to understand the adsorption preferences of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) components derived from fungus Saccharomyces cerevisiae on sparingly soluble CeO2 nanoparticles (CeNPs), the adsorption experiments of the EPS including organic matter with low molecular weight have been performed at pH 6.0 at room temperature (25 ± 1 °C). The subsequent effects of the coating on the dispersibility of CeNPs was systematically measured as a function of time and ionic strength ranging from 1 to 1000 mmol L−1. Among the EPS and other components, orthophosphate and saccharides preferentially adsorb onto CeNPs, and proteins are the only major N-compounds adsorbing onto the CeNP surfaces. Adsorption of orthophosphate resulted in a dramatic decrease in ζ potential to −40 mV at pH > 5, whereas the EPS adsorption suppressed the deviation of ζ potential within a narrow range (−20–+20 mV) at pHs ranging from 3 to 11. Critical aggregation concentrations (CAC) of an electrolyte (NaCl), inorganic orthophosphate, and EPS solutions are 0.01, 0.14, and 0.25 mol L−1, respectively, indicating that the EPS adsorption suppresses aggregation of CeNPs by the electrostatic repulsive forces derived from the adsorbed orthophosphate and the steric barrier formed by organic matter on the nanoparticle surfaces. Therefore, the EPS derived from fungus S. cerevisiae can potentially enhance colloidal dispersibility of CeNPs at circumneutral pH. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Development of ICT for Leaching Monitoring in Taiwan Agricultural LTER Stations
Environments 2017, 4(3), 47; doi:10.3390/environments4030047 -
Abstract
In order to study the groundwater subsidy from different cropping systems, leaching monitoring in Taiwan started in 2008 and implemented agricultural long-term ecological research (LTER) stations. Initially, leaching data was received by lysimeters, and then collected manually by laborers in the field twice
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In order to study the groundwater subsidy from different cropping systems, leaching monitoring in Taiwan started in 2008 and implemented agricultural long-term ecological research (LTER) stations. Initially, leaching data was received by lysimeters, and then collected manually by laborers in the field twice per month. The cost of data collection and transmission is high, real-time monitoring is not possible, and maintenance of instruments is inefficient. In this study, the goal is to develop a data transmission path. ICT (Information and Communication Technology) with different data transmission schemes was applied to improve the efficiency and immediacy of data transfer from the field to the databases in labs. Between 2010 and 2017, four versions of ICT have been developed and applied in LTER stations. WiFi, 2.5G (General Packet Radio Service, GPRS), 3G/4G network transmission, and Arduino cores are applied in different ICT versions. The first version of data transmission used data loggers, developed by the original factory, with a lower cost of renovation of instruments. However, complicated transmission paths, diverse instruments, poor weather resistance, and lack of wireless functionality are the limitations of the first version. Those limitations had been overcome by the second and third versions by using 2.5G (GPRS) and 3G/4G network transmission, respectively. Nevertheless, these versions are limited to the processes of data compression and encryption transmission which were developed by the system vendors. In addition, data can only be collected through the webpage provided by the vendors, instead of being received directly from the database using SQL (Structured Query Language). This is inappropriate for advanced data treatment, organization, and analysis. Finally, the fourth version of data transmission has been developed using Arduino. This system allows redesigning of the data loggers and transmission instrument with more feasibility and flexibility. Radio Frequency (Radio frequency, RF) has been imported into the transmission path to receive data from diverse instruments with fewer data loggers. In conclusion, ICT technological advancement with its advantages of reasonable cost and high flexibility and feasibility, Arduino and other open source operation systems can be used to develop the data loggers and related instruments to meet the needs of users. Therefore, ICT is the most appropriate strategy to develop the long-term monitoring system in the field and to apply to other environment monitoring systems. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Lean VOC-Air Mixtures Catalytic Treatment: Cost-Benefit Analysis of Competing Technologies
Environments 2017, 4(3), 46; doi:10.3390/environments4030046 -
Abstract
Various processing routes are available for the treatment of lean VOC-air mixtures, and a cost-benefit analysis is the tool we propose to identify the most suitable technology. Two systems have been compared in this paper, namely a “traditional” plant, with a catalytic fixed-bed
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Various processing routes are available for the treatment of lean VOC-air mixtures, and a cost-benefit analysis is the tool we propose to identify the most suitable technology. Two systems have been compared in this paper, namely a “traditional” plant, with a catalytic fixed-bed reactor with a heat exchanger for heat recovery purposes, and a “non-traditional” plant, with a catalytic reverse-flow reactor, where regenerative heat recovery may be achieved thanks to the periodical reversal of the flow direction. To be useful for decisions-making, the cost-benefit analysis must be coupled to the reliability, or availability, analysis of the plant. Integrated Dynamic Decision Analysis is used for this purpose as it allows obtaining the full set of possible sequences of events that could result in plant unavailability, and, for each of them, the probability of occurrence is calculated. Benefits are thus expressed in terms of out-of-services times, that have to be minimized, while the costs are expressed in terms of extra-cost for maintenance activities and recovery actions. These variable costs must be considered together with the capital (fixed) cost required for building the plant. Results evidenced the pros and cons of the two plants. The “traditional” plant ensures a higher continuity of services, but also higher operational costs. The reverse-flow reactor-based plant exhibits lower operational costs, but a higher number of protection levels are needed to obtain a similar level of out-of-service. The quantification of risks and benefits allows the stakeholders to deal with a complete picture of the behavior of the plants, fostering a more effective decision-making process. With reference to the case under study and the relevant operational conditions, the regenerative system was demonstrated to be more suitable to treat lean mixtures: in terms of time losses following potential failures the two technologies are comparable (Fixed bed plant: 0.35 h/year and Reverse flow plant: 0.56 h/year), while in terms of operational costs, despite its higher complexity, the regenerative system shows lower costs (1200 €/year). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Incorporating Air Quality Improvement at a Local Level into Climate Policy in the Transport Sector: A Case Study in Bandung City, Indonesia
Environments 2017, 4(3), 45; doi:10.3390/environments4030045 -
Abstract
Climate policy has a strong influence on policy processes at national levels in Indonesia, while other policies with a focus on air quality improvement are being implemented at local levels. Indonesia as a developing country has committed to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
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Climate policy has a strong influence on policy processes at national levels in Indonesia, while other policies with a focus on air quality improvement are being implemented at local levels. Indonesia as a developing country has committed to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 29 percent by the year 2030. This calls into question the extent to which cities and local governments can cope with the challenges of climate change mitigation. The purpose of the research is to find out the extent to which local air pollution reduction policies can contribute to the climate change mitigation program. The research design involved an empirical case study on governance and policy relevant to climate change efforts to lower GHG in Bandung City, Indonesia. The study evaluated the air quality improvement and the climate change mitigation programs using the actor-based framework of the Contextual Interaction Theory (CIT). The governance and stakeholder characteristic of climate change mitigation were also analysed using the structural context part of the CIT framework. The result shows that air quality improvement policy is implemented separately from climate policy; the latter operates at the national level and the former at the local level. By looking at the actor interaction analysis, the study concludes that a more holistic environmental policy approach would be more efficient at reducing local air pollution and contributing to the mitigation of climate change. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Correlation Analysis between Different Types of Corrosion of Concrete Containing Sulfate Resisting Cement
Environments 2017, 4(3), 44; doi:10.3390/environments4030044 -
Abstract
Utilization of pozzolanic materials (fly ash, slag, zeolite, metakaolin, microsilica and more) in the manufacturing of cement and concrete has increased considerably over the last decades. Another option is to use concrete containing sulfate resisting cement. This could help minimize the harmful impacts
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Utilization of pozzolanic materials (fly ash, slag, zeolite, metakaolin, microsilica and more) in the manufacturing of cement and concrete has increased considerably over the last decades. Another option is to use concrete containing sulfate resisting cement. This could help minimize the harmful impacts on concrete exposed to an aggressive environment. The issue of the deteriorative impact of the three types of concrete corrosion (acidic, sulfate and leaching) investigated using correlation analysis is presented in the paper. Concentrations of silicon and calcium leached out from the concrete samples into the liquid phase and the measured pH values were used as input data for a mathematical approach to the study of sulfate resisting cement. The performance of sulfate resisting cement-based concrete was improved when exposed to sulfate attack, but not in the case of leaching corrosion caused by water. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Are Protected Forests of Bangladesh Prepared for the Implementation of REDD+? A Forest Governance Analysis from Rema-Kalenga Wildlife Sanctuary
Environments 2017, 4(2), 43; doi:10.3390/environments4020043 -
Abstract
The present study investigates the forest governance structure for REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) implementation in a protected forest of Bangladesh, namely Rema-Kalenga Wildlife Sanctuary (RKWS). The study analyses the key aspects of forest governance, focusing on drivers of deforestation
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The present study investigates the forest governance structure for REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) implementation in a protected forest of Bangladesh, namely Rema-Kalenga Wildlife Sanctuary (RKWS). The study analyses the key aspects of forest governance, focusing on drivers of deforestation and forest degradation, governance deficit, institutions and social networks, co-benefits, and opportunities and challenges of REDD+ in RKWS. Focus group discussions and key informant interviews were used for primary data collection from different forest stakeholders, including forest-dependent communities, Forest Department (FD) and co-management project staffs. The survey revealed that REDD+ not only on technical issues but even more on how the evolving mechanism is governed on various levels, ranging from local to international. Although a majority (69.5%) of the respondents were motivated to engage in REDD+, indigenous communities were less interested in fear of loss of access to and use of land and forest resources, ownership and rights, and traditional customs and knowledge. There remained a degree of ambiguity of FD, community and co-management projects in field operations, which conflicted with the notions of cooperation, transparency, and accountability of the overall initiatives. Moreover, there is a strong local power structure that has major control over the community, locality and even over a local administration that is a crucial issue to the RKWS authority. However, REDD+ will open up the opportunity to manage the RKWS’s forest resources in a sustainable way, increase the level of protection, and expand the area protected, hence REDD+ must align with the interests of all stakeholders to fulfil its goal. Further research is necessary to inform the governance of REDD+ in Bangladesh to better understand the interplay, interactions and linkages between existing institutions, actors and policy processes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Leaf Wetness Evaluation Using Artificial Neural Network for Improving Apple Scab Fight
Environments 2017, 4(2), 42; doi:10.3390/environments4020042 -
Abstract
Precision agriculture represents a promising technological trend in which governments and local authorities are increasingly investing. In particular, optimising the use of pesticides and having localised models of plant disease are the most important goals for the farmers of the future. The Trentino
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Precision agriculture represents a promising technological trend in which governments and local authorities are increasingly investing. In particular, optimising the use of pesticides and having localised models of plant disease are the most important goals for the farmers of the future. The Trentino province in Italy is known as a strong national producer of apples. Apple production has to face many issues, however, among which is apple scab. This disease depends mainly on leaf wetness data typically acquired by fixed sensors. Based on the exploitation of artificial neural networks, this work aims to spatially extend the measurements of such sensors across uncovered areas (areas deprived of sensors). Achieved results have been validated comparing the apple scab risk of the same zone using either real leaf wetness data and estimated data. Thanks to the proposed method, it is possible to get the most relevant parameter of apple scab risk in places where no leaf wetness sensor is available. Moreover, our method permits having a specific risk evaluation of apple scab infection for each orchard, leading to an optimization of the use of chemical pesticides. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Elevated Blood Lead Levels in Children Associated with Living near Mining Waste Sites in Guerrero/Mexico
Environments 2017, 4(2), 41; doi:10.3390/environments4020041 -
Abstract
Blood lead levels (BLL) in children are associated with lead in soil and represent a major public health problem; however, there are few reports of lead contamination related to mining waste sites in Mexico. Therefore, we conducted a cross-sectional study in the State
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Blood lead levels (BLL) in children are associated with lead in soil and represent a major public health problem; however, there are few reports of lead contamination related to mining waste sites in Mexico. Therefore, we conducted a cross-sectional study in the State of Guerrero to identify the association between proximity of residence to mining site waste and BLL in children. The impact of the different variables related to BLL were analyzed with logistic regression. Geometric mean BLL was 13.6 μg/dL, 15.9 μg/dL in communities proximal to waste sites and 5.5 μg/dL in a distant control community. Children living in communities near the mining waste have higher BLL that children living in communities far away from the waste. Our results are similar to studies in other countries and indicate that mining waste sites remain an active source of BLL contamination that affect children’s health. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Establishment of an Aseptic Culture System and Analysis of the Effective Growth Conditions for Eleocharis acicularis Ramets for Use in Phytoremediation
Environments 2017, 4(2), 40; doi:10.3390/environments4020040 -
Abstract
Eleocharis acicularis, an aquatic macrophyte of the Cyperaceae family, has been shown to accumulate multiple heavy metals and has great potential for use in the phytoremediation of contaminated soil and water. To investigate the mechanism of accumulation of heavy metals in E.
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Eleocharis acicularis, an aquatic macrophyte of the Cyperaceae family, has been shown to accumulate multiple heavy metals and has great potential for use in the phytoremediation of contaminated soil and water. To investigate the mechanism of accumulation of heavy metals in E. acicularis while excluding biotic and abiotic environmental effects and to acquire homogenous and sufficient populations of E. acicularis, we established an aseptic culture system and analyzed the applicability of this species for phytoremediation. Young ramet bases and stolon tips of E. acicularis grown in the field were sterilized, cultured, and established in an aseptic culture system, and the effective growth conditions of isolated ramets were determined. Isolated ramets grew remarkably well in a medium of pH 4.8 to 5.7 with 0.25 mg/L kinetin as a plant hormone. Furthermore, capacity for the accumulation of heavy metals was examined using E. acicularis subcultured with or without Si. Aseptically cultured E. acicularis showed a sufficient capacity for Cs and Zn accumulation and exceeded the criteria for hyperaccumulator plants in accumulating Pb, Cd, and In regardless of the addition or not of Si during its subculture. The aseptic culture of E. acicularis enhances its capacity for the accumulation of heavy metals and its applicability for phytoremediation. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Recycling of Rolling Stocks
Environments 2017, 4(2), 39; doi:10.3390/environments4020039 -
Abstract
This review paper highlights feasible and practicable approaches for managing end-of-life rolling stocks. It aims to promote and enable sustainable procurement policy for rolling stocks. Firstly, it demonstrates that modern rolling stocks can potentially gain the environmental benefits since almost all of their
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This review paper highlights feasible and practicable approaches for managing end-of-life rolling stocks. It aims to promote and enable sustainable procurement policy for rolling stocks. Firstly, it demonstrates that modern rolling stocks can potentially gain the environmental benefits since almost all of their materials used in the rolling stock manufacturing can be recycled and reused. In this study, a brief definition and concept of various train types are introduced and discussed, accompanied by some demonstrative illustrations. Then, component analyses, recovery rates and percent proportion of each material in various rolling stock assemblies have been evaluated. The estimation of material quantities that can potentially be recycled has been carried out using industry data sources. The suitable management procedures for end-of-life rail vehicles are then discussed, together with the life cycle of the key materials in which the recyclability criteria take into account the environmental risks and the best and safest approaches to deal with them. The aim of this study is to increase the awareness of the public, train manufacturers and rail industries on the benefits to the environment from rolling stock recycling, which could result in sustainable society and urban livings. Full article
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Open AccessEssay
Climate Change and Food In/Security: A Critical Nexus
Environments 2017, 4(2), 38; doi:10.3390/environments4020038 -
Abstract
The issue of climate change has been gaining widespread attention and concern as it has the ability to directly/indirectly affect our standard of living and quality of life. It has often been postulated that changes in climate would have a vast effect on
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The issue of climate change has been gaining widespread attention and concern as it has the ability to directly/indirectly affect our standard of living and quality of life. It has often been postulated that changes in climate would have a vast effect on food production systems and that food security might be threatened due to increasing climate change. However, it seems that research on climate change and food in/security has often been one-sided; with climate change being identified as the cause of food insecurity and not how the systems in place to ensure food security have exacerbated the issue of climate change. This paper thus seeks to give a more balanced view and thus understanding of the complex relationship between climate change and food security by critically examining both systems. Full article